Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chuck Norris can dodge lightning.

I feel like there should be a whole blog about this picture, but I've got nothing.  I took this just outside of Washington Square in New York City.  It's a bronze or copper (still not too sure) live Chuck Norris 'statue' (or a lightning rod, I haven't really decided yet).  I had to be all stealth-like when I took it or he'd try to hit me up for a monetary donation of some sort.  And we all know Chuck Norris doesn't need or want my money.  But, someone should come up with some new Chuck Norris-ism to accompany this photo.  Do it.  Be witty.  Now.  Or Chuck Norris will round-house kick you into space or something.

In dreams, we enter a world that’s entirely our own.

During one Saturday of sailing through garages Eric found two wooden light switch covers for 50 cents.  Upon returning home it dawned on us that we didn't have one light switch in this house that could use those two plate covers so it was decided that I'd "Pinterest" the crap out of them and pass them along to my sister in law who seems to be a recipient of a few of my crafts now.  I hope she doesn't mind that I'm adding clutter to her house. 

I borrowed the idea from one I'd seen on Pinterest and since I know Anita loves all things Harry Potter, just like this girl, I woodburned a couple sayings from the books onto the plate covers.  Upon finishing the burning, we put a coat of varithane on them.  I'm no master at woodburning but I didn't think it turned out too bad for the second time I've ever attempted it. 

Sounds like she likes them as they've already taken up residency on her wall. 

Summer Lovin'

It's too funny or strange or whatever but I was driving home today thinking that it's that time again.  It's summer list time and then low and behold and I'm reading my sister in law's blog and she's just posted hers as well.  So great minds think alike. 

So here she be.  My list that is, not Anita.  Anita isn't on my blog, she's a human being who doesn't even live in this house let alone in my computer. 

1.  Go camping
2.  Go to a concert
3.  Continue to eat less meat in my diet
4.  Spend enough time out in the sun for all my freckles to emerge
5.  Start redecorating Gage's old room so it transforms into a den
6.  Start building Gage's new room
7.  Continue crafting
8.  Find 10 new recipients of my crafts that I haven't given anything to  (5)
9.  Craft something and keep it for myself
10.  Garage Sailing
11.  Weed, trim and plant flowers in my garden
12.  Re-upholster a couch
13.  Take lots of pictures
14.  Go dancing with my ladies
15.  Make an effort to spend time with old friends
16.  Drink beers on a patio
17.  Finish my 'girlies' tattoo
18.  Roadtrip
19.  Buy fruits and veggies from a roadside stand
20.  Find and make new recipes
21.  Re-shingle my roof
22.  Have a bonfire
23.  Go for a hike
24.  Take evening walks in the neighbourhood and look through people's windows
25.  Spend time with family
26.  Play Scrabble like on an actual board, not the computer
27.  Play Cribbage
28.  Bring people flowers
29.  Spend an afternoon paying it forward
30.  Go to an amusement park.
31.  Finish Gage's new room so we can start the new rec room
32.  Sleep outside one night on the trampoline (douse self in bug repellant first though)

That's a start.  I may add to the list as I think of stuff I'd like to do while the nicer weather is here.  Having the list last year was really quite a great idea.  It kept me focused and always gave me ideas of things to do when I had spare time.  Embrace life is a good motto but sometimes a list helps us keep the hold.

Crazy Cats






Just a random post of two of our crazy cats doing what they do best.  Act silly and adorable all at the same time.   That is all.  Enjoy the cuteness x 100. 
Found like this at 4:30 in the morning.  I actually had to go find my camera.

And the Squirrely-girl playing peek-a-boo!

 

A Brief Affair



Turns out over the past month I've discovered (though not really discovered as someone actually took me to each location, but I digress) two hidden gems in our corner of the world.  First the sand pits where, if you'll remember, we found Roan caked in mud still in his pj's and second Decew Falls, where Eric took Roan and I for a hike a couple weekends ago. 


