Always a Little Wonky

This week’s got me like:

krabs meme

When I started trying to narrow down exactly what it was, my head kept correcting me.  I said “WOW, what a week!” and my head went “You mean, what a month, what a year, what a past few years.”

This is exactly why I have self-esteem issues. 

Let’s ignore for a bit that I talk to myself.  Everyone does that, right?  It’s just sometimes, well a lot of times, life in general is freaking overwhelming.  Between school, being a caregiver, being a mom, trying to be an independent person, doing what I have to and trying to find time for something fun, there just isn’t enough time in the day.

There’s not enough time in the day, y’all.

School is chugging along.  I am having to contend with trying to pass and instructors that will not allow even a comma out of place.  When I am say they won’t allow it, I am saying you fail if you have more than four errors.  BIG FAT F.  That stings, I don’t care how old you are.  I know that I don’t/can’t/won’t edit myself but this is a HUGE stumbling block to trying to get out of this Master’s program.  I have three more months.  Say a prayer to the old gods and the new for me…I just need to be done with some bit of dignity left.

I have been writing about Little Monkey a long time.  Every time I go backwards and look at pictures here, I am reduced to a puddle in the floor.  I have said before, the idea that she will be 16 this summer is mind-blowing.  We are making college dream sheets and planning visits and trying to work out the what/how/where.  It is daunting.  The first two were real clear about what they wanted to do and had real decisions made pretty quickly about where that would be but this one, man, this one wants the sun and the moon.

emma louI’m not kidding.

Little Monkey wants to go to an Ivy League school, become a doctor, apply to NASA and become an astronaut.  I blame Interstellar for this.  She watches this movie all the damn time and can’t stop.  She has been obsessed with the stars for as long as I can remember and taking her to Huntsville last year did nothing to help quell that fire.  It’s my job to encourage her, right?  Despite it being a hard road, despite it being complicated, despite it being such a narrow field…I am the MOM, I HAVE to encourage.  She is pretty much a bad ass, so who am I to say that she can’t do something?  The world takes enough from you.  I am looking forward to her punching the world right in the face and saying NOT TODAY WORLD. (If someone can, it will be her.)

My long list of projects continues to grow.  We got all the carpet pulled up but now can’t decide between all hard wood or partial carpet.  It makes my head hurts.  My table is a little too wobbly for the amount that we use it so we are going to build this pedestal, twice, and remedy that.  That means I need new equipment from Kreg but I will figure that out eventually.  Then there is the painting.  The living room, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the kitchen, outside stuff…

Did I mention I have a headache?

miss kiwiMy sweet old lady dog hasn’t been doing well.  I knew this would happen, it’s just never something you are prepared for, I don’t care how old you are.  In and out of the hospital for weeks, the ladies at Paws and Claws have been fantastic but I am afraid it’s the beginning of a long struggle.  Today she is happy and I am happy for that.

Summer is coming, that’s something to be happy about, right?

My packed calendar tells me I am wrong.  Truthfully, I am always a little wonky.  Being less busy or less worried about things might make it worse.

How do you keep from loosing your mind these days?  Maybe you can lead me by example. Lord knows, I need it!




My Nerdy Kitchen

BEFORE Kitchen cabinets and Little Monkey being goofy
BEFORE Kitchen
BEFORE Kitchen wall

Living in a 100 year old tiny house is difficult.  There is always something breaking, not working or needing updating.  While I have advocated down sizing before (and still do) it can pose quite a problem for a cook.  There are many things I don’t need in other rooms of the house but the kitchen is one of those where I still don’t have every thing I need, much less every thing I want.  One of the problems posed by this little space was where to hang our nerdy artwork.  Because there was an empty wall in the kitchen placed where nothing could go against it if you wanted to maintain any sort of emergency exit plan (read here:  between two doors) it ended up this was the art wall.  From there the kitchen project began.

