In which a computer error at Lowe’s makes my day

I usually don’t buy plants at full price. I wait for the people at Lowe’s or Home Depot or wherever to pretty much kill them and then put them on the “Almost Dead” rack. Then I pay 25cents for them and either nurse them back to health or I finish the job and they end up in my compost heap.

Yesterday was the first time in ages that I’d been to Lowe’s because a) I would definitely kill anything new that I planted in this heat just as I killed 99% of the plants already on my deck in the past few weeks and b) I just really didn’t need to be spending money on more plants. I have a birthday party to prepare for, people! But because of said birthday party it really IS time to fix the running toilet.

A plumber friend at church offered months ago to fix it if I’d just go buy a “Tank to Bowl Kit.” OK. I can do that. If there is something called a kit and all I have to do is ask for it at Lowe’s I’m golden. I was even more excited to realize that such a kit is less than $5! The teenage boy in the plumbing section even said it was a one-size situation. Even better! But I’m cautious (ok, paranoid) about that kind of thing so I asked him “Are you SURE this will fit any size toilet?” and he returned from asking another employee with the answer “Probably, but maybe not.” Instead of buying both sizes and returning the one that doesn’t fit, I decided I’d let my plumber friend come look at my toilet and tell me which to get. At which time I will go get the correct size while he takes apart my ancient toilet. Problem solved; now it’s time to go look at the crispy plants!

So while I was checking out a very meager selection, Daniel was noticing that a particular section of plants was swarming with butterflies and bees while none of the other plants were getting much attention. Since he was getting really excited about the butterfly bushes and we had a disappointing showing around the garden this summer when it came to the precious little pollinators I suggested we get one. The big sizes were marked to $16.95 or something like that but the smaller ones didn’t have a price anywhere. So another high school boy/Lowe’s employee came along to get us a price check.

And it rang up as $1.91.
“Did you say $11.91,” I asked skeptically.
“Nope,” says another high school boy. “They’re $1.91.”
“…..”
“DANIEL! Get 3 more!”

Four plants for less than what one of them probably should have cost! That is the kind of thing that makes me just giddy.

Because I might have someone out to grind up a stump right where they’ll be going they aren’t planted yet but here they are patiently awaiting their new home.So pretty!

My photography skills leave a little to be desired and they’re pretty small not but THIS is what they WILL look like.
And they have a really fast growth-rate. We were at some friends’ house for a party last night and coincidentally they had a butterfly bush in their yard that they bought last year. When they planted it it was a foot tall. now it’s about 6 feet.

I also finally remembered to go to the park and pick up a few horse apples for decoration. I have meant to do that every year for 3 years and I finally remembered!

Saturday was a pretty dandy day!

Something will get done eventually, right?

So the flashback to my tender years was brought on by me trying to decide whether or not it was ironic that the reason I hadn’t posted in two weeks on my blog (you know, the one about having too much on my plate & putting that plate aside for more plates?) was because I’ve been busy with hobbies and traveling and being lazy.  I put my shelves together and rearranged the sun room into something of a sewing room/library but left the shelf boxes propped up against a wall so, of course, I never took a picture to share.  And I went to dance class twice a week getting ready to dance with a local men’s choir this weekend but I never did go buy the shirt I’m supposed to get or the right pants so I’ll have to get both tomorrow.  And I never did write about how I got into dance class because I took some video in class to include and I need to edit the clips to make sure you only see feet and not the ladies in my class, cause that would be seriously rude.

Then I went to Memphis with Daniel for Labor Day to visit his family and do Memphis things.  Also we’re down a few people at work in my position so I’m doing lots of filling in so my brain is spinning by supporting 4 client groups instead of 2.  But I’m making lots of progress on the afghan I’ve been working on so basically when I get home I want to eat dinner, watch a movie and knit.  Or write lists.  About Daniel’s Birthday.  And the things I need to do to get ready for it. Which are a lot of things.  Including fixing the toilet because I can’t have dozens of people at my house and have them turn off the water to the toilet after they’re done because it runs constantly if you don’t.  And has pretty much all of 2010.  Yah.

But tonight I was productive!  There was much secret planning and arranging and MAYBE some doing tonight.  But that is all I can say.  Because I love surprises and I don’t want to spoil any of Daniel’s.

