So, it’s been a bit…

Hey there WordPress! Long time no see.

SO long, in fact, that I had to reset both my username AND my password.   Clearly, a strong memory isn’t one of my good Adulting Skills™.

I had good intentions, too.  The last post I made on here was a vegan adaptation of my mom’s divinity recipe. I had plans to follow it up with a veganized peanut butter roll recipe and a fudge recipe. Which, would have been amazing, as the divinity post has been the best performing post I’ve ever had!  WordPress tells me it’s been viewed over 7,000 times. (Which firmly reinforces my belief that vegans have the BEST junk food ever. Hello, sweet tooth!)

But sometimes, good intentions aren’t good enough. Until today, I had about ten drafts in my draft folder.  Partially written, drabbles of posts. A few of them involving people who aren’t in my life anymore — not by my choice.  There are a few more blog posts that have been rattling in my head, as well. Recipes, stories, reviews of the video game series I never finished…

In fact – this very blog post is one of them. I’ve written and rewritten it in my head about 7 times. At least.  (One incarnation even had a cool amusement park ride story woven in. Comparing life to a ride that ended up much more intense than initially thought. Oh, it was cool too. Sorry it didn’t end up getting written that way. You’ll just have to trust me.)

At first, I was putting off blogging because I had nothing to write about.  Then, Post Disney Depression hit- hard. That trip report never stood a chance.  After that, I got discouraged that a set of friendships I had — that I had also started a blog about — had ended. Pretty dramatically. And who wants to write about a fun happy weekend, when you no longer talk to anyone involved in it?  Can you say depressing?  (Note: This does have a happy ending. I reconnected with some people who actually cared about me, and we waded through the BS. )

So, I kept skirting around it. I like blogging. It sometimes helps me sort myself out. But I didn’t have anything to write about. I had nothing people wanted to read. I couldn’t finish a fun filled blog about people I didn’t talk to anymore. I don’t write recipes – I bookmark other people’s recipes.  I’m not a writer, I’m a reader. Blah, blah, blah.

Really, I was in a funk. I still don’t know if I’d flat out call it depression –but it definitely wasn’t far off. But, it could have been just situational depressional funkiness, and not the clinical depression. I don’t have a clue.  I dragged my feet on video games, I didn’t jump into a book for an amount of time I’m honestly ashamed to admit.  But it wasn’t -that- bad.

And then, well; to put it politely… Shit hit the fan.

The last bit of last year, and the beginning of this year, was not good. Aside from the times where my parent’s health was concerned, this was probably one of the worst times of my life. I didn’t want to do anything.  I’m still working on getting over that, by the way. There’s a nice stack of pretty blank Thank You cards I’ve been meaning to send out from my birthday. In January.   I lived in pajamas for longer than any human should. I cried more than I can remember. I watched 6 hours of Supernatural while laying on the living room floor, only getting up for the essentials. (Bathroom and kitty breaks.) I quit actively talking to a good chunk of people — because you KNOW as soon as you ask how someone is… they return the question. And then, you have to lie. Because few people really even want to know, and fewer still, you actually feel comfortable telling. So its easier to just not, and bypass the awkward social protocol dance.

It doesn’t really matter what – or what combination of things-  happened. No one is sick, no jobs were lost, no one is getting divorced, no one died, and all the fuzzy (evil) fur babies are okay.   But things were rough for a while, and I didn’t want to do much. And that’s really, really difficult for me to type out. It makes it real, I guess.  But at the same time, it’s cathartic.

But things are better now. and I’ve had some really good realizations about things in my life. Things now, things from back in high school… even some things I should have learned long ago. Some of it has literally no bearing on my life now, except to help understand things I went through as a teenager.

I think I want to blog more.  Not to get noticed, not to go viral, and certainly not to be all angsty and cryptic, ala Xanga… but because I enjoy it.  Also, because it helps me work through things. Also, because everything gets lost on Facebook nowadays anyway.  If it’s not a soonsored post, or a picture with a million comments or reshares – it gets lost in the jumble. Over here, I have my own tiny piece of the internet to write whatever I like.

I’m in a pretty good place now. I have a small group of friends and family that pretty much kept me from going off the deep end lately, and I’m exceedingly grateful for that. I’m even back to wearing “real people clothes” and makeup some days. I’m working out again, back to attempting video games (and will eventually beat Zelda. It’s a grudge match now…) and have resumed devouring books. ( And podcasts! God help me, I’m addicted to the creepy fictional podcasts and the wonderful fictional characters. . . )

I don’t know what all I’ll write about.  I still want to share the candy recipes – because; well. . . candy.  I kinda feel like that’s a no brainer.  So soon – vegan fudge and peanut butter rolls.  🙂 And maybe a few more serious or thoughtful notes. Or more ludicrous stories like the one about the wonderful karma of the WalMart parking lot that one day.  Lord knows enough weirdness happens in my life. Why not write about it?

And for that, I’ll need to do some housekeeping and clear some of the cobwebs out of this WordPress site. The tags are all sorts of fast and loose, and lets not even bring up the theme…

But for now? I’m going to put those awesome Adulting Skills™ we discussed earlier to work. And I’m going to clean the kitchen. Then watch more Disney Channel. Like a good adult. 😉

 

Is there any karma more just than parking lot karma?

Karma.

