Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ready or Not, February is Here!

Tomorrow the Electronics go OFF!  I guess I should clarify - Electronic Entertainment equipment.  Thankfully we are not going all the way back to the days of horse and buggy.  But there will be No TV, Rock Band, Nintendo DS, Blog Surfing - It's all off for the entire month.    You can read more about why HERE on the Big Family Blog I contribute to. 

No I won't be gone for a month.  I'll still post, but I won't be able to surf or visit all my wonderful blog friends for a while.  I'm trying to discover my family.  I love you guys and you bet I'll be all over your blogs like syrup on pancakes come March 1st.  But please forgive my absence.  I've got to get rid of this nasty award.


I've also got to say something other than 'Later' or 'Not right now,' to my munchkin's.  I need to play with them and teach their imaginations how to grow and flourish.

So how did we get ready to unplug today...  We stayed plugged in the live-long day.  Well the kids did at least.

I sewed an apron for my upcoming apron swap and Prince Erik set Rat Traps.  I won't say which kind because certain kinds like these are illegal in our area  like these.

 rodent trap

Why?  Because they may injure a small puppy or cat or child.  According to our wonderful county executive head honcho.

Maybe we spent the boo-ko bucks and purchased a Rat Hotel like this...

rat hotel 

So we can humanely capture the little errant, disease-ridden pets.  I know if I did fork over the arm and leg these cost I could then give them to the county government to take care of.  I'm sure they use tax-payer dollars to painlessly gas the little fur balls.

Maybe we could have bought this little beauty from buy costumes dot com.  Guaranteed to scare the be-jeebers out of any living creature that see's it.

human rat trap

Please, I've got kids here and I'm not messing around with the vermin.  So I plead the 5th as to what form of capture Prince Erik laid out tonight.

Ought to make for another very interesting month. 

Oh Rats!

Theyyyy'rrreee Baaaacccckkk!!!

And not the cute, fuzzy, endearing creatures the movie makers want us to believe are out there.


They were more like the R.O.U.S's from the Princess Bride.


O.K. not quite that big. Maybe this is a bit closer to what the creature brought to my mind.

evil rat

I'd much rather deal with mice.

The sucker I saw this morning, as I flicked on the kitchen light, had to have been six inches long (NOT COUNTING THE TAIL). What would that have made him - like a foot long creature from the dark abyss. Like some mutant from a government experiment gone bad. He made a quick get - away via the last bit of unfinished sub-floor under our Red-Neck Sink.


Time to clean up the table scrapes. I guess our slothful dining habits, when not cleaned up, create mutant rats.

I know what Prince Erik is doing this weekend.

fighting the rat

And what I'm doing until he finishes the nasty job.


Excuse me while I shiver and shudder for the millionth time this morning.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Me and My Big Head

So I have to admit that I have a really big head. It's genetic. I come from a whole line of big heads. Finding a hat that fits is nigh near impossible.

In fact the standard (one-size-fits-all) witch hat I bought for my Halloween costume wouldn't stay on. It kept popping off due to the fact that it was too small or my head was just so darn huge.

There's nothing I can do about it. I will always have a huge noggin'. It's o.k. because I'm not much of a hat wearer anyway. I have too much (thicker than a horses tail) hair. Maybe if I shaved it all off I'd have a better chance of some hats fitting. But I don't think that would be too pretty.

So I'd like to take a moment to thank all my blog friends who just made my honkin' head swell even more. Well, to be honest, they gave me these awards a while back. I'm just good at procrastinating too.

So without further delay. My blog twin Sara of A Shower of Roses awarded me with this lovely treat.

one lovely blog award

and like her, I'm sharing it with three lovely ladies who have lovely smacked all over their blogs.

