Sunday, March 22, 2009


I've been gone for a while--somehow it seems like more than three months.

Anyway, in that time we've moved and gotten more or less settled in, and I've realized that I need to get back on the wagon. As much as I would like to think that I can do this without being "on a diet," I can't. I would like to, but I know that I can't. So I'm not going to. I'm setting a goal for myself this time that I will stick with it for at least six months before I even consider quitting. I won't allow myself cheat days/meals until I've lost twenty pounds and the results are tangible.

So I'm back. And I hope to stay back.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My time for making Christmas gifts is supposed to be after the boys go to bed. Ideally, with them going to bed at eight and me going to bed sometime after midnight, that's a good four hours of work getting done. It very rarely—OK, never—works out that way.

It's so much easier to stay in my nice warm bedroom hiding under blankets watching reruns of various crime/forensic dramas than to get up and go into the cold (so cold) sewing room and work. It's above the garage, it's easily ten degrees colder in there than it is in the rest of the house. And the rest of the house is also cold. I need to invest in some adult-sized footie pajamas. (There is a space heater in there, but I'd have to go turn it on at seven and then huddle by it the entire time I'm in there.)

I'm going to have to get over this, though. I have nine gifts in various states of completion. Most of them are in the “not started yet” state. If I want to get anything done on time, I'm going to have to wear my bunny slippers and a giant sweater and suck it up. Just...not tonight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I have a terrible secret

Shameful, too. In fact, I might as well just come out with it.

I like tween TV shows.

It doesn't hurt that my four-year-old likes them, too. (He's my beard.) Drake and Josh, iCarly, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place. I LOVE them. I have seen Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh about four times now, and it's so cute. And festive--I'm also a sucker for Christmas episodes/made-for-TV movies. And Lifetime TV movies. But I'm getting sidetracked.

I don't know what it is about these shows. If I'm honest, the writing is...not great. Most of the time, anyway. Whoever wrote Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh either has no idea what a parole officer does and the powers they legally have or they don't care. The acting is OK but usually over the top. If there are special effects they're terrible. Maybe all that's part of the appeal.

I know that someday I'll have to hide my love and consumption of these shows. I don't have any daughters to justify watching them with, and I would imagine the boys will only watch them for so long before they decide it's more fun to watch sports...or play sports...or do other things that boys do. My husband may suspect something, but I would probably deny it if pressed. Of course he likes Walker, Texas Ranger; what does he know?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here's a cute title about fat people and clothes

So, somewhat inspired by this post over at Joy Nash's blog, I have been thinking about me as a teenager and my attitude about clothes. See, I had this thing about being perceived as fat. I consider this thing gotten over because I really don't care anymore. Whether or not other people see me as being fat is something I can't control, and I have better things to do with my time.

However, when I was younger I thought about it. A lot. I never ever wore horizontal stripes or bright colors or did any of the other clothing-related things fat people aren't supposed to do. When I would go shopping, if I was in the dressing room and the saleswoman asked me if I needed a different size I would always say no, even if I really did. My thought was that if I didn't tell her my size she wouldn't know I was fat. Which is stupid because a) she could probably tell I was a big girl whether or not she knew my size, and b) she was probably more concerned with me buying something and giving her a commission than what my size was and if that made me fat or not.

Usually in those situations I left empty-handed. Actually, most of the time when I shopped I left empty-handed. The clothes making me look fat was usually my reason why. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that while, yes, I do have long monkey arms and a long torso and long legs that are certainly not conducive to finding clothes that fit easily and hit me at a flattering point, it wasn't the clothes making me look fat. I was heavy--fat, if you prefer--and probably always would be to some extent. My whole family is large, and even when we're thin we still look...thick, if that makes sense. We're German. What can I say?

I'm trying to get better at ignoring sizes and buying clothes that I like and that look good on me instead of wearing my old T-shirts and track pants to rags. (I just threw away a shirt my dad bought me a decade ago. It was almost transparent. I'm still sad about it.) I'm glad I've finally realized that “looks good on me” is not synonymous with “make me look like a size six.” And I just might buy a trapeze jacket or a spaghetti-strap tank top or an empire-waisted dress one of these days.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Better late than never, I suppose

Anyway, as I promised you in September, here are some remodeling pictures and stories.