For most people, I am sure I don’t have to explain the importance of paint colors. You CAN use dark colors in small spaces but it has to be the right dark color (see my bathroom below).  This tiny house was painted on the main floor in awful pink tinted beige with dark burgundy accent walls.  The result was a house that was dark and depressing at best.  Marry this with really badly done mint green cabinets and it just got worse.  When we first moved in, we weren’t really sure where to put all our pieces because clearly cooking had to take place but there was so little prep space that it became a chore.  We tried several configurations, none of which helped.  We finally started a couple of months ago, one project at a time, until we finally arrived at the finished project this weekend.

AFTER Kitchen wall

Yes those are comic books and Daleks.  You don’t have to like it but it is quite representative of our household. While the old table we gave a facelift isn’t quite Tardis blue, its close enough for you to get it.  Someone, solely the fault of Halo, we went down a deep rabbit hole into very specific nerdy art with candy and/or cupcakes involved.  It’s sad.  I have added a great print from Amy Houser and I fear I will never stop looking for them.  Currently paint and glittering a sign to hand that says “Make Cupcakes Not War.”  See what I mean?

As a side note, the master tiny bath was redone as well.  It was previously a God-awful shade of blue that did not “brighten” anything.  Combined with a poorly hung mirror and a light fixture above it hung 8 inches too far to the right made for a depressing bathroom.  Though I went with a darker color, it ended up looking much richer and simply repositioning the light and mirror properly, results in far more light reflecting and a happier room.

AFTER bathroom, Darby approved

Shades of orange, chalkboard paint, take some cabinet doors down, add Big Foot fabric and BAM!  Shouldn’t all rooms be happier?

Politics, Smut Peddling and My Year of Ups and Downs

Politics and My Real Life

I will go ahead and get it out of the way.  For those that know me, I know you are surprised that I have been silent on the matter.  That is strictly because I have been so damn busy.  Here goes–I am not sure why people even CONSIDER voting against their self-interest.  To say that I am continually dismayed by the state of civil discourse in this country would be an understatement.  If in my own family we so oppose each other’s opinions that the topic is off limits, I don’t have any hope for any change nationally.  So let me just give you some facts:

1.  I was married to a service member during the initial Iraq invasion.  While he is my ex and turned out to be a jerk, personally, I think it gives me some credibility to speak to the fact that the soldiers were lied to about their reason for entering that country and the result has been catastrophic for both our countries.

2.  Currently, I am married to a disabled Army Veteran.  His experience has been in the wonderful international destination that Afghanistan has become and later, Gitmo, Cuba.  I have held his had through PTSD episodes, nightmares, night sweats, tests, more tests, emergency visits, counseling appointments, frustrating goose chases that VA appointments can turn into.  I do think this gives me some credibility to speak on the subject.

3. President Obama signed a bill that allowed uninsured (like me) and those with pre-existing conditions coverage (my kids) and a number of other amazing things.  He also signed a bill that allowed me to become my husbands Primary Care Giver through a VA program.  This stipend allows me to facilitate every single thing necessary for him to get all the appointments, treatments, etc. that he needs without the fear of how to navigate a part time job and his critical care.  President Obama signed the Fair Pay Act and supports the right for me to make the decisions I need to for my own body.

Democrat or not, I can tell you that President Obama is the one that has done the most to directly impact my family.  Met with a crushing debt instead of what President Clinton left for President Bush, he has had a nearly insurmountable task.  He has begun a drawn down from two countries that we shouldn’t have occupied in the first place, trying to relocate prisoners in Gitmo that THEIR OWN COUNTRIES WILL NOT TAKE BACK, and some how try to help calm the fears in this country that our economy is permanently broken.

I wouldn’t want to be the President for all of the money and power in the world.  He was handed a Congress that lauded the fact that their job was to get rid of him and block his every move.  That should embarrass us all.  We can disagree but there are MANY things that could have been done to help us further along but simply because they were Democratic lead and sponsored, they were shut down.  It’s disgusting.

I support President Obama.  I hope you will too.

Smut and Those who write it

Whether you approve of Fifty Shades of Grey or not, there is no doubt that by now, you have probably heard of it.  I think that, overall, is a good thing.

