Deep Thoughts – Bye 2016!

One of my favorite skits on Saturday Night Live was always Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey. They were short little pieces that rarely made a whole lot of sense but were always so awkward or absurd they were hilarious. Like the cowboy “who loved the land so much, he made a woman out of dirt and married her. But when he kissed her, she disintegrated. At her funeral when the preacher said “dust to dust,” some people laughed and the cowboy shot them.”

2016 was kind of like Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey. So much awkward and absurd shit happened, all you can really do is laugh about it. While it was all going down, I wanted to cry, curse and/or spit. But now that it’s over, I feel like maybe we should create some sort of PTSD support group for those of us who made it. (RIP to those who didn’t) It’s like we survived the zombie apocalypse and now we have to rebuild civilization with duct tape and kudzu vines.

But no use crying over spilt milk. As my dad always said, you have to pick yourself up by your boot straps, dust yourself off and keep on going.

In 2017, like millions (if not billions) of others, I vowed to do a lot of things differently this year. So in the vein of originality (hah!) and the fact that I like to write lists (here’s my Bucket List, 30 Questions, A list of things I suck at as an adult, My Top 20 Halloween Horror Flick picks, to name a few!) I decided to make a short list of things that I hope to accomplish in 2017 but may or may not give up on in less than 30 days…

In No Particular Order:

1. Buy a Junker Motorcycle to Rebuild

I’d like to sell my 800 CC Suzuki Boulevard and buy a junker. The goal is to pick up a 250 CC or something a little smaller than what I have now that needs a little TLC. Something I won’t feel guilty in tearing apart and making it completely custom to suit me. I don’t want anything with a fancy paint job or pristine chrome. I want something that looks like it has been rode hard and put away wet. I really like rat rods and bobbers that look homemade!

Think: kind of like Daryl Dixon’s ‘new’ motorcycle, but Travis found me hot pink header wrap for my pipes. Ha!

daryldixonmoto

I ignored my gut feeling and listened to everyone else’s opinion when I told them I wanted a 250 and let them talk me into a bigger bike. “You’ll grow out of it and hate a smaller bike!” They said. But listen… I never ride highways, I live IN TOWN and I do most of my riding in 35 mph areas. When I want to ride longer distances I climb on the back of Travis’ much bigger and more comfortable Yamaha Roadliner. I want something smaller for in-town riding and leisurely strolls through the country. We rode 250’s in the Moto-Ohio class and they were a blast!

Travis almost completely rebuilt the Yamaha Vstar and he loves that bike so much more because of that. Now I’d like to do that for myself. Over the years, I’ve really gotten into wrenching on things. Travis has always enjoyed working on vehicles and my interest in them sort of started as a way to hang out with him and help him out. We always have a really good time when we’re working on stuff, and there’s almost always a good story to tell afterwards. Together we’ve rehabbed/rebuilt 2 motorcycles, a pop-up camper, a boat (funny story about that boat here) and done a lot of the work on all of our cars. The only thing that keeps us from doing ALL of the work, is the fact that we don’t have a garage. 😦

2. Finish My Master Bedroom

Ugh. Like two little kids saving up to buy ourselves a special toy, we both saved ALL of our birthday and Christmas money for a couple years and finally got started on that room in February 2016! We bought a new mattress, new curtains, window hardware, linens, nightstands, lamps, installed all new outlets and light switches, painted the whole room, hung a new ceiling fan, and cleaned the carpets.

Bedroom Remod
Here’s a pic of what we started working with. Yep… lots of muddy diaper brown. This room felt like a depressing, dark cave. And Travis looks super thrilled to be having his pic taken in this photo!

Then we ran out of money (and steam) in mid-May before we had the whole thing finished. 😦

The idea was to pay for and work on things a little at a time as we got paid each week. We still wanted to redo the ceilings with bead board to cover up the shitty textured ceilings, build a closet and refurbish this sweet antique desk we bought for a song off of Craigslist.

However, Travis’ mom was in an automobile accident in June… Our whole world pretty much came to a screeching halt. Things were really scary for a few months, and we spent a lot of sleepless nights praying for miracles. And then in August our prayers came true! She opened her eyes and started making progress! In October she got to come home, where she continues to improve every day. She is pretty much living proof that miracles really do happen!