Story the First: when we got this place, the previous owner's daughter very proudly told us that they had been planning to remodel it but had never really gotten around to it, so they would leave the remodeling supplies they had bought behind. These supplies, according to the woman, were a new front door, some laminate for the hallway (three boxes worth, about 55 square feet), quite a few mini blinds still in boxes, and a toilet. The toilet was still in its boxes when we saw the trailer, and the woman pointed to them and said, “Here's a new toilet. We were planning on redoing the bathroom in a pink theme, so we got a new toilet.” From that I extrapolated that the boxes contained a pink toilet. We moved on.

Now it's after we've bought the trailer and we're clearing the garbage out, aka gutting it. No one has looked in the toilet boxes yet, but one had been moved into the living room to use as a little table. I realized we hadn't opened it yet, so I peeked inside and saw...the basin to a pedestal sink.

I called my husband over and said, “Please look in this box. Am I correct in thinking that this is a sink basin, not a very shallow toilet?” He looked and agreed that it was, indeed a sink and not a toilet. It was white, too—bonus!

I went to look at the other box, thinking maybe they got one wrong box and the other one is part of a toilet. A pink toilet, too. I wouldn't be surprised. But no, I opened the box and saw the pedestal to a pedestal sink.

A pedestal! A new pedestal sink. Woohoo! Best part of the deal so far if you ask me. Now, granted, these people aren't big on measuring things (you'll know how I know in the next story) so I'm not totally sure it will fit in the bathroom. The vanity has to come out anyway, though, so at least we don't have to buy a sink. (Probably not--my dad is strongly against the pedestal sink, and we've had a few fights about the pedestal sink. Mostly because I insist that the plumbing for the sink go under the floor or inside the wall, not across like you would be able to get away with if you had a vanity.) I will point out that getting a pedestal sink to replace a double vanity in a trailer that's less than 1000 square feet was probably not the smartest choice, but whatever. We'll put the pedestal sink in and put a tall cupboard next to it for storage. There was one at Home Depot that had cupboards on the top and drawers on the bottom that would be pretty nice, I think. I'd even stain it instead of painting it.

Story the Second: Remember the new front door I mentioned up above? This is it:

Now, first things first: I love a French door as much as the next person. However, this trailer is located in Nebraska. NEBRASKA! Anyone who lives in Nebraska—or anywhere in the Midwest or any other state that gets cold winters—please raise your hand if you think a French door is a good idea for an entry door. Not to mention how easy it would be if someone were ever to break in.

The second thing about the door...I don't know if you've noticed, but it's a storm door. It's not an exterior door at all. There is a handle with a lock on it, but it's certainly not a lock I would ever consider acceptable for keeping things out of my house. Plus there's no key, so the lock would have to be replaced anyway.

On to the third point. The point that makes the first two points moot. I shall tell this part in my typical long-winded fashion. As I was moving this stupid stupid door around inside, I kept thinking, “This door is really big. Really, really big. But surely they measured before they went and purchased a storm-door-that-is-supposed-to-be-an-entry-door. Surely.” Hahaha! Oh, you fool! Measuring is for suckers, all the cool people eyeball it.

Here is a picture of the existing front door. (It's textured almost-paper-thin sheets of metal sandwiching a slab of styrofoam, so it's probably not keeping much cold air out, either, but still.)

I have helpfully added the measurements for you. This door—the existing door—is 32 inches across and 76 inches tall. Now for the storm door...wait for it...

That's right. 36 inches by 80 inches. Really? Really? It's a metal door and this is a trailer, I'm not really sure if they just thought it looked like it fit or if there was some plan to make it fit. It could not have been a very good plan, I don't think.

Story the Third: I was going to separate this out into another blog entry, but I'm typing this in Open Office Writer (screw Word, I don't have that kind of money) at midnight, so it would really be pointless to separate it, wouldn't it? I'd just post both entries at the same time anyway.

This is the Best Story of All. This is the Story of How I Fell Through the Floor. Gather round, children.

