I’ve mentioned before that my basement is a complete disaster. Well, yesterday I found an ad for metal shelves on sale and zipped off to my local non-Home Depot store to remedy the situation. After 20 minutes of searching for said shelves, then looking for an employee who absentmindedly told me they’re sold out, I gave up. Shelves do not seem to be in the stars for me.
But as luck would have it, crafts are! I had one other stop after work, and that just happened to be next to a Joann Fabrics. Look what I got for around $30!
That’s a picture frame for a “special” project Jeremy and I have planned, 4 canvases to do Pinterest-inspired paintings, 2 sets of 3 routered wooden pieces to make a key holder and/or jewelry thing, PLUS crackle stuff to do a cool effect on the key holder/jewelry thing. I can’t wait to get started!
What are recent finds that have you excited?
First a house, now a wedding!
Most of the internet already knows (I mean, it IS Facebook official) but I’m getting married in April! Jeremy and I started dating last spring and what can I say, when you know, you know. Since we’ve both been married before the typical stress and anxiety of planning a wedding doesn’t seem to exist (or maybe it has something to do with the person I’m marrying) and I’ve decided that my second wedding will NOT be done by the book.
Step One: Plant My Own Flowers
My lovely coworker Jill gave me the GENIUS suggestion of planting my own flowers. I’ve been planning to plant anyway + I love tulips, so why not plant them in my backyard? Getting them to bloom at the right time could be tricky, but I figure worse case I’ll have a beautiful backyard either before or after the wedding. Last year everything bloomed early (Holland’s annual Tulip Time Festival turned into Stemfest 2012) but this a risk I’m willing to take.
I was pondering the idea when I ran into a sale at the store. We’d discussed colors for about five minutes, so I made a snap decision and settled on a purply-blue mix.
Next up: Clearing the flower bed, aka Owen’s poop spot. (Hey, it’s well-fertilized). I’m not sure why I didn’t take photos of this, because it took four people, one shovel, one AXE, much sweat, and several beers to clear the 10″ diameter roots from the neighbor’s already-dead tree from my flower bed. Four hours later my soon to be step-mother-in-law and I laid out the bulbs to get the placement.
Burying them turned out to be the easiest part. And now we wait…
I bought a lawn mower!
This is the Brill 78371 Razorcut 38 15-Inch Reel Push Lawn Mower. My coworker has a similar model (same brand) and has shared all the pros and cons. The biggest pro: it’s quiet and eco-friendly. The biggest con: it doesn’t cut the grass super short and you have grass droppings.
Best of all, it’s entirely human powered so there is no risk of blowing myself up with gasoline or electrocuting myself by running over a cord. (Did you know some electric mowers have cords? That seems like a very moronic idea.) AND I can get a workout while mowing!
Stay tuned for pictures of the actual machine and me using it!
One thing you may not know about me is I am a big fat chicken. I do NOT like being scared. I don’t watch scary movies, hate roller coasters, and have zero desire to visit a haunted house. So it goes without saying that dark, cobwebby basements are not my favorite.
With that in mind, it was not without hesitation that I spent my first weekend of home ownership cleaning my super scary basement. The house is almost 100 years old so you can imagine the cobwebs and other creepy crawlers hiding in the corners. Armed with a four-foot extension wand on my new (WARNING: Workplace plug) Garage Pro, I got up close and personal with every scare foot of concrete and beams in the dark recesses of my house.
While wedged between the furnace and some weird metal posts, it struck me that it’s probably a good thing that I crept into the nether regions of Hooville. Because I get scared so easily, being unfamiliar with what’s making strange noises could be my undoing, but by facing my fears I’ll be able to focus my overly active imagination on more important things––like who’s hiding in the shower.
(Note: I totally did not intend to write “scare” foot. Talk about Freud in action.)
I’ve thought about this for a while, and I’ve decided to step back from blogging for the time being. The things in my life right now don’t make for interesting posts—you could say I left my fodder south of the border—so I’m taking a time out.
As a whole, I’ve noticed people seem to be blogging less these days, but it’s the fact that I haven’t been able to reciprocate that makes this seem futile. I can’t expect people to keep up with my ramblings when I can’t keep up with theirs, you know?
So… I’ll still post when there’s something to write about, and even though it’s been drilled into my head that not keeping a schedule is the quickest way to lose readers, I’d rather post something because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to.
With that, have a happy new year, and best wishes for 2012!
On my November trip to DC, I did something I’d considered for many years: I got a tattoo. Many of you have already seen photos, but few have heard the explanation…
Last night I did something I haven’t done in five years: I put up a Christmas tree.