I have been writing erotica since 2007.  My first piece was published on a The Erotic Woman blog and later, I had a relationship with the wonderful people at Love You Divine.  In both situations, I used the pseudonym (Mistress Cassandra) because at the time, despite many great literary pieces of erotic being accepted, working as a “smut peddler” was not a common and socially acceptable role.  What previously drew whispers, hushed tones and outright shut down of discussions now elicits endless questions and interested parties.  Since the popularity of Fifty Shades, everything has changed.  Overall, I think this is good.  Or at least I think that, until I see something like THIS.  There will be constant discussion now to define what one thing is versus what another is.  While I may personally think the BDSM subject matter is not reflected correctly, the author however is able to write whatever the author wants.  Clearly it’s sold without anyone having concern for the way it is perceived so who am I to pass judgement.

We have such antiquated opinions in this country about sex and about the human body in general.  I grew up in Europe and seeing someone partially clothed in a shower gel commercial there was not uncommon.  No big deal.  Here, we get ridiculously excited over “wardrobe malfunctions” but also have a society that supports a Jersey Shore culture and new shows like Honey Boo Boo’s.  You can’t have it both ways America.  Stop telling people what kind of sex they can have, what they can read about it and what kind of person you are if you write it when you have shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and send people on “private dates” where they can spend the night with each other.

I don’t get it.  So I keep writing.  This year for my Nanowrimo project will be an erotica novel under my own name.  Hopefully Fifty Shades gives me a little better chance of not getting hate mail and ostracized.  Or not.  Either way, I will keep writing.

My Year of Ups and Downs

Some of you know I had some serious stuff going on at the beginning of the year.  What went from a little test to a bigger test, to a procedure and then a bigger procedure nearly broke me.  As a Mom, the hardest thing in the world for me is the idea that I can’t take care of my family.  I try to let the older ones find their way and not intervene but having one still at home filled me with panic and anger.  It doesn’t make sense why things happen to people that try to do the right things and walk the path of good intentions.  I thought I was that kind of person so for me, anger often took over much of my days that weren’t filled with profound hurt and sadness.  It affects everything you do.

The result was this:  after a particularly horrific week in which I thought my husband was having a stroke and I had a huge problem resulting from the stress I was told I was having an emergency hysterectomy.  Although I have had all the kids I intended to, the finality of it was not lost on me.  I am not sure that is something anyone can really grasp unless it has happened to them either.  For the record, there is a lot of horrible crap on line about hysterectomies.  (Health situations are generally not the best subjects to Google, for sure.)  I have to give a shout out to Hyster Sisters, a great site/forum where you can get real information about what is happening and join a group of people going through the same crap.  I found it to be the What to Expect When Expecting of surgical procedures.  It answered questions I desperately needed and calmed me the hell down.

I am nearly six months post surgery now.  I feel SOOOOO much better.  You don’t realize sometimes how something that makes you sick can affect all parts of your body and mind.  Do I feel I deserved to go through what I did?  No and I am still damn angry about it sometimes.  Am I better off now?  OH YEAH.  Full speed ahead!

Archery Madness

Thankfully, I healed quickly because my year literally went nuts shortly there after.  Most of you know Little Monkey has been competing in archery competitions but mid-year, she decided to take it to a whole new level.  Rather than me writing about her, I suggested she use her journaling she does during archery class as a prompt to chronicle her experiences.  Monkey has met some amazing people and formed friendships with international archers as well.  She has set some lofty goals, started writing blog posts and will only be busier next year.  For now I am handling her linking and photo uploads but she is learning and loving it.  If you are interesting in following her journey, she has her own site, Tumblr and Twitter.  While I have a Pinterest where she hosts “Little Monkey’s Board” it is largely nail polish and crafty related so be forewarned!

Wrap Up

So I migrated to WordPress because iPage became so restrictive!  I am happy that I could pull in the posts from my old Blogger page but sad that I lost my iPage content.  WordPress gives me some cool features and I can post multiple links and pictures that I needed so YEAH!  Thanks for sticking with me through the changes.

I am still writing at Almost Nerdy, hanging out on G+ and Twitter as well as handling a Tumblr page of my own, one for grad school and one for our newest pet/internet star.  I am on month 4 of a 12-month Masters program with Fullsail University for a Masters in Education Media and Design Technology and getting to try out some new emerging technology.  My research blog I have to maintain for that program is here and my emerging technology reviews I had to do are here in the event that you are interested in either.

