It's a new morning,
my migraine has fled,
I look around the house
and am filled with dread.
The cat was down
for just one day
and in that time
the mice did play.
The dishes are dirty
and stacked in a heap,
the laundry is a mountain
stinky and steep.
There are millions of socks
strewn about the floor,
and smudgy dog nose prints
all over the door.
The island is stacked
with papers and stuff,
the dog hair blows about
like so much brown fluff.
The tables and couch
of the family room
are littered with crap
adding to the gloom.
The people that live here
are rabid feral goats
that haven't even a clue
about how to hang up a coat.
Toothpaste globs dot
every mirror and sink,
the garbage is overflowing
and starting to stink.
The fridge is empty
and the goats all whine
that there's nothing to eat,
on what will they dine?
I survey the sorry
state of this place,
and I scratch my head
and I grimace my face.
Where to start? What to do?
With which task to begin?
This is a losing battle.
There's no way to win.
But I know that the answer
lies in my brainy little head:
"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"
So I'm going back to bed.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
It's a new morning,
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
YOU GUYS! I am amazing. I created light! Like, first, there was no light, and then BAM! Light!
Okay. Before y'all think I've seriously lost my mind (right, I know, debatable. Shut up.) and have some sort of delusional God complex, let me explain.
Remember my last post about my problem with pillows in which I included this picture?
Dude. I MADE those lamps.
Can you tell I'm just a wee bit proud of myself? I think it mostly stems from the fact that the finished product came out just like I envisioned it in my head. This does not often happen. Mostly what happens is, I have an idea in my head, I try it. It doesn't work out right so then I have to try 432 different ways to fix it before it's either fixed enough to sorta kinda come close to the picture I had in my head, or I declare the project dead to me and walk away vowing never to ______ ever again. (Hey sewing machine, I'm blaming so much of this on you.)
Anyway, I had seen in various places in blogland where people had made their own lamps out of vases or bottles. They swore it was simple and cheap and they swore they weren't electricians. (What exactly is up with the prices of lamps? Why are they so darn expensive? I know for a fact it's not because they're made of gold. I walk through lamp sections with a furrowed brow and think, "Really?! Um. NO.") This made me happy because I, too, am simple and I, too, am cheap, and I, too, am not an electrician. The equation in my head went something like this:
SIMPLE + CHEAP + NOT ELECTRICIAN = LAMP.
True to form for me, there was a little more to the equation than I first thought, but not much more. The true equation looks like this:
SIMPLE + CHEAP + NOT ELECTRICIAN + VASE + BOTTLE LAMP KIT + A LITTLE MCGYVERING = LAMP.
I ran across these gold speckled vases at Home Goods. (Hello, Home Goods! I shall have to start referring to you as my Dealer.) I spied one and thought it would be perfect for a lamp for my living room. I started looking for another, and spied its mate, shoved behind a bunch of other merchandise, almost like someone was hoping to hide it and come back for it later. Sorry, sucka! (For those of you into hashtagging, I'll just say #sorrynotsorry) I quickly scooped them both up (for $12 each!) and ran for the checkout.
Then I stopped at the Lowe's next door and picked up two bottle lamp kits (around $10 each) and Target for a lampshade (around $20). I only needed one lampshade because I already had one at home. Then I went home and started to put this thing together.
And then my head exploded and I pictured the picture in my head crackling into a bazillion little pieces because the rubber nipple thingy (oh dear Lord, save me from the weird google hits that will come from that phrase!) was too small for the opening in my vase and the lamp part wasn't going to fit right into the vase part and I was going to wind up in that special circle of hell reserved for my projects that don't turn out and I was going to have to forsake my gold sparkly vases. This made me want to cry.
So I thunk and I thunk, and I figured I could make a circle out of cork to thread the lamp thingy through and make it fit the size of the vase. I know this sounds confusing, but trust me, I have photos and all shall be revealed, Young Grasshopper.
This McGyvering turned out to work (I needed a little hot glue to keep it stable, but you can't really see it.