On being a “Smart Girl”

Ahhh, how my friends and I loved Jagged Little Pill when we were in, what, 8th grade? 9th grade? I could look it up but it doesn’t really matter. Suffice it to say that we were old enough to start having some drama in our lives and young enough to think it was REAL drama. Thus the joy in listening to post “You Can’t do that on Television” Alanis as a method to either work through our own “pain” or work ourselves up into manufacturing something to feel angsty over if we didn’t have any angst to speak of.

But even then, in the midst of feeling awkward and not cool enough and wondering “oh for the love of all that is good and holy was I ever going to grow boobs?” (answer: no) I was still a (slightly apologetic) nerd and knew the definition of the word irony. Sure, I sang in a really off-pitch adolescent voice about finding black flies in my chardonnay even though I didn’t REALLY know what chardonnay was other than some kind of wine. I bemoaned the trials of rain on your wedding day. I pretended I was one of the different Alani in the car on the way to the mall. Somehow I always got stuck being the spazzy hair-eater. All the while I had a dirty little secret. That damn song ate at my very being. I thought I would burst with know-it-all-ness every time it came on the radio. Finally, one day I snapped and yelled out “I hate this stupid song those things aren’t even ironic!” Only to be met with blank stares and “Of course they are. It’s on MTV.” Or something equally brainy and well-thought-out. So I’d sing along because, honestly, it’s really catchy. But eventually I’d have to pipe in my 2 cents. Sometimes someone would laugh when they realized the truth. A few people joined me in deconstructing exactly WHY each line was not ironic and we felt so stinking intelligent and just above it all. If there had been a coffee shop in our small town we totally would have hung out there being cool. But usually, in the true essence of teenagerdom, people just said “Who cares? This song is amazing. It’s, like, so totally exactly what I’m feeling right now, you know? I mean, gaaaaaah.” And I would cozy in a little further into my assigned role as the friend who didn’t really mind being the spazzy hair-eater Alanis on rides to the mall and who was “smart” because I knew what irony was.



I’m a terrible blogger: A book review. Sort of.

Simply terrible.  This blog was supposed to help me be all introspective and improve my life.  Oh, I’m sure it will.  If I can ever find the time to actually write it.  The biggest piece of that being the need to think of something interesting to write about.  But it’s just so dang hot.  And I am just so dang lazy.  I just want to sit and read.  “So what’s the problem?!” you ask, “Isn’t that sort of the point of the blog?  To read about things so that you can write about them?”  Except I’m just so easily distracted.  And it’s hard for me to read a book like Blue Like Jazz if I don’t have time to really think about what I’m reading.  Take notes even.  I read the first chapter and it sort of kicked me in the teeth and took me right back to an incident involving my 10 year-old self and the sudden realization that my parents were….PEOPLE.  Like actual people.  With actual feelings.

So I realized, “Whoa, this book is serious,” and every time I have had time to read I felt like I wasn’t able to concentrate like I wanted to.  So during those times I picked up an easy read.  I stuck to the rule.  I’ve never read this one before.  But who could resist a $0.50 Steven King on a Saturday afternoon thrift store trip after Farmer’s Market?  Not me, that’s for dang sure!  So I’ve been reading that book for the past little bit.  When I get home from work and my brain just doesn’t want to concentrate and I just want to sit on my couch and escape I’ve been reading a book in which an important character is an alien “@$$-weasel.”  (totally not my word, but it’s kind of catchy) For real.  I hate you, Steven King.

image

 Postscript to Steven King: If you happen to Google yourself and read this, I don’t really hate you.  I think you’re super and I’ve read The Stand 3 or 4 times.  It’s just that now I think anything odd I see is alien byrus moss.  And I don’t particularly care for having the image of an alien crawling out of some guy’s behind etched in my brain.  But you’re still cool.

Making Progress

One of the dog-eared areas in my life is my house.