Turns out Decew Falls to Wellanders was like the Gorge was/is to us Niagara Falls folks.  The go-to place for teenagers for trespassing, bonfires and underage drinking.  But to an adult (yup, me) it was pretty neat, quite beautiful and painfully daunting.  I was totally up for a nice hike with Eric and Roan on a hot Saturday (or maybe it was Sunday, who can remember these things?) in May.  What I got was rock climbing, rapelling and walking logs across bodies of water.  Wha-what??  More than this lazy girl bargained for that's for sure! 


When we got there we first took a little tour of the mill that's on-sight and still working.  They have volunteers who give their time to entertain us with some historical facts.  Then we took a tour of the re-furbished Laura Secord homestead that's on the property as well.  Now that, I loved.  It was a beautiful old home and I'd kill to live in it.  After those tours we made our trek to the part of the cliff, yup you read that right, that was the easiest to get down.  I use the word easiest quite loosely.  When 'they' have to put ropes to hang on to while you descend down the wall, maybe you shouldn't actually be doing it!  All the visible dried blood on the way down sure didn't help matters either.  Needless to say, once we got down the 85 degree incline the actual hike was pretty decent.  There's a beautiful waterfall near the mill that we hiked over to and we were actually able to walk right behind it.  There is an old cave/mine-like entrance where some of the old rails are still intact en route to the falls as well.  They have them gated off so you can't go too far in, but it's still impressive.  After scouting out those two locations we trekked along the creek before taking on the dreaded task of scaling the wall back up to civilization.  I seriously felt like I was walking on a 90 degree angle up the side of the cliff using tree roots and branches to brace me from falling.  For once in my life I was worried more about me than I was for my 11 year old.  He scaled it like no one's business and waited patiently for me to drag my old, tired ass up.  In the process of clinging and climbing for my life I totally took a tree branch in the face.  It hurt like a bitch and almost sent me plummeting to my death.  It made me fully appreciate that Sonny Bono didn't stand a chance though.  The goose egg is STILL  on my forehead.  I think I made Eric feel bad enough that the odds of him asking me to join those two again on a hike at Decew are slim and none. 
Behind the waterfall.

Probably not a bad thing.  Besides, I have pictures and a scar to remind me of that wonderful, adventurous afternoon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moves Like Jagger

I've heard a rumour that the grocery store is an ideal location to meet new people when you're single (or I guess even when you're not as they wouldn't actually know if you were single right?).  Now I was single for a long time, like 7 years long, and not once did I ever meet anyone, let alone a potential mate, at the grocery store.  I do however, remember seeing an aquaintance there and whilst walking the aisles I was imaging hooking up with him but when I turned the next corner and there he was standing with a girl that was clearly more than a friend.  Fantasy kibashed.  As it would so happen, that was probably a good thing as he's turned out to be kind of a loser with criminal charges pending against him.  Anywho back to my train of thought...

So in the past I've not been so lucky in love or lust at the grocery store.  Until tonight.  Tonight I was hit on by a gaggle of boys at the Sobeys.  One of them was actually insanely hot.  I'm pretty sure he was at least legal.  I'm not so sure the others were.  And I'm quite sure they weren't mockingly hitting on me either.  Actually I'm very confident about that.  They were finding every reason to stay in whatever aisle I was in.  Which I was thought was funny and adorable all at the same time.  Then the hot one mustered up the courage to talk to me and compliment me.  *swoon*

I would have eaten him alive.  I would have fucking destroyed the whole lot of them.  I'm that awesome.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Escapists

A blurb taken from their website:

"JANE’S ADDICTION have been earning nothing short of stellar reviews and selling out shows on the first leg of their North American ‘Theatre of the Escapists’ tour. The set list features material from their acclaimed album THE GREAT ESCAPE ARTIST (Capitol Records) plus classic songs that have not been played in more than twenty years, such as “Classic Girl” and “I Would for You".

Ok, anyone who truly knows me knows I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Perry Farrell and the boys of Jane's Addiction.  Like the kind of fan who would be terrified to actually meet them in person for fear that I'd come off sounding like a dumb, stupid tool and/or just bursting into tears in front of them.  I have lost count of the number of times that I've seen him (with both Jane's and Porno for Pyros) in concert. 

