Now with No Solar Flares!

In CategoryAdventure

From my pal Eddie

I’m assuming that the solar flares have come back and stopped you from adding new posts. Ahem. šŸ™‚

I know, I’ve been horrible about writing lately, wherein lately means the last 18 months. I keep reading all these posts about how blogging is dead. I’m very suggestible, you know.

Okay, so, here’s what’s happening: We are back in Oregon for a couple months! Remember how I said that our goal when we bought our very tiny house in a very cheap town was so we could afford to travel a little? Well, I’ve been saving all year, and here we are! Are you mentally bracing yourself for endless nature blathering and obnoxious beach pictures? If not, you should be.


The kids have celebrated three out of the last four birthdays in Oregon, and last year we were all sad that we skipped a year and spent it in boring ol’ Colorado. So we decided to come back. The difference being that we are not homeless this time, so I am actually feeling a little homesick. Mixed Feelings: the Hallmark Of Adulthood.

I keep seeing all kinds of Christmas decorating posts everywhere, and am practically faint from the desire to make a tree skirt out of faux fur (Faux fur has to be good for SOMEthing, Mel).

Instead, we bought a teeeeenny tiny tree from the local hardware store and a strand of multicolored Christmas lights. Total cost: $19.95. The kids made candy cane decorations from sculpey and puffy ornaments from pom-poms and pipe cleaners. I still have not wrapped one single thing, but I did buy some paper at the Walmarts (grumbling the whole time – might as well throw a twenty dollar bill directly in the trash, that’s how I feel about wrapping paper) and also remembered tape, so I’m practically finished.

We are having a Very Scaled Back Christmas this year, because Hello! I brought you people to the beach! Hopefully this is the first step on the road to less materialistic Christmases, primarily because materialistic entitled children are icky and also because I think we can cap the Personal Lego Collection at around 4 million bricks, give or take a few that might have gotten sucked up in the vacuum on days when mom didn’t feel like bending over to rescue them.

Bending over is for the birds. I’m 40, you know. I even bought new shoes the other day, with the only criteria being comfortable and slip on. Shoe Laces: Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That. I am coveting some Uggs I saw at the mall a while back, but can’t quite shake the image of Pamela Anderson wearing nothing but Uggs and a red bikini in the 90s. Well, Pam Anderson and the $200 price tag, that’s also standing in my way. I’ll have to wait for Tightwad Deb to get distracted, then I can pounce.



Big Scary Announcement

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

**Deep Breath**

Okay, ‘member that time when I found that amazing pencil sharpener and I loved it so much, and I wrote about it all over the place and I even gave some of them away?

Well, I convinced Jim that homeschoolers need these things.

And then I convinced the guy who sold me ours to sell me a bunch more.

And then I built a website, signed up to be a vendor at a Curriculum Fair in Utah, and figured out how to take credit cards on my phone.


So that’s it.

That’s the big, scary announcement.

I am the proud new owner of a small business selling pencil sharpeners to homeschoolers.

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever

It’s Adventure, Part Deux.

Is that more or less plausible than going to Utah to find a sister-wife?

I am going to do a give away in the next few weeks, and also maybe figure out how to do a coupon code for free shipping.

Check it out. Tell me what you think.

Especially if you see any grammar mistakes.

Vases and Tablecloths and Old Purses, Oh My

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

I’ve been sorting through our crap recently.

It’s super fun.

The goal is to turn this disorganized pile of randomly shaped bins and cardboard boxes –

look at all that crap. ugh.

Into a neat and orderly pile comprised of all-the-same-size, stackable lockers like this –

please to enjoy my most excellent camera skillz.Ā all those labels are various iterations on the word “crap.”
does that really say “tchotchkes, don’t need?
that scrapbooking bin is OLD scrapbooking stuff, not to beĀ confused with the Project Life stuff which resides in my office. OBV.

I thought we got RID of stuff. I mean, we DID get rid of stuff, but apparently it was all the WRONG stuff.

Toaster? Got rid of it.

Blender? Donated.

All my paint supplies, including my beloved 2-inch sash brush that I’ve had FOREVER? Can’t find it.

Special spice rack that screws into the cabinet and pulls down so short people can see what’s in the cupboard and that I made a special trip to The Container Store to buy? Can’t find that either.

I do have 495 muffin tins in the cupboard because I DON’T KNOW WHY. GET OFF MY BACK. JEEZ.

What I have found so far –

ooooh girl, those are CUTE! I’m taking those upstairs!

Vases. That’s the tip of the iceberg, too. And you can never have too many options of stuff to put IN your vases, amIright or amIright?

Vase. Filler. People. Aspen slices? Rattan balls? CHECK AND CHECK.

Hang on, what about these?

I quite like these wooden apples, actually. I snagged them for free from a garage sale my mom had,
and I’ve since seen them for $35 a set at antique malls. They are an investment, practically. right?

There’s also this thing –

I’d be a damn fool to get rid of a perfectly good wooden orb. anyone can see that.

When I started, I thought for sure I’d come across a ton more stuff to donate or give away, and had all kinds of mental plans to take some treats to the knitting group and watch the girls fight like piranha find good homes for them.

Here’s what I had after an entire afternoon of sorting and sifting and repacking –


One tiny square of hideous fabric. Lame.

Probably the kids and Jim have stuff to get rid of. I’ll go look.

Moving and Associated Suckage

In CategoryAdventure

So we were able to get the key to the new house on Friday instead of Monday, which THANK GOODNESS, because the amount of work that has to be done is absolutely breathtaking.

Jim took Friday afternoon off so we could head over and start cleaning. Again, THANK GOODNESS, because that house was so filthy it was almost unsanitary. As in, I had to go buy a special brush to de-gunk the stove knobs because my regular kitchen sponge didn’t make a dent in the grease build-up, even after a good long soak in vinegar and dish soap.

I went to WalMart armed with a list of Pinterest’s make-it-yourself cleaning solution recipes, and attacked the grime with enthusiasm.

Well. I was enthusiastic about trying all these Pinterest recipes, anyway.

First up: Cleaning the dishwasher with a vinegar wash, then a baking soda wash. This worked great! The dishwasher is sparkling, and it smells fresh. I could tell it made a difference because I had a bowl in the top rack and a bunch of crap had collected in it by the time all the washing cycles were finished.

Second: Cleaning the washing machine. No sweat. This technique also worked great, and I was super proud of my accomplishment. I was just finishing up wiping the lid and all the outside surfaces when it occurred to me to see if I could pry off the top of the agitator thingamajig and clean in there.

Oh. My. Gosh.

You don’t even want to know. I regret bitterly not taking a picture, because you would not believe how disgusting it was in there. Jim and I had to find a wire coat hanger and SCRAPE off the gunk poo nastiness WHATEVER the heck that was. It took like an hour, I’m not even kidding.

Go pry the lid off your agitator and report back. Srsly.

Third: Soap scum on the shower and tubs. This recipe was AMAZING. I followed it to the T, even buying the dishwashing sponge thingy recommended. All the tubs and showers are now sparkling, and it was cheap and non-toxic. Win!

Speaking of cleaning the showers, I conned the kids into helping me. At one point Big complained that he was bored and that he didn’t know cleaning was so much work.


Now he’s going to be doing a whole lot more cleaning, I can tell you that right now. People need to get an appreciation of what Mom does around here, you feel me?

I have not yet tried the floor washing formula, but I have great hopes.

I shall report back.

(Don’t forget to check under your agitator.)

Here, have a palate-cleansing ocean picture: