Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sweet Tea Cottage

Yesterday, Kortni and I made the looong journey to my friend Pam's barn sale, and, I mean that figuratively rather than literally because Pam's "barn" is located literally a stone's throw from my house, but, since she only hosts a sale once or twice a year, it always seems like it takes forevvvvver to get to it.

It's always completely worth the wait, though.

 I am now on the hunt for old street signs with my maiden and married names for my own yard

I didn't buy anything this year; I already have three unfinished projects cluttering up the garage and I can't fathom adding to that chaos, but, I left the sale with tons of ideas for re-purposing items already in my house as well as a new determination to finish what I've already started. Pam is an inspiration to me and I never fail to leave her place with renewed intentions.

Today, Kortni and I are headed to our other favorite sale-Pickin' at the Pea; I never leave there without a million new ideas, either. I guess we'll see if I also manage to leave with an undamaged pocketbook.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

When You Know You Raised Them Right

Yesterday, Queen B and Katie went to the pumpkin patch. No big deal, right? I mean, it's October, that's what kids do in October, right? Sure. But my "kids" are twenty-two years old. Still, they went to the patch, posed for selfies, picked the perfect pumpkins, and then, went home to carve jack-o-lanterns with Mikey, who, it should be noted, just turned twenty-one earlier this month.

This is how I know that all those years of dragging them to the pumpkin patch and corn maze and Stampede, and every other annual thing that we did, has made an impact on their adult selves. This is how I know that all of those traditions that Hugh and I worked so hard to instill in them actually "took".

This is how I know that they will be alright, and that makes my mama heart happier than you can imagine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Well, Look Who Finally Decided to Show Up

Helloooo, Gorgeous Fall Weather! Where you been keeping yourself? We've missed you!

The past two days have been sunny, crisp, and, dare I say,  pleasant. We've finally dried out and I have been able to get my Halloween display underway (pictures coming soon). I also managed to get in a quick photo shoot for a senior at Hooterville High, and I got everything out of the garden that needed to be harvested.

I'm feeling slightly less irritated with Mother Nature, for sure.

Hopefully, the weather will hold throughout the weekend, because I have plans with friends to attend the annual Fall Pickin' at the Pea antique sale on Saturday morning, as well as a Friday afternoon VIP sneak peek at my neighbor Pam's barn sale. These types of things are always so much more pleasant in nice weather.

For now, I'll just be grateful for what I've got. Again, thanks for showing up, Gorgeous!

Monday, October 15, 2018

And, Sometimes Life Stinks...Literally

Petticoat Junction got its first freeze overnight Saturday, which, meant that it was time to harvest my Brussels sprouts. As you may recall, I bitched quite freely about the aphid infestation that descended upon my garden this year, and, as you may also recall, I wasn't sure how that would affect my harvest. I'm quite pleased to inform you that it didn't completely decimate my haul; oh, it reduced it, for sure, but, I got away with more than enough sprouts to last us for awhile (although, Hugh would argue that there can never be enough Brussels sprouts).

I froze the sprouts, suing the same method that I did two years ago, which means that my house now reeks of Brussels sprouts-scented douche. Massengill should totally hit me up for the formula; it's certain to be a best seller.

I have tried to mask the scent by burning my Halloween candle, spraying air freshener freely throughout the house, and simmering cinnamon sticks on the stove top, but, still; the scent lingers. I am thisclose to smudging the house with sage, as one would in order to vanquish an evil spirit.

This is usually the portion of the program wherein I say something along the lines of, "But, on the bright side...", however, this time? Yeah, I got nothing.

Some days, you just gotta live with the stink.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Perfection is a Myth and Life is Hard

I enjoy reading other people's blogs like I enjoy reading a good work of fiction; often, the two are pretty much the exact same thing.

Blogging used to be a fairly accurate and honest depiction of life; you got a decent picture of the trials and tribulations of raising a family, or striking out on your own as a young adult, or gracelessly aging into an empty nester. Now and days, bloggers are often more focused on selling a fluffed up picture of perfection; often creating a sales pitch that rivals even the most aggressive late-night infomercial.

It's sad, y'all, because, life is not perfect.

Life is messy and heartbreaking and awful and wonderful, often at the same time. People hit roadblocks, mentally, financially, physically, and emotionally, and, it's OK to admit when you're struggling. It's better than OK to talk about what helped you push past the bad stuff, too (it's also ok to link to a resource that might help someone else who is struggling, but, when you profit from that link, you're kind of being an asshole. Just sayin').