I had my beloved help me with the wiring of the first one just so that I would be certain that I was connecting things correctly and wouldn't cause the house to burn down just because I needed gold sparkly lamps. It was extremely simple. I mean, like, I'm pretty sure I could've done it while consuming a glass of wine, simple. It involved a couple of screws and a couple of wires. Easy peasy. And YOU GUYS. When I turned on the switch and actually had light? I danced around like Tom Hanks in Castaway when he finally made fire. Seriously. My husband just shook his head at me and walked out of the room. I am woman. I can wire a lamp with a lamp kit. HEAR. ME. ROAR!
Now, before I show the photographic evidence, let me apologize for the quality of the photos. I took them with my phone. Apparently I am not so lazy that I can't run all over God's green earth to find all the things I need to make a lamp and actually make the lamp but I am too lazy to walk into the other room to grab my good camera so that the pictures will actually be decent. Priorities. I has 'em. Um...or something?
|See? Gold and sparkly! Hello my love! Also: the walls are not actually that weird purple/blue color. Thanks, iPhone.|
|*Sigh* Luuuurrrve. Also: Dear Laziness, You have made so many things about this picture bad. It's a good thing the lovely lamp makes up for it. Also, also: The walls are not actually that color.|
So, dear children, what have we learned from this post? Let's see:
Home Goods is my Dealer.
Sparkly gold lamps are the bomb dot com.
Making your own lamp is fairly easy and inexpensive.
The new feminism involves wiring a lamp from a lamp kit and being an independent woman who don't need no electrician.
I am lazy.
Now, I urge thee: Go forth and make some light! (And if you do, can I see it?)
Monday, March 31, 2014
Hello. My name is Sara and I am an addict.
I didn't know my problem was this bad. I thought I could handle it on my own. But I've come to believe that I cannot control this myself. I need help.
I am addicted to throw pillows.
It was harmless fun at first. I would buy a fluffy pillow thinking it would solve my decorating problems. But I'd get the pillow home and after a brief high, I'd realize that I was still unhappy. And so I'd go to Home Goods or Target thinking that I could handle myself. I could get out of there without a pillow. I'd just avoid the pillow section.
But we all know how that works out. You think you are strong enough and that you can just stroll through the pillow section and take a peek. You won't buy anything. Because you definitely don't need a throw pillow. You can get by without a throw pillow. Throw pillows don't rule you, you rule throw pillows.
And then you see it. The color is perfect! The texture is divine! You have the perfect spot for it! And you say to yourself: Oh what's one throw pillow? I'll just get this one pillow this one time and then I'll quit. So you buy it and take it home and put it in the spot that would be perfect for it and you look at it and it just... isn't. Oh well, you think. It's just a pillow. I'll put it in the closet and when I re-do the next room, I bet it will work in there.
Except it doesn't.
And you promise yourself you will just. stop. And you do.
Until the next time.
And you keep going this way on this crazy throw pillow train, collecting pillows and tossing them in closets and collecting pillows and tossing them in closets.
Then you discover that you can make a pillow using place mats.
And you think to yourself, this is it! This is the solution I've been waiting for! Place mats are cheap! Fiberfill is cheap! I can totally make a pillow that will be the perfect pillow and all of my problems will be solved!
Place mats are like the methadone for throw pillow addiction. Soon you find yourself addicted to them as well.
So now you find yourself trolling all your old haunts and instead of just being drawn to the pillow section, now you are also drawn to the tableware section.
You find your children pulling you by the arm and hustling you away saying "NO! Mom. Come. On. You do not need another pillow or place mat. This is not okay. It's time to stop."
And you are embarrassed because you have been found out. You thought you had hidden your little addiction so well. But now your kids are on to you and things are just going to have to change.
So. You force yourself into your closet and you pull out your stash of pillows. And it looks like this:
And your face flames in shame as you realize that none of these pillows have solved one decorating problem for you. So you go through them one by one, pat them lovingly, and relive the memories of their purchase or creation. And then you force yourself to choose. Some of them must go. You will allow yourself to keep a few which come into play around the holidays, but after that, you will make yourself be brutal and get rid of the rest. Even--horror of horrors!--the matching ones that came with the couch that is now covered with a slip cover and don't even match any part of your house anymore. Yes. Those, too, must go. You were holding on to them "just in case." But you have realized that just in case never happened. And even if it did, you would be okay without those pillows.
