Happy House Anniversary!

Happy July 1st! And Happy House Anniversary to us! 8 momentous years ago, we took possession of Casa De Awesomesauce. We were 23 years old!

It’s also by far, the longest my husband has lived in the same place! Ha! My small-town ways have rubbed off on his gypsy soul! Plus, moving sucks real bad!

house

We went to a concert that evening and afterwards were supposed to stay the first night in our first home, but when we stopped at the house, the previous occupants were still moving stuff! The place was mostly empty, but every light in the house was on… jerks.

We waited three more days for them to get out. It was the longest wait of our lives! Even after we moved in, they spent two more weeks coming back and forth to get their shit out of our yard and shed. Trampolines, pool, play houses… we probably should have made a stink about it, but that wasn’t going to accomplish anything.

On another note, I have some sad news, folks…

After doing some serious inspecting of the Hell on Wheels camper, we realized the damage is far more extensive than originally anticipated. There is more water damage than we can afford to fix. We’d normally just say whatever and haul it out to our favorite boondocking spot as-is, until it completely falls apart since we don’t really dig campground camping, but we no longer have access to that property where our spot is. :( So since it would be really silly to put money into something we’ll never get a return out of, we’re throwing in the towel.

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We hate to be quitters, but this project just doesn’t make any sense for us anymore. After the nightmare that the boat became, (read about that here and here!) we just don’t want this camper to be a repeat of that. We found a charity that will come and haul it away for free, let us write it off for taxes like you would when donating items to a thrift store, and give they’ll give us a voucher for 2 free nights at a bunch of cool destinations across the US. So we’ve decided to do that and focus our time and energy on the house instead. Because you know what? We’re taking the first steps towards moving.

We’re not sure exactly where to, yet but we know we’re over the ‘burbs. Even though we still love our Columbus with the fire of a thousand suns! We love the convenience of it and the fact that we can find something to do virtually 24 hours a day. We love the culture and that it is a community of acceptance and understanding for everyone.

But I also miss the peace of living in the country, it fits too.

So in the meantime, we’re going to start slowly polishing up the house. For instance, we haven’t had electricity in over half of our kitchen since the year we moved in… 8 years ago. Things like that are probably important to future potential home buyers! So we’ll be begrudgingly hiring an electrician to come out and take a look at it since it’s not one of the things we feel comfortable tackling… Because we’d probably kill ourselves.

So to get that whole laundry list of things rolling, over the last month we got started with our spare bedroom. Yeah, kind of a weird place to start, but it was the place that really needed the most help. It had hideous, dirty, stained,  mauve carpet, green paint on the walls (that we slapped up in an hour to cover the vomitous pink paint and ballerina border leftover from the previous occupants) plus we had somehow managed to smear it all over the ceiling. It was one of our first paint jobs, give us a break!

This might be your cup of tea, but pink carpet with pink walls with pink ballerinas wasn’t really our thing! And like I said before it was suuuuper stained. Kids + dogs + carpet = Gross.

I could just slap myself for not getting more “before” photos. But we snapped ONE while things were in progress, where the two greens met (the bottom green was theirs, our darker green that covered the pink was on top) there was a piece of foam chair rail with little cutesy daisies on it. It was cute from afar, but upon close inspection, it was very juvenile looking. Plus we were over it. So it got ripped down.

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We initially planned on painting the subfloor while we waited for the cash to put in new flooring. Sounds scary, but some folks have really done some awesome things with their subfloors!

Like this! This looks awesome! It’s not a long-term plan, but looks way better than kid and dog stained pink carpet!

But then we ripped up the carpet and found laminate parquet flooring underneath! Initially I was thrilled, so now I could just paint the floor a sweet putty color and call it done! But upon taking a good look at the floor we realized how bad of shape it really was in. There were tiles that were cracked and broken. It was just a mess.

Then I remembered we had just bought all that bomb-ass peel & stick vinyl planking for the camper! Bingo!

Before we got started, we used a 5 gallon bucket with 1/2 cup Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface concentrated cleaning solution to scrub the floors. Vinegar would work too, but I love Mrs. Meyer’s!

Soap Box Alert: I freaking love all of Mrs. Meyer’s earth-friendly products and they are now what I use exclusively in my house. Laundry soap, dish detergent, dish soap, everything. They work amazing and smell wonderful. Basil and Lavender are my faves! Grab some at the grocery store next time or order yourself a gift bucket online. This stuff is amazing! I know it’s a little granola-crunching, but I really do care about what our home dumps back into the world. With all of the water problems we’ve been experiencing in Ohio over the last few years, it makes me feel better knowing I’m doing my best not to contribute to that.

Then we just spent an hour or two a night after work peeling and sticking those puppies down! I was really concerned at first about the peel & stick quality. We had used peel & stick once before in a family member’s bathroom and it ended up having to be redone later. This wasn’t really something we were interested in doing. But after we read a lot of reviews about it, we decided this brand had some serious sticky stuff and took a chance! So far, 3 weeks later we’re still really happy. There are a few spots that sort of lift a little bit, but we’re chalking that up to the crappy floor underneath. And if it continues to be an issue, we’ll just grab some sort of adhesive like Liquid Nails and re-peel and stick those suckers back down.

travlastplank

It was a lot of work, but it was easy work. They scored very easily with a knife and then could be snapped by hand to the sizes that we needed. By the time it was all said and done, we were definitely sore for a few days, but we were SUPER happy with the results!

Then after the floor was installed, it took a few more days of rolling around on the floor to measure, cut, paint and install quarter-round throughout the room. My mom had gave us her old air compressor with a brad gun. This was the first time we’d used the gun, and it was a LIFE SAVER. We had the quarter-round nailed down in about 10 minutes!

sparebdrmnew

Here’s the semi-finished product! We still need a headboard and have since got a chest of drawers which we put on the wall at the foot of the bed, but it was a nice starting place and hopefully some fuel to finish up some of the other rooms in the house!

Mainly the master bedroom. Which we’ve been saying we were going to tackle for 8 years now. Blargh!

Well, Happy JULY and to Happy early birthday, ‘Merica! And until next time, stay classy!

You dropped a bomb on me, baby!

Last Friday after a short week that felt like a long week, Travis and I decided to take a ride on the bikes for the first time after I pulled some muscles in my back three weeks ago. I was given anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers to help get me back on the horse a little faster. After two weeks, I felt a lot better and stopped taking them. Mainly because you can’t booze it up while taking them, and well, I wanted to drink.

Ok, so I fully admit, operating a motorcycle still scares the shit out of me. Not like “OMG! I’m going to shit my pants every time I get on this thing“… But I get a healthy, respectful “I fully acknowledge that this thing can kill me if I’m not careful” bout of nerves every time I fire her up. I usually say a prayer as we pull out of our driveway and will my gremlin bell to do its job, and by the time we leave the city limits on our usual route I’m a little more relaxed and all is well and I don’t feel like a total noob.

Well, Friday wasn’t such a good day… It was pretty hot, like 90, so I forwent the usual 5-10 minute warmup sesh m’lady normally gets while I take forever putting on my helmet and synching the intercoms, etc. As we were leaving the driveway, I pushed in the choke because I figured she had warmed up and on the last ride, I accidentally left the choke out for close to 20 miles. Woopsie!