1. Goodness gracious Abiding - lovely through and through. And she's a talented cakester to boot.

2. Honey Mommy - well she's a gem this one is. And with everyone calling her Honey how couldn't she be lovely?

3. And Mommy Snark who kindly reminds me that there isn't much fun to life if you aren't willing to laugh at yourself

And if that wasn't enough Debi of Who Says Eight is Enough gave me this fitting blog award a couple of months ago.

kreativ blogger award

Fitting because I spell about as good as the award does. Fortunately for me I've got several people who have a greater command of the English language and thankfully alert me to my slothful grammer ways. So I try and correct the mistakes before the bigger blogging world catches on.

Now there are rules for this little gem are as follows:

List six things that make you happy.
Pass the award along to six more bloggers.

O.K. - Six Things:

Ok, not going to give the typical answers and will take a cue from Debi and go for the less obvious as you all know that family, friends, God, etc would be on the list :)

1. An addictive book, and the peace and quite to read it.

2. Weeding. Yes I know I'm strange. I get this from my Farmgirl upbringing. And I can't wait until it's warm enough to get some real dirt under my fingernails. I'm good at weeding, it's the growing stuff I struggle with.

3. Virgin Pina Coloda. Some day I'll drink while sitting on a sandy beach. I know all about getting caught in the rain too.

4. Any finished craft, sewing, home repair project. With the emphasis on the word FINISHED. Love feeling like I accomplished something especially if it was a really difficult one.

5. Hugs, I love you's, and especially THANK YOU Mommy (You Rock) from my kiddo's.

6. Doing something for the first time. I love Fawndear Firsts. Some of the first's I want to try this year are: Get this - A Manicure (Can you believe I've never had one) and...

Wait for it...

A Marathon (Yes, I know I'm insane and will probably need a wheelchair recovery) but I really think I can do it. Although I may set a record for the slowest Marathon to date.

O.K. enough about me.

Here are my six picks for charming and Kreativ Blogs. I could probably go on into the Hundreds of people I felt deserving of Kreativ. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Aunt Pitty Pat - I'm currently participating in her Kisses and Hearts Apron Swap. She must be the queen of swaps. That and I love the humor she throw's into her projects.

2. Tink - Straight from Neverland with enough pixie charm to nab a pirate. Tink keeps my in stitches, and tears and inspired. She also has an amazing Healing for Life Blog as well. I do believe in fairies. I do - I do!

3. A Fanciful Twist's blog is the place I go to escape reality. I especially loved her Gypsy Magic Post and am determined to make my own someday, um, when the liquid sunshine let's up and the weather decides it's time for summer already.

4. Pleasant View Schoolhouse shares my love of thrifting, re-purposing loving and finding beauty in the simple things. I just love how Kreativ she is.

5. Folk Artist Carolee Clark from King of Mice Studios is just so darn Kreativ I couldn't leave her off my list. Some day I'll pick up my old Tole painting tools and give a wack at a piece of wood. Maybe even call myself clever if I can pull off something half as pretty as her's.

6. The Handmade Quilt-er is rounding off my list. I get inspired to pull something out to sew every time I view her blog. She once even gave a quilt away. How generous and Kreativ is that?

So take a minute out of your busy, crazy and Kreativ lives and check out these talented ladies.

Now I need to go wrap my head in hot towels to see if I can relieve it's swelling.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Potty Party

I'm free!!! After 17 years and 10 months of straight diapers - I'm free. (Yeah, I know I deserved it, what with having a baby every three years.)

Miss Hope is now officially a big girl.

No I didn't train her in a day.


But it's been less than three weeks of us going full bore and it's been 3 days since her last accident. By far my quickest child. I had some who struggled for months it seemed.

So tomorrow Hope and I are going to have a Potty Party. We'll go to the store and pick out some big girl pants just for her.

And I'm doing the Happy Dance!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mommy's a Witch

So I ended up taking Hope with me last week when I met with my Young and Gorgeous Counselor and she merrily and lively started engaging her in a conversation about Build-A-Bear's and coloring books and other things that interest 3 year old wee ones. I was only half paying attention to what she saying and secretly chewing myself out for not trying harder to get her a sitter. She was draining my time and I needed it. Then she threw me for a loop when they started talking about me.