It’s a concept that we’re all a little familiar with.  Usually, it’s one of the first things people point out when things go wrong, or someone hurts them, or people they love..  “Karma.  They’ll get theirs…”  Or, they use it to cheer up friends who seem to be in a giant rut of bad luck, but haven’t done a thing to deserve it.

Other people simply think of it as just “Do unto others …”   The concept seems to be in a few different religions (granted, in varying forms and ways) and really, in ways that non religious people think.  I’ve had people who don’t subscribe to any religions tell me that they believe the universe has ways of balancing things like how people treat others, and so on. So it’s hardly a foreign idea to most people.

But, what actually IS karma?

kar·ma: (n)
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
from Sanskrit karman ‘action, effect, fate.’

So, in reality, it’s a lot deeper than how we all use it, and it’s tied into a few religions. (That, I know nearly nothing about, so I almost feel guilty even using it in the context of this blog…

But, for our discussion, let’s look at karma simply as the concept of people getting what they deserve.  Or, to sound a bit less sinister; the way they treat and act towards others, will eventually come back around to them.

I’ve never actually seen karma in action. Not once.   Usually, it’s been something I say, or friends have said to make each other feel better about a situation. Or, wishful thinking.  Or, (and perhaps this is the most common. Especially lately, and a few friends who read this will be RIGHT on board with me) something we say that may be the only thing that keeps us from trying to go and deal out a bit of well deserved revenge of our own. The more we repeat that karma will handle it, the less likely we are to stoop to their level (or…stooping be damned, we’ll at least keep our butts out of jail, right? )

Well, it finally happened.  After so many years of throwing the term around, and patiently waiting for some karmic revenge to magically happen in front of me — it did! It finally did! And it was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop giggling and talking about it for a good two days.  It made me so giddy, in fact, that I couldn’t even update Facebook about it.  It deserved a blog post.  A long, articulate, well written blog post that would make me giddy all over again.

Problem being of course, I’d have to stick my butt in a chair and actually type it out.  And, we all know how often THAT has happened lately, but I digress.  Better late than never, no?

So without further ado, let’s jump into the story.

I forget what day it was. Or really what time.  None of that matters. What’s important here is the place.  It’s a place I hate with all my being. I loathe going. I would rather do cartwheels over hot coals.  Be hung by my fingernails.  Be subjected to the movie Freddy Got  Fingered on repeat. With no movie snacks, at that.  But, Mom wanted to go. And being the good daughter I am, I kept my whining to a minimum.    Where did we go?

 

By Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. TheNewPhobia at English Wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Griffin5, Estoy Aquí at English Wikipedia. (Extracted from Wal-Mart’s 2009 Financial Report) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dun dun DUN….

 

Ok. So the “scary music” loses its impact when it’s typed out and not actually heard.  Ah well.

Anyway. Yeah. Wal-Mart.  I hate going. Neighborhood Market, I don’t mind. But the big Wal-Mart with the rabid shoppers and people who drive like maniacs? No thank you. Let’s schedule a root canal instead, please?

My biggest pet peeve in the world, actually, might stem from going to Wal-Mart.

First, for anyone who doesn’t know, my mom is in a wheelchair. She’s half paralyzed from a stroke that happened back in 2000.  She’s also a slightly bigger lady.  Teeny tiny back story, but you’ll need to know that, otherwise this won’t make any sense.

Handicapped parking sucks.  It’s gotten better lately, but especially at some older businesses around Owasso, it just downright sucks. Small spaces, minimal spaces, NO spaces, crappy ramps… I could go on. And on.  And I quite often do, on Facebook and Twitter.

But the worst things?  Those stinking van accessible spaces.

What?  Those? I know , I know. How could those wonderfully huge parking spaces be an issue at all?! Shouldn’t I be loving them, and the extra space to help my mom out of the car without dinging the door of another car?

Yeah. About that.

NO ONE apparently, knows how to park when they see those spaces.

Now, if there’s some weird law that I’m missing, (though I really don’t think there is) please, comment and let me know so I can quit ranting on like a jerk about this stuff.

These spaces, while being extra big, are extra big to allow for van unloading. Like, wheelchair lifts and whatnot.   Unfortunately for most handicapped people, this is not the purpose most people think they meet.

It seems like a good chunk of the population seems to think that these bigger spots are little gifts from God when they can’t find parking of their own.  And they, in turn, become the bane of my existence.

People ALWAYS park next to me when I park in those spaces.  And I almost always end up waiting for them to leave, because I physically can’t get my mother back into the car without damaging their car.   And, it never fails, that the drivers in question, get extremely hostile and immature when you call them on it.  (Another peeve: Those people who think the pretty yellow diagonal lines are a parking space JUST for them…I got told it wasn’t my f****** business once, if someone parked in the yellow lines.  Hm. They probably would have thought it was my business if I’d hit their car, I’m sure….)

 

So, I’m sure you can guess where this blog is going.   Lo and behold, when we arrive at Wal-Mart that day…. there is exactly ONE empty handicapped spot in the lot. Of course, it’s a Van Accessible one.   Naturally.   I’m already in a horrible mood, so I plot the perfect thing to do.  I’ll park so horribly that NO ONE will be able to park next to me.

I was perfectly within the lines of the parking space.  Nothing hanging out, and not overlapping the yellow lines.  Mom laughed at me a bit, but I got her out, and we went in to get her shopping done, certain that we wouldn’t get stuck.