Travis always leads and I follow. He stopped at the yield sign at the end of our street and smoothly sped off up the road. I stopped at the yield sign and attempted to make the left turn. The engine was still cold, I didn’t give it enough gas in the turn, so the bike lurched forward then died. I put my feet down to stop but only made contact with my left foot as the bike was tilting past the point where it’s easy to hold it up. At this point the bike was at a complete stop, thank God, but I was wearing a tank-top and no gloves, so I knew if I went down with it I was going to skin the shit out of my hands and arms on the asphalt. So I kind of hopped up and off to the left side of the bike, still holding the right handlebar and let her go down.

It was more of a slowly, gently, lowering her to the ground. But this is the exact thing I hoped and swore I’d never do. I tried to stop it. But she is a 500 pound monster with a mind of her own. And that bitch is heavy.

She was on the ground for maybe two seconds. I grabbed the right handlebar and deadlifted her back up again.

Our neighbor was on his porch watching and couldn’t even get to his feet in the amount of time she was down and back up again. Travis had gotten to the next street by the time I told him in my helmet “I just dropped my bike.” I already had her back up and was pushing her out of the intersection by the time he turned around and could get back.

He asked if I was ok. I was. I was just really, really pissed. And ashamed… and embarrassed. And a little sick feeling. I hadn’t seen the damage yet.

By this point, the Trashy McTrashertons that live at the end of the street had brought out lawn chairs to set up in their driveway to watch the spectacle.

We stood on the corner while I explained what happened. We looked the bike over for damage, I expected to see the pipes and tank scraped up. I somehow managed to have only scuffed the end of my clutch and a little knick on the metal cover of my mirror. Thank you, lord! Really. But I broke my gremlin bell. :(

Travis asked if I still wanted to ride. I really didn’t, but I knew if I let this spook me I probably wouldn’t ever get back on again, so I gritted my teeth and got back on and fired her up. Travis made the turn, I started the turn and she lurched and died again. Blarrgh! The third time was the charm. But I had to convince myself not to puke in my helmet for the first 20 minutes of the ride.

I’m still a little nervous in turns, I always have been paranoid of skidding in gravel or popping a wheelie or one of the other thousand terrible things, but I suppose I’m going to have to stop thinking about it. After watching Travis TRY to pop a wheelie in the yard on the dirt bike and only managing to get the front tire off the ground about two inches makes me feel a little better.

So that my friends, is the reason why I have been shuffling around like Ozzy Osbourne for the past few days!

ozzyYou live and you learn.

Slothin’ it up

I apologize. Posts haven’t been coming on any sort of schedule or even semi-regularly. I do love blogging and I am trying to keep up with it. I used to be able to complete a post by doing a couple of paragraphs a day here and there when I had spare time or when I ate lunch at my desk at work. Not so much now. Spring also means lots of yard work. Which I hate. So when I do have a minute, I might prefer to chase the sunset on the back of a motorcycle.

*Cue Lion King Music* One of our sunset rides late last summer. Sometimes we just pull off on the side of the road and watch ’em!

I only have my temps right now, which doesn’t allow me to ride past dark, so no solo sunset cruises for me yet.

Every spring, on those first few rides of the season, I always forget how much I love being on a motorcycle. There’s just something so unbelievably awesome about just going… It doesn’t matter where, just go out and play “Left Right.” You take random left and right turns until you don’t know where you are, then try and find your way home.

It’s not always about the destination,
sometimes it’s about the journey.

The thing that I love the most? The smells.

In a car, you can’t smell the things you smell on a motorcycle. Fresh-cut grass, hay, farms. Even the smell of laundry as we ride through our neighborhood is enough to make me smile and breathe a little deeper.

We put almost 200 miles on our bikes over Mother’s day weekend. Most of those were back roads and city streets. After a long ride with my sister and her fiancee DJ, I hopped on the back of Travis’ bike and we took the back roads from Columbus to Marysville. I love night rides. It’s especially amazing once the lightning bugs come out!

My bike! We drove all the way to Detroit, Michigan for her!

We took back roads because I’d never been on a highway on a bike yet… But Saturday night, I experienced the highway for the first time. It was different. I didn’t like not being able to communicate. Highway speed is 70 mph and the sound of the bike at that speed is so loud you can barely scream over it. The rural highways were ok, but once we got into Columbus onto 270, traffic picked up and it got louder. You can guess, I’m not a major fan of uber-loud pipes.

Loud is one thing, but the bikes *cough*Harleys*cough* that are so loud that rattle your teeth out of their sockets are ridiculous. They sound like someone riding a fart machine on a bull horn. Get outta here!

Here is the semi-creepy bridge near our house that I love riding to at night!

Here is the semi-creepy bridge near our house that I love riding to at night!

270’s surface is also pretty sketchy. (Though, nothing compared to Michigan’s highways!!) This time of year, it still resembles the crater-riddled surface of the moon, thanks to winter. We’ll probably continue to ride side streets when we can, but long trips back from LoCo (Logan County, where I grew up), we’ll probably suck it up and take the highway home. It shaves about 30 minutes off the trip which makes my back and butt happy at the end of a long day.

After the long rides over the weekend my back was bothering me, but no more than usual. Jump to Wednesday night while getting ready for bed, I leaned over to pick something up and it felt like someone walked up behind me and put a shot gun against my lower back and pulled the trigger. I tried to just go to bed and sleep it off, but when I rolled over in the middle of the night I must have twisted wrong and the fiery feeling came back ten-fold. I screamed bloody murder and woke poor Travis up from a dead sleep and scared the hell out of him.

It took me over three hours just to sit up and then get out of bed. Once I finally did manage to get up, I couldn’t stand up straight. We decided that probably wasn’t normal and went to the Doctor’s office Thursday morning. Apparently I tore some muscles in my lower back. The fire feeling was the muscles actually tearing. Gross. I’ve been on anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers since and am better, but still not 100%.

Also on our plate this month was our best friend Rob’s wedding,BEST WISHES to those two! Travis was the best man, so you know what that means…

cabin

We rented a cabin a few weeks ago and took Rob and the rest of the groomsmen out for a weekend. There was a lot of alcohol involved. Particularly 80 ounces of “premium malt liquor” (2 King Cobra 40 oz. taped to the groom’s hands) which he consumed in under 2 hours.

“We have a piper down! I repeat… we have a piper down!”

The end result? The groom locking himself in the bathroom, while vomiting Taco Bell and sugar cookies into the bathroom sink. That was a success according to the groomsmen. I was just there to act as Den Mother to cook and make sure nobody died or burned the place down. That was a success on my part.

This is a little thing we do called Panorama-rama!

This is a little thing we do called Panorama-rama! Yes, they are waving at themselves.