So here are the last throw pillows I've made: (the floral ones)
Yes, they are lovely. Yes, they bring in a burst of color for spring. But you have seen the light. Pillows will not get you out of any sort of decorating dilemma. They will only steal space in your closet.
But see those lamps? Did you know you could make a lamp out of a vase? Want to meet me at Home Goods? I'll see you in the glassware section. I mean, I know I was just there, but I could go again. I don't have to buy anything. I totally have this vase/lamp thing under control...
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I've been sitting here, glass of wine in hand, staring at this blank screen with its accusatory flashing cursor for the last 20 minutes. I am forcing myself to write even though it's the last thing I want to do. Yep, even less than laundry, and that, my friends should be extremely telling. It's not that I don't have anything to write about, because I do. Plenty has happened in these last six weeks that is totally blog-worthy. I just can't seem to find the energy or the will to care enough to write it.
Perhaps this winter, in all of its frigid bitterness has sapped me. But I think the more likely reason is that I am simply out of the habit. It used to be that I found something to write about at least three times a week and went at it hammer and tong. Now, even though I have some things to write about, there are other things that feel more off limits. As my kids get older, I feel like I have to be more judicious in what I post about them. And the dog has somehow found her
middle age mellow. I'm not that all interesting by myself. (Although I did recently have a procedure done that you may get to hear about. Because medical stuff just screams funny, right?) The neighbors have been, if not friendly, at least not openly hostile. House things are coming together, but I don't know if anyone even wants to hear about projects I've taken on.
At first I didn't write because I didn't have much to write about. Then when I did have some things to write about, sitting down and staring at a blank screen and a hostile, blinking cursor made me uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable in a place that I had never been uncomfortable before made me resent the whole idea of writing. And instead of writing my way through it, I simply shrugged my shoulders, and said "meh" to the whole thing.
I don't want to be that way. I don't want to not do something that has meant so much to me just because I'm uncomfortable. I want to be the kind of person that sits in that uncomfortable spot and says, "how are you going to change it?" And so, you kind, sweet people, please bear with me as I find my way back to the sweet spot. It's likely to be a little awkward and lurchy around here, as I find my footing again. But I'll get there, because I've decided that there is a better place to be than here.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Hey y'all. As my kids say: 'What's the haps?'
Okay. I'm lying. My kids don't actually now say, nor have they ever said that. This is what happens when you are out of practice with writing. You just make stuff up just so you can get going. But now, having lied and having started, I'm pretty sure I can keep going without resorting to lying. I shall, forthwith, update you on "the haps" at Chez Sara and I shall tell it like it is. Or was, depending on when things happened. Time, it's a tricky business, dontchaknow.
First off, let me start by telling you that I was slain by that dastardly little drummer boy. It was an unholy pairing of an army of fake Kardashians and that evil song that pah-rum-pum-pummed me right out of the game. Thanks SNL for your Kimye skit. You really should have a warning. Anyway, it was only 24 hours before the game ended that I was done in. I was sitting in my room, watching a dvr'd episode of SNL with my daughter when it happened. I screamed. In agony. In such a way that my beloved, who had just finished showering, ran out of the bathroom to make sure that someone hadn't actually lost a body part. (Well, he couldn't see it, but I'm pretty sure The Boy took part of my soul.) Then, after hearing my explanation for the ruckus, he just shook his head in disgust and headed back into the bathroom to finish grooming himself and his manly, manly beard.
