Monday, October 12, 2015

Check, Check

This past weekend was productive in many ways; I cleaned house, crafted, did laundry, bought groceries, paid bills at the hardware store (I am partying like a rock star up in here), and still found the time to visit with Jules for a while. One of my goals for October was to reconnect with my friends, so seeing her the past two weekends has been a good start.

Actually, I knocked several additional items off my October goals list over the weekend, including finally making that butternut squash soup that I meant to make last month. I now have more than enough soup with which to stock my freezer for the winter and I used a squash that has been taking up real estate on my countertop for far too long.

So, soup, check.

I also did that craft, using the pumpkins, so, autumn craft, check.

Friday evening, at the football game, I managed to convince the Booster moms that they deserved to be in a picture, so that finally happened. Oh, it isn't a great picture, and we were missing Mikey's mom, who was home with a kidney infection, so, I will be demanding a re-take at some point in time, but, still; Booster moms photo, check.

Extra Booster moms being smartasses photo for good measure, check.

I feel all accomplished and shit. And, I think it is worth saying, I didn't nap once. That might be the best accomplishment, yet.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

DIY: Pumpkin Topiary

One of my goals for October was to make one autumn craft, just one. I accomplished that goal today and it awoke the dreaded crafting bug to the point that I may just have to do some more crafting this season.

I'm going to resist the urge as long as I can, though.

Anyway, this year's project was a pumpkin topiary. I used pumpkins that I already had on hand, purchased a garden urn on clearance at The Home Depot, added a couple of leaf swags from The Dollar Store, and, threw in some letter tattoos that I actually purchased at The Hellmouth last year, with the intention of doing this exact project (It's a good thing I got them then too; I couldn't find anything remotely similar this year). My trusty glue gun completed my materials and I was good to go.

Hugh used his Dremmel tool to cut holes in the bottom of the two small pumpkins and I attached them to one another with hot glue. I probably should have used a dowel rod through them to provide more stability, but, I like to live on the edge.

I separated the leaves and other decorations from the plastic vines and glued them on randomly at the base of each pumpkin, as well as around the mouth of the urn, making sure to use plenty of glue, which added to the stability of the tower (I hope).

Next, I used the letter tattoos to spell out our address, and, ouila! Pumpkin topiary.

It's actually kind of criminal how expensive these things can be in stores when you consider how simple they are to make.

Anyway, that is it for this season's crafting (Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! We'll see).

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Fresh Hell Is This?

A weird thing happened at last night's football game; I saw a strange girl wearing a jersey with my son's name and number on it (By strange, I mean unknown to me, rather than peculiar or odd, although, now that I have spoken to the Man-Cub about the situation, I think he would beg to differ with my definition of the word).

The Teenager happened to be visiting for last night's game, and she was the first to spot the jersey, so, she introduced herself and told the girl that she thought it was cool. The girl indicated that she had her doubts about the Cub's opinion of the shirt and went so far as to say that he had not been exactly kind to her when he saw it at school earlier in the day.

That surprised me; I can generally count on the Cub to be unfailingly polite. He is, however, a teenaged boy, so, anything is possible, and; I filed the information away for after the game.

Today, I finally had a chance to talk to him one-on-one and, he didn't exactly deny that he had been an asshole. He also said that he sort of felt like he was being stalked by the girl (all ninety-eight pounds of her), who had, in addition to making his namesake jersey, snapped a photo of him to use as the wallpaper on her phone, and, told people that the two of them had "a thing".

Obviously, the young lady has a fairly large crush on the Cub.

Or, she is thisclose to boiling his bunny.

I suppose it depends on who you ask.

I told the Cub that I could appreciate his feelings but that I also expected him to take care not to hurt the young lady's feelings, she is, after all, a very young girl, and, young girls are delicate creatures. Plus, I didn't raise him to be a jerk.

Unless she does end up boiling a bunny or something, in which case, all bets are off.

Tardy to the Party

I got busy yesterday and neglected to do a Favorites post, and, by busy, I mean that I was napping. For four hours; the note about fatigue being a minor side-effect of the flu shot was written in small print, apparently.

Without further delay, Friday Favorites: The Random Edition

Current bloomers :

 Miss All American Beauty

 John F. Kennedy

New football bling, not because I needed new football bling, but, you know, a girl deserves her bling. Am I right?