Especially considering one of the groomsmen has a habit of playing a game I call “Shit-faced Kitchen,” where he pretends he’s Julia Child when he’s loaded, and make things only drunk people would eat, but then he doesn’t eat them. Normally I wouldn’t be concerned about a grown man in a kitchen alone, except did I mention he once passed out drunk after putting pizza rolls in the oven? When his roommate woke up the next morning to a smoky kitchen, she luckily turned the oven off before anything terrible happened. Well, other than to the pizza rolls, which resembled charcoal briquettes after 6 hours in the oven.

Somewhere in the forest near here, there are hearts carved into the trees with these four's initials.

Somewhere in the forest near here, there are hearts carved into the trees with their initials.

On a less bro-ish note: This weekend, Travis and I are heading off for our 6th Annual Memorial Day Extravaganza! (I chronicled one of our other Memorial Day trips in one of my other posts about the Boat from Hell.) This year we needed something easy, so we rented a cottage up on Lake Erie in a little village called Geneva on the Lake. People have been vacationing there for over 100 years! “The strip” is lined with parks, restaurants and arcades. There are several wineries in the area too. I’m looking forward to checking out a new place!

Like a Bat Out of Hell

March just flew past like a bat out of hell! No… not like the Meat Loaf song.

MeatLoaf

March was crammed full of massive momentous occasions. I loaded up like Ted Nugent on a safari and went out to the hillbilly range at our friend Edd’s and managed to somewhat overcome my skepticism of loaded weapons. Not only did I get over it, I kind of liked it. I still couldn’t shoot a living thing, but I don’t want to pistol whip gun nuts as much. I ended up collecting a somewhat large pile of brass by the end of the day. I even got to fire my friend’s monster 44 magnum. It was a hand cannon, but not as scary as my husband’s pistol grip shot gun, which actually made several of the dudes shake their hands out after firing it!

I’m still skeptical of 98% of people’s capability to handle and operate a loaded weapon.

And I already posted about getting my first dirt bike and riding it for the first time. Also riding my husbands motorcycle for the first time.

In March, I also celebrated the purchase of my first motorcycle! Though, I have yet to ride it, since Ohio’s springs leave much to be desired by way of the lack of dry roads. I don’t really feel like eating pavement my first time in the seat. :(

We also mentioned that we managed to finally haul our camper Hell on Wheels home. We had to back her in our driveway at 11pm on a Sunday night.*

*Warning! The next few paragraphs contain my rant about inconsiderate neighbors! I try to keep things here as up-beat as possible, so my apologies for the negativity that follows…

However, since we live on a very small street where the neighbor across the street is kind enough to have four of his unused vehicles parked right across from our driveway, we had to drive through the yard (ugh!) while our seriously awesome next-door neighbor watched from his window while grinding his teeth. Not at us, but because we had to do that, since the guy across the street apparently is running a used car lot. (They have 7 vehicles total. Only 3 people live there, which includes the 40+ year old no-job-having son.)

map

Above is a map to illustrate how we got a 27 foot camper into our driveway. Our house is the one with the yellow star. The used car lot automobiles are the blue ones marked 1-7. Note that 5 is in the driveway and 6 and 7 are actually in the garage! They only operate 6 and 5 on a daily basis. The grey cars are my car (left) and the awesome neighbor’s (right).

This would be the same neighbor who came running out of his house last summer when I parked in front of his house (city streets here = public parking) after I had worked a 11 hour day, then made my 1 hour commute home, yelling at me to move my car because “that’s where his son (yes, the one without a job) parked his van.” Too exhausted to argue with him, I moved my car further up the street. When I told my husband what had happened, it took everything I had to keep him from marching across the street and shoving his size 12 Dr. Marten up the old grump’s butt.

Lately, we’ve been entertaining the idea of moving. We seem to be acquiring more things than we have room for. We really need a garage and more parking. Preferably somewhere where I can’t spit and hit my neighbor’s house!

Anyway… back to Happy Town! So yes, we got the camper parked and started on our biggest DIY project to date! We began disassembling the interior. I ordered the new flooring, we went with vinyl “wood” plank flooring. They look amazing, are supposed to survive the apocalypse and be easy to DIY install. I also made a trip to JoAnn Fabric and picked out the curtain fabric. Then we started tearing up the front wall of the camper where there was some water damage and it appears we may have underestimated the severity of the damage… Womp-womp. *Sad Trombone*

Since we don’t have a garage/barn/inside place, we’ll need at least 2-3 consecutive days of good, dry weather to take off the camper’s siding and repair/replace the water damaged studs and rehang the window. Not to mention, we have to pack up everything and put it away each night. And the kicker is… we only can create ONE city trash can size amount of trash once a week. Those things are like 50 gallons maybe? And, that includes the regular trash we create from the house. Our city’s bulk pickup doesn’t take construction or remodeling refuse, so we’d technically have to pay for a dumpster. Blargh!

Even though the the extent of it all is sort of overwhelming, we’re going to keep our Glass-Half-Full-Hats on and keep on keepin’ on! Because what fun is a project if it doesn’t make you cry, rip your hair out or bleed a few times?!

Here are the photos of our progress thus far. It’s pretty scary. The interior is very reminiscent of the set of the Golden Girls.

We’ve found where the leaks were, removed the old insulation, which was soaking up the water like a sponge and keeping all that wood wet all the time. Hopefully we’ll still be able to get this fixed up and come in under budget. Which is pretty tight, due to the fact that there’s zero sense in investing more money into this thing than we’ll be able to get back out if. This is a starter camper and project piece, but eventually we’d like to downsize to something smaller and lighter. And newer.

But that’s where we are now! We’re hoping to get everything cleaned up and in working order by the end of May so we can enjoy the summer camping season. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sorta-Busy Beaver

Sorta Busy Beaver

We have been sorta busy little beavers at Casa Awesomesauce lately!

With the (hopefully soon) passing of yet another disgusting Ohio winter, Spring is starting to show itself in gradual peeks here and there. The temps have been in the mid to high 50’s for about a week, and today they’re promising a record-breaking 71 degrees! Did I mention this warm snap has come after months of sub-zero temperatures and above average snow falls? Why, just three weeks ago, I slipped and fell on the ice walking across the street to work. That ice patch has been there since early January. But today, I’m wearing flip flops.

As the saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait a week or two.” Ain’t that the truth!

Todays weather

A little screen cap of my “weather station” on my computer today! Hey Melbournians, we’re almost at the same temp right now!

But enough about the boring small-talk. With spring comes the renewal of… motivation. So we have been starting to turn the wheels (literally and figuratively!) on some of our bucket list items.

A few weeks ago, I watched this amazing 1971 documentary called On Any Sunday. It’s mainly about three motorcycle racers in the 1960’s, Mert Lawwill, Malcolm Smith and the famous Steve McQueen. These guys were hard-core. They raced come hell and high water and proved to be amazing athletes!

And I’ve always loved motorcycles! Every summer there were motorcycle races at the county fair. This was my favorite day of the fair (a close second was the Sunday night Demolition Derby!) I always wished I could race like they did. I always thought how cool the younger kids were who competed, and on the rare occasions when they announced a heat with a female rider in it, I was green with envy! How completely bad ass those chicks were!