Ha. Turns out I gave the human race more credit than I should have.

We come out of the store, and my jaw hit the asphalt. I couldn’t believe it.  There was this truck. This giant, gas guzzler looking truck, squeezed into a corner of my parking spot, and over the yellow lines.  I would be able to get mom in the car just fine… but I’d have to suck it in myself to get in, and there wasn’t a prayer I’d get the car out of the space without body damage.

Fabulous.

So we’re standing there, both openly staring, and I’m debating between heading inside and unleash hell on some poor checker and their intercom; or just calling the cops because I’m sick of dealing with people in this town and handicapped parking.  While we’re staring, this man who we’d passed on the way out stopped, and turned and watched us.

Turns out, this was his truck. Oh, the luck, right?

So this guy, who is probably in his late 40’s, early 50’s, saunters over.  He doesn’t say anything, but cocks his head to the side,  and seems to be assessing the situation.   Part of me wants to completely tear into this guy. At his age, (and needing handicapped parking himself) shouldn’t he know better??  But, partly because it’s probably not the nice thing to do; and partly because I suck at confrontation, I didn’t.   Instead, I looked from the cars to him, and calmly said that I wasn’t going to be able to get the car out without hitting his truck.

His reply?

“Well, if you’d learn how to park, then there’d be room enough for all of us..”

Now. If I were my sister, or my brother, I’d probably be typing this from a jail cell.  (Or, if mom’s speech wasn’t severely impaired…) There aren’t words for how angry that made me.And it’d be very unbecoming of me to say ANY of the things that were running through my head at the moment.

Ridiculous.  I grew up and was taught to share like everyone else. But a parking space? That I’m in BECAUSE I NEED THE SPACE? A space meant for ONE CAR? Since when do I have to share THAT?!

A little disappointed I didn’t have the guts to be SuperBitch, I pointed out that he was the one who had crammed his truck into a parking space that was meant for one car, and started loading my mom and the groceries into the car.  He climbed into the giant truck, and started it.

And sat.

He sat there until I loaded every grocery bag, my mom, and her wheelchair. (which was less than fun with Giant Truck right there.   He didn’t start to back out until I was in the car, and had been sitting for a while.  Obviously, he was angling to take over the entire spot after we left.  Which I think may have made mom angrier than it made me.  Again, it’s probably for the best that some words don’t come out clearly ….

Jokes on him, really. As bad as I am about seeing distances, I very realistically could have nailed his car anyway, but…sadly, I was a decent driver that day.

I’ll admit, I took my sweet time backing out, and only partially because I don’t see distances awesome. I wasn’t happy with this guy.   But… then it happened.

As I was backing out, I hear mom start to get excited, and she smacks my arm and tells me to look.  So I look up.   There, in our rearview mirror, is this little blue car.   Blue car was coming in from the other side, at a much less severe angle, and they wanted the spot too.  This gave me the giggles.

I knew the little blue car probably wouldn’t get the spot… but wouldn’t it be cool? Ohhh, wouldn’t that just show our new “friend?”  But no. Things rarely seem to work out that way.  But… it’d be cool.

So I back out even slower, keeping an eye on both cars as I finally leave the parking space. There was definite tension.  I feel like we could have used some popcorn that day..

Finally out of the spot, I glanced in the mirror as we drove off….

 

And…. ZOOM! The little blue car zipped in and got it! What?! YES!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life.  We both cheered, and hollered, and carried on.  I think I giggled the whole way home.    I did, immediately call my husband on speaker phone, and relay the whole incident, in between giggles. (For the record, he wasn’t as amused.)

I did feel a little bit bad.  I don’t think there was another spot anywhere. And he walked with a cane, so no doubt he needed a handicapped spot. (Though, history says he’ll just illegally park again, right?)

And I know it’s awful to wish misfortune on anyone. But I have no shame, it was so nice to see it fall back on someone else, instead of people yelling at me, or having to be super careful to avoid hitting cars that are parked where they shouldn’t be.

Now… to make this less of a bragging because someone else got gipped out of a spot post, does anyone know if the apps for reporting handicapped parking abuse actually work?  Does local law enforcement even really care about this type of thing? Is there a better way to report it?

Any suggestions or stories in the comments would be lovely. ❤

Do I have bad timing, or what?

Only me.  Ugh.   Let me tell you. . . 

 

I’ve been playing the idea of going vegan or plant based for a little over a year now. Probably longer, I kinda stopped counting. I have cookbooks, I’ve tried recipes…     Well, this month I finally decided to try it.  I’m going 100% vegan (though, I should and will say plant based, because I’m not going to be living a vegan lifestlyle, it’s just my diet at this point. And since it’s for health and not moral reasons, I probably won’t be eating the vegan ‘junk’ food as much. So really more plant based, but I’m getting off track… )  And if after a month, if I feel like I’m missing out, or if I feel like I’m not getting the energy/nutrients I need , then I’ll reevaluate.  (And for the love of God, if one person comments on protein….   I knew even before making the transition protein isn’t an issue. So I’ll save you the trouble.  Look up the RDA of protein for women.  Got it? (Hint: 10-30% of your daily calories should come from protein!) 

Now. Let’s look up some things.  Beans. Tofu. Peanut butter.  Whole wheat pasta. Oats (and by proxy, oat flour). Nutritional yeast (which is in a TON of vegan food. Dark greens. Mushrooms.. Potatoes….  