We had a joyful Christmas with most of my family. My folks and Uncle Grumpy and his kids headed down and we celebrated. And they left this for me:
|Yep. I was given the dreaded owls, dressed as a drummer boy, ox, and lamb. The HORROR!|
|Select. Fill. Relax. Lying liars!!|
|Guess who's still finding random styrofoam beans?|
Mary was trying to help me and when my father finally came upstairs to see what all the laughing/cursing/crying/screaming/shrieking was about, he shook his head in disbelief. It wasn't long before he, too, was covered in the
After Christmas, Mother Nature decided it was time to bring me to my knees by sending us 12" of snow and a polar vortex that kept my children out of school for the whole first week that they were supposed to be back. Instead of having a two week winter break, they had three. And I almost and a nervous breakdown. The laundry! The food! The different waking/sleeping/eating schedules!
|3/4 of my children working on a tunnel. The 4th was off being cool with his friends.|
|Taken about two seconds before having snow thrown at me.|
I'm hearing now that next week may rival the first appearance of the polar vortex. Yippee. Even my children, who were delighted at having an extended break, are starting to grow bored. They are not hoping for anymore snow days, since their school year has now been extended into June. Now they are just looking for 2 hour delays. I, however, am no longer on speaking terms with the school district's Director of Transportation. Um, not that I ever spoke to the man before. But boy! If he tried to speak to me now, I would give him one heck of a cold shoulder!
There was also this:
It's just part of my decor--I'm not actually hanging it and doing the hustle or anything. And the best part is--well, besides the faces of people who come over and then exclaim "You have a disco ball? WHY do you have a disco ball? Now I kinda want a disco ball!"--if the sun decides to show up in the morning and do its job instead of hiding behind the gray, gray clouds that are trying to make me curl up in a ball and die, it looks like this in my family room!
And do you know what happens next?
The Dumb Dog loses her mind.
Winning on two levels. Feels good!
Monday, December 30, 2013
Remember last year's post about the books I read? Well I've kept track, and in the interest of giving (You know the line. Repeat after me: I'm a giver!) and making sure that you have some good pages to turn, I'm sharing the books that
kept me from doing laundry occupied my time and shared space on my nightstand this year.
I'll list them by month, then title and author. I'll give you a little blurb on those that are my particular favorites.
Help, Thanks, Wow--Anne Lamott
One Thousand Gifts--Ann Voskamp
Dreamy writing, wonderful message.
The Sense of an Ending--Julian Barnes
The Silver Linings Playbook--Matthew Quick
The movie was good, the book was better.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?--Maria Semple
Any main character that hates all Canadians piques my interest. (Not that I have anything against Canadians. I just found that very funny.)
The Girls from Ames--Jeffrey Zaslow
If you've maintained friendships with girls who "knew you when" you'll enjoy this book.
Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy--Ken Follett
Winter of the World--Ken Follett
Pride and Prejudice--Jane Austen
A particular favorite that I revisit every few years.
80 Days--Matthew Goodman
The true story of the widely known Nellie Bly, the unknown Elizbeth Bisland and their quest to see who could travel around the world in 80 days first. Exciting, interesting, and true!
Calling Invisible Women--Jeanne Ray
Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed--Glennon Doyle Melton
Melton's book is at turns thoughtful and humorous. Her ideas that we are more alike than different and that Love Wins are ideas I can get behind.
A Red Herring without Mustard--Alan Bradley
If you haven't read any of Bradley's books starring precocious 11 year old Flavia de Luce, you are missing out. Flavia is fascinated with chemistry, bicycles and death and is hell bent to solve the mysteries that seem to find their way into her life. Entertaining and then some.
Flight Behavior--Barbara Kingsolver
I have yet to read one of Kingsolver's books that leaves me flat. She is a wonderful writer with well developed characters and interesting plots.
The Interestings--Meg Wolitzer
I Am Half Sick of Shadows--Alan Bradley
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk--Ben Fountain
The harrowing story of how the author survived the 2004 tsunami while her family (parents, husband, and two sons) perished. Horrifying, beautiful, and compelling.
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again--David Foster Wallace
The Happiness Project--Gretchen Rubin
The Lion is In--Delia Ephron
How to be Good--Nick Hornby
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime--Mark Haddon (another re-read)
The Handmaid's Tale--Margaret Atwood
The Chaperone--Laura Moriarty
A fictionalized account of actress Louise Brooks and her chaperone on a trip to New York City in the summer of 1922. A page-turner that left me wanting to read more by the author.
