Archive for October, 2009

Apparently, there are thousands of people in this world who are scared of nutcrackers.  It’s true.  Google it sometime.  Personally, nutcrackers never bothered me as much as the giant rats in the Nutcracker Ballet did.  Until the other day that is.

My sister and I found these nutcrackers in Target.  I’m sorry for the poor picture quality; my sister took them with her phone.  But I think you can still get the idea.

Who knew turkeys liked nuts?

I honestly can’t decide which is creepier: the pilgrim or the surfer.

 I really hope no one gets me one of these things for Christmas.


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My husband and I really enjoy visiting Arkansas.  The people are so nice, the scenery is gorgeous, and the cost is reasonable.  The summer of 2003 we took a trip down to Eureka Springs.  At the hotel, I picked up several of those brochures that list activities for tourists to participate in.  The one for the Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel really caught my eye.

I have no idea why.  I’m totally not in to chasing ghosts.  I believe I have seen a couple spirits in my life, but they were people who I knew.  I had never until that day and never since had any desire to check out the paranormal.  I don’t even go to haunted houses at Halloween time.  But I figured I’ve been washed in the blood so nothing bad could happen to me.  I later saw the hotel on the Travel Channel on one of their 10 Most Haunted Places episodes.

Here’s a picture of the hotel from an observation tower.  It’s that huge building in the background.

Apparently at some point (right after the Civil War if I’m not mistaken), the hotel operated as a hospital.  People who were sick would come down to drink and bathe in the springs.  Looking back on the Ghost Tour, yeah, it was hokey.  (Really, they could have turned on the light.)  But I will give them credit, they did a good job with it!  I was creeped out.

Now, keep in mind, I did not yet have a digital camera.  I also knew enough about paranormal activity to know that even if you couldn’t see a ghost, that didn’t mean it wouldn’t show up when the film was developed.  We’ve all seen it.  To that end, I took fifty hundred pictures of various red velvet chairs throughout the hotel.  Chairs like this one:

I was sure and certain that at least one of those pictures would be developed and we’d see a person sitting in it.  I was particularly hopeful about this chair because of the story behind it.  Apparently, there used to be an electric organ in this corner.  Please note that there are no electrical outlets in the corner.  The organ would play by itself and disturb the guests so management removed it and put this chair in its place.  I fully expected to see a pissed off organ-less organist in this chair when the picture was developed.

At this point in the tour, several people with digital cameras had gotten photos of “orbs”, which they were quite earnestly showing to the tour guide.  I was green with envyGreen.  But I couldn’t act that way in front of my husband who was rolling his eyes the whole time so I said, “Oh their flash probably just reflected on the chandelier.”  I didn’t mention that they weren’t using flashes!

After the upstairs tour where we looked at several closed doors (because there were guests – crazy people – checked into the rooms), we made our way down to the basement.  Now the basement is where the crazy doctor used to keep body parts in jars.  I was leaning against a table with a drain in it listening intently.  Being as I’m not in the medical profession, I really didn’t think anything about the fact that there was a drain in the table.  Until the tour guide said it was an autopsy/embalming table.  Let me tell you, it’s really hard to look cool while you are running across the room screaming.

On the way out, we passed by yet another room with a closed door that we weren’t allowed to go into.  However, there had been much documented ghostly activity in the room and we were welcome to hold our cameras up to the little access window over the door and try to snap a picture.  Once again, I fully expected to see a couple Victorian ladies having tea when my film was developed.  Instead I got this:

Cabinets and a sink.  Super-exciting.

Even though it was kind of hokey, I had a good time.  And it was fun waiting for the film to come back and imagining all the ghostly apparitions I would see sitting in the various red velvet chairs.  When the pictures all came back “clean”, I had a strange mix of relief and disappointment.

Edit: I linked this post to the American Homemaker’s Scary Carnival.  It’s not really scarey, but it’s ghosty.  I hope that’s okay, Angie!  http://theamericanhomemaker.blogspot.com/

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I got this idea from Be Different Act Normal (http://bedifferentactnormal.blogspot.com/).  If you haven’t gone over there yet, you totally should; she has some of the cutest ideas!


For this, I Mod Podged orange tissue paper to a quart Ball Mason Jar.  Then I cut the mouth and eyes out of black cardstock and mounted the face on the jar with Mod Podge.  Of course, being me, I had to add glitter!  So I glittered the face and the eyes.  The only warning I would give you would be to let your Mod Podge dry 24 hours before applying the glitter.  Obviously I did not so I have a little stray glitter.  I have a candle inside the jar also to make it a true Jack-O-Lantern!

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Do you ever have conversations where, at the end, you think, “Self, that conversation was so ridiculous that I can’t believe you wasted brain cells on it”?  I had three of those today.

There are 3 banks in my town.  All are small town banks and I like using small town banks.  I do it on purpose.  I bank at Bank 1 (names are changed to protect the guilty) which has 3 other branches in surrounding towns.  Bank 2 bought just this branch of Bank 1.  I hate Bank 2.  Hate is such a mild word.  I get mad just driving by their building.  That’s how bad I hate Bank 2.  I called Bank 1 to see if they would just transfer my accounts to a different branch so I wouldn’t have to redo all my automatic withdrawals, deposits, and online bill pays.  The woman was very nice and said, “Sure!  All you have to do is come close your accounts at this branch and then go to the other branch and open new ones!”  Gee.  How convenient.  That was conversation 1.