I grew up riding four-wheelers. I could ride 125cc when I was 3 or 4. It was an automatic, but you still had to change the gears with a foot peg. I couldn’t reach the gears or foot brake, but I could reach down and change the gears with my hand and use the hand brakes! When I was older, I used to do laps for hours in the field behind our house pretending I was a mini Evel Knievel. I always thought I was so bad-ass when I would manage to ramp the four-wheelers over a hill and get maybe an inch of air. My dad always laughed watching, because after I landed you could hear the tools in the seat compartment clanging around.

Four wheels were fun, but I always wanted a dirt bike! So last Sunday, my childhood dreams were made a reality. HA HA!

Not because I wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of flat track racing… but because everyone has always told me that in order to get some experience with a clutch and two wheels, (I’d never driven a clutch on anything but a car) I should try out a dirt bike before moving on to a street bike.

I admit it. I’m a pretty big chicken. I drove a motorcycle once about 7 years ago and the person who was “instructing” me pretty much convinced me that I’d kill myself on a bike. They told me “on a motorcycle, it’s not a matter of if you wreck, it’s a matter of when.”

Ok, hold up. Maybe if I were a 16 year old know-it-all-kid starting out, that may be the truth. But I feel like if you respect the machine, stay off the sauce and pay attention to what the hell is going on around you, you are no more likely to bite the dust on two wheels than you would if you were on 4.

So I’ve ridden a few times since last weekend. I feel like I’m making progress. Travis has had the patience of a SAINT! He has been an absolutely amazing help. He took a rider safety course the first year he had his bike, and that has helped him to be a much more confident and capable rider. He’s been using a lot of the stuff he learned there to help me.

My first ride, I was petrified and really shaky, I barely made it into 2nd gear. The next day, we did laps around Travis’ work’s warehouse building for a couple hours and I made it up into 4th gear. One night last week, Travis put me on his Yamaha V Star 650 and I managed to cruise through a parking lot in 1st gear. And just for shits and giggles, Travis felt brave enough to ride on the back seat. I only wobbled a little!

Just like riding a bicycle.

A 500 lb V-twin bicycle.

Every time I look at this I laugh out loud. Braaaap!

Yesterday I took the dirt bike up to my mom’s and took it on grass for the first time. I did laps for a couple of hours just trying to get more comfortable. My mom sat in the driveway hollering “Wheelie! Wheelie! Wheelie!” every time I went past. She’s not right. <3

It’s not quite as scary as it seemed a week ago. Of course once I get to the point where I’m riding on the street, it will be quite another story! I’ve been studying for the permit test and I’ve managed to get a 100% on a 150 question practice test. (It’s like the first thing I’ve ever gotten a 100% on. I’ve never been a good student.) So Travis too me to take the permit test on Saturday, but the wait was over an hour and I had an appointment to get my hair did in an hour. Boo! We’ll try back again sometime this week on our lunch hour!

Cross your fingers!

I had to leave the bike at my mom’s last night. We had to haul the camper home, and after all was said and done, we spent more time than anticipated getting the camper tow-ready and didn’t want to take the extra 30+ min to unhitch the camper, move all of the crap out of the bed of the truck into the cab of the truck, load the bike and rehitch the camper. So we left her in the garage at my moms. :(

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

But the silver lining to that is THE CAMPER IS FINALLY HOME! After I posted almost a whole year ago that we were going to re-do this camper, we had to replace leaky pipes in our basement, had to buy a new washer and dryer and then had to pay for a really expensive surgery for our dog, Carli. Then when we finally went to fetch the camper, we learned that the wiring was bad and couldn’t haul it home with no tail lights. :( So last summer was not a good summer as far as finances go.

But we’re going to give ‘er another go this year. We’re going to sit down tonight and figure out all that needs to be done (there’s some water damage, hopefully minor) and what we want to be done. We want to accomplish kind of a lot of stuff on a very small budget. We’re hoping to at least repair the damage, paint the interior and update the curtains and cushions. I’ve already bought some cheap accessories to cutesy things up a smidge!

Last spring, we named her Hell on Wheels! (Hellen for short… get it?) I started a “Smash book” that we’ll keep in the camper and put in fun little things we pick up or do on our trips when we hit the road. We mainly hope to a lot of Boondocking since we like to take one of our dogs with us, and a lot of camp grounds and state parks don’t allow alcohol and enforce “quiet time.” Not that we’re loud-ass drunks, we just enjoy a few beers around the campfire at night with a guitar or music. And to be honest, we’re not totally crazy about camping right next to a bunch of randos. We live in the city practically on top of our neighbors, so camping for us is a chance to get the hell outta Dodge and get some fresh air and peace and quiet! I’m sure as it gets hotter in the summer, I will enjoy the A/C in the camper, so we’ll try to find some more spread out camp grounds with hook ups!

Well that’s it for now! Hope everyone has a great week and is able to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather! And happy early St. Patrick’s day! Don’t forget to wear your green!

A smorgasbord of posts, if you will!

I love the word “smorgasbord.”

It reminds me of Templeton the rat from Charlotte’s Web singing about how a fair is a smorgasbord-orgasbord.

Today is the first day of Lent… which means… 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS CHALLENGE!!

What is this you ask? Well, let me just tell you! It’s an awesome “challenge” that I discovered last year thanks to Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters. I even blogged about it in more detail in this post of yore!

The Basics: You get rid of one bag/box/whatever of “junk” every day for the 40 days of the challenge, which just so happen to coincide with Lent. You can trash, donate, give away, or do anything you want with the stuff! The whole point is just to get rid of the crap!

Since we did this last year, I have a really helpful gauge to measure by: If we haven’t used/worn the item since LAST year’s 40 Bags, it’s gettin’ the boot. Last year we were so B.A. (that means bad ass) at this, we ended up getting rid of:

  1. A Desk
  2. A Treadmill
  3. A Drum set
  4. A King size mattress, box springs and frame
  5. A CAR!!!!!
  6. A Lawn mower
  7. A Weed whacker
  8. An older programmable thermostat
  9. Xbox Kinect (we used it a grand total of one time in the year+ we had it.)
  10. 13 JUMBO contractor sized bags of clothing and shoes & coats (donated to Goodwill)
  11. 2 large boxes of misc stuff
  12. 3 pieces of “house ware”
  13. And this HUGE pile of crap that came out of the shed that went to bulk pickup. Coolers, a recliner, vanity mirrors, broke tvs, vacuum, carpet cleaner… etc.

Goodbye Trash

And I’ve done a pretty damn good job of keeping up with the clutter over the year. It feels so damn good to purge! I’ve even minimized the amount of “goo” I keep in my shower! I was so sick of knocking crap onto the floor of the shower, so now I have less product than my husband does. 2 of the 4 shelves in my shower are even completely bare. Gasp!

So long story short, we still have (uuuuugh!!) a master bedroom and a laundry room to whip into shape. And unfortunately, someone *cough*Travis*cough* fell a little behind on the shed again, so these are going to be the main focus over the next 40 days. Squee!

Because you know what?

  1. You don’t need all of this stuff.
  2. It won’t make you happier.
  3. Your home should not make you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  4. You do not need to be embarrassed.
  5. You can do this. (repeat that)
  6. You are not alone in feeling this way.