Tons of DIY projects are ongoing right now so you will see that stuff posted soon!

Later peeps!

Guest Post: The Disaster

     This is a first for me so a big HUZZAH for the first guest post here.  The author is quite serious about this “using the imagination” thingy and since this blog was started because of her, I feel an obligation to provide her a format whenever it tickles her fancy.  I was quite surprised to find this waiting for me when I got home last night and have transcribed it here.  Minus the auto correct, I will advise I have made no corrections for syntax, punctuation, etc. because, well, that just wouldn’t be right.  In case you haven’t read her bio, the author is 10.


The Disaster

I live on Cemetery Dr. It’s not the ideal place to live for a 10 year old girl. My street, I am the only kid on the street, the rest of the houses are abandoned it’s only me and my brother. My mom and dad are in the airforce we try and video chat with them every night, but something has been happening lately. They haven’t been video chatting with us but the sergeant has, he has been saying there are strange figures coming out of the mist and they are hovering figures over them and soldiers have been disappearing. He says our parents are still at the base but are very sick, and the sick soldiers have been the ones disappearing. He says blue lights have been coming from the mist and paralyzing the soldiers when they are well and they get sick, very sick. When I heard the news I started crying after we heard about mom and dad. Strange figures out of the mist started happening here in California, along with earthquakes, tornados and tsunamis, and this doesn’t make sense, SNOW. Strange figures, strange weather, what is happening to the world? I heard a “crash” slammed the window. “JASON,” I screamed. Jason came running into the room “What is that?” screamed Jason. “How am I supposed to know?” I exclaimed. He got shot with blue light from the strange figure. “I don’t know how to take care of you,” I said with tears running down my face. So I turned on the TV and tried to find any information but the TV wasn’t working now. The next thing you know, the computer isn’t working so I never find out what condition my parents are in. 5 years later, my dad walks through the door along with a broken arm and leg, with a crutch and says “I’m here.”

The End

Little Monkey Keeps Growing

Little Monkey has been gone for the weekend and despite getting her back tomorrow, I still miss her like crazy. If you weren’t here for the start of the blog, this is the story here. I penned a few, number two is here, so in honor of her, I figured I would post number three.

Mango Tango teaches Dance

In a very hot place, in a very tiny house, the ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop, was sticking her toes in the pond. The day seemed to be dragging, getting hotter and hotter every minute, so heading to the water was the only thing to do to cool off. Emma Delaney hiked up her fairy dress and started to wade in when she heard a big splash. She looked up to see Mango, dancer dog extraordinaire, swimming towards her.

“Hello Mango Tango. How are you today?”

“Very hot, Princess Emma. This weather can make me most disagreeable.” Mango climbed onto the shore on Emma’s side of the pond and shook furiously to get rid of every last water droplet.

Emma climbed out of the pond. “That is a pretty cool trick Miss Mango. I wish I was a dancer dog so I could do that too.”

Mango laughed. “You don’t have to be a dancer dog to shake, you just have to be all loosey goosey like this.” Mango stood on her back legs and did a hula for the Princess.

“That’s funny. Let me try.” Emma then imitated the hula, all the way down to the wagging tail. Mango dropped down to all fours because she was laughing so hard.

“I think that is pretty good, Emma Delaney. I am headed back to my studio to pick out music for my next class, would you like to come with me and help? I keep the air conditioning down really low so it’s nice and chilly. I am here only for a bit of exercise, I swim to keep my dancer’s legs.” Mango stretched out one of her big yellow legs to show off the muscles.

“I would love to join you Miss Mango. It is awfully hot out today.”

The pair walked up the hill to the little blue house with daisies out front. It had round windows and a stone path and seemed altogether like a lovely place to live. Emma followed Mango Tango to the front porch and into the hall.

“Here is my studio.” Mango pointed with her paw to the right. “If you would like to go and get started, I will go get us some lemonade.”

“Yummy, I love lemonade.”

Emma opened the studio door. It was a big room with mirrors on the wall, a bar along one side and a wooden floor. There were stacks and stacks of music to look through so Emma sat down by one pile and started rummaging through. In her house, her mom, Queen of the Universe, loved music and played it all the time. There was always laughing, giggling and dancing which made her house altogether a lovely place to live.