My jaw hit the floor when Hope said, ' My mommy's a witch.'

Of course I responded, 'But Hope don't you think Mommy's a very nice witch.' (See I let you play your Build-A-Bear game on Nintendo DS and buy you a brand spankin' new coloring book and crayons so you'll let me have a conversation with my counselor)?

'No Mommy's a Bad Witch, a very Bad Witch.' she whispered her eye's as big as saucers.

'What?' Now I'm starting to sweat because she's ratting me out to my counselor. And here I was thinking I was doing O.k.

'And I'm a munchkin,' She proudly proclaimed.

'I hope, I think that she's referring to Halloween when I was Oz's the Wicked Witch of the West and she was a Munchkin' (in more ways than one), I explained to my smiling Young and Gorgeous Counselor. I hope she bought my reasoning.

Earlier that day we had seen a doll of the Wicked Witch when we were wandering through an antique mall. Hope quickly pointed her out and told me, 'that's you mommy.'

So next year I think I'll be an angel for Halloween. But with my luck Hope will still refer to me as the Bad Witch.

I don't blame her. I've been sticking to my guns with the whole healthy kick. Which I have to admit has made me a bit of a grouch this week. It was worth it thought. DOWN 3 lbs. Wa-hoo! Only 30 more to go. Boo-hoo! So worth it. But I've got to work on the grumblies cause they are starting to rub off on the rest of the herd. That and now my counselor know's my secret identity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wuss Cards and Re-do's.

I tried to suppress a silly grin as the blood sucker apologized for his cold hands.  You'd think I'd grow up someday and stop fantasizing about a girly chick book, but NO.

Picture 583 

And unlike last time when they turned me away because my blood lacked the desired metal (iron).  This time they said Sure!    So they proceeded to drain my blood all the while I'm laying there stupidly thinking about vampires, and Forks, WA and what-not.  Then afterwards as I was enjoying a cookie and fruit drink (diet no-no's) the 17 year old sitting next to me told me something was wrong.  I gasped as I saw how pale white he was. 


Then my heart stopped beating, in fear, as he slowly slumped towards me.

I haven't been near too many people who have fainted.  Never one I knew personally.

The 17 year old was my son Abner, who had also just finished giving blood.  And even though it was his third time donating, this time was different.

About 20 seconds later he was looking at me, and the blood sucker standing next to me, completely confused and asking if he had just fainted. 

'Yep' I said as my heart restarted.

'Great', he commented, ' I just earned my Wuss card.'

I tried to comfort him and tell him that at least he wasn't at school, surrounded by his peers, when this happened.  We were in the mobile blood donation bus.  We tried to pin the whole experience on the fact that he probably hadn't hydrated good enough the day before.

They finally let us go around an hour later after his blood pressure returned to normal. 


Me sporting my neon green wrap and him proudly wearing his wuss badge.  And yes he kindly gave me permission to tell everyone how he earned it.  Maybe it helped that he was half out of it when I asked if I could.


So back at home I've finished tackling the clutter in our music room.  It's the room connected to our kitchen, and seeing how we just painted the kitchen, it got a new coat of color as well.  We are re-purposing rooms in our home, rearranging furniture, kicking out clutter, you know, fun stuff.  So here's a before shot of our music turned family room.

Picture 481

And after some new paint, rearranged furniture from the old school room, and getting rid of lot's of clutter.  Behold...


And here's another wall in the same room.  The Before cluttered shot.

Picture 483

And the After...


The old, lighter bookshelves we put in the front room and we pulled these shelves and entertainment center in from our back room.

And the back room.  Since it's no longer a school room/library, well, Prince Erik has given me permission to turn it into my craft room, my art studio, my what-ever room.   