Jump on the band wagon! It’s fantastic! (I’m selling the Kool-Aid!)

Get all the juiciest of details at the White House Black Shutters website. She even has a cool little printout so you can keep track of all the decrapifying you’ve done!

GOOD LUCK! And, ahem… May the Force be with you.


Castle Crashers

Landolls Pic

Travis, DJ, Mandi and Me – I’m doing what my family refers to as “bite the apple.” I thought everyone else was doing it, but apparently I was the only one, so that explains why I look kind of like an opera singer.

We got another chance to do a little tiny bit of traveling over the Valentines Day weekend! We ventured about 2 hours north of Columbus to a little place in the middle of the Mohican State Forest, called Landoll’s Mohican Castle.

My sister and her main squeeze joined us, which was fantastic because I think we might have been bored otherwise. With it being winter, there wasn’t a whole lot to do, but we had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company, playing cards and having some adult beverages and relaxing!

It was about 2 degrees out with wind chills around -10 degrees, plus there was sort of a mini-blizzard while we were there, so we couldn’t really go outside and enjoy nature. Except for the part where I fell down in a cemetery that was on the property. #fail

We enjoyed this toasty little fireplace and being all snuggled up together and warm and safe while being snowed in!

He's misplaced his pipe.

He’s misplaced his pipe.

You can read my Yelp! review of Landoll’s here. There were a few snags, but overall the place was really really cool, but we felt like it was a tad over-priced, especially in the winter when there isn’t as much of a draw to the area. We would most certainly go back sometime, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for specials and discounts or head back when it’s canoeing season, since Mohican is prime for that!

We made friends with one the sweet waitresses at the Stepping Stone Restaurant which was on the grounds of Landoll’s. (HI BECKI!!)

We got a little tip from one of the locals that should come back sometime and check out the Mohican Treehouses! They look so cool (I always wanted a treehouse), AND they have outdoor showers, which is possibly one of my favorite things in the world!

So there’s all of that. We don’t have any more traveling fun planned until Memorial Day weekend, which is our Memorial Day Extravaganza trip. We take a trip every year, but our most “memorable” MDE trip was chronicled here in The Boat From Hell part one AND two!


Honorable Mentions

Some other honorable mentions from my blogging hiatus…

FullSizeRenderMeet Elvis. Travis got this for me for Valentines Day. It is a real freaking stuffed teddy bear. No, we don’t have any idea what we’re going to do with him.

I also got this. Well, one just like this. This photo doesn’t do it any justice.

Which if you’re someone who knows me well, you would probably think that this was a joke.

I’m not “into” guns. I grew up around guns. I’ve used guns, I know how to shoot them, I know about gun safety, I’m actually even a better shot than Travis is and I’m into western movies. Hell, Wyatt Earp is my dude!

But I hate guns.

Not to be all dramatic, but long story-short, I got car-jacked when I was 20. The punk ass stuck a gun in my face. He fired the gun, not at me thank heavens, but it was still a little rattling. I’ve also had several friends who were killed as a result of accidents with guns. Not to mention a few that weren’t accidents. Ugh.

I  also feel like some people use guns (like they do their trucks) as a measuring tape in which to measure their… junk.

Well hubs, my sister and my future-bro-in-law talked me into shooting their shotgun. Lo-and-behold, it was kind of fun. Loud. But fun.

So Travis had hope that he could get me a little more comfortable with the whole gun situation, so he bought me a Ruger 10/22. A rifle with a little less kick, something I can hopefully enjoy without the fear of killing myself or others and/or losing my hearing.

As I mentioned before, it’s been below freezing for weeks here in Ohio, so in order to shoot my new gift, we ventured out to a local shooting range over the weekend. Bad decision. Neither of us had been to a range before, so I guess we didn’t really know what to expect.

It was so… freaking… loud… And crowded. The a-holes a few lanes down had rented a gun from the range. Listening to the staff member talking about it, he exclaimed how it was the largest caliber that they allowed at indoor ranges. Super. The concussion from it was so strong, it actually sucked the breath out of your lungs every time it was fired.

I also stood and watched as each of the 8 dumbasses taking turns firing it kept setting it down on the counter… with the safety off… fully loaded. The staff dude kept asking them over and over if they set the safety. They just laughed and said “Uhh, no. Whoops.”

Whoops my ass.

Aren’t these places supposed to be like the mecca of safety and knowledge?! It was like recess at the gun range. It seems common sense isn’t very common anymore! So after about 15 minutes, we left. Travis was just as frustrated as I was, if not more so.

I won’t let it completely discourage me. I’d just rather set up some tin cans on a fence post like I did when I was a kid and do things the old fashioned way, where I know the people I’m sharing a “range” with aren’t going to shoot me in the face!

Oh spring, come quick!

I’m still alive!

I realize it may seem like I have fallen off the face of the earth, but I haven’t! The last few months have been a whirlwind and the winds of change have been a-blowin’! (And no I’m not talking about the 80’s power ballad by Scorpions.)

This week I finally decided to get back on the proverbial horse and get this blog thang fired up again. I’m taking a small sabbatical from social media for a little bit and directing that time and energy into the blog and my house again. (FINALLY!)

We’ve been chugging away at a few small projects here and there, we got our basement totally cleaned up (minus the laundry room – ugh). And last week we started overhauling on our master bedroom again! (Just a reminder, that this room has been used for storage for 2+ years and the piles of misc. bullshit have really, er… piled up!)

I am also going to do the 40 Bags in 40 days challenge again this year! But that isn’t for another few months. I’m sure I’ll start a running tally again on how much junk we manage to purge.

I also have a new house project possibly in the pipes. I promised hubs if he helped me get the master bedroom cleared out, re-floored and painted, that we would build a new shed this spring. Our old shed was not put on the proper foundation and is literally (<—the correct usage of the word!) rotting from the ground up. Also, we need a shed that is twice the size of our current shed. So friends + family: We’re going to have a shed-raising party this spring! Burgers and dogs will be on us, come spend a Saturday morning/afternoon with us and we will reward you handsomely with delicious noms!

But the big winner-winner-chicken-dinner is… I got a new job in November! BOOM!

I am now working at a design agency in the Arena District here in Columbus. My drive to work now is 12-17 minutes depending on traffic, as opposed to my previous haul of 45-60 minutes one way. That drive was slowly sucking my will to live. In my new job, I’m being utilized and feel like a part of a team, where in my old job, I kind of felt like I was sitting in a corner collecting dust and not being able to shake what my momma gave me! I was at my old job for over 8 years, and I still got love for ’em, but a lady always knows when it’s time to leave.

So, that’s all I’ve got for now. Not much of a post, more of an update! I’m not dead, I promise!

30 Questions

Thirty Questions

It’s been a long week, folks and I am still trying to adjust to daylight savings… so this week, I thought it would be fun to have a loosey-goosey post where I answer all of those hard-hitting questions, like “what’s your favorite cereal?”

