Things I'm thankful for

I meant to do this earlier but waking up with a migraine, and still having a thanksgiving meal  to fix meant it just didn't happen.

1. I'm thankful for my girlies. I love them to pieces. 

2. I'm thankful for my sister. She helped me cook, and brought desserts and rolls, and helped me decorate my house for thanksgiving. 

3.  I'm thankful for all my animals. Especially my snuggly Westley. Even if he does have weird hair that always makes him look like a homeless dog, and even when the cats want to sleep laying right on top of me. 

4. I'm thankful for my house. It took me what seems like forever to finally have a house of my own and I couldn't be happier with it, or with having a mantle to decorate.

5. I'm thankful for my migraine medicine. Within an hour of taking it, I was able to finish the meal pain free.


Holiday Confessions

  • I could be done with Christmas shopping right now. I know me well enough to know I will still be buying odds and ends all the way up to Christmas Eve, but in theory, I am finished shopping.
  • I'm excited/nervous about tomorrow. I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house. I haven't cooked a turkey in 14 years. I really hope I don't burn the house down. 
  • I got into an argument over telling kids or not telling kids about Santa. Yes, this will be a blog post as soon as I get it written. 
  • I do not do black Friday. I just don't have the patience for that insanity. 

My Daughter is a Princess

Some little girls dream of being a princess when they grow up. I just so happen to have given birth to a Princess.

My friend owns a company that provides characters for parties. He had a party for a little girl who is sick with a immune disorder and couldn't have a traditional party for fear of becoming sick. Thankfully Abbey has recovered from the plague she had. The little girl wanted Elsa and Anna (Frozen) to come to her party.

Abbey got to be Anna. She didn't even need to wear a wig. Just a few hours earlier she was being a hateful teenager and driving me crazy. Seriously we stormed out of the mall, because I wasn't about to take one more second of a pissy attitude.  But when it was time to be Anna, she was a princess. She was sweet and nice and made the little girl have a birthday she will never forget.

Her eyes were sparkly and she was bubbly and happy after the party. She told us all about the girl and how the girl wanted to show Abbey/Anna her princess bedroom and play games with her. When the girl asked her where Olaf was Abbey/Anna told her that Olaf wasn't feeling well so he stayed home. I still haven't watched the movie but I am proud that Abbey was willing to take time out of her drama filled teenage angst having life to put a smile on someones face. 

While in the spirit of helping others, the girls decided to do a shoe box for operation Christmas Child.
They chose to do 3 boxes to cover all the age groups. It was fun watching them pick out items that they thought a little kid would want. I paid the 7 online to get a special bar code so we can track our boxes and see where they are going. My plan is to use it as a geography lesson and learn about the country the boxes have gone to.
Seriously overlook the phone pics. It was pouring the rain and my lens kept fogging over....or my phone is crap and I need a new one.... or both.

loopy Friday

How do my nice, sweet, wonderful children repay me for letting them stay hone nearly all week and recover? By giving me the plague.  I am hopped up on Sudafed and Dayquil. I am hoping I kick this soon. My Christmas decorations are being delivered tomorrow. They've been in storage since my move. I don't have a storage building yet. That and a fence back yard on high on my Spring to -do list.

I am moaning that even with the drugs in my system I feel no better. My head is so congested. I even bought the real Sudafed that you have to ask the pharmacist for. Do you have to do that in your state or is that something Kentucky does because we have too many idiots making Meth?  Anyway, I feel loopy.

Holy Cow

I can't believe it is Thursday already. Having sick kids all week really blurs the days together. Even though I didn't miss any work.They have been  to the doctor and tested negative for Ebola and the Flu. Since the fever has passed I believe its time for them to rejoin the world of the living.

So awhile back I mentioned that I had no clue where I want to go with decorating my house. Whenever I ask moan to people that I am stuck and need help, they so helpfully tell me that its my house and that I can do whatever I want. Completely missing the part where I don't know what I want. But, tonight it all came together. At least for the kitchen it did.

I had to drive to Lexington after work to get my stitches out. I had visions of all the pinterest wreaths dancing in my head, so I swung by Hobby Lobby to get some supplies. While there I walked through the wall art (because it was 50% off) and I was hoping to get inspired. OMG did I ever.

I love cows. I have a cow tattoo, of my stuffed cow I use to sleep with, but now has a place of honor in my bedroom. I have paired down most of my cow stuff over the years because as much as I love cows, I am not a fan of country. At least not the kind of country I am use to seeing. Most of the cow things I have now are based on the Cow Parade Cows. I'm sad several of my cow parade cows died a premature death thanks to the pets/kids/drunk visitors.