So now that it’s a new year, we’re going to put that room back in order. (I know, the story of our lives…) We may forgo the ceiling and just slap a new coat of paint up there, and the closet may not be as grand as originally planned but I can’t live with the pile of stuff under tarps in a corner of my bedroom any longer! We’re really honing in on the things around that house that NEED to be done versus the things we WANT to do, because we’re really hoping to get the house onto the market soon. Which brings me to #3!

3. Put Our House on the Market

I can’t live without a garage or a second bathroom any longer…

There have been one too many close calls after a meal at our favorite local Mexican joint (that we lovingly call “Fiesta Merry Crotchy”) where one of us has ended up tapdancing outside the occupied bathroom door praying they didn’t have to use the cat litter box to prevent soiling themselves.*

*This really almost happened once.

And a garage… It seems as though nothing ever breaks down on our vehicles until it is 13 degrees outside. We NEED somewhere to work on stuff in inclement weather. Plus, don’t forget we currently own three motorcycles which have to be stored elsewhere in the winter or in our 10×10 SHED or on our porch in the summer.

Our hope is to find a house with at least a 2 car garage or a place with some sort of out-building where Trav can set up a little workshop and put all his tools, supplies and lawn equipment. (Remember that time we had a lawnmower living in our master bedroom?!)

We have a LOT to do to get the house ready and not a lot of cash to do it, so we’re going to have to find some thrifty ways to make a little go a long way! Plus I have a feeling that this year is going to be a RECORD BREAKING year for the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge! I’m honestly thinking about renting a dumpster this year and just throwing everything away…

4. Less “Screen Time”

I want to put down my phone and shut off the TV more and spend more time paying attention to the people and things going on around me. I want to spend less time texting/Facebooking and spend more time WITH people. Or at least call them more often!

We lost one of our fur babies, Moby, in December. (Like I said, 2016 REALLY sucked for us!) He was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2015. He’s always had a slew of health issues, so we had suspicion he had something going on for quite some time before that. For the last couple years he was on a lot of medication which he had to take every day. We were happy to be his people and to have him with us as long as we did and loved every day of it. But the meds, paired with his people anxiety that prevented us from taking him with us most places, it was impossible to board him and we didn’t have anyone who we felt comfortable with dog-sitting him.

mobiashoudini
I like to think he’s hanging out now with Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince!

After he was gone, we realized that the one “silver lining” (for lack of a better term) was that now we’ll be able to be a lot more spontaneous and mobile. We still have our pup, Carli Monster, the One-Eyed Wonder Dog, but she is super easy to cart around, and she gets along with anyone and everything!

Our other furry kids Maggie Cat and the Fabulous Ferret Brothers, Edgar and Dweezle are usually ok for a night or two at home solo. Any longer, we can usually bribe a friend into hanging out at the house for a few days, or we’ve even used a pet service to have someone stop by check in a couple times to make sure there’s fresh food and water and that the litter box isn’t overflowing.

So all of this means more time with friends and family and hopefully less time with our face glued to our phone screens. Though he’ll deny it, Travis has to work on that more than me. He has an addiction to Googling everything, so it’s kind of like living with a live male version of Siri.

5. Stop Procrastinating… About EVERYTHING!

My motto for 2017 is a favorite borrowed phrase from my dear, departed friend, Bil: “NIKE”… (Just do it.)

I’d like to say to myself, “Self: Get your shit together!” Stop waiting for “the perfect time” to do shit, because more than likely that perfect time is never going to happen. You don’t need a new year for an excuse to do something.

Paint the ceiling? Start an Etsy shop? Lose the weight? Clean the basement? Write a blog post?

NIKE

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Mama’s Squeeze Box

So this week on Facebook, as my “Friday Kick Off Song” I couldn’t help but post The Who’s “Squeeze Box”. This song makes me laugh because MY mama played the squeeze box.