  1. What movie deserves a sequel?
    Legend. This was in my top three fav movies as a kid. Most people have never even heard of it. It was a Ridley Scott film, Tom Cruise’s first movie, and also starred a 14 year old Mia Sara, (Ferris Buehler’s girlfriend). It was technically a “fantasy.” Tim Curry played “Darkness.” (Could it beeeee…. Satan?) The whole flick is a battle of good vs. evil and in the end they fling Darkness out into… er… space? (Ok it sounds horrible, but it was a damn good movie!) After he is hurled into space, he starts cackling like some horror movie bad guy, like he wasn’t quite toast yet. I always thought it was a great ending for a sequel.


  2. Who would you hate to see naked?
    Anyone in my family. Not because I don’t want to see their naked body, just because it would be awkward…


  3. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
    I don’t like the sweet stuff, so I’m gonna go with Raisin Bran.


  4. What is one thing you always wanted as a kid, but never got?
    A pony? No I’m just kidding, I had two ponies and they were both assholes.
    I always wanted a go-cart so I could be the champion of my own version of Mario Kart.


  5. If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your alias?
    Nancy Botwin


  6. If you could bring someone famous back from the grave, who would you choose?
    Chris Farley. And then I would hug him.


  7. Where do you not mind waiting?
    Honestly? Nowhere. I HATE waiting. I have the patience of a… really impatient person.


  8. What is your favorite potato chip flavor?
    Salt & Vinegar, they always make me make the “sour face” but I can’t stop!


  9. If you could project yourself into the past, were would you go?
    The “Wild West,” I am totally into the whole Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley thing. And I’ve always wanted to scream that there was a snake in my boot.


  10. What is your most impressive car repair skill?
    I can replace a fan clutch, wheel bearings and a fuel pump and I can change my oil and a flat tire :)
    “If the women don’t find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy!”


  11. What would you refuse to do for one million dollars?
    Eat fecal matter.


  12. What historical figure would you most like to have a discussion with?
    Wyatt Earp


  13. If you could close one fast food chain, due to disgusting food, what would you pick?
    White Castle


  14. What is one thing you refuse to share?
    Gonna steal this one from my husband: I refuse to share bottled drinks with children. They haven’t quite got that no-backwashing thing down yet.


  15. If you went to a psychiatrist, what would he/she say you suffer from?
    Anger issues probably. I think my ratio of people I want to punch vs. not punch is probably higher than most.


  16. What makes you really sleepy?
    Only drinking one alcoholic drink.


  17. What one thing annoys you most at a restaurant?
    Since I can only pick one… probably having to listen to people snort the snot out of their sinuses. The “hocker” sound. Omg, I’m shuddering thinking about it.


  18. What do people do too much of today?
    Social Media. (I’m guilty too.)


  19. What is the most inspiring movie you have ever seen?
    Gone with the Wind, Scarlet O’Hara is one hard-core broad.


  20. What would be the best thing about not having a sense of smell?
    We only have one bathroom in our house… you get the idea!


  21. Where would you not go back to for a vacation?
    Myrtle Beach, not because I hate the place, per se, it’s just that there’s so many other places I’ve never been!


  22. What is the scariest scene you remember from a kid’s movie?
    In Radio Flyer when the kid opens the blinds and Sasquatch is outside his window. I grew up near the “Sasquatch Siting Capitol of the US,” ya’ll and a woman once bought a camper off my sister stating she was going to turn it into her “Sasquatch-hunting headquarters.” My other sister swears she heard Big Foot running through the field behind her house wearing what sounded like “swishy pants.” There’s probably a million other stories I could tell you about ‘Squatch, but I’m trying to break my own record of less than 1000 words on this post! (Final count: 951!)


  23. If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?
    Facebook, so much drama!


  24. What is the greatest pain you have ever suffered?
    Uhh. What kind of question is this? Is this where women are supposed to put “childbirth”?
    My eardrum burst once. That was pretty freakin’ awful.


  25. If you could buy one object to complete your home, what would it be?
    Another bathroom.


  26. What was your favorite childhood game?
    Truth or Dare


  27. Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
    I “met” a bunch of people from bands, but that doesn’t really count. I smoked a cigarette with Dave Chapelle in Yellow Springs once.


  28. If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?
    Fajitas and sushi!


  29. If you were directing a movie, who would you cast as your leading man and woman?
    Jimmy Fallon and Janeane Garofalo


  30. What is your favorite movie line or scene?
    “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

NomNomNovember

In case you hadn’t caught on, I’m a lady.

Thankfully, I cannot grow a beard or a mustache, so I can’t participate in Novembeard or Movember. I can’t say that I’m terribly disappointed that my husband is not participating either. I mean, I’ll donate towards cancer research, by all means… But does a man have to look like Burt Reynolds in the meantime?

What’s next, Mullet-cember?

So what else does November signify to most people? I’m going to vote food.

It’s the beginning of the glutton cold weather season. We already had flakes here this morning and last weekend, of course it was when our Trail Blazer decided it wanted to forgo having 3rd and 4th gears, so my poor hubster was out in that mess (no garage) wrenching on a car.

Here in Ohio, November is also the beginning of hibernation for a lot of people. It’s dark and cold outside, so we usually prefer to stay inside and eat things. Not to mention the cluster of food-oriented winter holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day… It’s a wonder we don’t all look like Gilbert Grape’s mom by Easter.

I also loooooove to cook! I love trying new recipes and I love adding my own twists to things. I usually never make anything the same way twice! So for this week’s post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite winter hibernation meals! A-la “Delicious Dish” via Saturday Night Live!

But without Alec Baldwin.


 Chicken Chili

Photo by TeresaS

Cincinnati, Ohio is the “chili capital of the world,” and I think this recipe beats the pants off of anything outta Cincy I’ve ever had. Not to toot my own horn, bu I won 2 chili cook-offs with my beef chili recipe, but seriously, this chicken one is so much better. And… to help relieve some of the guilt, it’s also a Weight Watcher’s recipe. I served it at a few of my get-togethers and most people are floored when I tell them it’s a WW recipe. It’s also a crock pot recipe (my favorite on days where I don’t feel like cleaning my kitchen at night!), so there is almost zero prep time. Get the recipe here.


Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

My grandma made me a grilled cheese sandwich every day after school when I was in elementary school. When I was in middle and high school, by request, my dad made me one almost every day for breakfast. (I’m not a huge breakfast-food fan.) So needless to say, a good grilled cheese is probably one of my favorite things in the world. There’s even a grilled cheese restaurant in Columbus now, Melt Bar & Grilled that I can’t freaking wait to check out!

Now throw Martha Stewart into the mix and it’s like a slice of heaven! (Yes, I do love Martha. She was a vixen in her younger days! Not that she isn’t now.) This is her recipe for homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese.


Tuna Noodle Casserole

I like my Tuna Noodle Casserole like I like my men; Hot and Cheesy! This is a super fast & easy, one-pot meal. You don’t have to bake it in the oven, although you certainly can if you wanted to. I also found that getting the American cheese freshly sliced at the deli counter makes this that much more amazing.


Potato Soup

More good news! This recipe is also a WW recipe and probably also one of the easiest. Again you would never in a million years guess this is a “diet” recipe. (But, if you prefer you could opt for the full fat versions of the soup and cream cheese.) It’s a crock pot recipe and only has 6 ingredients! This is comfort food at its finest! Check out the recipe here!