Everyone needs help at some point in their lives, everyone. I don't care how happy, healthy, well-off, or stable you are; somewhere down the line, you will need an assist. That's just life.

Recently, I have watched three-out-of-four of my adult children (I absolutely consider the children-of-my-heart to be mine; biology be damned) struggle with shit that life felt the need to throw at them; ugly, raw, painful, terrible things. None of them felt they could reach out for help until they were in absolute crisis, and, thankfully, when they did, we were able to provide the support they needed, but, I had to ask myself; why did it take hitting such a wall before they reached out? I blame a lot on the bullshit myth of perfection that their current involvement with social media presents, and, I had to ask myself if I was somehow contributing to that myth.

This blog, my little space on the interweb, is meant to be a place where I can preserve an honest account of our life. A space to preserve the daily moments that make up our lifetime together. It's not meant to present a picture of perfection that others will strive to emulate, nor will it ever be an airbrushed, sanitized, saccharine-sweet, commercial for (insert hot product of the day, here). If you read here, my only hope is that, when you are finished, you think "Hey, me too!" rather than "God, I wish", or "If only..." or "Must be nice..." because, life? Is not the BEST! all the time. It's not going to be made better if you just "follow this link...", or, "buy this product..." and, here's the best kept secret, the one that social media doesn't want you to know; it doesn't have to be.

Sometimes, the absolute BEST part of life is coming out on the other side...the other side of grief, the other side of crisis, the other side of chaos, pain, and loss. And, the greatest gift you can give yourself- and others- is honesty about what's going on prior to seeing "the other side".

If you're currently in a space somewhere in the middle right now, please know that you aren't alone and that it will get better. Life isn't made to be perfect, but you are perfectly made.

And that's the only perfection that truly matters.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Oh, October, Why You Gotta Be Like That?


You are usually one of my favorite months of the year, like, we're talking top three, here. This year?'re testing my patience, October. Really testing my patience.

For one thing, the constant rain...what the hell is up with that? Last time I checked, August was monsoon season here in Petticoat Junction, not October.

I'm tired of steely gray skies, mud puddles, chilly drizzle, and damp umbrellas littering my car and office. And, on the topic of littering, my porch is the current dump site of all of the skeletons that need to be set up on the lawn for Halloween...

 Care to guess what the skeleton theme is for this year? Go ahead, guess.'s not the look I am striving for, and, the actual build that Hugh worked so hard on is slowly sinking into the moist, squishy ground (also, I hate the word moist; thank you  ever so much for forcing me to use it so much lately, October)...

I want to finish decorating for Halloween, October! Remember Halloween? It's your holiday; please do try showing up for it.

On the bright side, the craptastic weather makes for cozy evenings by the fire...

It also lends itself nicely to the burning of my favorite Halloween-scented candle, so, there's that at least.

Still, I'm ready for some typical October weather. I want to walk outside again. I want to enjoy my usual fall activities without having to layer a freaking parka over my adorable plaids and thermals.

Come on, October! Work with me here!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Care Packages: The Halloween Edition

I sent the most recent care package to the Man-Cub on Friday, having completely forgotten that today would be Columbus Day, which would tack an extra day on to its delivery. Good thing I didn't guarantee delivery today; mama likes to keep her word.

Anyhoodle, since the Cub is living off campus this year, I included some inexpensive decorations in the package, to help him and his roommates get into the Halloween spirit. I also included some food,  because, starvation is currently the scariest thing facing the kids.

Naturally, the mental picture of starving college students brought to mind the image of zombies, which, are totally Halloween appropriate, so...

....a zombie themed Halloween box was born.

In the box:

Paper Bats

Halloween Door Cover

Zombie Crossing Sign

Bloody Keep Out Window Clings

Zombie Survival Guide

Zombie Blaster

Monster Mash Coffee Mug

Deadpool Lounging Pants

Pumpkin Carving Tools

LED Pumpkin Light

Edible Eyeballs and Boogers

Poppable Zits (Disgusting! The Cub's gonna love them!)

Not pictured:

Two boxes of Hamburger Helper

One box of Little Debbie Star Crunch Treats

One box of Little Debbie Brownies

One package of trail mix

Three All-fruit Snack Bars

Barring any other random federal holidays, the Cub should receive it tomorrow, assuming the USPS doesn't hold up delivery due to the suspicious nature of the packaging, which, included bloody handprints.

Hey, what do they expect? It's almost Halloween!