Saturday, June 1, 2013

Great Skirt Wrap UP.


Wearing skirts for 30 days isn't that bad. Except that I only have 6 skirts. So I had to really keep up on laundry to keep it up.

Larch noticed. His only reaction was to tell me I was turning into my mother. Not a bad thing I guess. Also, I told him that most of the skirts I wore, were not in a style that my mom would wear.

I didn't make it the full thirty days. I only went 25 days. Because I didn't keep up on the laundry.

When I went back to jeans, no one seemed to care. Although S, my brother in law B's girfriend, did all the sudden realize I had been wearing only skirts for "awhile."

The most noteworthy things I learned are:

1. You always feel feminine and pretty when wearing a skirt. Even if it's with a sweatshirt and you have no make up and might have forgotten to brush your hair.


2. Skirt, longer ones anyaways, make it much easier to hide that extra weight you don't want anyone to notice.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Great Skirt Experiment: Day 3

We spent the weekend at my sister-in-law, E's house. The first batch of 2013 beer was ready to bottle, and the second is now brewing.
Brewmaster Larch

I let E know what I was doing, since she doesn't see me regularly enough to catch on. I'm not sure if Larch has caught on yet or not. On Friday, I realized I didn't have enough skirts to really pull this off, so I went to Ross and bought myself three new skirt, a dress, and sandals. Since Larch knew this, I think he might just assume I am really excited about my new clothes and want to wear them all right away.

When I wore my new strapless maxi dress today, he asked if I was going hippie on him. But all in all he has liked all of my new outfits.

I am really loving that I feel feminine and pretty, even when I'm just playing board games in the yard, getting a massive sunburn.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Great Skirt Experiment

I'm starting an experiment today.

Growing up my mom never wore pants, she only wore skirts or dresses. She did, for a period of time, wear a pair of overalls when she gardened. This last Christmas, she bought a pair of jeans because everybody else was wearing jeans for family pictures and so my kids have not experienced Grandmama in only skirts.

While I was deciding what my style is going to be this summer, since I'm no longer ashamed of my weight, I started buying and making boho skirts. I figure they will provide a nice but casual look and will allow me the comfort of shorts without blinding my friends with my pale skin.

Starting today I am NOT going to wear jeans or pants for a month. I am also, not going to tell anyone of my intentions, except, obviously, for you my dear readers. 

Johnny doesn't think I can do it. I want to go camping for Mother's Day and he thinks you have to wear jeans when you go camping. Every memory I have of camping as a child, my mother wore denim skirts, not jeans. 

The experiment part is seeing how long it takes the people in my daily life, my husband, my brothers-in-law, friends I see regularly, etc, to notice that I haven't been wearing pants . Also, when I start wearing jeans again, I want to see thier reaction, if they have one. 
These are the things that come from being a bored stay at home mom with very little social life

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Black Friday....On a Thursday....In March

So, in case you missed it, I've gone back to work again. I work at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts.  

We opened two weeks ago, but today was the beginning of our GRAND OPENING sale. It was like Wal-Mart on Black Friday. But in March. And without the fighting and the people trampling. So not like Wal-Mart.

No really, our customers were great. Even the one time my computer messed up and I had to wait for a manager to come explain how to fix it, the customers didn't get angry or upset. I have never in my 5 or 6 years of retail experience, seen lines that long and not had a single angry customer.

There wasn't so much any killer deals (that I'm aware of) as killer coupons. Numerous versions of a 50% off coupon. 20% entire purchase between 5pm and 8pm. AND a free gift card valued at 10, 20, or 210 dollars to the first hundred customers through the door. 

This is all going on through Sunday. If you live in Coeur d'Alene, you should come visit me tomorrow and Saturday. Or go on Sunday, I won't be there, but the saving could be epic.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I did some shopping after work and go this great, pink re-usable shopping bag. Everyone who spent $20 or more got one. You can never have enough bag. Especially with kids.

They made me say that. It's in the employee handbook that I have to.  It's also why I can't tell you about the weird people I see and meet in my store. It might be construed as talking smack about our customers and that's a no no. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How I Almost Died This Weekend

My father-in-law's birthday was earlier this month. Because he works in North Dakota, we celebrated at his house last friday. The evening was great. Very low key, plenty of time for the kids to play with grandpa, good conversation with family. On way home however, it was a completely different story. 