Beer Bread

I never tried making beer bread until a few years ago. I grew up with a bread machine and remember how much work some of those mediocre-tasting loaves took. So I guess I was always kind of afraid of trying any sort of bread on my own. Well I finally decided, if it sucks I’ll just chuck it out. This recipe only calls for 6 ingredients that we always have around the house! There are a lot of breweries here in Columbus, so now that I have this recipe down pat, I’m really eager to start trying some micro brews in my bread!

Check out the recipe here!

Helpful Beer Bread Tips:

  • Always use room-temperature beer!
  • Darker beers always make better tasting beer bread!
  • When picking a beer, if you have to for whatever reason use a major name brand of swill, (Budweiser, Miller, PBR etc…) please forgo the “light” version!

Mexican-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

Yes, another WW recipe that I swear does not taste like a diet meal! There is something about the sweet potatoes and the kick from the fire roasted tomatoes. I also usually add a little heat with some hot sauce or cracked red pepper. This is slowly becoming one of my favorites. It’s really different, it’s pretty easy and fairly inexpensive. You also get to roast a poblano pepper yourself, which is always Travis’ favorite part! Recipe here.


Chili Mac

This is shockingly one of the few beef recipes I have. And I actually swap out beef for ground turkey most of the time. Who doesn’t love Chili Mac?! Another WW recipe so you can eat without the guilt. This is another one I spice up quite a bit with Sriracha or anything else with some heat I’ve got around the house. This is also a one-pot meal, which is a Christmas miracle in my kitchen since all I have is an apartment-size dishwasher and I HATE having to hand wash dishes.

Not because it’s a pain it the ass, but because it’s gross. Hand washing isn’t as effective as dishwashers. In order to actually sanitize dishes (without the use of bleach), they need to be washed in water at 140 degrees, and most home’s hot water heaters only reach 120 to prevent burns. Also if your appliance is Energy Star rated, it uses less water than hand washing your dishes. True story: Articles about that Here and Here! Get the Chili Mac recipe here!


Please try some of these out! I swear you’ll be a fan! For those of you that are on Pinterest, I have a lots of recipes pinned to my Noms board. I also have tons of waistline-friendly recipes on my Get the Skinny board! I always try to make sure the links to the actual recipes are good and do my best to curate my boards and keep up with dead links!

Got any good winter-warm-me-up recipes to share? Feel free to comment below, Tweet at me or drop me a line here!

Happy Halloween: Top 20 Horror Flicks

Today is my favorite holiday of the year! Happy Halloween, dudes!

One of the very first posts I wrote on my blog was about why I love Halloween so much (read that post here!)

This time of year also means that there is almost guaranteed to be a good movie on TV at night! It seems like all of the networks have their own little way to pay tribute to Halloween. AMC has #AMCFearFest, ABC Family has 13 Nights of Halloween, SYFY has 31 Days of Halloween. Needless to say, we do a lot of TV viewing in October at our house.

So Hubster and I decided that we should rack our brains and narrow down our top 20 favorite horror flicks of all time! So you can do what we do: Order a pizza or curl up with a bowl of popcorn and some hot/hard cider and enjoy a few good jumps tonight, like we do every year on Halloween! We have a few traditions in our house, but this one is taken the most seriously! (Aside from a new possible tradition with my bro-in-law, DJ where we save our Christmas trees, then set them on fire in the yard in the spring.)

Travis wants the XXXXXTRA Butter Popcorn, I call dibs on the white cheddar popcorn!

So without further ado… Because I’ve always wanted to be Elvira Mistress of the Dark and be my own Horror Hostess I present to you… (cue lightning strike sound effects!)

UNHIPDOTCOM’S TOP 20 HORROR FLICKS

20. Psycho (1998)

This was a remake of Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller. It’s about a young woman embezzling money from her boss who decides to skip town and picks the wrong motel to stay at! When it comes to most things, I think the originals are the best, but for some reason, I tend to prefer remakes when it comes to movies. I like the updates and the fact that they make them a little gorier! This was the first Vince Vaughn movie I’d ever seen, he played the perfect Norman Bates!

19. The Shining (1980)

A family travels to a creepy hotel in the mountains to serve as the winter care-takers. Jack Nicholson’s character is a writer and takes the opportunity of peace and quiet to write a book. Well he doesn’t get very far before he starts flippin’ out on his wife and son. It’s bizarre, it’s creepy, it’s a damn good flick. This movie coined the phrases “Red Rum!” and “Heeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!”

18. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Speaking of coined phrases… “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” is probably the most quoted phrases in my house. This is, in my opinion, the #1 cult classic zombie flick of all time and was George A. Romero’s first movie ever. In 1968, people had seen “horror films” but nothing like this. Even young children were permitted to attend since in ’68, the MPAA Film Rating System didn’t exist. As film critic, Roger Ebert said “I don’t think they knew what hit them.” Haha! Suckas!

17. Scream

I’m sure there are a lot of people that will probably threaten to punch me in the face for this pick… but Scream holds a special place in my heart. This movie came out in 1996 when I was in 7th grade. We went to the “old movie theater” in my hometown and saw this movie for 99 cents… at least 15 times. It was the first real horror movie of my generation and was directed by scream king Wes Craven. (You know, the creator of Freddy Kreuger?!) The killer in this movie is Ghostface.

When I was 15, I wore a Ghostface mask in a haunted house I worked in. My sole purpose was to usher people safely down a flight of stairs into the haunted house… well needless to say, most of the hillbillies who were our paying customers were drunk as skunks by the end of the night. One dumbass started to fall down the stairs and threw his hands out and latched onto my… er… chest… to keep from completely wiping out. He loudly screamed at the top of his lungs, “Duuuuuude! Scream guy isn’t a guy, I totally just grabbed a boob!”

I could have died.

16. Cujo

Although, to be honest, this Stephen King movie about a giant crazy ass St. Bernard infected with rabies, actually makes me cry… There’s still something about it that is horrifying. I guess because it could possibly happen. My mom always swore our neighbor lady’s dog was Cujo. She would call ahead and make her lock the dog up before she went to visit because the dog actually would bite her tires. Woof!

15. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

A vacationing family gets stranded in the desert and are being stalked by a group of weirdos who live in the hills. Although admittedly I never saw the original, I can’t imagine anything being more horrifying than the remake. This one stuck with me, particularly after I went to a weekend-long music festival and I heard a girl in line for the port-a-john exclaiming she didn’t want to go because she was afraid someone would pull some “the Hills Have Eyes bullshit.” This movie is promised to make you feel… uncomfortable.

14. The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981)

Admittedly, when I watched the first Evil Dead for the first time with my then-boyfriend Travis, I didn’t really get it.