Anyway......I found this print. Please overlook the lovely iphone quality.  It was on sale and I had to have it. It already matches the red walls that the house came with, I'm still iffy on keeping it red or painting. But I know for sure the rest of the kitchen will be decorated around this cow. I feel like I need to give him a name. (my stuffed cow/cow tattoo is named Cowvin) just in case you were curious.


Keep Calm and Love a Shih Tzu

Its the time of year when people start
A. Thinking about all the things that they should thankful for, and wanting to give back
B. Possibly looking for a cute cuddly puppy to add to your family.
C. Wanting to donate a huge amount of money, to help with tax time.

I can help you with all of those things. Recently I discovered a rescue organization in my state, Bluegrass Shih Tzu Rescue. They have several dogs up for adoption (or as foster dogs). And look at these cute faces. Don't you want a dog that looks like an Ewok?

I'm not able to adopt, because I don't have a structural fence up yet. But, What I am able to do to help is set my amazon account to smile. Amazon smile donates a portion of what you spend to a non profit of your choice. I chose this wonderful organization. I also follow them on facebook because I love the update posts from the foster parents. Here is the website where you can learn how to donate, or adopt. You can also sponsor a sanctuary dogs that will be on foster care for the rest of their lives due to illness or other concerns. 
(My sister's Shih Tzu Inigo Montoya....yes he is dressed as a punk)

So if you are looking for a place to donate money before the end of the year they are a  501 c3 non profit, so all donations are tax deductible. If you are looking to add a pet into your life. I absolutely adore my Shih Tzu. Westley is my boy. I couldn't imagine life without him.

                   Isn't my boy a cutie?   

*** This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving anything in return for my post. I just really think its a great organization and want all the dogs to have a furever home for the holidays.***

The poor house

We are at Ebola level of contagious at my house. Be glad you are reading this from the safety of your own house. There is a whole lot of fever, snot, and me screaming "cover your cough." I may not survive.

 The other day I was waiting in line and heard the guy in front on me use about 4 idioms. One that stuck out in my head was "if you run with a dog you'll get fleas." I had always heard the saying "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas." Which I guess is close enough. This got me thinking about where these old sayings came from. 

A while back I was riding in the car with my coworker and she pointed out this house. I thought it was gorgeous. She said its the poor house. HUH?!?!? The poor house is a real thing? Apparently so. This house is no longer the poor house, but at one time it was used to house people who couldn't provide for themselves (or who were caught begging in public) 
Going along with the theme of poor....

If you relied on selling your urine to the tanneries for a living, you were considered piss poor. If you didn't have a pot to collect your urine in to sell, you didn't have a pot to piss in. My mom use to add to the or a window to throw it out of. No clue where that came from.


We are having our first real cold front. Its only 30ish degrees, which is just a taste of the horrible cold that, if last year was any indication, of what we can expect. I have been walking through the house and finding pockets of cool air. So far my electric bill has been good, but I don't want to waste any money on heating the outside.

So far I've insulated behind the outlet covers that are on an outside wall. I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but when I was buying weatherizing material it was only 3 for a box that would do the whole house.

The house was built in 1950, so I still have a floor furnace. It doesn't work, I have central air, but I do still have the big old vent in the hallway floor. I have a rug over it because it hurts to walk on. long term goal is to pull the furnace up and add some inlaid tile there. Short term goal is stopping the feel of Siberia when walking in the hall way. I laid plastic under the vent for the time being, however I really think it needs to have insulation too.

The house had new windows in two of the rooms when I moved in. I am now noticing that there is a gap around the window where it wasn't caulked and you can feel a nice steady breeze.

When I moved in there was a weird particle board covering half of the crawl space. I knew that was just asking for frozen pipes. A friend made me a door that fits right in the opening. Yay for friends that build things.

I still don't want winter to come, but at least I can hibernate and not worry about my electric bill.

protect your skin

There won't be any pictures in this post. Believe me you wouldn't want to see it anyway. About a month ago I made my annual dermatology appointment. I have a family history of skin cancer, and a personal history with skin cancer.  I was dumb and started using the tanning bed in 7th grade. I have always been naturally tanned (perk of being part Sioux) But I wanted to be REALLY dark.

Now, years later, I am dealing with the aftermath. I have had 4 displastic moles. That means the area has skin cells that are going rogue. They aren't normal. They have to be removed. Its not fun or pretty.

This time when I got the call that the biopsy was not good and they wanted to see me again to remove more. The nurse on the phone was so sweet and started to explain the process.. I cut her off and said I understood, I've been there done that and just needed my time to come back. She gave me a date and I showed up.