The first year I was married I decked out the apartment with lights, decorations, and endless Christmas music, but once I moved to Mexico it just never felt like the holiday. I’m a four-seasons kind of girl and have a hard time celebrating when I’m in a tank top and shorts and sweating enough to water the feral cats.
Last year—my first Christmas back in the US—I lived with my parents who, for reasons I don’t recall, didn’t put up a tree. So, this is a big year!
Many of my ornaments were gifts from my grandmother. She gave me my very first ornament when I was nine months old and has continued the tradition ever since. (Needless to say, when I moved out on my own after college my parents’ tree was suddenly VERY empty.)
Here are a few of my favorites:
I should have done this post last week and saved the NaNo update for the final day of the competition, but since when do I do things in the proper order?
Over the past week I’ve thought a lot about the things for which I’m thankful. Pretty much every aspect of my life has changed in the past year, almost all for the better, and I think I’ve finally closed the door on the chapter of my life that had dominated me for far too long.
In no particular order:
I adore my apartment. I’ve been in my place for almost six months and I absolutely love it. There’s a dog park for Owen, lots of trees, and soothing wall colors.
My new job is better than I could have hoped for. I’ve just started the actual work, but I love the atmosphere, the people, the perks… and the fact that it’s in Grand Rapids is icing on the paycheck.
I’ve gone public with my design business. Ink Slinger Designs is alive and kicking after YEARS of half-hearted freelance work. I’ve always known I wanted to specialize in something but couldn’t pinpoint my niche. Book covers feel like the perfect fit AND they’re fun to design.
The Book of Good is still going strong. I haven’t talked about here like I’d originally intended, but I’ve written in it just about every day this year. It’s a journal where I have to write at least three good things that happened each day. When things were especially difficult last winter, I decided that forcing myself to find even the tiniest good things would help me see past all the bad, and it’s really helped. I don’t allow myself to write anything negative (although I admit I’ve written “I didn’t kill so-and-so today” and “I survived today”), no matter how strong the urge. That’s what my regular journal is for.
My friends got agents, have been published, or are about to be! Including:
Stacey Graham – Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide
June Kramin (as Ann T. Bugg) – Before Happily Ever After
Trish Stewart – Taking Lessons from Ernest
Jamie Mason – The Liar’s Margin
My mom gets to retire next summer. Her excitement is contagious.
I finally feel like I’m home and part of a community. When I first returned to the US, I didn’t have any intention of staying here. When I got divorced and signed a lease of my very own, I thought maybe I’d stick around for another year. Well I’m happy to report I’m slowly making real life friends (gasp!), I’ve joined activities away from the computer, and I’m looking forward to staying in west Michigan.
Writing. Unfortunately writing has fallen behind everything else going on, but I still consider myself a writer and have high hopes for my writing career in the next year.
This past year was just a warm-up.
I haven’t written anything this month, completely failing at NaNo, but I have good reason…
I start my new job on Monday! I don’t want to go into much detail (like naming the company) until I’m situated and know how they feel about these things, but it’s still a design job, I’ll be part of an internal department (which I’ve wanted for a long time), and I can bring Owen (I don’t know how often yet)! It’s in Grand Rapids, which is where I ultimately want to live, so things are finally moving in the direction I want. Wheee!
I’m excited to share my other project, Ink Slinger Designs. I’ve found a way to combine my love of design and love of writing with my love for helping others and creating pretty things. Go! Go! Go check it out and please like my facebook page while you’re at it. And if you have an upcoming project, you know where to find me.
So what’s new with you?
When you’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it for what it truly is. Whether it’s writing, a relationship, or a group of pictures you’re trying to hang on the wall and just can’t get to line up (they STILL aren’t perfect), taking a step back and looking at things from a new angle can give you a fresh perspective and help you discover a solution that may have eluded you.
I’m still querying Flicker, and while nothing’s stuck yet, I’m determined to sign with an agent and find my book a home. However, I realize that after several months I probably need to tweak (or overhaul) a few things. That’s all fine and good, but where do I even begin? Lucky for me WriteOnCon is going on right now, so I’ve begun there. I’ve posted both my query and the first 250 words, and I’ve already received helpful feedback.
The forums will be open through the 18th, and agents pop in throughout the day for live sessions. It’s free to sign up, so there’s really no excuse not to check it out. (Unless you’re not a writer, in which case… hi mom!)
In addition to Flicker, I’ve had a couple new ideas rattling around, but it’s still too soon to see if one will stick. Maybe I need to flip it upside down to know for sure.