When she was in high school she was a cheerleader. And we all know all the social requirements of being such. Perfectly manicured hair, dating Johnny Footballstar, not talking to the band geeks… But she was also forced to play a musical instrument. So for whatever reason, mom chose the accordion. Which gives me mental images of my mom in the 60’s looking like Weird Al Yankovic playing her squeeze box at the county fair.

And she actually did play at the county fair.

In high school, the poor girl had to play in the bandstand on the main drag. In small towns like where we grew up, the county fair used to be the social event of the summer. While all her friends were riding the ferris wheel, kissing boys and making lovely 60’s memories… my poor mama played the squeeze box.

When my grandmother would host any sort of social engagement at her house, the main attraction was my mom and her accordion. The thought of 20 little old church ladies tapping their toes to my mom’s favorite squeezebox jams generally is enough to cause me to shoot liquids out of my nose.

But it apparently eventually worked out for her in her favor. Once we took her to a “Name that Tune” night at some beer-and-wings joint. She was feeling a little discouraged since most of the DJ’s repertoire consisted of Nickelback, Backstreet Boys and other fantastic artists of our generation that she had never even heard of. But just as she was getting ready to throw in the towel, the DJ announced he would give anyone who could name the last tune $50! He was clearly pleased with himself and seemed 100% certain that nobody would EVER get this one.

Well, she got it…

The song was “Beer Barrel Polka”. He was flabbergasted and went home $50 poorer while we had another round of margaritas!

Sadly, over the course of the past 50 years, the accordion has lived a sad and lonely life up in our attic. Cold and alone, collecting dust and decaying while taking on that old, creepy, musty attic smell.

But every great once in a while, one of us would come across it in the attic (probably looking for those giant plastic 70’s Christmas decorations), and we would bring that sucker down and force my mom to play us a little ditty. She always acted embarrassed, but after a just a little bit of coaxing, she would always oblige. Oh what JOY that stinky squeeze box would bring to our hearts!

We never wanted the joy to end! So one year for Christmas as a gag, someone bought mom a miniature toy accordion. She didn’t think it was quite as funny as we did at first, but every year now the biggest surprise on Christmas morning is finding out who got re-gifted Mama’s Squeeze Box!

Happy Mother’s Day mama! I love you!

Things I suck at as an adult

Let’s be honest here…  There are very few things in this life that I am truly good at…

Catching flying objects thrown across large spaces with my mouth is one of them… I’m also really awesome at falling down… I even fell down at the Garth Brooks concert last week and thought I broke my knee. I didn’t! But man was that an awesome fall!

So I wanted to celebrate the many things that I’m not good at here today! #nojudgement

I am 32 years old. I moved out of my parent’s house and went to college when I was 18. At 19, I ditched college dorm life and got my first apartment and my first real job. I bought my first (and current) house when I was 23. The lay person might think that I would have gotten the whole “adulting” thing down by now.

But they would be sorely mistaken. There is still a laundry list of things that as an adult I still haven’t quite mastered, or just plain don’t like to do! Try as hard as I may, I just think there are things that I will never develop a taste or liking for:

Laundry

While this is something that we have more recently become a little better at, it is still something we struggle greatly with. We used to live in a 100+ year old duplex in one of the coolest older neighborhoods of Columbus, called Clintonville. The house had the original wood floors that were beautiful, and very slippery. (Where I also fell down – In fact, 9 years later I still have a dent in my right butt cheek where I hit the staircase in the fall!)

Our bedroom was on the 2nd floor at the front of the house down a long hallway, but our washer and dryer were in the basement in the back of the house. On laundry day, which only came but maybe once a month (we had enough socks and underwear to last us a month!) we would take our clothes hampers and dump them in the upstairs hallway. Then we would start at the end of the hallway, bend down in the downward dog yoga position, we would form a plow with our hands and shove the clothes down the hall. Then we would ride the mounds of clothes down the two flights of stairs, then sort it into piles on the floor in the basement.

Downward Dog Laundry

This is where it usually stayed until we got dressed in the basement, but then took our clothes off in our bedrooms, then the whole cycle started over again. Why were we not smart enough to just do all of our clothes-changing in the basement?! I have no idea. Work smarter, not harder, I always say… Well now I say that… I didn’t then…

Small talk

This is why I hate* talking on the phone. I get nagged from various members of my family and friends all the time for not calling.