Me Before You--Jojo Mayes
Tell the Wolves I'm Home--Carol Rifka Brunt
Set in the 80's when AIDS was a terrifying and stigmatizing scourge about which little was known. A wonderfully wrought story of sisters, family, and love.
What Alice Forgot--Liane Moriarty (not to be confused with Laura Moriarty, above)
A story of love, indifference, anger, forgiveness, and amnesia.
The Art of Fielding--Chad Harbach
Love and baseball. Lots and lots of baseball.
The Cukoo's Calling--Robert Gilbraith (who is really J.K. Rowling)
The Hypnotist's Love Story--Liane Moriarty
The Silent Wife--A.S.A. Harrison
The Moonflower Vine--
An old-time novel--the author's only book. Well developed characters with good story lines. This is a re-read for me.
Black Water Rising--Attica Locke
Red Sparrow--Jason Matthews
Eleanor and Park--Rainbow Rowell
Don't let the author's name put you off. This was one of my favorite books of the year. Set in the 80's, I related to so much of this book. I loved the characters, the plot, the writing, the flow of this book. It left me wrecked to read anything else for quite a while afterwards.
The Great Gatsby--F. Scott Fitzgerald
A re-read. Yep. It still holds up even all these years after reading it my Junior year in English class.
The Husband's Secret--Liane Moriarty
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats--Jan-Philipp Sendker
I somehow did not manage to read a single thing during the whole month of November. I dunno. Maybe I read cereal boxes.
Double Down: Game Change 2012--Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
Hyperbole and a Half--Allie Brosh
Blogger Allie Brosh has put much of her blog in book form. Her blog, which is half writing, half cartoon, and all fabulous is made up of the stories that make up her life. In the book she talks of her dogs (her dog Simple Dog and my Dumb Dog simply HAVE to be related), a psychotic goose, being the god of cake, and her personality (trust me, funnier than it sounds.) She also describes her descent into, slog through, and slow climb out of debilitating depression in a way that should be required reading. (trust me, this is, somehow, in some ways, also funnier than it sounds) I read this book in about a day. Fast, funny, and terrifyingly relatable.
One Summer: America 1927--Bill Bryson
I love Bill Bryson. If he wrote a story about phone books, I would read it. I am only half-way through this book, and I'm amazed at the many important things that happened in the very busy summer of 1927.
2013 wins over 2012 by almost 10 books read. (42 1/2 to 33) Yowza! It's a wonder I got any laundry done at all this year. (Said the woman writing this in her pajamas. ;) ) In 2014, I'm just planning on foregoing laundry and having my family wear togas and go commando so that I can READ ALL THE BOOKS!
If you read something wonderful and
feel you have to tell someone or you may burst want to share it, please share in the comments section. I'm always looking for the next book for my nightstand.
Thanks for stopping by to read my ramblings this year. May you have a blessed 2014!
Monday, December 9, 2013
That would be The Little Drummer Boy Challenge Stress Disorder. What is The Little Drummer Boy Challenge? Essentially it is a game where in the player does his best to avoid hearing the (dreaded) Christmas song between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. If you hear it, you are dead. Out. Done for. Now, you can't be tricked into hearing it (as my beloved keeps wanting to do to me) and it doesn't count if someone who knows you are playing sings it to you or otherwise sets you up, but all other instances count. This has led to some rather ridiculous behavior on my part.
Er, more ridiculous than usual, anyway.
On Saturday, my beloved and I were returning cable boxes belonging to a certain company that I shall not name, but will tell you rhymes with Hay Schmee & Schmee. (Huzzah for faster internet and the ability for all of us to operate devices in the house without feeling like we want to murder someone!) As we were waiting in the UPS store, I could hear the dulcet crooning of Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song and I began to get antsy. I could feel my heart begin to race and I looked at my beloved and told him that if Nat started wrapping up the tune before we were done, he was on his own, because I would be exiting the store. (I also made him go in before me to make sure it was safe to enter.) As we finished, Nat was finishing too and I pretty much ran out of the store in an "every man for himself" manner. Yeah, I love my husband, but I am not responsible for his meandering ways and if he gets himself knocked off, that's his problem. (TRUE LOVE!)