Several stitches later, in a spot I can't reach, but everyone I see wants to hit. Who knew so many people patted me on the back? I never noticed before. I know its getting to be tanning bed season. At least it would have been for me. I loved the feel of the bed on a cold day. It was like the best spa treatment. Totally relaxing and warming me literally from the inside out. I still find myself craving the feeling of the bed. But then I think about stitches, and wound care, and the allergy rash I will get from the adhesive, and the possibility that the next displastic mole isn't caught in time..... its just not worth it.

While I'm handing out advice let me say make an appointment for a full body check by your dermatologist. If you are in the Central Kentucky area I will highly recommend mine. Not all dermatologist will do a full body check, unless you ask. Its really important. Every problem area that I have had has been one that didn't concern me. The places I had concerns about have never been anything to worry about. So ask for the full body.  

What to do when your phone dies

Saturday morning, at the ungodly (for a weekend) hour of 8, I heard sobbing. It sounded pretty pathetic. I opened my daughters room. She was cradling her phone and crying. Upon further inspection it looked like the phone was in the middle of the blue screen of death. Only this was more like the stripped, flickering screen of death. We watched it  take its final digital breath and die.

What made this ordeal even worse was the phone 1. was long past warranty. 2. Didn't have a service plan. 3. Was 3 month shy of the upgrade date. Now I wanted to cry. I thought long and hard about what we could do that wasn't going to cost me a fortune to replace the phone.

First I called AT&T they wanted me to go with the NEXT plan. Which means I buy a phone and pay it off monthly. I really don't want to add to my bill, especially since it was so close to the time that I could get the same phone they want me to pay 30 a month for, for free.

Next I went to Verizon. All of my lines are close to the upgrade date so I thought maybe it would be ok to just switch carriers. Only the deals they have online they don't have in the store. Like the phone my sister wanted. Which is 100 in the store, but free online. Then my number and my sister's number wouldn't "port over". Because of this I wouldn't have gotten the 150 credit to our second bill (notice they don't credit that first big bill.)  After sitting with her for an hour and a half trying to make it work and determining to keep what I have with AT&T I would be paying 40 extra a month. She said maybe I should just do it online. I took that to mean, maybe you should stick with AT&T.

Finally I decided to add a line. It cost me 1.50 for the phone. I will pay for the extra line, until the upgrade date on the broken phone and then cancel that line. I'll still be paying the 40 extra but only for 3 months instead of the forever with Verizon, or 24 months with AT&T NEXT plan.

Food Fail

In October I joined the Choose your own Adventure. The theme was food. My challenge was to try something new every week. I cheated big time. I went to a festival and had a Grater Tater. It was a fundraiser from my former high school band. OMG it was good. They use a drill and spiral thingy and shave the potato so it is one long spiral potato chip like creation. Then they deep fry it and add cheese and sour cream. It was divine and well worth the 30 minutes I stood in line for it.

I also added one of the Campbell (Marsalla) packets to a chicken I threw in the crock pot. It was something I've never tried so I counted it. Of course I didn't think to get a picture. In my opinion the month of trying new things was a total fail.

I hope I do better in November for Organize. I have lived in my house for almost three months and I feel like I will never get it straightened out.

Life According to Steph

Moving Tips to Make Life Easy

This weekend I was asked about my moving tips. When you move as many times as I have, you pick up some tips and tricks for moving. A friend of mine is moving in a month. She works full time, goes to school full time, and has 4 busy kids. She asked me how I do it.

I was busy at t he time, freezing to death at the last band competition of the season. I couldn't even think at that moment. Once I arrived home, and had time to thaw out. I made a list of the big things I do when I move. In case you are new here, I have moved 6 times in 5 years. Before that, I moved 4 times in 6 years (not counting college moving home at the end of the semester).

  1. Label all Boxes with the name of whats in the box. No boxes should say Misc.
  2. Pick a spot in your house to store the boxes before you start packing. As you clear room you can expand the spot. This way you aren't tripping over boxes while you pack. 
  3. Start with the things you aren't using or don't use often that way you can start right away.
  4. Don't wrap breakables with clothes, like socks, you may think it sounds like a good idea but do you unpack knick knacks right away? You end up forgetting you've wrapped everything in your socks and then wonder what happened to all your clothes....then you buy more. 
  5. If you can keep your clothes on your hangers and move them together it saves having to rehang stuff. 
  6. Don't pack bedding instead use it to cushion breakables. 
  7. Have someone watch your pets until you have moved the final load. Its hard to move when you are worried about your scared, freaked out pets.  
  8.  Pack an over night bag with your toiletries and Pajammas in it. I am always exhausted after a day of moving and don't feel like digging through the piles. Numbers for take out is good too.
  9. As you move boxes into your new place, try to store them in the room that they will go into. But, line them against the wall so you can move around inside the room. 
  10. If you have children with stuffed animals you can pack them in trash bags, but remember to label it stuffed animals. I almost threw all my daughters stuffies away.

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