Sunday, October 30, 2016

Teenagers are funny

At church I teach Sunday school for the 15-16 year old class.  I haven't been doing it long, so I'm still getting to know the kids.
Last week I decided to try to jazz things up by making them a little craft and having them use it in the lesson.  It was kind of a cheesy thing and a throw back to when they were little...but sometimes teenagers like doing things that are a little less "mature" and just having fun.

I made them each a sign on a stick that said "yes" on one side and "no" on one side and we did an activity where they had to give their opinions using the signs.
These were quickly made and I was even running out of ink in my printer, so they are all weird looking with stripes of color instead of solid red and green.

They weren't overly enthusiastic when I introduced it but they seemed to think my little activity was moderately fun.
Then when we were done, one of them asked if he could keep his sign.
Sure, no problem.
And then, they all wanted to keep them!
It occurred to me that the teacher of their next class that day might not be thrilled as they might possibly use them in that class to be annoying...but I let them each take their little signs.

Later in the afternoon, I got an email from one of the parents.  She said that they were having fun with the little sign that day...that their son would only communicate with them using his little sign. Her husband thought they should make a sign for each of their kids because just think how quiet the house would be! haha

This week it wasn't my turn to teach but as the other teacher began, the boys in class whipped out their little signs!  They had not only kept them but thought to bring them back to class!  So hilarious!

Anytime she asked them a question that could in any way, shape, or form be answered with a yes or no...they held up their signs.

It really cracked me up.  I took one of the signs and snapped a picture of it so that I could write about it today.

Teenagers are funny!  You just never know how they will react to something.  And I guess I was right that they would enjoy something a bit less mature. ha!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The last two weeks

Hubby has been on an extended business trip so I have had a lot of time to myself lately.

My head chose this two weeks to completely freak out with an ice pick headache that wouldn't go away.  My longest one ever, I think.  12 days long.

There were some reasons that this was a good time for such a freak out:
1-Hubby doesn't have to listen to me whine and cry
2-I can lay around as much as I want with no one to judge me
3-There was no need to cook or clean or put things away or shower get the idea

There were some reasons that this was a bad time for such a freak out:
1-No one to whine and cry to! (ok I did whine on Facebook a bit)
2-No one to cook me dinner or breakfast or get the idea
3-No one to drive me to the doctor or ER

I still did lunch with my parents but I had them come to my house instead of eating out.
I watched a lot of HGTV.
I listened to audio books.
I watched a few really bad chick flicks...I'm glad I didn't subject Frank to them.  So cheesy.
I also yelled at my doctor, her nurse, and the poor girl who just answers the phones.
I texted whiny texts to my poor hard working, jet lagged husband.  He was very supportive although we did go into  "men are from mars" territory a few times where he tried to fix things he couldn't actually fix from halfway across the world.

Some days were better than others so I did go up to Logan a couple of times which was nice.
I visited my friend from MA and her awesome family.
I helped her hang some pictures and organize her kitchen.
I laid on her couch and whined and cried to her.
I got to go wedding dress shopping with her daughter.
I took Ryan up to have an evening to say goodbye to his old MA friends before he moves to Alaska.

In a short period of time all of my kids will have moved to far flung places.  My closest kids will be in Alaska...which is 2,967 miles away according to the internet.
Carter is in Japan. 5,967 miles
And Austin will be visiting/living in Wales for at least the next 6 months. 4,729 miles

Holy Cow, life it is a-changing.

Wedding dress shopping.  Can we talk about that?
So, I have known Jordyn for a long time
and for most of that time, I have told her that since it was so unfair that I had all sons and would never get to go wedding dress shopping, that it was her duty to let me go with her.
I was sort of joking.
But not really.
And then I moved to Utah.
But, in a twist of fate, her family also moved to Utah a bit later.
It was meant to be!  I will go wedding dress shopping!
Not too long ago she told me that she was very serious with someone and expected to be engaged soon.
I didn't want to be pushy but, you know, I hoped I would get invited to dress shop.
Thankfully, she did invite me and, yes, it was wonderful.

It's so amazing when you see a woman in "the dress".
She just looks different.  Her whole demeanor changes because somewhere inside she knows that this is her wedding dress.
It's really awesome.
Jordyn is one of the sweetest people in the world and I love her so much.
She will be a stunning bride.

I met her fiancĂ© and I like him a lot.
They are very cute together.
I hope he knows what a great gal he is getting.
I'm sure he does because how could he not?  She's awesome after all.  It must be obvious.

I'm trying to be more healthy.
For example, I didn't eat chocolate and bread and other snacks in order to dull my emotional or physical  pain this week.
Go me!
Usually I would have eaten my weight in sweets and junk while I watched tv and whined.
I know, I really sound amazing, don't I?

Next goal?  Actually work out.

I have a little present for myself if I follow my workout plan for a month.

I am going to  sign up for an online class (she actually calls it a 30 day practice) called Wear Your Joy.