My newest favorite addition to the Halloween decoration inventory is this sound and motion activated radio, designed to look retro and featuring scary music and advertisements from such sponsors as WitchMart and the Dracula Blood Bank. The radio plays a different ad or jingle each time it is activated, and, while the rest of my family is becoming increasingly annoyed by the sudden squawking each time they walk by, I am loving it. Plus, it looks great sitting next to the sound and motion activated telephone that rings and delivers a spooky greeting each time it is activated. Hey, Halloween decorations only hang around for a month, family; suck it up.

Now, I am off to visit with another one of my favorites; Jules is in Hootervile for volleyball games and I plan to hang with her for a bit. I know I saw her just last weekend, but, a few hours here and there is never enough time.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Armed and Dangerous

I spent two and a half hours in a meeting today, the subject matter of which was so boring, I actually contemplated chewing off my own arm in a bid to escape. Luckily for my arm, I am squeamish about the taste of blood.

I did manage to abuse the arm with a needle, however, because today was our annual flu vaccination day at work.

So, this evening, I am nursing a sore arm but am grateful to still have an arm to nurse. Oh, not quite as grateful as I am to have that meeting over and done with, but, you know, close.

Bonus Halloween-inspired photo

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A Tray on Witch to Serve (See What I Did There?)

Back in August, The Teenager and I visited the local paint-your-own-pottery place for a little mother-daughter bonding time. She painted a bowl and a mug while I selected a large platter that I thought would make a nice serving dish for treats, specifically, for caramel apples.

Yes, I was thinking about caramel apples in August; I dig Halloween, have we not met?

Anyhoodle, the platter that I chose was the largest in the store's inventory, which, might have intimidated some, but, not me; I had a plan.

I started with some basic Halloween colors, green and purple...

...and then I stenciled on a witch's hat. I was planning to free-hand the design, but, I draw like a toddler, so the helpful woman at the studio showed me how to create a template from a photo that I found online. The result was exactly what I was going for without being the stick-person equivalent that it would have been otherwise.

The final touch on the piece was a small ceramic toad that I painted and positioned on the platter prior to the firing, which set it permanently on the platter.

The end result is awesome, if I do say so, myself. And, while this totally does NOT count as my one craft for the Halloween season (It was done in August, remember), I am pretty proud of the effort.

Now, I just have to dip those caramel apples...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

This Parenting Gig Never Gets Any Easier

The Teenager is struggling. Most of her woes are normal, age-appropriate concerns that pretty much everyone has as they navigate the path to adulthood, but, she has the added strain of grief weighing on her sweet little psyche, and I am worried about her.

A few days ago, she texted to say that she had been at work and could have sworn she saw her grandpa in the mall; she despaired when it turned out to be just some random old gentleman, someone else's grandpa, perhaps.

Today, she called in tears because school is stressing her out and she just feels so worthless and dumb.

The Teenager? Neither worthless nor dumb by any definition of the words.

But, my knowing that doesn't negate her feelings and all the words of comfort that I could provide fell upon deaf ears; she wasn't in a place to hear them.

Without my knowledge, she skipped class and went for a drive, eventually ending up four hours away, in Mayberry, where her grandma welcomed her with open arms, wise words, and, I'm guessing, comfort food.

Together, they visited the cemetery, where Dad's new headstone has been erected; The Teenager was the first in our branch of the family to see it in person and I'm glad that she got that honor. I think she needed it.

I hope she found whatever else she needed; Mom said she was calmer and more at peace when she left, so I have high hopes. I hope she knows how much she is loved and how many people are in her corner, no matter what her struggle.

I hope she felt Dad's presence and I hope she knows that he is with her, always; she doesn't have to drive four hours to find him. He probably won't ever visit her in a mall (the man hated shopping), but, he is never any farther away from her than her most cherished memory; I know that because I miss him, too, and I look for him every day.

The Teenager is young, she has a lot of growing yet to do; with that comes growing pains, that's just a fact of life. She will struggle, sometimes, she will fail. But, more often than not (I hope), she will emerge victorious, and, no matter what, the people who love her will stand beside her.

Because we will.