*I still love talking to friends and family I haven’t heard from in ages! Those people will just have to deal with my awkwardness.

But I am sort of socially awkward anyway, I get this sort of anxiety where I get mords wixed up and I always forget the names of things, I can’t hear what people are saying, so I misunderstand things half the time! My dogs always start barking or I have to pee as soon as someone starts their 20 minute-long story…

My sisters and my mom don’t fall into this category. I’ll pee on the phone with them all day long. Well not ON the phone… you get what I mean.

So you can imagine talking to strangers is especially painful. I don’t ever have anything terribly exciting to talk about and it just ends up with me doing a horrible impression of a normal human who is capable of small talk – I say one thing, but mean another!

I blame the saying-one-thing-meaning-another thing partly on my mother. She once told a chaplain who had a visitor knocking on his office window: “You’ve got a little pecker on your window!”

Bless her heart…

I generally pick take-out restaurants solely on the premise of them having online ordering capabilities so I don’t have to think of words to say to people on the phone.

Dressing myself

I don’t want to spend my mortgage payment on a purse to carry my shit, I’m just fine with my $7 Ikea messenger bag. I hate wearing shoes, so flip flops are my thing 9 months out of the year, then usually a pair of Converses or cowboy boots I can pull on and run out the door the rest of the year.

I only have 9 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans. It makes getting dressed in the morning I wear black almost every day. Because you know what… Black is no-fail and it’s freakin’ classic, unlike so many other trendy things that have come and thankfully gone over the course of my lifetime… and apparently come back again…

Steve Urkel glasses are cool again…

Hopefully there was no cheese involved…

 

Acid washed, chest-high MOM JEANS are cool again…

“Nothing says ‘I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a mom’ like MOM JEANS!”

 

Being on time

I once read an article that said being late was a sign of passive-aggressiveness. Well I think that person is wrong and likes making sweeping generalizations.

The article states:

“Until we see ourselves as valuable – self-perception – we will not recognize our value to others – other-perception. Not seeing our own value, and, by association, feeling that others do not regard us as valuable begs the question, ‘Why show up?'”

Well Freud Dude… I show up because I really do care about the thing you invited me to. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have agreed to do the thing with/for you in the first place.

Plus, I know you’re going to hold a grudge against me for the next six months if I don’t.

Sharing a 6×4 foot  one-sink-one-shower bathroom space with another human being is not easy. I have bad time management skills and I only have one speed: slow. I get all hot and sweaty if I have to marathon it out the door and then I’m grouchy and no good to anyone.

Also, texting me EIGHT THOUSAND times after I’ve already told you I’m on my way is kind of like pushing an elevator button 50 times – It’s not going to make the thing move any faster. Once is sufficient.

General home maintenance

I realize that if you take care of something, it will last twice as long. So yes, we change our air filter in our furnace, we clean the gutters (well some of them), I vacuum the carpet at least once a week… sometimes. I even sealed our driveway last summer for heaven’s sake!

I’m talking about things like pulling weeds, trimming trees and landscaping…

The flower bed that lines the front of our house when we moved in was filled with landscaping rocks, and contained three huge, ugly, overgrown bushes. I hated trimming them and there were always stray cats hiding in them when we got home from work that leapt out at our face as we were walking to the front door, which made me pee my pants.

giphy

So we spent an entire weekend trying to dig them up and chainsaw them out. Eventually had to hook them up to the bumper of a pickup truck and pull them out. Ever since, we haven’t been able to grow a damn thing in those flower beds.

Except weeds. Lots and LOTS of weeds. Oh… And these obnoxious ivy things. It’s called Houttuynia or Chameleon Plant. And it’s considered by many to be the “worst plant in the world.” Last summer, I finally just said “screw it!” and just sprayed weed and grass killer over the entire thing and bought giant planters and hanging pots. It looks TEN times better than the cat bushes, but we are clearly not landscape specialists.

We also have these weird enclosed gutters on our back porch that we can’t figure out how to access to clean. In heavy rains, our porch roof resembles Niagara Falls. I guess we’ll need some sort of extra long snaking device… I keep making plans to pay someone to come clean them because we are clearly not gutter specialists.