I can't wait to figure out what to do with it.  My main requirement that I'm giving myself is, get this, NO BROWN.  Something dreamy, light and airy. and colorful.    Wa-Hoo!  I'm going to take my time designing and setting it up with pennies for a budget, because it has to be affordable and I really want it to look nice, organized and clutter free.  Someplace I can invited friends over to craft with me.  Somewhere where my imagination will be sparked, somewhere where I can share a wee bit of my Mommy blessings  with others.   Can you tell I'm just itching with excitement?  Me and my imagination - what a pair.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Permission to Play in the Mud.

Ah, The Busy Life!  It seems life is coming at us way to fast to comprehend half of what's going on.  So as not to forget that these things actually happened I thought I'd post a snapshot of our crazy life.


The flood clean-up has begun.  Prince Erik took the boys out to help fix fences covered with debris over the weekend and we are scheduled to help clean out someone's barn tomorrow.  It will kind of be fun.  Permission to play in the mud - Granted.

We also played big time celebrating two family birthdays.  Lea turned 10!  Someone please slow down the clock.  My kids are growing to fast.

2009 - winter 187

Prince Erik also celebrated a very quite birthday.  And no matter how fast that life clock goes he will always be a big kid. 

 2009 - winter 212

Proof in Point - Here he is playing Kung Fu Panda on the DS, with two little zombies attached to his person.

I crazily taught two different art lessons at my daughter's school in the past few days and have another scheduled for this week.  I love teaching art. 

2009 - winter 233

However, we have an assigned curriculum that I sometimes wish I could deviate from.  Some of the projects are great fun...

2009 - winter 228 

And other projects - Not Exactly. 

There's something about being cooped up in January that get's my creative juices flowing. 


I've been having fun crafting and sewing.  Couldn't help but turn a tablecloth into some fun aprons for my girls and myself.  In fact, I'm having a hard time getting them to take their's off.   


I've posted a very long (picture heavy) tutorial over on my other home HERE on how you can make these aprons yourself.  You know, just in case you decided to channel Maria Von Trapp or Giselle from Enchanted and make your clothes from household linens.

Not everything I made turned out.  I was trying to make a different kind of biscuit with my girls.  Subbing healthy stuff like wheat flour for white and soy milk for real milk.  Well, at least they looked great.


But honestly, they were the worst biscuits that I've eaten in my entire life.  In fact I couldn't even swallow the first bite.  Blah!  I imagine they tasted about as good as the Hard Sea Biscuits you read in the ocean adventure books.

Thus, as a typical week goes there are sometimes failures, messes, and over scheduling life.

But what makes it all worthwhile is this...

After an extremely hard and busy day I came upstairs and came upon Hope teaching her sock monkey how to pray.  It was a wonderful reminder to this old grouchy lady that no matter how busy life gets we should never forget all our blessing and we should always show Gratitude to the Big Guy upstairs through action and most importantly through prayer.

2009 - winter 179

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We Survived!

73 days without a Dryer! We did it. It wasn't pretty! What with clothes hanging to dry on every chair and bedpost, and hanger. We did splurge and take towels down to the laundry mat once a week - cause I selfishly wanted soft towels. But we did it!

I'm grateful that the possessed Washer won't be greeting me from a different spot in the laundry room anymore. It was supposed to stay here.

washer 2

But more often than not it would hauntingly turn itself around to greet me when I came in the room.

washer 1

So we demoted it back to the floor. Kicked it off the pedestal it was perched on. But that didn't stop it's attitude, noise or shaking.

washer 3

Farewell Washer and Dead Dryer - I won't miss you.

See I found someone way better. I got lucky - or more appropriately- I was blessed.

After talking with the dryer repair man we decided to skip repairing the _aytag _eptune dryer as it would cost almost as much as buying another. But the repairman said all he works on are machines that are one to two years old. So last week on a whim, I checked out Craigslist and behold there they were. A matching almond colored umpteen year old washer dryer set were being offered for free (FREE) from a guy with no kids.

2009 - winter 237

I happened to be the first responder so they said I could have them. They even kindly held onto them for another week since we couldn't come pick them up due to the whole flood thingy.