We went to my sister-in-law's house, about halfway between our house and my father-in-law's, to spend the night. Larch and Johnny wanted to go shed hunting the next day. If you don't know what shed hunting is, you are obviously not from a rural area. Just before you turn off the highway to get to my sister-in-lan's, the highway becomes two lanes, one going north, the other south. If you are driving north, there is a dotted yellow line and you can pass the semi-truck ahead of you, if there are no oncoming cars. We were driving south, after dark, when I see headlights coming straight at me. Some idiot, who we assume was drunk, decided to pass the semi in from of him right as we were passing the semi going the other direction. I'm pretty sure there was not physically enough room between my car and the semi for this car to get through. Somehow he did, and there is not a scratch on the 4 runner, or the semi, or the drunk idiot's car. Well, maybe on the idiots car, he could have been no so lucky further down the road. Also, surprise! I did not die from a heart attack either. Also, I did not wet my pants.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Prom Queen Fixed My Washing Machine

About six months ago my washer stopped draining during the spin cycle and started making a really nasty sounding noise. Larch wanted to go buy a cheap Craigslist replacement. I was NOT ok with that. We rented to own our top of the line super capacity Whirlpool washer 5 years ago. This machine should be able to give me 20 years. Being perpetually broke, we put off fixing it and used my parents house and the laundromat to keep the kids in clean clothes.  We got our tax return this week and the first thing on my list was to fix the washer.

This is what happens when
the washing machine tries
to eat your socks
I called the big name chain first. They wanted $80 just to come out and look at it. That didn't include parts and labor. No thank you. At a loss for who to call next I went to Google and Yelp. Grave's Appliance here in CDA had nothing be excellent reviews. So I called them. For $125 dollars my washer now washes clothes quietly again. Turns out there was a baby sock stuck in the pump. Don't ask me how it got there, but that was the problem.

That's not the cool part.  The cool part is, because they were busy, the daughter came to fix my machine. That's right, a WOMAN came to fix my washer. And she was pretty. And nice. And went to my small town high school.

Let me tell you about Kootenai Jr./Sr. High. Until 2005 the junior high and high school were in the same building. The average graduating class is around 20 kids. So, when I was in 7th grade, my washer repair lady was a senior in high school. This means, that while we didn't hang out, we probably passed each other in the halls and the cafeteria everyday. And we knew the same people. I was actually pretty familiar acquaintances with some of the people in her class. Being a small town with only 2 churches, if you go the same church you know each other by name and not just face no matter the age difference.

After she finished pulling the sock out of my washer pump and replacing a leaky part (leaky thanks to the sock), I pulled out the year book for my 7th grade year. Not only did we graduate from the same small town high school, she was PROM QUEEN.  Yep, the 199X Prom Queen of Koontenai High School fixed my washing machine.

NOTE: This is not a judgmental "ha ha you were prom queen and all it got you was a job working for your dad fixing household appliances." In a town as small as Harrison, ID it's not the snobby queen bee who only sees the hotties in her immediate circle of friends who gets voted prom queen. It's young women who are genuinely nice to EVERYONE. This is a post about "ha ha this is a small world and that's kind of quirky funny that the prom queen from my small podunk town was the gal who fixed my washer holy cow we are all connected."

SECOND NOTE: If you were a prom queen in a not so small school, I am by no means implying that you were a hot popular snobby b$tch. I am sure you were a very pretty, very nice person who treated everyone extremely well and would have been my friend even though I didn't even fit in with the nerds or the geeks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I got a Job

I really love being a stay at home mom. I'm not so good at the keeping of the house, but I love staying at home with my kids.

Money always seems to be tight. Every once in a while, we feel so strapped for cash that I go ahead and put out a few applications. Just after Christmas, I applied for a position at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. Everyone in the family thought I would be perfect for the job. If I'm not reading a book, I'm crocheting or cross-stitching or beading. You get the idea.

After two weeks, I kinda gave up. I wasn't disappointed. I love staying at home with Lily and Johnny. Then, last Monday, I got a call to come in for an interview. It wasn't so much an interview as a job offer. You see, the Jo-Ann's in Coeur d'Alene is moving to a new location and the were hiring people to help stock shelves at the new store to get it ready for opening. They explained that the job would only last between 2 and 4 weeks and would be part time minimum wage. I took it. Part time, temporary minimum wage is perfect for catching up on bills. It gets me out of the house long enough to remember why I prefer to stay home.

I start the second week of February. The hardest part will be bringing my paycheck home and not spending it before I get it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A History of Cake

Today I will be discussing the history of cake. Sort of. I will be sharing pictures of the cakes I have made over the last 6 years. 

The first awesome cake I made was a frog. I threw a 6 month birthday party for Johnny. It was an amazing first shaped cake. Regrettably, I cannot find any pictures. I'm sure they are around, I have just misplaced the disk.