Etc, etc, ad nauseum, and so on and so forth until the cows come home.   Lots of protein sources that are eaten at many, if not all meals. So, we’re good.  🙂  Now, if we’re talking B12 and D3, then you have a valid argument, but I say to you : fortified nutritional yeast, and sunlight. 🙂  

Now. 

Moving on to the stupid part of my planning. 

Today, is the first day of Lent. 

I’ve never participated in Lent. Always assumed it a Catholic thing. (Which, is ridiculous now that I think about it. I’ve seen non Catholic friends with that ash mark before… Not sure why that didn’t click. But! It didn’t. 

Tosca Lee, an author I read (and am blessed enough to chat with on occasion – such a sweet woman.) put out a Lent Study Guide, based around Iscariot and bible verses .  I LOVE that book.  And I haven’t done a study in a while, so I figured — why not? I talked to a few friends about it; and their thoughts on it… and I decided to give it a shot. I don’t have any strong feelings or convictions against it… and if I do it once, it’s not a contract that says I need to do it yearly. So I’ll do it, and see how it goes and how I come out of it. 

Brilliant woman that I am, I decide that I’ll just use Lent to kick the animal product habit.  To which my husband, (who isn’t observing Lent, but is a mad perfectionist!) quickly reacts negatively.   I can’t do that – I’ll be cheating. I was thinking of giving them up anyway… so it doesn’t count. 

Really hate to admit it, but if you look at it from the religious viewpoint, that would sort of be a cop out. After all, it’s more about drawing closer to God and worship than about giving something up.  So, back to the drawing board. 

I had a few half baked ideas, but nothing that seemed to work.  Matt made some suggestions, but they weren’t quite right either. 

What in the world do I have or do, that I don’t need, but that I love, and going 40 days without would be challenging? 

And it hit me. 

And I hated it. 

I walked around for a day or two just shaking my head. No . Nope. Not happening. The stars aren’t aligned, Mercury either is or isn’t in retrograde – whatever would keep me from committing to this stupid, stupid idea. 

No. 

 

Which, of course, tells me that I’m sadly, on the right track. THAT adverse reaction to the idea of going without for 40 days?  (47 if you count Sundays… )  Yup.  That’s the winner. 

 

So, with a very sad heart, I’m waving goodbye to my sanity today. I am making it official. Not so I can brag, but so you all can call me on my crap, if I ‘forget’.   I’m ditching the coffee for 40 days. 

That hurt. That physically hurt to type, and I’m still wincing.  This, this will certainly be a trip. Not only have I tossed dairy and meat… but we’re adding coffee to the mix. And… AND… Im closing at the stinking coffee shop for the rest of the week.   I see soy hot chocolates in my future…… 

I should note. I cannot remember the last time I’ve gone more than a few days without coffee.   This will either be miraculous, or disastrous. 

But if I go down, I’m taking you all with me.   You’ve had a fair warning….

❤ 

Not long ago, after a particular night out – I’d came to the decision that I just wasn’t happy with the way that I looked — or felt about how I looked, which you could argue is just as important.  Which, is not a fun place to be. I’ll spare you most of the details, (if nothing else , for the space!) but what it boiled down to, was that I would start out an evening/event feeling great – even confident sometimes.  But, by the end of whatever was going on, no matter what I was wearing or did makeup wise, I felt absolutely ridiculous next to everyone else.  Obviously, that’s a problem that’s going to be at least 75% mental… but that doesn’t make it any easier to tackle.

My poor husband had to listen to — and translate sniffly snobs — all of this one night.  I don’t know if it’s because he’s looking from the outside in, or if he’s just smarter than I am ;  but he came up with a semblance of a solution. Or, a starting point at least.

I’d mentioned that it frustrated me that I literally always buy the wrong shades of makeup.  And that aside from the basic, basic coverup and a bit of color, I was makeup clueless. Contouring? What’s that??! Wish I knew though. People do amazing things with JUST base makeup, highlighter, and blush. Forget the fancy theatrical stuff – I want the basics!!

So, here comes the bargain.  If I tossed every piece of makeup I owned — every single one — he’d take me and buy me a whole new set of makeup. Good quality makeup, at a place where they’d teach me how to apply it.

Which, was awesome.  I , of course, said yes. I’ve never bought a huge chunk of makeup together.  Well, no. That’s not true.  Before we got married, I bought Laura Mercier powder and concealer. $60. That’s the most expensive purchase I’ve made to date.   But honestly?  The thought of tossing everything I had absolutely terrified me.  Not that they’re amazing products – because to be honest, they aren’t.  But… I guess it’s that they’re more of backups. Makeup is SO expensive.  It breaks my heart (and wallet?) to throw any of it down.    I  mean, I have some eyeshadows that are years old. And some backup foundation that isn’t the right shade, but if mixed with lotion makes a tinted moisturizer…. and 5 lipsticks that if mixed with the ones in my holiday kit can come close to maybe looking good….