“Here you go little one.” Mango returned carrying a tray of treats, lemonade and a vase with a sweet pea blossom.

“This is a lovely tray Mango. I was just having tea with Old Toad the other day and he is rather fond of sweet peas too.”

“Well, Miss Emma, I rather hope they helped him smell a bit better.”

Emma smiled and then told Mango Tango about the really great idea Miss Halloween, Queen of all Actual Cats had.

“My! That is a great idea! I may have to come by and visit Toad myself now, it has been a long time. Have you found any music you like?”

“I think I like them all, that’s the problem.”

“Well, let’s start playing things and see where we end up, okay. Why don’t you look in the trunk over there and find the perfect tutu for a Princess.”

Emma ran to the trunk. This is so exciting! She stopped a moment staring at all the candy colored creations…what was the perfect tutu for a Princess? She moved the around until she saw it, at the very bottom. Pink, green, ribbon and beads, it was the prettiest thing she had ever seen. She quickly tied it around her waist and hurried back to Mango’s side.

“Okay, let’s get started.” Mango reached over and pushed a disc into the player.

‘it’s a beautiful night to be here…’

Emma recognized the song. “I know that song, it’s my mothers favorite song.”

“Well the Queen obviously has good taste in music. This is a possibility; we will put it on our list. I will be teaching a modern dance class so something a little peppy and a little rock and roll would be good.”

“Oh I know!” Emma grabbed a disc and put it in the player.

‘where would we be if we couldn’t dream’

The song played and Mango Tango tapped a paw. “This is a good idea Emma.” She turned up the sound and began to leap around the room, doing twirls and twists in between. Emma clapped and tapped and giggled too.

“Come on Princess, dance! Just do what the music makes you feel like doing.”

Emma joined Mango Tango, mimicking her twirls, trying her leaps and laughing loudly. They shimmied, slid, ran and bounced. Mango called out the names of movements but Emma was having way too much fun to hear any thing she said. She listened to the music, danced and spun, leapt and glided across the floor. When the music ended, they both fell on the floor in one tired heap of fun.

“Oh Miss Mango, that is the most fun I have had all day I think. It was so hot out and I was so bored, I didn’t know being inside could be so fun!”

“Well little one, you are welcomed to dance here any time. Would you like to keep your tutu for dancing at your house?”

“Oh could I?” Emma sat up and looked at the very tired, big, yellow dancing dog.

“Certainly you may, ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop. I think you even became a better hopper today than you were yesterday!”

“You are right! I never though hopping could be so much fun. Now I have a few things to show Miss Kiwi, the silliest hopper in the kingdom.” Emma was excited to learn something new and couldn’t wait to share with her other friends.

“That will be funny, please take pictures. You will need to bring Kiwi here sometime and let her pick out the perfect tutu for a silly hopper.”

“Oh that is a great idea! Thank you again Miss Mango. I can’t wait to show my mother what I learned too.” Emma was jumping up and down, apparently becoming a hopper in her own right now.

“Please give my regards to the Queen, Miss Emma. I am going to get ready for my class now. Have fun dancing at your house.”

Emma jumped up and down more. “I will, I always do! Bye Mango!”

So the Princess of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop ran out of the little blue house with daisies, in a pink and green flash, down the stone path, turned at the bent old tree, and ran down the lane to the tiny house, in a very hot place. Eager to teach everyone what she knew, she turned up the music and told everyone in her kingdom that staying inside on a very hot day can be a good idea with the right tutu.

The End

Princess of Frogs, Toads and all creatures that Hop

so this week was unbearable and then the car wouldnt start going home, causing me to miss little monkeys dance recital. she was more worried about me, than her dancing so i felt even worse. a good friend suggested i write a story for her, so, without further adieu, here ya go…

In a very hot place, in a very tiny house, there lived a princess. She spent days making magic, art and music and playing with creatures big and small. The Princess was known as Emma Delaney, ruler of all frogs, toads and creatures that hop. A pretty girl, Emma had curly hair and blue eyes and understood the importance of glue sticks and glitter. Emma liked things that were green, not because she really liked green, but because in her kingdom, she knew the frogs would be offended if she didn’t. When she traveled, she took her favorite creature, Kiwi (named for a fuzzy brown fruit that was green in the middle). Kiwi liked to hop. Kiwi sometimes got out of hand, hopping and hopping, higher than Emma’s head.