The second cake was for Johnny's first birthday. It was a Noah's Ark. I am also missing pictures of this cake, but that's alright. I had the cake all made, complete with a bowl of blue jello under the cake stand, when it started to fall apart. It was a 3D cake and I did not glue the layers together well en

In January of 2009, Larch turned 30. I cranked out these two awesome cakes:

Two thousand nine was the year I discovered Bunco and so threw myself a Bunco Birthday Party. We ate ice cream cake for months. But, if Johnny every wants a Transformers birthday party, I can always make an Allspark cake.

After the Noah's Ark catastrophe, I was a little wary on Johnny's second birthday. I was just not up to creating a cake that looked like Elmo. So, I put Sesame Street cut outs on a sheet cake.

In 2010, for Johnny's 3rd birthday I had my confidence back, and created a 3D racecar.

January 2011 I got to create my first girl cake. I constructed an amazing pink and purple castle. Unfortunatly, I am unable to locate any digital pictures of this cake.

Johnny decided his fourth birthday would be a dinosaur party and that he wanted a cake from the store. His loss.

Last year, for Lily's 2nd birthday I formed this adorable monkey.

Johnny's 5th birthday was all about camo, he got cupcakes with little green army men on top.

This year, after only 24 days, I have built my two best looking cakes yet. For all thier simplicity, you can tell my skill is increasing.

Lily requested a Frosty the Snowman party. With Christmas decor on clearance, this party was really inexpensive to put together. And the cake looked amazing, if I do say so myself.
Here's my January run down: My nephew Emmett was born Jan 8, Lily is the 16th, Larch, my mom, and my dad celebrate their birth on the 18th, my Nana was born on the 19th, and Joe was born on the 22nd. AND Casey Joe joined us this year at 1:22pm on 1/22. Yep, Joe got a baby for his birthday and I now have 8 birthdays to celebrate in two week time span.

With Larch and Joe's birthday's being so close together, and not as big a deal as the kids, we generally throw one event for the two of them. This year we went bowling followed by tacos and cake at my house. Since Larch and Joe are both into military aircraft, I spent three hours planning, cutting, and frosting this masterpiece:

I can't wait to hear what Johnny plans for his 6th Birthday. I am up for almost any challenge he can throw at me.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why Mental Health and Gun Control Bothers Me

It is really too bad that mental health is headlining in the media in the context of gun control. I think this sends some bad messages:

1.) Crazy people kill people and therefore should not be trusted with guns.

2.)If you are seeking treatment for mental illness, we're not really going to protect your records, we're gonna put them in a background check.

3.) We only care enough about mental health to do something to make care more accessible when something really horrendous happens. If crazy people aren't committing crimes we don't care.

This is why I'm so upset every time the talking head on TV discusses new gun control measures and mental health. I feel discriminated against and judged simply because my brain is wired differently.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Little Imagination

I am in a group studying Richard J Foster's Celebration of Discipline. This last week, as we were examining the discipline of Study, the question was asked, "Outside of the Bible, what book has had the most profound impact on your own life? Why?" (pg 35 Richard J. Foster's study guide for Celebration of Discipline)

There are 4 of us in the group: my mom, 2 of her friends, and myself.
As I struggled to formulate an answer, the other ladies gave answers that had crossed my mind. The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, books that I would loved to have said had an impact on my life. However, I read these novels in my teenage years when I didn't always see the depth of meaning in my recreational reading.

The first answer I came up with seemed weak. When I read the middle books in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I saw myself so clearly in one of the characters, that it opened my eyes to the type of man that I needed to marry. (Larch is that kind of man for the most part.)
My own well loved copy.

About the time that we were ready to move on, it struck me. Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess.
That was my favorite chapter book as a child. In some small way, I think I still hold on to the belief that dolls move when we are not in the room.

Part of me wanted to latch on to the idea that all girls are princesses. That's one of the strongest lines in the movie. That theme never appears in the book. The idea of a princess comes from Sara Crewe's wealth and her mannerisms. She often imagines herself as a princess as a motivation to treat others kindly and to put others before self.

The real message of the book is the power of imagination and seeing the values in another despite their circumstances. As Sarah imagines herself as a princess, she is able to show kindness and charity to those who are even more destitute than herself. Through her imagination she is able to forget her dire surroundings and to gain strength to fight through adversity and to see the joy in the simplest things.

A Little Princess impresses upon young girls the virtues of charity and kindness and the power of imagination. I cannot wait until Lily is old enough to read this book with me.

P. S. As I scanned the book for a line about all girls being princesses, I realized I do not remember the story is clearly as I used to. I am planning to reread it this month.