So before you delve into this cult classic, understand this… The Writer/Director Sam Raimi and the star of this film, Bruce Campbell had been friends their entire lives when they produced this gem. At the tender age of 20, the two ventured into the woods and began a project they considered a “rite of passage” called The Evil Dead. They spent less than $100,000.00 to make it. The cabin in the film is located in Morristown, Tennessee and is actually where everyone on the set had to stay during the 12 weeks of filming! The conditions sucked so bad, on the last few days of filming, they had to resort to burning the furniture to stay warm! The movie was eventually released and actually out-grossed other large-budget releases like The Shining! It earned a total $2,400,00 worldwide, nearly eight times it’s production budget!

Then they created Evil Dead II out of “desperation.” It is considered to be a comedy horror and a parody sequel to Evil Dead, but was actually more like a re-make of the first film. It was definitely was corny, but immediately made me a Bruce Campbell fan for life.

Then came Army of Darkness… where our hero Ash (Bruce Campbell) is trapped in the middle ages and is forced to battle the undead while attempting to return to present day. Let’s just say people like… my grandma probably wouldn’t appreciate any of the Evil Dead movies.

If you liked the original Evil Dead, don’t bother with the 2013 remake, it was a total fart-fest.

13. The Crazies (2010)

Another remake about the residents of a small rural town mysteriously plagued by insanity. Also guaranteed to make you start locking your doors at car washes. Starring the dude from the show Justified!

12. The Woman in Black

This is probably another controversial pick. Starring Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe… or Daniel Boringcliffe) as “A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.” – IMDb

Something about this movie just didn’t sit right with me… from the marsh “scene” to the creepy house. I definitely flinched and shrieked a few times.

11. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

This might be Travis’ #1 based solely on the pain it brought to him… The pain from laughter as he rolled around on our bed as tears streamed down his face from cry-laughing. This really was hysterical, starring Alan Tudyk who I believe is highly under-appreciated!

In this Horror Comedy, all Tucker and Dale wanna do is fix up their vacation home when they are attacked by college kids who start “hucking themselves into the wood chipper!” This is usually on Netflix and is worth a look-see! But don’t forget the tissues!

10. Zombieland

Ahhh the coveted top 10… In this zombie slaying tale, the characters are simply named after their hometown. The star of the film just so happens to be Columbus! (As in Columbus, Ohio which just so happens to be my lovely home!) It follows four characters as they join forces to travel across a post-zombie-apocalyptic America in search of an amusement park. It has Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson in it, what more could you ask for?! Also a horror comedy!

9. Shaun of the Dead

This awesome flick starring two of possibly the funniest men on the planet, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in another zombie comedy. It gives people like me real hope, who I previously thought would have no chance of survival in a zombie outbreak! You really can be a deadbeat and still hack it! It also will make you giggle every time someone orders a Bloody Mary!

8. World War Z

By far the most realistic of all the zombie flicks. This movie focuses on the outbreak being a real illness and not really being “zombies.” Brad Pitt (Owooogah!) is an ex-government dude trying to save the day and his family from the disease taking over the world. This movie actually sparked a genuine conversation between my family members as to what we would do in the event of a zombie outbreak. I can’t tell you our plan… but let’s just say, we’re probably going to be the ones to survive and repopulate the earth… using Brad Pitt.

7. Dawn of the Dead

Ok, another remake and possibly the most horrifying of all, (after the next on the list) because in this zombie movie (sorry, another one…) the bastards can run! The name pretty much explains it all. This one made the list because I tried to keep in mind any movies that actually made me change my habits, and this one did just that. I used to have to sleep with my bedroom door open because I wanted to hear if someone was coming to get me so I could shoot them in the face before they knew what was coming. However after I watched this movie, I am now a door-shut kinda person! If you watch the first 5 minutes of the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

This flick also inspired my zombie survival plan. Again, can’t divulge any details. Because then I won’t get to repopulate the world with Brad.

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The BEST remake of all time. A group of kids end up being stalked down and hacked up one by one by a chainsaw-wielding maniac and his family. The original version never really showed much… but this one… Lordy! I saw this in college and spent most of the movie with my coat over my head. I explained my aversion to chainsaws in that previous post. I can’t even stand the smell of them! Ugh.

5. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

“The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them” – IMDb

We rented this through Netflix on accident a few years back and it is one of our favorites now. Parts of it are really funny, and has really unique plot and has some crazy twists and even has Robert Englund, and Hershel (Scott Wilson) from the Walking Dead in it!

4. Halloween (1978)

This is the quintessential movie of the season. I argue with Travis all the time about it being the best of the three O.G. slashers (Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers). It’s the only realistic of the three and who isn’t afraid of a little kid who murdered his sister and was then institutionalized for 17 years, then broke out to return and finish what he started? The original version starring Jamie Lee Curtis was the perfect horror movie.

3. Halloween (2007)

The original was the perfect horror movie… until my main man Robert “Bobby” Zombie remade it. Again, probably another controversial pick… I liked that this version goes a little more in depth in the story line and explains the back story of Michael growing up and what made him finally lose it. The kid who plays young Michael is adorbs and the adult version of Mikey is played by Tyler Mane, the former pro-wrestler/X-Man Sabretooth… although you never see his face. While, Sheri Moon Zombie, who I tell people is my sister, plays Michael’s mom, whose poor, trailer-parkish, stripper, dirt-bag-bf-having self probably was the main reason Michael turned into a bad egg.

2. Pet Sematary

A family’s new home holds the power of life after death! I don’t know why this is my number 2. Probably because I like almost all Stephen King movies and loved all the books I’ve read. Maybe it’s the fact that Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) is the neighbor? Maybe because the family cat is a zombie? Or that The Ramones did a song for the soundtrack! If you haven’t seen this movie from 1989 yet, you’ve been living under a rock!

1. The Devil’s Rejects

Don’t let this one’s predecessor House of 1000 Corpses deter you. Possibly one of the most twisted, yet quotable movies of all time. Also written and directed by my boy, Bobby Zombie! This is about the hillbilly, murderin’ Firefly family who take to the road to escape an Elvis lovin’ policeman whose one goal is to seek vengeance upon them for killing his brother.

Bill Moseley, who plays one of the main characters, Otis P. Driftwood, said even he had a hard time carrying out some of the sick crap he had to do while acting in this delightful cinematic adventure! Sid Haig as the creepy clown Captain Spaulding is probably one of my favorite antiheroes of all time. This movie also has THE BEST soundtrack of all time, with tons of southern rock jams that really make it feel polished. This movie is NOT for the faint of heart.

Honorable Mentions

Travis suggested Stephen King’s IT, which I have not seen since I was probably 8. So I couldn’t really write about from a place of understanding, since all I really remember is that it’s about a clown played by a Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania Tim Curry. It was also technically, according to IMDb a TV mini-series, not a movie.

Also, I totally acknowledge that I excluded all Freddy and Jason movies. While I did not sleep for nearly a year after watching Freddy vs. Jason when I was in 4th grade at a friend’s house (which is why I was not allowed to have sleep-overs again for a few years after that), they’re still not really up there for me. I felt that they were over done and I haven’t even seen a lot of either of those “series”. So while “in real life” neither Jason nor Freddy can die, it was a difficult decision but I felt like I had to kill them from my list. Sorry Freddy/Jason lovers.

Did I forget any? Feel free to comment, you guys are kinda quiet.