Not all of it.  Just bits.  I bought my adorable little yellow house in May of ‘07 and jumped right into painting and arranging some rooms before I even moved in.  But then there are the sad, neglected spots like the back room.  Sometimes I call it the den because there is a step down into it (it used to bet he carport I think).  A lot of the time I call it the sun room because there are 3 big windows lining one wall.  But I’ve never really DONE anything to it.  For about a minute I set up a little couch and chair and coffee table and it was a sort of reading nook.  But then my cat basically declared war on the couch.  She hangs out in the back room and laundry room during the day so she’s not breaking things around the rest of the house and trying to make soup on the gas stove and setting the whole house on fire.  Also I don’t want to come home to find my pillow covered with 6 inches of Tonks fur.  I’m picky like that.

So eventually I had a furry room with a couch that looked like it picked a fight with my paper shredder and lost.  Of course it then became the catch-all room.  So it was basically just a wannabe Hoarders episode without the decaying organic matter.  I attempted a revamp on several occasions but it always fell right back into disarray.  And the nice positive of the room—all that sun—bleached my lovely curtains to, well, I don’t even know what. And this is what it looks like today.

  • Poster on the wall from Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2008 including tiny posting stating “You are Here” so my family wouldn’t get lost
  • Papasan chair with no cushion because it either needs to leave my house or get more stuffing for the cushion which has done a pretty respectable job of trying to become as flat as possible in the last 10+ years
  • Pile of various work in the yard shoes/hiking boots
  • Canning supplies because I have the tiny kitchen from HELL and can’t figure out where to put my boiling water canner and beautiful mason jars 😦
  • Lovely Faded Curtains
  • Insane cat
  • Books, books, and some more books
  • Bags and bags of yarn and fabric

The last few are what have really inspired me lately to get in gear and do something with the room.  Last month my mom fixed my sewing machine that wasn’t really broken I just thought it was for the past year or so.  I still think it was broken, it just took one look at her coming it’s way and said “WHOA….this is serious.  It’s a professional so I better straighten up and fly right!”  I know it always worked on me as a kid.

Sewing is another one of my dogeared pages.  I sewed anything I could get my hands on as a little girl.  My mom used to give us a needle and thread and sheet of paper to sew pictures at the kitchen table.  Come to think of it, that might be a good idea for the kids in Sunday school.  I better add that to my list.  But I digress.  When I was 7 or 8 (correct me if I’m wrong, Mom.  But I think it was the same Christmas I got my Little House Books) I got a kid’s working toy sewing machine for Christmas.  Shortly after that my parents decided they should have just bought me a used real one at a yard sale and I moved up to being allowed to use my mom’s.  I really did keep at it for a while off and on.  I have made two attempts in my life to make clothes.  Once in the 6th grade my final sewing class project was an outfit that I never did finish for some reason or another.  And in 9th grade I decided to make a skirt out of ties that attached to the tops of an old pair of overalls.  But we moved Southeast Asia before I was able to get enough ties together to finish it, even as tiny as I was back then. haha

The sewing machine I have now was given to my by my grandma.  I borrowed in sophomore year of college and she never used it so she let me keep it.  At that point I was hemming pants and doing basic repairs or making Halloween costumes for my hall mates.  Looking back on it I should have put up posters and charged people. *sigh* another missed opportunity to build my evil empire.  Then I moved on to attempting to make a quilt.  I have a very nearly finished Drunkard’s Path quilt top folded up in the bottom of a stack of fabric.  Dogeared.

So this is where I sort of kill two birds with one stone.

  1. Pick one of the hobbies I have rudely cast aside and either develop it or get rid of it for good. (I’m about to become a sewing machine.  Hmm…that’s not exactly how I wanted that to work)
  2. Pick any area of my house that I have neglected and stop treating said area like a college kid in a sleazy rental property.

The clincher that REALLY motivated me was This Lady’s Blog.  She redid her studio and it ended up looking like this:

image  image

And I broke a Commandment.  Remember the one about Coveting?  Yah.  I covet the fact that this neat lady has an Ikea so close to her.  Because those fantasmical shelves would cost more to ship than they do to buy.  Lucky me, it’s back to school time and places like Office Depot, while they may have some real numskulls working for them (I’ll have to tell that story another time) do things like put these shelves on sale!

image

Mmmmm…Pretty.  So I bought two and hauled both the boxes home in my Saturn. ( I TOLD you they would fit annoying Office Depot guy who doubted me).  I had to go grocery shopping tonight so I didn’t have time to start putting them together but tomorrow night will be my night!  I am going to pop in Season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy and get started creating a beautiful space for creating works of sewing art!  And also knitting.  Aren’t those shelves going to look beautiful full of colorful yarn and books?  Woohoo!  It’s no Posy Gets Cozy and it’s definitely not quite Vanessa levels of cool just yet but it’s a start!