I can tell you this, I bought my first car solely so I would have something to drive to Toronto so I could see Porno for Pyros as my parents wouldn't let me take their car to the big city since I was pretty newly licensed.  Yup after two days of owning my standard  transmission car I braved the streets of Toronto for Mr. Perry Farrell and I paid out the nose for a scalped ticket.  That night has left me with great memories I spent with them and Margaret. 

I saw them at their very first farewell tour at Lollapalooza number ONE!  I took my unborn baby to see them too.  Gage's first concert (inutero) was Jane's Addiction.  I've gone to see them at outdoor venues, small clubs, with people I love, with people I can't really stand now.  I've sang my heart out and got that overwhelming excitement in the pit of my stomach when the first word comes out of Perry's mouth.  The man has one of the best voices in the music industry as far as I'm concerned. 
 




So knowing that they are touring again in true Jane's fashion with an awe inspiring stage show and ensemble to back them even when they are just so truly amazing all on their own, well...to say I'm quite happy to be going yet again is putting it mildly.  I'm also super stoked to be taking Eric along with me.  Jane's is one of the few bands that we actually both enjoy.  I'm also happy that his first experience with them will be with this theatrical production and not a stadium show.  He'll just love it even more.  Everyone should experience Jane's in this fashion.  And so all of this stuff that's making me giddy and then I find out they're playing a roster of their old tunes that they haven't played in twenty years like Classic Girl (my second ultimate fave from them) and I Would For You?  Well jeebus, August can't get here soon enough!!!!!! 


Two awesome concerts (Brand New and Jane's Addiction) in August this year!  Oh month of the Lion, I cannot wait for you to arrive.  Travel safe my friend, I've got some amazing and talented people to catch up with.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Death on a Concrete Floor

Getting a phone call from a strange number and answering to hear your boyfriend on the other end when he should be at work can be a little disheartening.  Hearing him tell you he's been taken by ambulance to the hospital because he passed out while working also doesn't sit too well.  Neither does being told they discovered something alarming was happening with his heart and he needed to stay longer for an EKG. 

This all happened to me on Wednesday night.  Eric called to let me know he'd been rushed to the hospital from work and he wasn't sure what happened or how long they were going to be keeping him, and they found something messed up with his heart and yadda yadda yadda.  They ran a bunch of tests and he goes back to see the doctor on Tuesday to hopefully get some results. 



Not knowing what's happening to you can be a little nerve wracking.  They are thinking perhaps he was skating on the cusp of the flu and was exhausted and tired (I did tell him to stay home that night because he'd been feeling so lousy, but noooo...) resulted in his light-headedness and the feeling on fainting.  Then when his body siezed up and he couldn't move anything and he was hallucinating they figure that was an improper balance of gases in his system.  Too little oxygen, too much carbon dioxide as a result of his erratic breathing.  After about 45 minutes he was able to move his limbs again and started to calm down.  He was released around 10 p.m. and even then he still contemplated going back to finish his shift.  Trooper I tell ya (or idiot). 

The next day he went for more bloodwork and another EKG and he has to go back to get the results tomorrow but for now he's been off until those answers come in (though we all know how easily answers come don't we??).  He said this was genuinely the first time he actually thought he was dying and during those thoughts he didn't think of me (the love of his life) he thought about what a raw deal he was getting by dying on the floor of John Deere with  a bunch of people he doesn't really care for hovering around him instead of the send off my dad got (surrounded by those that were most important to him).  He's decided that's the way he wants to go now too.  Don't we all?   And in true Eric fashion this whole experience couldn't go by without a photo op. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm So Very Sorry

Following my New York trip and having returned to Buffalo Airport, upon picking up my luggage I noticed that my suitcase was in fact open.  Dawn commented that occasionally they will go through your bag but there should be a sticker indicating so or a slip inside the suitcase to let me know the TSA had gone through my bag.  Not giving it any further thought, I zipped up my bag and longed for the car ride home to be over.

Upon returning home, I unpacked (noticing no notice indicating that anyone had gone through my bag), retrieved our souveniers and tossed dirty laundry into the hamper.   It took me an hour or so to realize that the one thing Gage really, really wanted when he went to NYC was missing.