Okay. Nope. On second thought, it can all go. It’s probably not doing me much good.    I did though, keep my black eyeliner, and a red lipstick I bought the week before.  (With the concession that when the black went bad/ran out, I’d buy better quality black eyeliner.  )

So, after I did a ton ( A TON) of Googling, and watched a million makeup tutorial videos on basic looks, I had a somewhat well formed list of what I’d like to get together.  Then, had to promptly revamp the whole list.   Over half of it was from Carmindy’s makeup line, which of course, is now discontinued.  (A new one comes out in February though…)  So, I tried to just keep the general elements in mind, as we went to Sephora. Surely the girl helping me would be able to piece it all together, right?

Well, I was partially right anyway.  A little off on the gender part though….

At Sephora, I met my new best friend.   (Not really… but I could have kissed him when he got done. )

Holy gracious… this boy took me to school.  I felt like I had a Cinderella moment. Totally ridiculous.

We walked in, and were immediately approached by a consultant.  His eyes widened a little bit when I told him that I’d tossed all of my makeup, and needed to start over. With copious amounts of help and hand holding.   He nodded, and ran off.

Enter Larry, stage right.  Which , of course, made me nervous.   I haven’t always encountered people who know what they’re doing at Sephora. On occasion, I can tell I know more about a product just from Googling. And… I know nothing. So that’s always nerve wracking.   But, I figured I really didn’t have anything to lose.  Here’s hoping that this guy knew more about makeup than I did…

Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry.

He walked us over to the makeover studio area. It was really neat. Had a well lit mirror, (Perfect for cringing with a naked face!) comfy chairs, glass looking palettes to put the makeup on… really quite lovely.  He chatted with us for a minute, asked a few questions, gave me the once over, and took off.

In no more than ten minutes, this kid comes back with : foundation, concealer, setting powder, lipstick, blush, bronzer, an eyeshadow triad, eyeliner, and mascara.

Everything except one shade of lipstick (from a holiday kit, he just wanted to test it out) was the perfect shade.

I kid you not.  5 minutes with me, and he’s  seeing/ doing things that I’ve not been able to figure out in 27 years!

Honestly, it was all very basic, everyday wear colors.  But I seriously, felt like a new person.   My complexion was even… the eye colors really made my eyes pop out – and I did NOT look like an Oompa Loompa with the bronzer.  ( I gave up on bronzer about ten years ago…)  I couldn’t believe it. I’ve NEVER been able to do anything like that.  I mean, it was like comparing a stick figure picture, with a portrait.

The crazy thing was… it didn’t seem like he was doing much different than I was . Just little tweaks here and there in the application. (Having the right shades probably helped, too.)  For example, he used a huge fluffy brush to apply liquid foundation. I would have NEVER done that. Ever!

Needless to say , we ended up buying almost everything he put on me. We didn’t get the shimmer setting powder – we opted to get a starter kit that came with the foundation, slightly smaller setting powder and primer. Plus a small fluffy brush.

I’m still not up to Larry’s skill level, but I’m getting there. AND, I’ve started getting better with the filling in of eyebrows.  Though, it’s a little funny. With my now-purple hair, the normal colored powder is way too light. So, I fill them in the best I can, and then after I do my eyeliner – I take the smudgy brush I used on it, and go over my eyebrows.  Eggplant color, turns out, complements purple hair fairly well, without looking cartoon-y. 🙂

At first, I didn’t notice a huge difference. Which , was a touch disheartening.  But, I also was snapping pictures with a horrid camera phone. So, really I shouldn’t be surprised. 🙂   Anyway. I did notice in a picture a friend posted – silly expression aside!  Here, I’ll share.

a

Before… Not horrible, but very flat. I knew concealer and foundation. Sorta, anyway. 🙂

A picture my friend Rebecca snapped while pumpkin carving. Not the best picture of me ever, but you can definitely tell a bit of difference. Nothing drastic, just looks a little .. well, less flat. I love it.

So, it’s definitely a work in progress. And some days are really frustrating, because I -don’t- have any fun colors.  Silver eye shadow is on my “i-need-this” list. As is a blue. Maybe a green….

But.  Now that I have all this ‘big girl’ makeup, we put some ‘rules’ on makeup purchases.  To make sure that this doesn’t end up happening again. 1) No more cheap makeup.  Which, I tend to forget, and want to buy drugstore makeup.  But, then Matt reminds me of my talent for buying wrong shades. (It’s a super power really, someone call the League!)  And 2) Anything I want to buy, I need to either try on in store, or get a sample to take home. Whichever is more practical.  Which, really, is a good idea anyway.  Especially since it requires that someone show me how to use it.  I very much like that part..

So, we’ll see how it goes.  For now, I’m pretty happy. I don’t feel like I’m playing dress up or putting on a mask when I put makeup on – just feel like I’m accenting features I already have. That’s a definite plus.   And, I’m working on what I eat, and working out… trying to not ‘look pretty’, but to feel happy with myself, and pick up some confidence I lost somewhere.   Only. as I type this, I did NOT work out this morning, and I had Baja Jacks’ nachos last night for dinner. So, we’re talking a work in progress. 🙂

Though, you’d be surprised at how much a shiny purple curly mohawk seems to temporarily help the confidence department. 😉

Making a conscious effort to blog more.  I ‘owe’ my husband a million blogs I said I’d do.  He’s promised me a literal tour of local coffee shops this winter, if I get caught up. Bless you poor souls reading this, you have a LOT ahead of you to read.  Just remember that I love you… -T

Scavenger Hunt? Yes, please.