Last week, I was in a large discount store. I had been in there for nearly an hour and just KNEW that I was pushing fate. The Drummer could come for me at any moment. I was standing in line at the checkout behind an older couple. They were a little slow moving, which usually is no problem, but this time was causing my palms to sweat. I was polite, but was ever so slowly inching my cart forward as they took their time putting on coats and gloves and carefully rearranged the bags in their cart. (Even now I'm breaking into a bit of a cold sweat thinking about it.) As I pulled forward, ready and eager to pay and beat a hasty retreat, the cashier smiled at me and said with a big grin that showed she was blissfully unaware of The Boy and his bent on destruction, 'Just a sec, gotta change the receipt tape!" I shifted back and forth on my feet, I cleared my throat. 'Sure! No problem!' I lied. I was listening to the current carol wind down and was certain that the sound of pah-rum-pum-pum-pumming would be coming for me. As the cashier got the tape in and proceeded to ring up my purchases, the audio loop changed to an in-store ad for something and I started to breathe faster. When the commercial was done, the cashier was still ringing things up and happily chatting to me. I had no idea what she was saying, for I was nodding and uh-huh-ing absently while listening for the dreaded drums. And suddenly, my friends--IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!! The next song was no carol. Instead, my ears were treated to the sweet, sweet sound of Blondie singing "Call Me." I very nearly broke down and wept. I kept willing the cashier to move quickly on my purchases, because I still had to exit the store. Blondie was well into the second verse by the time my packages were bagged. I lobbed a hasty "thank you!" over my shoulder and veritably SPRINTED for the exit. I made it to my van, sweating, breathing heavily, and only able to whisper a hoarse "thanks!" to the Muzak Gods who intervened on my behalf.
That evening, it was a simple yawn that kept me from being slain along with my son. We had been watching the SNL holiday show, giggling as Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg gave inappropriate gifts in a box, when suddenly I yawned. Not a dainty yawn, but a great big, gaping, canyon of a yawn. It was then that I decided that I should hit the hay. I bid my boy goodnight, went upstairs, performed my evening ablutions, and crawled into bed, exhausted from the trauma of earlier in the day. I wasn't in bed long when I heard an unearthly wail from downstairs. My son came up and told me that The Boy had just slain him via Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet. (Every year, this skit kills thousands who don't mute or leave in time. The humanity!) You know how experts are always saying that we should listen to our bodies? I BELIEVE. That yawn saved me.
It's just a minefield out there, friends! I've taken to going to the grocery with headphones on. Yes, I've become one of those people! I make my non-playing/slain family members enter buildings before me. I've always liked shopping online because I can shop in my pajamas. Now, I know we've all seen those girls who are out in public with their hair piled on top of their heads, no make up on, and in pajamas. I'm pretty sure my own daughter has done this. And they can get away with it. They look cute, even. But y'all. I'm 45 years old. NO ONE wants to see me sans makeup, in my pajamas with a messy bun. (My beloved sees my this way last thing at night, first thing in the morning. LUCKY.) So really, shopping online is serving both myself AND mankind. (You are welcome. I am a giver. Again. So. Generous.) I've done most of my shopping online this season to avoid The Boy. I changed the presets on my radio. I have a Drummer Boy Free playlist of Christmas songs on Spotify. I gave my 9 year old daughter the third degree regarding her choir concert, making sure that no drumming of any kind would be taking place. I may or may not have told her that if The Boy was making an appearance, I would be in the bathroom for that performance. Fortunately for all of us, her concert was percussion free.
I'm jittery every time I go out. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Part of me wants to just jump in front of the Drummer Boy train to get it over with already. But the competitor in me just will not give up. Last year, I went down early thanks (NO THANKS AT ALL) to the unholy pairing of The Boy and Bob Seeger. I refuse to be slain in such an inhumane way this year.
So if you need me, I'll be here. In front of my computer, trolling Amazon, wearing my pajamas and blissfully Drummer Boy Free.
Be safe out there, y'all. He's just waiting to do you in.