Side note:  Gage was adamant that we head over to Canal St in NYC so he could get a "bling bling" 'fauxlex' (see what I did there?)  {fake Rolex} watch.  On Sunday when he was feeling a little bit better we did just that.  And after haggling (much to Gage's embarrassment and fear) with an A-typical gangsta New Yorker (who was actually very nice, though at 12 a.m. in a dark alley I have to question if I'd think the same) who had a questionable large scar on his right cheek, we walked away with a knock off Bentley wrist watch for 80 bones.  It's actually a pretty nice watch regardless. 



To say I was angry is putting it quite mildly.  I was livid.  F*cking livid.  I don't recall a previous time in my life where the pit of anger in my gut was so intense.  The poor kid had such a lousy weekend, considering how much he was looking forward to this trip, and then the one thing he really wanted is taken out of our bag at the airport.  I immediately emailed a complaint to the airline expressing my anger and explaining to them how I will never fly with them again and I'll let every single person in my world (via Facebook, my blog or vocally) know what happened when I flew with them.  I filed a formal complaint not really expecting any sort of retribution as I bought the watch on the street and had no receipt.  Needless to say in the end the airline will not compensate for lost jewelry when it's put in your checked luggage (note to self and all my readers) and so I ended up with a $75.00 voucher towards future air travel with said airline (wait a minute, I already said I wasn't going to fly with you again, so why bother??).  So all said and done it's probably a really, really good thing that I have to eat crow in this situation. 


I'm not one who easily admits wrong, it's actually a little painful for me, but in this case I was wrong.  I didn't know it until yesterday though.   During my weekly laundry chore after doing 3 loads and getting down to the bottom of my hamper I scooped up a bunch of socks to throw in the washer and I noticed the weight didn't feel right.  Upon further inspection I discovered the said missing watch tucked inside one of the socks.  I immediately felt awful and glee at the same time.  So I am happy to say Gage has been reunited with his watch and I'm eating crow. 

So, Dear Delta Airline:

I am so very sorry I mistakingly accused you of running a shoddy operation and employing untrustworthy assholes.  I'm sorry I was mean to you.  I'm sorry I clearly didn't go through my laundry with a finer toothed comb, but I assure you I did look diligently before writing to you.  If it's any consolation I ruined two days of my life that I will never get back.  I am also very grateful that I found the watch because I will be honest, your reply and solution would NOT have appeased me one bit.  So for both of our sakes, thank goodness the watch turned up.  I also promise I will fly with Delta again and I promise not to use the $75 off voucher that you sent me even though I probably still could.  I do not deserve it so I won't use it.  And I want you to know that I've posted this sorry letter on my blog so all my friends/family/readers will know that I was in the wrong, not Delta Air.  Oops, my bad!

Sincerely,
Holly

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

Skyline view from Empire State Building

So my NY trip has come and gone.  It was a four day weekend I was really looking forward to.  Spending some time creating memories with my mom and sister but most importantly, Gage.   Unfortunately Gage came down with the flu two days before we were to board the plane.  We hoped and prayed that he'd be on the mend by the time we got there, but luck was not on our side.  The poor kid was sick the entire trip only starting to truly feel better on the day we left. 

Gage and Grandma hanging out in Central Park

I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, I'm sure, NYC is quite possibly my most favourite city ever.  I could spend tons of time there and I secretly long to one day have an apartment in Manhatten (though we all know that will never happen).  I was truly bummed that Gage wasn't enjoying it as much as I know he would had he been on his A-game.   I have no doubt that I'll take him back again so that he truly gets the full experience. 

A different view of the skyline from the Empire State Building

We were able to take advantage of that window of time following a vomit session and cram him full of Tylonel and Gravol and see some of the sights before he got drained and tired.  We did some tours of Central Park and the city.  We did some shopping.  We saw some tourist sights.  We fought the crowds.  We ended up with tired tootsies and lots of blisters.  We ate food (though I saved a ton not having to buy Gage full meals, so there's my silver lining!).  I showed Gage how to hustled and barter with the street vendors (Awkward!  As he says.  Fun!   As I say.)  The weather was perfect.  And he came home with some souveniers and new clothes, so he seemed content enough.  But most importantly he got to watch some street performers doing break dancing in Central Park which he seemed to love and he got some bling bling from a street huster in China Town which was at the top of his to do list from the moment we booked the trip.