Okay, enough of the caps and librarian crap. We knew when we bought the trailer that some of the floors would need to be replaced, even though there were supposedly no active leaks (HA! And HA! Again!). I am amazed that anyone managed to put a bed in the master bedroom, considering that the floor was completely rotten and was fixed with a sheet of 1/4” plywood and gigantic railroad spike-type nails driven through it (but not actually holding it in place, they were apparently just there to increase the odds of someone getting tetanus or something).

We knew that the master bedroom, bathroom and boys' room needed at least some subfloor repair. We did figure out that the kitchen also needed some repairs, presumably where the refrigerator used to be. We did not, however, realize how bad it was.

I was standing in the kitchen, having just triumphed over some crappy cupboards. I was now taking out carpeting—the original 1975 carpeting, I think; none of the cabinets had bottoms, but they all had lovely blue floral carpeting in the bottom of them, which is gross beyond words—that had been glued down with that black tar-type glue. I was basically just having to cut it at the wall with a utility knife because it wasn't ripping up. I think they installed the carpet and then put the walls in, because the carpet was under the wall.

I was trying to avoid the exact spongy spot because I was worried about exactly what happened next. I fell through the floor. Not just a little, but left leg up to the hip. I think I'm lucky that the insulation under that part of the kitchen had been taken out, because Lord knows what would have been in that.

There's the hole. That's the bare ground you see down there. I'm going to look on the positive side, though. Now it's going to be easy for us to put insulation in there, and no one will have to crawl through the nasty dirt under the trailer. Makes it easier for me to do stuff on my own, because Brandon is not really much of a DIYer unless he wants to be, and that's not very often.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stranger Things Have Happened

I have somehow lost six pounds. I hope they stay lost.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun at Home

A little bit of news since I last posted. First, I had my first ever trip to the emergency room. We were over at the trailer cleaning up and I stepped on a nail. Ho-ly monkeys did that hurt. A little info about our deck to set the scene: on one side there is a gaping hole. This gaping hole is there so that people may walk down the stairs on that side, but because no one has maintained this place in years, the stairs rotted off. The previous owners started pulling them off but basically left a giant pile of wood to rot in the yard.

So Brandon was loading the last of the trash from inside (yay!) into the back of the truck and I decided I would hop down into the yard and toss the pieces of wood up onto the deck so he could put them in the truck, too. I sat down on the deck and scooted off, and as soon as I did a piece of wood with a good inch and a half or so of nail went through the sole of my shoe and into my foot. (Sidenote: I am a big fan of House and CSI. As a result, whenever I think about the nail going into my foot I get a mental image of that inside-the-body imagery they use, and I see the nail going into my foot from the inside, plus I hear a “puncture wound” noise. It's hard to describe, but I bet if you've seen any of those shows you can imagine it, too.) I screamed and pulled it out and took off my shoe and sock. Hoo boy was my foot bleeding. I staunched the blood with my sock (mmm, sanitary) and waited for Brandon to find me. I say I screamed, but it wasn't bloodcurdling. It was pretty breathless, actually.

It stopped bleeding within a few minutes, but it was easily the worst pain I've ever experienced outside of childbirth. In fact, as I was sitting there I had to do some deep breathing and remind myself that it hurt a lot less than giving birth. After that I debated on going to the emergency room. When I pulled the board off I had tossed it back to the ground, so we couldn't be sure which one it was, but none of the ones we could see that it could have been had rust on the nails. I went inside and looked up tetanus on WebMD. The quote that did it for me was something along the lines of “tetanus can very often be fatal even if expertly treated.” I was decided after that.

We were in and out in about an hour. By the time the doctor saw us—about an hour and a half after it happened—the wound was nearly invisible. Deep but not wide. That was Sunday, and my foot is pretty much back to normal. The doctor said it would bruise and be painful to walk on, but it never bruised. It was pretty painful to walk on for the first day, uncomfortable the second, and only bad Wednesday if I stepped down on it a certain day. Hopefully all the things that can kill me from the trailer are gone now. I can't image what else it would be. Tree branch falling on my head? Electrocution? I suppose I could fall through the floor again and, I don't know, knock myself out on a beam and die of a subdural hemotoma. Let's hope not, shall we?