I LOVE scavenger hunts. They were awesome as a kid, and in my eyes – still are. To be honest,  I’m a sucker for anything cheesy. Which, sucks sometimes, because more often than not, Matt is the exact opposite. He’s not super cheesy/touchy feely.  (Poor guy, and he got stuck with me – the epitome of cheesy, Disney/Lifetime movie person.) 

 

So, the times when his cheesy side pokes out, I love it.  Not long ago, we had one of those moments. (Ok. So it was a while ago. I’m just lazy, and haven’t written! Oops..) 

 

Remember my last blog post? About creepy writing in the shower? 

Okay. Well, let’s revisit that concept.   A few days before the word ‘blog’ ended up scrawled over my shower. I was getting ready to take a shower. I hop in, and about had a heart attack. 

On the far side of the shower, there were some words scrawled, in red and purple shower crayon.  (Now, when you’ve been watching your husband play Silent Hill video games for the past week or so… this screws with your head. )   I’m not proud, I can admit I sheepishly shrunk from the shower, and poked my head back into the bedroom. 

I  must have looked significantly creeped out, because Matt was on the bed, looking at me with mock innocence.  (Don’t you hate it when your SO does that? No one buys that angelic “I didn’t do it!” look. NO ONE.)  I might have asked him to take a shower with me because the weird writing on the wall freaked me out. But, none of you were there, so you can’t prove a thing. 

Anyway. After I didn’t ask my husband to shower with me because I was a baby, he of course didn’t say no, and tell me to go shower on my own. 

He did however, mention that it was a clue. 

A clue? A clue for WHAT?! 

I let my inner 5 year old out, and I hopefully asked if it was a scavenger hunt. He said yes, it was; so I, being the mature adult that I am, started asking a million questions. None of which, were answered. 

So, I hopped back into the shower, and started to think.  The (creeptastic) writing on the wall said:  “Find me standing among the stones.” 

Now, I thought I had this in the bag.   The ONLY place inside our house with anything close to ‘stones’, would be the fireplace. It was brick… but it was as close as I could get. (Thinking back? This was a pretty dumb leap. But that’s okay. 

After drying off, I tried unsuccessfully to elicit a clue or confirmation of my idea from Matt before searching the living room.  On the way there, I made a mental note that the light in the spare room was on. Odd, since Matt’s usually a stickler for turning all the lights off.

Of course, once in the living room, I didn’t find anything.  Which, made it all the more disappointing when I was told that I wouldn’t have to look very hard to find what I was looking for. 

I glanced around in the kitchen and spare room. Nothing. 

What the heck were these ‘stones’?   I started rambling off guesses while pacing. According to Matt, I was thinking too hard.  He told me I’d already missed one clue.  Would he tell me what it was? No. Of course not…

 

  After a bit, I mentioned that I had seen the spare room light was on.  The look he gave me wasn’t unlike one you’d give a toddler when they missed something really obvious. 

Whoops. Guess that one WAS pretty obvious. 

Still not understanding the initial clue , I searched the room, and eventually found something wrapped in tissue paper in the closet. 

Tissue paper that looked suspiciously cup shaped…..  

All of a sudden, I knew what I was searching for. And I giggled, and I ran through the house like a little kid.  I have zero shame in telling you that.  

We’d been to the Disney store not long before that, and Matt had seen me drooling over the Designer Collection Barbie Dolls. We weren’t going to buy any of them — prices and competition for them was insane.  What I did decide I wanted though, were the coffee cups with the Designer artwork on them.  They were gorgeous!

 

ImageWe’d discussed it, and we were going to try to collect them.  Maybe buying one each time we went to the mall?  Obviously we wouldn’t buy all 5 at once. Disney is proud of their coffee cups. That’d be a significant chunk of change… 

But.. here I was, with a thing I was 99% sure was a coffee cup. With another hint written on it! Logic would say, that the next thing I’d find would be a coffee cup too. Right?

In the end, only two hints made perfect sense to me — the others, I had to defer to Matt for help.  We just tend to think about things differently.  Example? The stones mentioned in the first clue? Milestones.  In our spare room, on a closet shelf, Matt has several unopened CD’s  and movies that have had significant meaning at different points in his life.  He made the connection, while I didn’t have a clue.  I don’t mind though– the different ways of thinking – while sometimes a royal pain; definitely keeps life interesting.  

At the end of the hunt. I had 4 coffee-cup-shaped packages.  Turns out, they were 4 out of the 5 Princess mugs!  They had been out of the Ariel mug, and Matt had ordered that one online.  (She arrived safe, and is living in the cupboard happily with our other Disney mugs… )

It completely made my night. Not only did I get my first collection of mugs (which makes me endlessly happy. Happier than I should be- I’m such a Disney nerd…) but Matt indulged my cheesy side. I couldn’t have been happier – even if there hadn’t have been the mugs. 🙂

And… just so you all know, I’m sighing inwardly as I write this.  Matt’s in the midst of recording another album… and drums set up this coming weekend.  I’m going to be rereading this blog a few times between now and then …. reminding myself of how much I love my husband, and do NOT want to complain about the presence of drums in the house… 😉

 

red rum… Red Rum.. RED RUM!!! I … I mean, BLOG! Blog BLOG!

This blog is brought to you in part, by the crazy scrawling words in red all over my shower. 

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Well…. that’s what happens when crazy musicians watch too many Kubrick movies….

No.  Really….   No joke. This actually happened. 

