Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I LOVE HALLOWEEN: Don't Judge...

Got this today in the mail. I propped it on top of my old display typewriter in the corner of my office. It's kind of funny, the rest of my house is very modern--lots of retro and 50's style stuff, but my office...well, that's a different story. It's the one room that could only be described as...Victorian in nature. Filled with antiques and potted ferns, styled with my old-world maps and bookcases and dark woods--I even have a great turn-of-the-century styled settee. (as in 20th century, NOT 21st!) It's all reds and browns and dark walls and just the atmosphere I love to write in. So, the sign looks pretty good in here. At least until I turn the rest of my house into Creepyville. ;-) I don't know why, but Halloween always holds a certain macabre charm for me. I LOVE Halloween ephemera, I love the old fashioned vintage creepy stuff, it's so much fun! I am already working on several projects to prepare for Halloween, such as the "13 Days of Halloween" countdown, and a "spooky party" my Thing One wants to throw for some select friends. Can't wait!

Now, to figure out costumes...

On the 21 Day No Junkfood Challenge:

I'm on day three. Three days without soda, chocolate, and a whole slew of things. I'm actually doing ok. We went out to celebrate after Thing Three's XC meet last night, and I had to order water instead of my usual "Coke Zero with Grenadine" but life goes on. I am not really suffering. I am just eating more healthily. Although I felt bad because Thing Two, who is doing the challenge with me, I was helping him pack his lunch and I offered cookies, just before I realized we can't have them! (oops!) The look he gave me broke my heart. But he shrugged it off. We can do this!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Am I a "gamer?"

First off:

Day One of the 21-day Junk Food Challenge:
It really wasn't that hard. Well, maybe the "no soda" part. But I caught myself, a few times. Usually, if I want some cookies and milk, I just have them. If I want candy or chips, I eat them. No second thoughts. Yesterday made me aware that my food choices really aren't that awesome. Granted, a bowl of Lucky Charms wasn't on the list, so I sure had that for breakfast, but otherwise I was not dying or anything. Let's see how today goes...

So, GAMING.  I have one son who is a full-on gamer. At least, he games on his iPhone and iPad. He has an X-box and a Wii U, but I don't like the war/kill everything in sight with a semi-automatic weapon games, so he only has like Skyrim, and those types. No Call of Duty, no Modern Warfare, etc etc..

I am not a gamer in that sense. However, I've become addicted to Big Fish Games. I got started with the Puppetshow series:
 The game was creepy, steam-punky, macabre, just up my alley. And I LOVED the atmosphere. It immerses you in the world with eerie music and sounds and you solve a mystery and find hidden objects and work out puzzles. I was HOOKED. This was a few years ago. 

Anyway, there are about five or six continuations out there, and OH MY are there some fun Big Fish games. The creepier and more sinister the better, for me, I love walking through a haunted mansion, or a creepy graveyard, or a dark hidden tomb, looking for clues. It's addictive. Now that a lot of them are available on iPad, when I go to bed at night, I usually spend some time before bed playing around on one of my games. So, basically, I guess you could say I "game" every day. HAHA. 

Or is that something I should admit out loud? ;-)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The 21-Day No Junk Food Challenge

This is it. I'm doing this. I found it on Pinterest, and it intrigued me. Would I be able to stick to this challenge? For 21 WHOLE DAYS?

Looking at this list, I am sad to say that I usually have at least half if not more of these things on this list, EVERY day. I am not the healthiest eater, ever. So, I am going to do the 21 day challenge, and post and describe how I'm feeling about it. Good thing I don't curse on the blog, because I think if I did it would be curses galore.

I'm sitting here, drinking my last soda for 21 days, and narrowing my eyes skeptically. I'm a "visual" person, so I need to see how I am doing. So, in my little laundry-room command center I've made a calendar, so I can cross the days off as I go:

This way, I can "see" how far I've come, and how far I have left to go. For me, that is motivating in itself. I have to be honest, the no soda and fast food and chocolate are going to be the HARDEST. Can I do it? Well, I'd better. Putting it on the blog keeps me accountable. Because it's embarrassing when you fail in front of the whole world...


Friday, September 05, 2014

Nickeled and Dimed to Death...

I usually refrain from being political on the blog, but I have to voice some frustration about the time we are living in. Is it me, or is everything costing WAY more?

I was at Wal-Mart the other day, and noticed that they have raised their prices on lots of staple items. I was surprised. When we moved here 4 years ago, a big box of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish was $5.98. Guess what it is now? $7.98. That's just an example. Even at places like Wal-Mart, groceries aren't cheap anymore. And for this family of six, which three teenagers, food goes fast!

Insurance is more expensive. My first 3 children were born in the 1990's. Guess what I paid for them? A $50 copay, and everything after that was covered 100%. Now, it's a copay for every pre-natal visit (and there are a lot of them), you get zillions of bills from the pathologists, Radiology, the tests, etc. etc. and THEN you get to pay anywhere from 20-40% of the hospital stay during the birth of your baby. We had a baby in 2007 and he was thousands and thousands of dollars. UGH.

Now, I learn that public school Driver's Ed (which was a FREE class in my time) in North Carolina will go up from the meager $55 it is now, to $300-$500 dollars per student after this school year! UGH! It's not enough that my insurance payments literally QUADRUPLED when my daughter got her license!

Gas is expensive. Groceries are expensive. Taxes are higher. Utilities are WAY more expensive. (I about fell over when I got my water bill for last month!) Insurance is pricey. School field trips are $100+ and they used to be like, FIVE DOLLARS. Airlines are starting to charge a fee for CARRY ONS. Everything is being stripped down to the most basic service, and things we were never charged for before are some sort of fee now, and it all adds up.

It's scary, how much money having a family costs these days. Don't get me started on College tuition.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Funky Time of Year

Well, we are here again. That "awkward" time of year when school is in, and it's September, but it's not officially fall, yet. In fact, the temps the last week have been in the mid to high 90s. With 85% humidity. NICE. Not exactly sweater-wearing/leaf-raking/pumpkin everything-baking weather.

But I always jump the gun. I LOVE fall. The colors, the HOLIDAYS (so much to be thankful for and don't get me started on how much I love Halloween!) So, in preparation for this fall/Halloween season, I did the following this week:

1) Put up my Fall front door wreath.
2) Baked Pumpkin cookies
3) Went to the local craft stores (after combing Pinterest) and filled my list so I could make all my Halloween crafts (yes, I was the ONLY one buying Halloween stuff haha!)
4) Began my Fall de-junking.

I am ready for the sweltering summer to be over--bring on the cooler weather! Things I love about fall:

1) Hoodies and jeans and sweaters and boots
2) Football
3) Pumpkin in everything
4) Leaves changing
5) No more ginormous AC bill (haha)
6) Cider and doughnuts

Bring on fall!!! I'm ready!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

So...I suck.

Needless to say, it's been A While. I've been so caught up in Facebook and Twitter and my children's lives and family stuff, the blog has pretty much fallen to the wayside.

I had my blog made into books by year at Blog2print (which is actually reasonable if you get soft cover) and I noticed that every year since I started the blog in 2004, the books get thinner and thinner. This year's will be non-existent if I don't start things up again. So, I'm going to revamp the look of things. I am tired of the old format, so changes are coming! And I fully intend to post regularly. Let's just see what happens...