Because I felt as though I hadn’t punished myself enough, I went on to conversation 2.  Now to be fair, it isn’t really the fault of the girl who answered the phone at Bank 3.  It’s not her fault that her employer is stuck in 1887 when the bank was founded.  Bank 3 does not have Health Savings Accounts, they do not offer online banking, and they do not offer online bill pay.  But, “Don’t worry!” the perky girl who answered the phone assured me, “We have bank by phone!”  Well, yippteedoo!  I don’t have a rotary dial phone though, so I guess you probably can’t help me.

Then my doctor’s office called to tell me that they had not received the results of the blood work I had done on Monday.  So I called the lab and the lovely lady who answered that phone informed me that they had the results but they didn’t get sent to the doctor because, “There were no orders to.”  I was like, “But isn’t his name and phone number on the paperwork?”  Nice lady said, “Oh yes, but he has to call us to send them to him.”  In case you are confused, let me explain.  Your doctor fills out orders for you to get bloodwork.  You have the bloodwork done.  Then the doctor must call and give separate orders in order to have the results sent to him.  You know because some people just go have bloodwork done for fun and don’t really care about the results.  I myself like to get practice shots at least once a year.

I’m not making any more phone calls this week.

Here’s a tree in my backyard.  I’ve been trying to get a decent fall picture of it since we moved here 7 1/2 years ago.  As non-good as these pictures are, they are the best I’ve been able to do.  Maybe it’s just one of those things that you can never fully appreciate the beauty until you see it in person.  Everytime I look at it I think “burning bush”.  It’s a gorgeous bright red.  I know it looks a little brown in these pictures, but trust me.  It’s red.

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There’s just some nuggets of information missing from the What to Expect Series of books.  What follows is my horrifying account of some of that information.

My husband and I learned early on that the only way this marriage thing was going to work for us was if we had separate bathrooms.  That is because my husband is, in a word, gross.  And since I like to choose my battles, I chose not to fight the whiskers-in-the-sink-toilet-seat-up battle every day of my life until.  death.  do.  us.  part.

Separate bathrooms has really worked splendidly for 7 1/2 years.  However, recently, my husband has decided to start sneaking showers in my bathroom.  I think he likes my Irresistable Apple Shower Gel and matching Body Creme.  (Maybe he thinks it makes him an irresistible piece of man fruit.  Who knows?)  The problem is that he does not push down the little button thingy that you pull up to start the shower.  (Button thingy is the technical plumbing term for it.  True story.)  Which usually leads to me getting soaked with cold shower water the next morning when I lean in to turn on the shower.  When I tell him to stop that, he just laughs and laughs and laughs.  Don’t worry – I have access to his coffee pot so it all works out in the end.

I told you all of that so I could tell you this … This evening I was, shall we say, indisposed in the bathroom.  (I know it’s too much information, but it’s central to understanding why my 2 year old was drawing her own bath.)  When I left Shelby to have my moments alone, she was wearing a diaper, blue jeans, and a pink cupcake shirt.  She was happily reading a book.  Not two minutes later, she comes into the bathroom wearing only a pink cupcake t-shirt and my black pumps.  Which she proceeded to pee in.  (On a related note, I am now in the market for some new black pumps.)

I told her to “GET IN THE TUB!”  Which she did.  Then she turned on the water.  The poor child was greeted with a freezing cold shower which completely soaked through her shirt in the mere seconds it took me to reach her and grab her out of the tub.

However, I think this might be a good thing.  Shelby now knows why Daddy isn’t supposed to use Mommy’s shower and maybe she’ll remind him next time he tries to pull one over on me.

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There is a camp of people who believe that the whole purpose of Halloween is to scare children.  Well, I have found the scariest thing ever – sure to traumatize all the children in your life!


(Is it just me or does that poor child look terrified?)

It goes against my better judgement to provide this link, but here it is: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/roast-turkey-costume?xsc=eml_crd_2009_10_13

Please don’t make this.  Please.

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Martha Stewart has a project on her site wherein she printed out a picture and did like a paint-by-number with glitter kind of thing.  I would love to provide you the link, but I can’t find it.  The project was on the front page of MarthaStewart.com for days, so I’m sure it’s there somewhere, but I can’t find it.  I thought it looked really cool, but it was far too ambitious for me.

However, being me, I figured there was a way to twist it up and Mary-ize it a bit.  So I used the pumpkin picture that I posted a couple days ago, picked 5 pumpkins, and glittered both pumpkin and stem.  The result was so cool, that I decided I needed to do something with it.  That’s where the altered canvas comes in.  I told you I love glitter.  If you look closely, you can see the black glitter spider web on the right.

I think this turned out really great!

On a related note, I really wish the sun would come out one day.  Not only do I have the “haven’t-seen-sun-in-days-blahs”, but the lighting is terrible for taking blog pictures.

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