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I can has a cheezburger now? or, July Brain Dump

26 Jul

Lots of stuff going on, none of it being properly blogged.  This month is testing my limits in ways I never even thought about.

I started my new job on July 1st.  All is well there.  I am learning the ropes and today I even got an engraved nameplate installed on my door.  They can’t fire me now.  Or something.

The first couple of weeks in Southwest Virginia were spent at hotels and motels and I finally could not inspect another room for cleanliness and watch the same 15 channels.  So now I am staying at the lovely home of the boyfriend’s mom and step dad.  They are super nice for letting me crash in their home.  It’s clean, it smells normal (unlike the aforementioned hotels and motels) and I don’t have to do a room check for things that may creep me out in the middle of the night.  This is a good thing because it is getting me used to the drive I will have to make when we move to Christiansburg.  And the early wake up time, which, actually, is not going as bad as I thought it would.  Granted this is me waking up alone and there’s no warm boyfriend to stay snuggled up with so, yeah, getting up in the morning is pretty easy right now.  We’ll see how it goes come next month when we are reunited.

There was a vacation this month.  Pictures can be found on Flickr.  It was great and very needed.  The boyfriend’s dad’s family has taken to renting a house in Chincoteague for a week in the summer.  I was lucky enough to be invited this year.  The house had a pink front door.  Adorbs!  There was surf and sand and the best ice cream ever and very little on the grid activities and shopping and horses and sun and mosquitoes and time with great people (something spending two weeks in hotels and motels seriously lacks) and quite, relaxing time and very little doing of the hair and bathing suits and sunscreen and Scrabble and reading of books and open sunroofs and really good beach bbq and pictures and sea breeze and fish catching and good times.

Sadly, there was also the passing of a grandparent.  Dan got a call that his grandfather passed away.  We left a day early so Dan could get some formal clothes together and head to N.C. for the funeral.

Now Dan is back in Richmond (packing up the apartment) and I am in Southwest Virginia (working and doing nothing).  Hurry up and wait.  That is my motto for the month.

I did get to spend a day with my mom after returning from vacation.  That was really nice.  We shopped, did some computer stuff and had dinner with my dad to celebrate her birthday.  It was a nice dinner and the food was good.  When is the food *not* good at Bonefish?  Srsly.  I enjoyed hanging out with the mother and the father.  Probably won’t see them again for a few months.  They have an RV now so there is talk of them coming out to Southwest Virginia in the fall.

Unfortunately, it all depends on a dog named Willow.  Willow is the dog I picked out at the pound when I was 15 or 16 and declared “of course I’ll take her with me when I move out!”  Yeah, she stayed with the parents.  Willow is about 13 years old.  About 4 or 5 years ago she had melanomia in her gums.  They operated and got it out and she was fine.  A few months ago it was discovered that she had “a growth” in her bladder.  The growth was getting pretty big, pretty quick so they operated.  Turns out she had/has bladder cancer.  Malignant bladder cancer.  Mom is taking her to an oncologist for follow up.  Poor Willow.  She’s such a good dog and totally does not deserve this.

Dan has been great.  He has taken care of most things involving the townhouse.  His last day of work was July 13th so he has had more time to do such things.  I did call and find out what the procedure is for getting water, sewage and trash service, so there’s that.  Also, he bought us these salt and pepper shakers (probably because I went all girly on him when I saw them while in Chincoteague) and that totally erases all the bad stuff.  Right?

And I want to see Despicable Me.  In fact, the last three movies that I have wanted to see have been cartoons.  Take what you will from that.  I reprogrammed my car stereo with Southwest Virginia radio stations today.  I have yet to memorize any zip codes out here.  I know they start with 2.  That’s about all I got.  All our houseplants are sick and dying, all of a sudden.  One that Dan picked out seriously just ate the dust in the matter of a few weeks.  The stalk turned a dark brown/black, the leaves dried up and dropped off.  I guess it just didn’t like us. 

I’ve regained all the weight I lost last year, that’s been fun to deal with.  It’s a combination of this and that and the other thing and snow (I honestly blame the snow, I was doing just fine until it snowed and there was bacon).  Mostly it’s the too much intake, not enough outtake situation.  I used to walk a couple miles a day and then it got cold.  I’m a summer girl and hate being cold.  Therefore, no couple of miles a day anymore.  It’s like no one ever revoked my All You Can Eat/No Exercise Snow Pass and I’m trying to eat everything before someone remembers to take the pass back. 

This month has also been the most expensive month of my life.  Gas, food, hotels, repeat, more gas, clothes because last year’s summer wardrobe does not fit, and blahdy blahdy blah blah.

I think that might actually be everything.  If you’ve made it this far, thank you and good night.

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Curtains in the Kitchen

15 Jun

Cristina and I finished the curtains for her bathroom which meant it was time to make curtains for her kitchen.  I love the way they turned out!

Curtains are sew easy to make!

7 Jun

See what I did there with the title?  Clever.  I know. 