 

He’s been on me for a while to work on a blog about our trip to Disney. (Yup. The one from May. )  And I started a trip report over on the DisBoards… and updated a few times (The draft of which, is in my draft folder on here… ) I just haven’t worked on it in a while. 

He also is anxiously waiting for a blog about my newest Disney haul, which I’m very excited about…. but I haven’t written anything about it. 

NOR, have I written anything on this supposed book I was going to start writing. 

 

I just, haven’t been feeling it lately. Which, might be why I never got into writing professionally.  You can’t just write because you don’t ‘feel like it’, nothing would ever get done!    Of course…. have you TRIED writing when you don’t feel like it?  It’s the most drudging thing. Seriously. I couldn’t get excited about writing a blog where I MOVE to Disney, in the moods I’ve been in lately. 

 

And, for those of you who even know me in the slightest — you know exactly how much power that statement holds. 

Last night, however, I got the slightest twinge of motivation to write.  It’s my own fault, really… but we’ll get there. 

Matt had just gotten back from a quick trip to Oklahoma City — a band thing; so he was in the shower washing out the eyeliner and hair gel (What?! No, nothing else. These boys behave…..), and I was standing there talking to him.     As he turned off the water, he slid the shower door open slightly, and hopped out. With a pretty good poker face, too; I might add. 

But, it wasn’t quick enough. Before he could slide the door back shut , I noticed something that wasn’t there when I’d showered that morning. Asked him about it, and he just shook his head.  Naturally, I can’t leave well enough alone when I get nosy, so I investigated. 

Now, on the wall of our shower directly across from the showerhead, there was some writing on the wall that had been there a few days. Red and purple writing, that due to the hot water from our showers, was starting to look more and more like something written on the walls in Silent Hill — but I’ll get to that in a different blog.  (The very blog, in fact, that not having, has prompted my husband’s nutty behavior.) 

 

But now, under that writing, there was something else scrawled.   Nothing I could make out, though.    In the middle of the long word, was something that looked like an 8. And I could make out a backwards ‘G’ But, nothing else.   (I suppose it should be said that we have awful lighting in our bathroom- all but one of the bulbs need replacing.) 

A little puzzled, I started trying to decipher the code.  Pretty unsuccesfully, too.  I ducked back out of the shower, and shot my husband a look. I asked him about it, but he didn’t have a lot to say about it, just laughed. He wouldn’t explain it, saying that it made sense. 

Which… baffled me. Because, let me tell you, it made zero sense.   But, neither did some of the clues I got in the scavenger hunt from the other day . (Again, you don’t know about that because I haven’t blogged about it yet.  It’s becoming more and more clear that I’ve shot myself in the foot here, isn’t it?)   So, I went back to the shower to gather more clues . See if I missed anything. 

 

And boy, did I miss something. 

He’d taken one of our red bathtub crayons (Yes, I am a child. I requested these. I wanted to draw in the shower. Or play Hangman. Shut up.) and and scrawled all over the shower. 

But, they weren’t odd symbols or codes like I thought at first.  They were words. Actual words. 

 

Well. No. That’s a lie.    It was ONE word. 

Bet you can’t guess where I’m going with this, can you? 

 

 Warning:

 Red and Purple Bathtub Crayons Streak/Smear and Look Gross After a Few Showers. My Shower Isn’t THAT Dirty. 

 

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Exhibit A..
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Exhibit B.

 

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Exhibit C.  My so-called symbol. Makes more sense now…
 
 
He’d literally written the word ‘blog’, all over our shower.  Taking into account that he’s been playing Silent Hill Origins – game  set in land of the creepy messages in blood – that upped the creep factor just a tad. 
 
Though, I can’t argue that it’s been a little motivating.  Especially in the ‘if-I-don’t-blog-what-happens-next’ context. 
 
Because really. I’m not at all sure how he’d top this one.  And, to be quite honest, I’m really not sure I would want to find out. 
 
So, friends, family, and poor strangers who were unfortunate enough to stumble across my little corner of the internet…. please stay tuned! Coming later this week…. there will be posts about the Disney trip… posts about the wonderful scavenger hunt that my husband sent me on before he became a resident of the Overlook Hotel, and a post about the newest member of our family. 🙂
 
And…. if you don’t hear from me soon, do send help.   Blu rays and bananas will distract the hubby long enough for me to escape.  
 
I’ll be waiting… 

 

Keeping a secret for 9 months is hard…

And it’s about to drive me insane…  I keep wanting to spill the beans on Facebook, but the hubby frowns on that. At least not this early… 

But I can’t wait. So, I’m going to blab it now…. 

 

 

 

…. 

 

 

 

No. Not that.  No babies in sight — but we’re going back to Disney! 

We booked the trip 9 months ago – practically to the day. 

I’ve been giddy and screechy and all excited. I wanted to post it everywhere – but we try not to advertise when we’ll be out of town on social media. (Makes sense, but I’m excited, so it ends up just making me overplan, and chatter my husband’s ear off about it.. ) 

I’m so excited – I didn’t think we’d be able to go back so soon!  But, as luck (and some mad budgeting skills) would have it, we can! And we are! 

Out of the interest of NOT having our house broken into, I won’t share exact details on dates and such until we get back, but… there’s no reason I can’t ramble on a bit about the trip itself! 