Me and Gage in Central Park

We had a situation following the airport after returning home that put even more of a damper on the trip but more about that later.  I didn't take many photos because the last thing the kid wanted was a camera shoved into his face and since I'd already been and have pictures of most of the places we went I didn't bother to take many more than what's posted here. 

Trying on a size 20 shoe

So even though he wasn't feeling 100% I think we still had an overall good time and I'm grateful to have the memories with my mom, my sister and my son (even if some of those said memories are of me wanting to choke him).  D'aw, I wuv that kid.

The Freedom Tower (replacing the Twin Towers)

Sky-writing

Mom in Central Park

A sick boy and his Shirley Temple


Saturday, May 19, 2012

30 day challenge

So I've decided to take on the 'no meat' for 30 days challenge.  Eric's been on me about dumping meat from my diet because he thinks it might actually help my gut issue.  I'm not entirely convinced that meat is the main culprit of my ailment but I know there are often times it does contribute so it's not a terrible idea. 

I am a huge meat fan so this won't be easy for me, but I have a feeling it's not going to be as difficult as I'm anticipating once I get into the groove.  I started on Tuesday but flunked out on Wednesday (but they were all natural hotdogs, do those really actually count?  And I only ate TWO!).  So I had to start again on Thursday.  So far so good, though it's only been two official days now. 

I refuse to refuse meat entirely.  I'm going to cave once in a while but I think the goal is to really start limiting my meat consumption overall.  If I'm still having issues after a month, then I guess Dairy is on the chopping block next.  So for now I've been perusing Pinterest for awesome vegetarian dishes to make for dinner.  A little more boring than creeping Pinterest for sweet crafting ideas.  I won't lie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Retro Bowls

So today while I was roaming the aisles of Value Village looking for inspiration for craft projects (and black pants and t-shirts for Gage to wear to work), I came across some vinyl records.  Eureka!  I had seen a few projects on Pinterest involving old LPs so I thought I'd browse the selection and work on a new craft idea (I'm starting to run out of corks).  Record bowls!  How retro!  So here's how I did it.  It was super easy and fun. 

First I picked out four records, each one kind of reminding me of a certain person.  So in the end, four of my friends are getting record bowl gifts from me.  I'm still not sure if my friends 'like' getting my crafts or if they are just humouring me but giving them away still hasn't lost its novelty on me yet so it's going to keep happening.  One day it's going to be you!  I know you're probably anxiously waiting...don't worry your time will likely come.  And I am pretty sure that once I finish my den, I'll have one of these retro record bowls on display on my coffee table. 

So all in all it took me about 20 minutes to complete all 4 bowls.  Pretty easy and not time consuming at all so it's an ideal craft idea if you have A.D.D.  I suppose you should take precautions and make sure you have your exhaust fan on or a window open when doing this.  However, I didn't notice any fumes at all as they were 'baking'.  Though, since the day was so beautiful, my kitchen window was already open. 


You are going to need a record(s) that you no longer use or listen to.  You will need an oven safe bowl (different sizes and heights are going to yeild you different shaped bowls, so have fun and play with some different sizes).  In my case, I used two different bowls, so I ended up with two versions of the finished project.  You will also need a cookie sheet (just to play it safe, you don't want to be scraping harden vinyl off the bottom of your stove). The cookie sheet sure makes it so much easier to get it out of the oven when it's firey hot too.  That's probably the main reason to use a cookie sheet as the records aren't in the oven long enough to worry about them melting all over your stove, unless of course you walk away and get side-tracked and forget about it (which could happen if you have A.D.D. and took my advice that this would be an ideal craft). 