So if you see me wearing some weird clothes with a big smile on my face, you will know I did it!
Stay tuned.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Another long list of miscellaneous nothings

Frank caught a cold a couple of weeks ago and was really sick.
I avoided him and his coughing and sneezing etc because I did not want to get sick!
I didn't.
Now, two weeks later, I have caught a cold.
I have no idea where I caught it from but it seems like a rip off to have a cold now after I was so diligent and didn't get one when it was right under my own roof.

I bought myself a new little plant for my kitchen window.  I love it so much.  I hope I don't kill it.
(it is unlikely that I won't kill it but its good to have goals, right?)


I got my car fixed and got it back from the body shop today.
I had two separate dents that had to be fixed.
One was from a hit and run in Boston while I was parked at my upholstery class.  I just never got it fixed for some reason. (and I can't find a picture of it, though I'm sure I have one)
The other was mystery damage that I came out to when I was parked at work.

My insurance covered both of them, thank heaven.

You might not be able to see it, but the light was broken too. :-(
Seriously, for a person who has never had a car accident, my car had a lot of dents!
I'm happy to have it fixed and it looks nice again.


I'm on day 8 of ice pick pain in my head.
I have had some hours here and there with relief so that has kept me from going completely insane but it is really getting old.
I have talked to my neurologists office several times and it always seems to take a full day for them to get back to me, which is annoying me to no end.
I know I could resort to the ER but it just seems like I shouldn't have to do that when I have this whole slew of doctors who are supposed to be helping me with my headaches.
I already went to the urgent care which was a total waste.
Plus, the people at the ER never know what this is and end up treating it like a regular migraine, which it isn't.
They drug me up and I sleep for a day and then the pain may or may not return.
This isn't really what I am hoping for.
I want a fix.
I know, I know, every one wants a fix for their problems and not all problems have a fix.

I paid to have someone come and clean all of my windows last week.
It was kind of a lazy move on my part and also a bit extravagant
but it sure has made me happy!
They reached the windows that are too tall for me to reach (the reason I tell myself it was ok to hire someone instead of doing it myself) but they didn't get the basement windows that are seriously dirty because they said my wells were too narrow and they needed more room.

I was bummed but I guess I can get on my hands and knees and do those myself, dangnabit.

I left an honest review for them online mentioning how they only sent one guy (it took him 4 hours to do it all by himself!) and that the window tracks are still totally dirty.
I also mentioned that the windows themselves look great.
Even though its a totally honest review, I feel bad for leaving it since it has some negatives in it.
Why do I feel bad for telling the truth?

Here is one of my sparkling windows!

I should have taken before pictures showing the bird poop and hard water on this window and grandkid handprints on the back window...but decided that would just be embarrassing to show how gross my windows were.


I still haven't really dealt with all of the produce from the garden.
I got the tomatoes all skinned and seeded but now I need to make the actual spaghetti sauce, let it cook down, and then can it.
I'm having a hard time getting motivated.
I don't even like spaghetti that much.
And I already have plenty of salsa.

With all the headaches and whatnot, I have been sitting on Carter's big bean bag chair a lot lately rather than on the couch.
It seems to be easier to find a good position in the bean bag chair.
But his chair is a few years old and has lost a lot of its body so I decided to refill it a bit.
I bought filler from amazon.
I couldn't find a decent deal on the tiny little pellets that fill it now so the filler I bought had slightly bigger pellets (about the size of a pea).
I read some reviews and some tips on how to fill the beanbag chair without making a huge mess
but it was still messy.
Those things are so static filled and stuck to everything including me.
I finally taped the bag to the chair and it worked a bit better, although not perfectly.
I'm so glad I got the bigger pellets because I just can't imagine the mess the little ones would have made!

I am enjoying my nicely filled beanbag chair and I can't tell the difference with the bigger pellets inside.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Yes, I'm blogging about food again.

Sometimes I get all excited about a new recipe or two and I have this blur of activity where I cook a lot for several days.
And then all that cooking makes me feel burned out.
So I stop for who knows how long.
Ok, I usually still cook something but it's not something that takes imagination or time or special ingredients. 
I make waffles and soup and grilled cheese and scrambled eggs.
Not not all at the same time, obviously, this is just my go-to menu.

But today I decided to organize my disaster of a freezer.
And I realized that I seriously need to start cooking some of that food in there!

I have fruit, beef, bacon, chicken, and lots and lots of garden produce that has been painstakingly chopped, vacuum packed and frozen.
I have soup bones for heaven's sake!
I have diced tomatoes and tomato juice and tomato this and tomato that.  Yes, lots of tomatoes.
And all of this food has apparently been painstakingly frozen so that I can stuff it in a freezer and ignore it for a year or two.
Not good.

So, this is my new goal:
Use at least one thing from my freezer each....
see I was going to say each day and couldn't bring myself to do it.  I know I won't.
How about each...week?  
One item a week?
Will that help with my freezer issue?

I'm sure it will be better than what I am doing now which is nothing.

Ok, one freezer item per week will be cooked and used in a dinner dangnabit.

Yes, my life is exhilarating and interesting.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Adventures in sewing

I consider myself to be a decent seamstress when it comes to sewing basic shapes.
I can't sew clothes
Don't ask me to put in a zipper or make sleeves or figure out a waistline.
but a nice square pillow?
you betcha
Some bunting or banner?
Why, that's just triangles on a string!  No problem, my friend!