They are in excellent condition with the exception of a $30 part we need to get for the washer.

The repairman was right. The dryer dries so much better than the expensive arm-and-a-leg / hunk-of-junk that we bought only 2 years ago.

And the washer - it's a dream. It's quiet and doesn't even rock and roll walk across the floor or sound like it's about to take off into the stratosphere. And my sweet mature new - washing machine doesn't leave the clothes smelling all musty.

2009 - winter 196

So, I'm finally tackling this pile of stinkers that is as tall as I am. Our new set has probably seen more action over the past few days than it got in a half a year at it's old home. But they are working fabulously! I like this surviving. Can't wait until I survive the kitchen, roof and bathroom, too.

Hello My Name is FawnDear...

and I'm a clutter-holic/emotional eater/addicted to computer Whatz-Her-Bucket.

And about now, I'm extremely grateful that I didn't set any New Years Goals because they would have all crashed and burned.  What with all the emotions of Flooding, Snowstorm from Hades, and the blasted house being invaded by rot, I turned to comfort food.  Gained those typical holiday lbs - plus some.

Fortunately for me I've a bunch of Loser Friends too.

2009 - winter 236

Here's our gang signal. 

We meet once a week to get a new health challenge - last week was food tracking.  This week - drown ourselves with drinking a bucket load of water each and every day, then spending half the day running to the restroom.  I've not been as consistent with blogging because I'm so grouchy right now - Sugar withdrawal is killer.  I expect to be over it in a couple of days.

There are about 17 ladies in our group and the first week we lost a combined 37 lbs.  Not too shabby.  I think I was the loner gainer.  My lame excuse was two family birthdays, and emotional eating (what with the flood and being cooped up in the house with six kids for a month- it could drive anyone nuts). 

That was last week - This week I'm just a hair off perfect.    I've even got my allotted water in before 6 p.m. so as not to spend the night running to the bathroom.  I even ran 2  1/2 miles this morning.  Next week I expect something positive- I mean negative numbers on the scale.

After we get our challenge for the week, we watch the Biggest Loser while doing Yoga poses.  'DAR-ling' our team leader is the best!  I've learned more body twisting pretzel moves from her than I'd care to remember,  but it's all worth it.  And doing it with other chicks in the same boat doesn't hurt.

We totally criticize the 'Biggest Loser' show in the unrealistic way they exploit the contestants and make them lose the weight with a lifestyle that's totally not sustainable.  Come-on who is going to exercise 6-8 hours a day for the rest of their lives.  It's sad. 

We've even got a bigger excuse to watch the show.  Season One's Winner's Sister is in our group.  Sad thing is - he gained the weight back.  All of it - I think!  It's heart-breaking.  These people need more help than Bob and Jillian can give them.  They need therapy, to find out what their triggers are and they need to learn healthy living skills and incorporate those habit into the lives they lead at home.  Not lose it at a fat camp then go home and be immersed into their old lives. 

All that aside, we set there and cry and cheer and boo the contestants as they overcome hurdles, gain self confidence, and make mistakes.

Our bonus - each of us put $15 into a jar last week.  17 x 15 = a whole hunk of change.   The person who's lost the biggest percentage of body weight (not pounds) at the end of 15 weeks get's the whole $ pot. You know - to spend on a new wardrobe or whatever. 

I've got no more excuses - no more family birthdays, no more scheduled flood days (knock on wood), no more stress (Well it doesn't hurt to dream does it.  I'm going for it.  Maybe I can be a real Loser after all.   Now I need to go take some Ibuprofen for my aching muscles.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Safe Place?

 2009 - winter 174

There ain't anything or anywhere that worries Hope out of a nice climbing adventure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Flood graph

So as the waters start to recede from the Record Setting Flood - YEAH!!! and before we can do anything about cleaning up the mess it left behind there are a few things we are doing to keep us distracted. Like...