Like always, we aren’t sure when we’ll be able to afford to go back – or when our jobs will allow, so we’re trying to get all we can out of this trip. 🙂 We’re also celebrating our 5 year anniversary in advance, because – well – what better place to do so?!

Per usual, we’re staying at our home, the Animal Kingdom Lodge. And I can promise you, as soon as we see that sign saying “Welcome Home,” and hear the Cast Members greeting us with it, I will be in tears. Because I am a sap like that. (Reminder: Pack. Kleenex.)

We’re flying Southwest, and have a layover in Denver , which Matt is beyond thrilled about.   Confused? Google “Denver Airport Conspiracy,” and check it out.  A few different theories about it – if you can deal with a little theatrical drama, check out Jessie Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory episode that featured it… I don’t recall the name, but a quick Google should bring it up. 

We’re doing our first tour this trip! It’s the UnDISCOVERed Future World Tour in Epcot. All the tours looked amazing, but we love Epcot, and this one seemed to have the most backstage access – especially in some areas in Epcot that I’d been curious about! 

Of course, I’m getting my Via Napoli fix, and this time, no pasta for me. Nothing but that amazing pizza.  And then I’ll come home, and cry over all my blogs about how amazing it was, and how I’ll never find anything remotely close to it here.  Seriously. If you are ever in Orlando, BUY A TICKET TO EPCOT AND GO.   You’ll thank me. Really.  

I’m for sure buying a tiara, since the BBB doesn’t cater to adults anymore…  WDW is about the only place I can imagine getting away with strolling down Main Street in one, so that’s a definite on my list. 

We’re also doing afternoon tea again at the Gardenview Tea Room, it was SUCH an amazing experience last year, we can’t NOT go. And the Grand Floridian is gorgeous. We actually have a few more things to do there, as well.. but more on that later. 

We’re skipping on Cindy’s Castle this year – but we’re making a few stops over at Beast’s Castle, which I can’t WAIT for. My only issue? Do we eat in the ballroom? Or the West Wing?!  Decisions, decisions….

We also have  – no judging-  THREE character meals.  One of which, is at the Grand Floridian, and features the step family from Cinderella.  I’m beyond excited for that! 

Our package came with free Disney Quest tickets, and we’re going! Really, I want to find this Aladdin VR game.  I read about it when I was little, in my Disney Adventure magazine, and I remember wishing so badly that I’d be able to go and play it someday.  So, to make little 8 year old me happy – I have to do it. No getting around it!

But I think, the aspect of this trip that I’m beyond elated and giddy about …. is Victoria and Alberts. 

For those of you aren’t as Disney-obsessed as I am,  let me explain why I’m so excited for something that’s so… not Disney-fied.

Victoria and Alberts, is essentially, a place I’ve drooled over since I started researching our first trip. I read about it, and it was one of those places that I HAD to go to, but I was in such a state of awe reading about it, that I knew we never would go. There was no way. 

Let me elaborate. 

Victoria and Alberts is a slightly expensive dining experience. 

It’s a 5 diamond restaurant.  They only have two seatings a night.  

There’s the main dining room, which only has a handful of tables.   Then, there’s the Queen Victoria dining room, with even fewer tables. Then, they have the Chef’s Table in the kitchen, where you watch your meal being made, and the chefs explain it all.

There’s a strict dress code – evening wear for women; and dress shoes, slacks, button up shirt, tie and a jacket for men. 

The main dining room, you pay a flat fee, (a…..rather large fee…)   and get a 6 course meal. Each course, you have three options to choose from.   They offer extras like caviar, kobe beef, wine pairings, etc – but those cost extra. 

They also give every woman who dines there, a rose. And you take home a loaf of bread with you. 

Not normal bread though, bread that complements whatever dishes you had. With, naturally, butter than complements the bread. 

There’s a harpist. They also offer pashmina shawls to you, if you’re cold. 

There is also …. and I have to admit, this was what initially drew my attention to the place, years ago….   siphon brewed coffee. 

Apparently, it’s quite a show to see, and they brew it at the table! 

I’ve been searching the web for dining reviews for this place, and I can’t get enough.  I know, that the chances of me ever going somewhere like this again – are slim to none. It’s really too rich for my pocketbook, but I can’t resist trying it once. 🙂 

Take a look around online – let me know what you think! I’d love to hear thoughts on the place.  Or, if you’ve been before, what did you think? 

I’ll definitely be posting a trip report when we get back – especially since we’re going to be doing some Project Pixie Dust related things while we’re there. 🙂  (I’ve also been threatened with never returning, if I don’t blog about the trip in a timely fashion…. 

 

And now, I’ll leave you with what we ALMOST booked for this trip.  We had the alotted money.  I was looking up details to book.  Only, I found out that NOW, Hollywood Studios doesn’t do private catered parties for under ten people now.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset. 

Click to see what I’d kill to be able to do.  

If you’re a Disney fan, prepare to cry. Buckets of tears. It’s beautiful. 

I’d commit unspeakable acts, if Disney would put a suite in that attraction.  Or a Hollywood Tower Hotel THEMED hotel.  

That would be a bad idea, actually. 

We’d go broke. 

But stop, for just a second, and think about all the awesomeness that would entail!! 

 

… 

By the way, does anyone have any tips for dealing with a fear of flying, aside from imbibing on Southwest’s alcoholic drinks? 😉