And so it was with high hopes that I began my project for making a bed skirt for the guest room.
I mean, it's just a big rectangle for goodness sake.
Rectangles I can do.
Big is sometimes a problem for me but I was feeling optimistic.

I did the measuring
I figured out the yardage needed
I bought the fabric
I looked at a few online tutorials and decided I would do my own thing.

Why is everyone so into "no sew"?
I don't see how using a glue gun to put together a bed skirt is any easier than sewing a few straight stitches.
Perhaps the following account will shed some light on that...

I began by measuring just to be sure that my plan was good
and I began cutting and sewing.

So much ironing...

Somehow when I cut the fabric I ended up using less than I had originally planned.
I usually round up a bit when buying fabric so I figured it was not a big deal...I had obviously miscalculated when I bought yardage.  
I'll just use it for another project.

Later as I was connecting two of my long strips of fabric I am thinking that something is not quite seems a little off somehow.

But I am optimistic!
It will work out.
Not because I have done the math or because I have been super careful in my cutting but because I want it to work out.

You see, I am a winger.
I like to wing it rather than figure it out.
This is why, even though I am good at sewing basic shapes, you would never ask me to make, say, a quilt.  That requires exactness and that is not my forte.

And so, as I continued working, it became clear that there was a problem.
Oh crap!
things had gone awry and there was a slight twist in the fabric.
It wasn't quite straight.
And in something as big as a bed skirt this will eventually be a disaster as the skirt will not drape right.

And so, like any good seamstress, I got out my seam ripper and began to undo things.
Then I got lazy and decided to just rip out the stitching...which did not go so well either.

And so, at this point I think, "Debbie it is time to stop winging it and make things perfect.
And so I spent some time making sure the fabric was perfectly straight.
I cut the fabric perfectly, I measured, I ironed, I sewed, I ironed some more.
It was looking good and I decided to take a break.

Later, at about 10 PM, I was sitting in the family room when suddenly my subconscious mind somehow finished some sort of mathematical computation that it had been apparently working on all day and it sent a message to my conscious mind that said,
"You measured wrong.  This skirt will be too short"

And  indeed it was.

And that is how I ended up at 11 PM with a seam ripper, taking out all of the work that I did that day 
as my husband asked me if I knew the rule of "measure twice, cut once".
Yes, I've heard of that rule thankyouverymuch.

I recut the fabric that I hadn't used very much of...
and this time ended up using the amount I had originally thought I needed.
What a shocker.

Here I am, actually pinning before sewing this time.
Trying to learn from my mistakes.

I then spent a ridiculous amount of time pinning it to the bed frame and trying to get the corners right.
One corner gave me fits and, of course, it's the corner that you see when you walk in the room.

You might be wondering what the point is.
1. It's my blog whose title is "too much information" so obviously there's no point! I come here to write about my day and to whine about my problems.
2. Just in case I am ever caught bragging about how good I am at sewing...I am putting this here to remind me that, yeah, I'm not that good. No need to be cocky.  Given enough time and tears I will eventually have a finished product, however.

I still believe in sewing over using a glue gun.
I mean, I would have likely had the same issues (since they were more about measuring than sewing) if I had used a glue gun and I wouldn't have been able to just pick it out and start over.

I'm happy with the finished bed skirt but I have to improve my methods since I plan to make one for the king size bed in my room eventually.  This one was only a double.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

The Tree and Frank is awesome

When we moved here we had a yard full of very large overgrown trees.
They are nice and shady but hadn't been trimmed in years.
So we had an arborist come over and tell us what to do with them.
While he was here, he told us that one of our trees was just the finest specimen he had seen in many years.
It was a beautiful Japanese Maple.

We followed his advice for our many trees and had them professionally trimmed and fed.

That year (our first winter here) we had the mildest winter ever.
Bizarrely warm with only one very slight snowfall.
The next spring, the beautiful Japanese Maple didn't bud.
When all the other trees were getting leaves it sat there looking sad with a few of the last years leaves still clinging to the branches.
Eventually about half of one branch of this lovely tree got a few leaves but they were discolored.
Then the bark started to separate from the tree.

Year two, same thing.  
A few leaves on one branch but the rest of the tree was obviously dying or dead.
The timing seemed so weird to us...
we get a professional to come take care of our tree and the very next year it dies?

We did have him come back and he was surprised but said that's just how it is sometimes.
The tree was definitely dying.

Well, it is now fall and I mentioned that we should probably do something about our sad tree before winter comes.
I would hate for a big snowfall to cause it to fall over and damage the house.

So, within a few minutes, Frank was outside with a chainsaw and he took that whole tree down all by himself.
And the poor man has a bad cold to boot.

Most people complain about how their husbands are babies when they are sick
but that is the opposite of how it works around here.
When Frank is sick, he is like "it's just a cold" and he just does what he has to do.
I, on the other hand, lay in bed and moan and whine and take medication to just force myself to do anything!

So, yeah, today (I wrote this Saturday, October 1) he chopped down a tree and cut up a bunch of the wood and stacked it in our wood pile while suffering from a cold.

What a guy!

Also, the tree.