We have a couple dead tree/bush things our backyard that were killed by a Little Shop of Horrors poison ivy vine that snaked its way through our fence from the lot behind our house and choked the life out of them. There is a whole row of these tall evergreen tree/bush things that were planted by the Others for privacy. Now they look like crap, but they still block the view of the house behind ours which would otherwise enable the neighbors to look out their living room window right into our back yard. We’ll cut them down eventually, but we’ll have to drop a few hundred dollars on couple new tree/bush things in their place. We had an estimate from a tree guy JUST to limb our huge maple, but that dude wanted almost $700. That’s a lot of clams. We’ll get to it. But we are clearly not tree specialists.

And most of our home maintenance isn’t neglected because we’re lazy… It’s just that… Well, neither of us are Bob Vila (he’s clearly a specialist) and we don’t know how to do a lot of these things so it’s kind of like we’re just stumbling around in the dark by ourselves trying to figure out how to find the light switch without burning the house down!

bob-vila-home-improvement


COMING SOON!:

We started redoing our master bedroom in February and it has been a very long process. Because as I mentioned I have one speed: slow. We started with almost nothing.

Except poop-brown carpet, cheetah print wall border and burger-bun colored walls… If any of my Burger King friends read this… my walls were Pantone 721.

We had no mattress or bed frame, no linens, no night stands, no curtains… just a tv and a 40+ year old hand me down chest of drawers. Oh and tons of stuff still living in there in storage. So we’ve saved our birthday and Christmas money for a few years to fund our bedroom redo and we’ve been slowly acquiring the things we needed and piecing them together. We painted it a nice bright airy color. I’ve yet to decide if I love it yet. But it’s definitely an improvement from burger-bun-brown! I think the poop carpet might be detracting from the whole look.

It’s almost finished and I can’t wait to post about all the fun we had with that room. Including when we duct taped Travis’ cellphone to a broom handle that we then shoved through a hole in our ceiling to look at our inaccessible attic!

But until then… SPRING HAS SPRUNG in the Buckeye state! We’ve been sleeping with the windows open and riding Travis’ motorcycle. We did a night trip last weekend and had to embrace the cold when it dropped to 50 degrees when we stayed out too late and had to ride back to Columbus at 2:30 am! 50 doesn’t seem cold until you’re going 70 mph then it’s pretty brisk!

I can’t wait for summer!

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble!

Happy October! My favorite month of the year!

We have several projects in the works at the house right now, all in varying stages of completion. But the good news is we finally got the driveway sealed before the winter sets in and destroys it more than it already is! And to make a good story even better, while the driveway cures, we have to park across the street and piss off the guy across the street! DOUBLE WIN!

That may make us sound like nightmare-neighbors, but really, we tried.

This summer, the final nail in the coffin was when the jerk screamed at Travis in the middle of the street for 45 minutes in broad daylight about parking in “his spots” because he’d “lived there for 40 years and he’d earned the right to park wherever he wanted.” And we were “punk ass kids with no respect.”

Nope.

I didn’t mean to start off on a rant. I apologize… On with the show!

In the spirit of getting ready for the Halloween party, we’re trying to complete a few projects! Admittedly, I have been working on my Bruno scarecrow for a couple years now. I didn’t touch him at all last year due to our neglect of the entire holiday, but this year I really need to light a fire under my ass and finish him up.

I finally have all of the supplies together. His head is nearly done, and I will actually be making a sort of half-breed of Bruno and the Grumble. Both of which are from an amazing Halloween tutorial blog called Spooky Blue that Travis and I read. I have probably read every single post three or four times. I love this guy! His commentary is priceless:

“A scarecrow, hands on hips like he’s waiting for a bus to take him to Olive Garden where he serves nights while he works on his interior design degree at the community college isn’t scary.”

Also… to go in the graveyard in the front of the house, we’ve been working on building a mausoleum! We’ve wanted to build one since we’ve moved into our house and discovered we get a ton of trick or treaters, but we never had the tools to do so. So we’re about 75% done with that… here’s some in-progress photos!