You want to preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  Not too hot or you could end up with a hot, stinky mess on your hands.  And like I said, I was done all four bowls in probably 20 minutes so even at 200 degrees it still moves along quite nicely.  You want to place the bowl upside down on the cookie sheet and centre the record on top of the bowl.  Place the sculpture into the oven as shown in the photo (probably would have been nice of me to clean my over first but I was too excited to melt records to bother).  Depending on how good your oven works you might need to leave it in there for up to 10 minutes.  Trust me, you'll know when it's done. 

After taking it out of the oven you can leave it on the bowl and let it cool (the vinyl cools so much faster than the bowl or cookie sheet so be careful of those when handling) and use it as is (that's what I did) or you can then flip the bowl over immediately and place the soft record inside the bowl to get a more defined shaped.  You'll only have a window of about a minute before the vinyl really starts to cool off, so be quick if you want to go this route.  If you can't get it done in time you can put it back on the upside down bowl and throw it back in the oven for a few minutes to get it soft again. 



Once it's cooled off, it's ready for immediate use.  And you'll get an immediate sense of pride and usefulness (I did anyway).  You can use them for so many different things...


Fruit bowl. (Hard, dry or fake fruit, not fruit salad silly!)
A flower pot!  (You won't be able to see the label but you could use it as a planter since there is already a drain hole in place.)  
Key bowl.  (A place to put your keys and sunglasses when you get home or if you are a swinger you can use it as the key bowl when picking partners!  I shall not judge.)
Just a decoration or conversation starter.
A homemade gift for Christmas (if you do that sort of thing).
I suppose you could just hang it on your wall as art (but that kind of defeats the purpose of vinyl record BOWL).
Candy dish.  (Wouldn't jelly beans look so awesome in that? You could also use it to store your Halloween candy that you hand out to trick or treaters.)
Anyway, you get the idea.  So versatile and cool all at the same time. 


The records cost me a buck each at V.V. but I'm sure I can score some for cheaper at garage sales this season so I can assure you I'll be making more.  It was quick and fun and the finished project is pretty rad. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

15 Minutes

Here it is friends!!  My doggy bed/side table transformation has been featured in a very popular and awesome DIY blog:  Better After. 

http://betterafter.blogspot.ca/2012/05/well-bred-ped-bed.html

Oh this makes Holly a very happy crafty girl.   Super excited for the support and the nice comments you, my friends have  made in the past, and the comments showing up on Lindsey's blog.  So nice.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scared Mom, Oblivious Child

Last night Roan asked me if he could go for a 'hike' with the neighbour girls this afternoon.  I asked him where he was planning to go (thank god) and at what time he was leaving, etc.  Got the details because I wasn't too sure I was comfortable with it but since he was going with a few others I figured to give him a chance. 

Today, around noon Eric, Ryan and I headed out for breakfast as Roan was getting ready for his hike and picnic.  Around 6 p.m. there was still no sign of Roan, so I started to panic worry.  I was dreading the worst (of course, it's what I do best).  Envisioning him falling down a hill/cliff and hurting himself with no means of contacting me, getting hit by a train as there are train tracks near the sand pits where he was intending to go...you know, all good stuff.  I swung by the neighbour girl's house to have her mother pull in with her car right behind me.  She had just been out looking for them and came up empty handed.  Not an overly great feeling when I was already panicking worrying.  So I raced home to get Eric, Ryan and Gage (as Gage was the only one of us who could get us directly to the sand pits) and assembled my search party. 

After walking around the paths we came across an amazing hidden gem in my neighbourhood.  There is a pretty spectacular area covered in sand consisting of paths, hills, bends, jumps, etc for dirt bikes and 4-wheelers, bmx, etc.  Not sure if it was intentionally put there or if that community has just created it themselves, but either way it was pretty awe inspiring.  After walking around for a while we finally found the gruesome foursome atop a hill.  Ten minutes later we emerged upon them to find them knee deep in a disgusting mud bog and completely covered (head to toe) in mud.  The idea of shoving the four of them in the car and dragging their asses home quickly escaped my head.  I wish I'd taken a picture but alas I didn't think to bring my camera on my search mission.  Not sure which picture would be more humourous.  The one of Roan and his cronies standing their drenched in water and mud being typical kids or my face when I realized he never bothered to change out of his pyjamas before leaving on his all day journey.