Going down to the river to be Looky Lou's at the water for the 10th time.

2009 - winter 062

Princess misses the snow which is why she's still wearing the boots.  That and our family lacks any kind of fashion forward thinking.  Just wear what you can find.

We also visit the Grocery Store - not because we have to - because we were totally stocked up before this happened -  but to watch the food fly from the perishable items shelves.

2009 - winter 065

This is what it looks like less than 48 hours after all roads were closed.

2009 - winter 064

Ya gotta do something to forget that mail, paper, and garbage pick-up won't be coming for yet another week.  So what do you do.

You go to an impromptu Beach Party and eat only summer salads, smoothies, and chips, hosted by other mom's going just as stir-crazy as yourself.

2009 - winter 048

Here's Fancy's daughter and another fashion forward friend.  Only she is fashion forward compared to our herd.

2009 - winter 057

Oh, and since it's the New Year and you've got the cleaning bug and no where to go. You kick out the clutter monster from the Front Room.

Chrstmas08 232

Oh, that feels much better.


we wanted to forget the painting mess that contributed to this scene.  And rearranged furniture from different rooms in our home.


Hooray!  I have ONE room in my house totally clutter free.


Now don't get me wrong it's not white glove clean, and I realize that I need to let go of everything Brown.  I'm not that ambitious, just yet. But in this room everything has a place and it takes me no time at all to put things away.  My first Clutter-Free Zone in years. 

I'm on a mad clutter monster purge quest thingy here.  And I'm going to do the best I can while the inspiration to eradicate is so strong.  That and it beats going down to the river for the 11th time.

Good news - we are no longer an island, but to get out of town we would have to take a near 50 mile detour.  Our main road out of town is above water now but has significant damage.

  damaged road

I didn't take this picture and the person who did isn't saying who they are just yet so I'll let you know as soon as I find out.  They figure our main road out will be closed through the weekend.  We really don't need to go anywhere so we are staying put.   But pictures like this kind of makes you not want to see the damage done that's still hiding underwater.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Flood Pictures.

I thought I'd post a couple more before and after flood pictures.  I sure wish my camera would have handled the low light better.  But it was raining both times I took the pictures.

These first ones were taken Wednesday morning before the river left it's banks.

2009 - winter 005

The water in the fields in the first picture is because of the quick snow melt and rain before the river overflowed it's banks.  In the second picture you can get a wee glimpse of the river in the far left of the photo.

2009 - winter 004

These next two pictures were of the same valley just a wider shot about 32 hours after the first pictures were taken.  It flooded a lot quicker than they thought it would.

2009 - winter 024

And this one was taken from my friends neighborhood a bit higher up the same hill.  The water goes clear across our little valley and covers it all.

 2009 - winter 034

The good news is the river is supposed to crest sometime this evening or overnight.  It's been raining off and on all day.  And tomorrow - DRY!  Yeah!  Saturday brings more spotted showers but the worst will be over.  Most of the flood was probably from the rapid snow melt when the warm rain hit the mountains.

When they saw the water rising so quickly Wednesday they sent all the kids home from school early.  Ours made it home in plenty of time and were not really affected but some students whose families live in the more affected areas are staying with neighbors, friends and even at the local fire station.

It's just amazing and over-whelming to see it first hand and watch how terribly swift the water moves, and realized just how huge this flood is.   The bridge that I took my first pictures from has been closed to foot traffic now and will not be reopened until they can inspect its stability.  But I'm sure it will be fine.  Tomorrow I'll try and get some video footage to show everyone a different perspective.

Thank you for your kind comments.  Our family is completely safe and dry as our home is up on one of the hills.  My husband has been working from home today and will work from home tomorrow as well.  We knew it was coming, as did most people in our area, so we stocked up on supplies and fuel before it hit.  I do however suspect that the shelves at the local grocery store might be depleted fairly quickly by tomorrow.

But keep our community in your prayers for if anyone were to have a medical emergency the only way out is by helicopter or boat.