Moby is inspecting Travis' work
Moby is inspecting Travis’ work
Weather-proofing coats on, we'll start
Weather-proofing coats are on, we’ll start “antiquing” it next to make it look aged.

It’s obviously far from done, but we have a little bit of time left before it has to grace the front yard for our party and for Trick or Treat. I won’t divulge all the details yet, but our little mausoleum will host it’s own ghost. We’ve been trying to come up with a name for our lady-ghost… It is hard work! She may remain nameless until she is placed in her home.

This will be a multi-stage project. We ran out of time to do much more than paint it this year, so we’ll get it to a state where it is just “good enough,” and then we’ll add more detail to it next year.

The year before last, we made The Reaper. He was super easy, just a bolt of burlap that we dyed black in our bathtub. Lord, that was a mess! The tutorial calls for mudding him in the end to make him rigid, but we needed to keep him collapsible so we could fold him up and put him away at the end of the season. So we followed the basic idea of the instructions, but really ended up making him our own.

UNHIPDOTCOM REAPER

Here is ours – Admittedly not the best photo, it was taken by a party guest. Plus we had been having trouble with his head collapsing, since it’s just a chicken-wire shape to hold up his heavy burlap hood.

UNHIPDOTCOM HALLOWEEN WREATH

And I did make this wreath last year. I bought several spools of 6 inch wide tulle ribbon, a foam wreath form, some plastic flowers and that adorbs little raven nested in there. I used a large piece of cardboard (about 16 inches square or so) and wrapped the tulle around it over and over again until I had used all of the spool. Then I cut the tulle at the top and at the bottom of the cardboard to make several strips in two quick snips. Then the hardest and most time consuming part from there was wrapping and tying the tulle around the wreath form to create the “ruffled” effect. You really have to cram them in there to make them look full and ruffly. I may make a better tutorial for this later.


On another non-halloween related note: I forgot to mention before, in September we bid farewell to our camper, Hell on Wheels. It was a bittersweet farewell, but I’m glad to have a driveway again. We will have a camper someday when we have the ability to travel more; Once Travis’ new company is sturdy enough to be mobile. When we were getting started, we picked gear that we could travel with so he can visit customers and go to conventions etc. We bought a laptop computer and a completely portable phone line.

We got one of these little gizmos that works on cellular signal, but you can connect a desk phone to it. As long as it has power, and a signal, you have a working phone! It runs for 3 hour in-use or 2.5 days on standby with the built-in battery. For $99 up front, then $20 a month with no contracts, it was a pretty sweet deal!

And in November, we’ll get to take his little operation on the road for the first time! Travis was invited to go to a conference hosted by the company that he works with. This will be our first major road trip of 2015!

We’ll be driving to Jacksonville, Florida for the conference, but on our way there we’ll be stopping at a place that I’ve been DYING to visit for as long as I can remember… NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE!

I’m serious, I’m in near shock at the excitement!! But before you go rolling your eyes at the thought of me Boot-Scoot-n-Boogie’in it up ’til the break of dawn in new pair of Tony Lamas

A queen on her throne! That’s my girl, Miranda!

Nashville isn’t just the place for country and bluegrass music anymore. Amazing musicians like Jack White and the Black Keys call Nashville their home too! We’re talking about the city where Elvis, Johnny Cash and Neil Young all recorded albums. And the home of Jack White’s Third Man Records’ Blue Room! Which is the only venue in the world to record live shows direct-to-acetate, producing a vinyl master in real time!

We enter code-red panic mode for party prep around the week of our birthdays (next week!) and we won’t sleep much from now until the day after the party on the 24th. After that we’ll be getting ready for our trip the beginning of November.

THEN comes the holidays, and we all know that Thanksgiving through the first week of January are usually a black-top blur with the holidays in full tilt! The thought of Christmas right now makes me throw up in my mouth a little. So let’s slow down and take this one day at a time!

P.S. THIS IS MY 50th POST ON MY BLOG! It’s only taken 2+ years, but we did it! Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 4.02.58 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 4.16.28 PM

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!

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!

Photo from http://www.motorcyclistonline.com

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. ❤

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!