Did somebody throw a bucket of soapy water on me? Because I’m melting.

You know it’s been hot when you comment about it not being so bad out because it’s cooler than the day before.  And it’s still 100 degrees.

Because I am a crazy person I got up and went yard-saleing this morning and ended up with a couple of dandy items.  Last night over pizza and Dogma I asked Daniel if he wanted to get up early and go with me.  He just stared at me.  I think he was waiting for the punch line.  Because he was SLEEPY and planned on sleeping as long as humanly possible on Saturday morning.  Both of us probably got about 4 or 5 non-consecutive hours of sleep Thursday night due to our exciting meteor shower adventures.  We actually DID make it out at 3am to watch!  I was impressed with us.  It was quite an adventure.  We just hopped in the car and drove East looking for a field or open spot to pull into away from the city lights.  We finally ended up in the driveway to a field with just enough space between the gate and the road for the car.  I spread a blanket on the hood of the car and leaned back to enjoy.

Then Daniel heard a noise and saw a flash of white in the field about 3 feet in front of the car.  I saw a flash of black.  (Does black actually *flash*?) I’ll give you a moment to imagine we might be seeing lumbering through the weeds.

Daniel started flashing his phone in the direction of the disturbance trying to catch a glimpse of what he thought was a cute little bunny.  I on the other hand was grasping at every ounce of willpower I could muster to NOT scurry up onto the tippity top of the car. Because bunnies don’t  lumber.  You know what’s black and white and lumbers?  Stumped?  Here is a little hint….

imageBingo.

When I was pretty sure I could concentrate on anything other than being totally, completely still, I begged Daniel to stop flashing his phone at the dangerous little critter and to please.stop.talking.  I just knew I was going to have to have to call in “Stanky” the next day.  I don’t actually get any personal or vacation days until October when I’ve been there 6 months but I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a free pass on that one.

Thankfully, Pepe Le Pew kept going on his/her merry jaunt through the pasture and I was able to go to work the next morning.  Sleep-deprived but not in need of a tomato bath.

In which I get off to a very slow start

I finished up The Fiery Cross two days ago and still haven’t cracked open Blue Like Jazz.  But I have carried it around with me in case I find some free time to start reading on my lunch break or something.  Except I keep either working through my lunch break or I’m busy trying to write a Sunday School lesson plan for this weekend.  (I SWEAR I’ll get it done tomorrow, Grace!)

The problem is that my normally very uneventful life got very eventful at the last minute this week!  Yesterday a friend needed a girly night out so her husband set us up on a chick-date.  Nice husband!  So I picked her up after work and we had a delicious dinner and some drinks and lots of laughs.  Thanks, Ness for not judging me for bringing up the Duggars about 15 times throughout the night.  They’re like Kevin Bacon!  They relate to EVERYTHING!  And I’m only a little bit ashamed.

I had a little party today after work with the ladies from work which was  hoot.  PLUS Tuesday another friend said she wanted to go see South Pacific at RLT tonight but didn’t want to go alone so she was all “I’m buying two tickets and you’re coming!”  I take adult tap and jazz (one of the multitude of hobbies I’ll get into later) from her and have done a few shows with her at RLT so we had  a fantastic evening seeing our friends perform in a GREAT show.  And now I’m home and I said I was going to sleep half an hour ago but I’m writing instead.  Even though it’s 10 till midnight and I’m getting up around 3am with my boyfriend to go see the meteor shower!  We’re nuts but I love this meteor shower.  Church camp was always the first week in August so sometimes I would get to see it from the car in the drive on the way home and I have always remembered that.

I’m probably not making any sense because I’m completely EXHAUSTED and I’m not checking this for any grammar mistakes before I post it or adding any links so there.  The plan had been to go camping tomorrow night but it’s supposed to be 103 in Devil’s Den tomorrow and down to 74 as a low which means it would feel about 90 when we tried to go to sleep in a hot hot tent, I’m sure.  So I think I’ll try to get some projects done and get started reading instead.

Have a great Friday!