My friend Cristina moved into a new house.  The master bathroom in the new place was straight out of the 70s.  Baby blue tile.  Baby blue sink.  Baby blue toilet (with a lovely white seat and top).  The room was in need of some assistance.  I was called in to help.  Originally, we were going to make a skirt for the sink and put one of these dohobs on the toilet seat.  Cristina decided that the cost of replacing the offending toilet and sink with newer (non-bluer) options would be cheaper than the cost of her sanity.   That left the shower entrance and the window to deal with. 

There was a glass shower door (which I did not think to take a picture of, imagine it).  It was awkward and didn’t let in a lot of light.  It also didn’t open all the way as it hit the toilet.  The door was taken down and Cristina put up a fun, bright shower curtain was put up in its place. 

Then it was window curtain time.  We had a little shopping trip to U-Fab, Joanne’s, and Wal-Mart.  Picked up a yard of the brightest, funnest fabric U-Fab had to offer.  Then we popped over to Joanne’s (after stopping to get manicures and pedicures) to pick up the pom-poms.  We stopped at Big Lots for the curtain rod, but they did not have what we needed so over to Wal-Mart we went. 

The curtains were simple to make.  The Nicole way of making curtains requires no tape measure (well, except to make sure you get the right length curtain rod) and definitely no math.  I held the fabric up to the window and eye-balled where cuts needed to be made.  I left a little more fabric on each end than needed so as to allow for the seams.  I then cut it right down the center.  I ironed and pinned the seams and Cristina sewed them. 

When it came time to add the pom-poms we ran into an unexpected problem.  The strip above the pom-poms was too thick to feed through the machine.  Out came a needle and thread.  I sewed the pom-poms on and we carried on with our project.   We left the top for last.  Here’s why.  I wasn’t the one putting the curtain rod up so I didn’t know exactly where it was going to be and I wanted to make sure the pom-poms hit the ledge of the window.  After the rod was installed and the pom-poms were on I folded over the top until the pom-poms hit where I wanted them to.  I took my folded fabric to the sewing room, pinned it, ironed it, and cut off the excess.  Cristina sewed the top with a fun little sphere looking stitch her fancy sewing machine offered.  

All that was left to do was to clip the curtains up and admire our handy work. 

The (Very Blue) Before

The (Adorable) After

Next up, we tackle kitchen curtains.  Stay tuned!

There once was a weather cake

28 May

{the beginning}

{we’ve got tornados, sunshine, pretty flowers, seagulls, and cows!}

{do you know what all the weather symbols mean?*}

{the graphics on the sides and front are courtesy of Mr. Dickerson}

Isn’t it the coolest?  It was the hottest thing in town Saturday night.  (Were those puns intended or not intended? We’ll never know.)

The cake was made by this lovely duo

When we were talking about creating the weather cake I kept saying “and we’ll make the cakes blah blah blah” when I should have said “and we’ll decorate store-bought cakes blah blah blah.”  Cristina thought we were actually going to bake them.  Um, no.  I cannot bake.  And why should I when the fine folks over at Ukrop’s do?  The sheet cake is a half chocolate, half vanilla cake and the sun is a velvet fudge cake.  Both purchased here

Pictures of the actual party can be found here and here.

*Did you get any right?  Here are the answers: warm front; cold front; stationary front; thunder, no lightning; sleet; tornado.

My mind? Blown. Also, I cried at work today.

25 May

@chicarmoire tweeted a link to a list of the 20 Worst Drinks in America 2010.  You have to check it out.  You will only want to drink water after reading it.

My friend Cristina wrote a very lovely, sappy post.  It made me cry.  At work.

Sometimes a song is just a song. Sometimes it’s so much more.

9 Mar

Sometimes it’s just something to hum along to.  Sometimes it’s just fluff and meaningless, just noise in the background.

But sometimes it’s a reminder of something/someone you’re missing/love/forgot.  Sometimes it’s an eye (ear?) opener.  Sometimes it’s the thing that you are feeling/thinking/needing.  Sometimes it’s the truth you couldn’t admit to until you heard that music/lyric.  Sometimes a song is everything.

I count a handful of songs as my everything songs.  Songs that make me think of my deceased brother, Greg.  Songs that make me think of a certain wonderful/horrible time in my life.  A song that I know reminds my mom of her beloved dog, Katie, and therefore makes me think of my mom and Katie.  A song that made me see that I was being a twat and to give love a chance.  A song that showed me that loving someone and letting someone love you isn’t as bad as all that and totally worth the risk.  A song that makes me think having children while my grandparents and parents are alive to meet them is a good idea.  I could go on, but I’ll stop there.  (So maybe not a handful of songs.  More like a bucketful.)

The latest song in my bucket of everything songs is Lady Antebellum’s Hello World.  That song just… makes you want to wake up and look around and be grateful for being alive.  Even if you don’t believe in God or god or little white churches, this song makes you want to believe.  Charles Kelley’s voice, the arrangement, the swell of drums and strings towards the end all add to this song’s greatness.  It’s simple.  It’s lovely. It’s an everything song, for sure.

Lady A hasn’t released this song as a single so there’s no official video, but a YouTuber put this together.  Enjoy!

Thanks for…

26 Nov

my parents who put up with and love me, no matter what

the rest of my family

my friends who listen to me and put up with all my shenanigans

my wonderful, funny, smart, supportive boyfriend

Google and Twitter and the whole of the internets

Crossroads

lipgloss