“Kiwi, you are a silly hopper.” She said.

“Emma, you are a silly girl.” Kiwi told her.

“I think that you should teach me to hop as much as you.” Emma said to Kiwi one afternoon over gingerbread and punch.

“It’s all about the shoes, really.” Kiwi lifted one of her four legs to display for Emma her sequin covered shoes.

“Those are some nice shoes there Kiwi. Where in the kingdom did you find them?”

“I got them from Old Toad. He wanted the cheese and bread I was carrying home one day. It seemed like a good idea until I got hungry later.” Kiwi picked up another piece of gingerbread and gobbled it down.

Now Emma was known as ruler of all frogs, toads and creatures that hop, but the truth is, she really wasn’t fond of toads. They farted a lot and had bad breath, which according to her mom, the Queen of the Universe, were not very good manners. She really wanted some good hopping shoes but wasn’t sure it was worth it to have to pay a visit to Old Toad who lived in the hall closet.

“Kiwi, can you show me how to hop like you? Maybe I am a good hopper and I don’t know it? Maybe I don’t NEED those hopping shoes?”

Drinking her fourth cup of punch, Kiwi stopped briefly to wipe the bits of gingerbread off her mouth. “Yes, Emma Delaney, let’s have a hopping lesson. Would you like to change out of your beautiful fairy dress before we begin?”

Emma looked down at her dress. It was a pretty dress, this was for sure. It had been given to her by her fairy friend, Destiny Michelle. Destiny would understand the importance of good hopping and she did look smashing.

“I think the dress will HELP my hopping. Let’s go!”

Kiwi and Emma ran from the tiny house down the lane and turned right by the bent old tree and headed down the hill to the meadow in the forest. Once they got to flat open grass, Kiwi became very serious. Emma giggled because she thought it was funny that Kiwi was her teacher. Kiwi burps a lot which might be okay in some kingdoms, but was generally discouraged in this one…unless of course you could burp the alphabet, in which case there was a trophy to earn.

“Okay, Miss Emma Delaney, put your feet like this.” Emma copied Kiwi’s movements, giggling still because she thought Kiwi should have on glasses and a ruler.

“Now put your hands on your waist and bend a little at the knees. Hold your mouth like this.”
Emma was laughing so hard, she felt like she was going to fall over and get mud on the pretty fairy dress.

“Kiwi, I can’t make my face look like that! That’s goofy.”

Kiwi stood straight up. “Little girl, do you want me to teach you or not?” She was very serious now.

“I’m sorry, okay, feet like this, hands here, knees bent, face like this.” This time, it was Kiwi to laugh so hard she started rolling around on the ground.

“Okay Emma,” she said, “That IS goofy, skip that part.”

They got into position minus goofy faces and Kiwi started to count.

“One, two, and on three Emma, push everything in your body up to the sky. Okay, one, two, THREE.”

Emma and Kiwi hopped high, above the grass, above the bushes, up as high as some of the trees could go. When they came down, they landed upside down, in the mud but laughing still.

“That was AWESOME Kiwi.”

“You are a mighty good hopper Emma Delaney, ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop. And you didn’t even need the fancy shoes.” Kiwi was now on her back, sticking all four sequined feet in the air.

“That was a close one Kiwi. I’m glad Old Toad loves his house in the hall, but I didn’t want to have to go by there since it’s well, smelly.”

“Me either, Emma. He would talk me out of more food and I just don’t like that. Speaking of which, can we go back and see if there is any punch left? I would really like some to wash down more gingerbread with.”

“Of course Kiwi. I always have more gingerbread and punch for you.”

So the Princess of frogs, toads and creatures that hop, walked out of the meadow, back up the hill, onto the lane and down to the tiny house and shared more tasty treats with her favorite hopping friend.

The End