Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway....My (Not So) Storybook Life....


I couldn't get this onto my blog fast enough! I have been a long time reader of Mabel's House and have found Liz to be delightful both in good times and bad. If you aren't a current reader of her blog, you are missing out so head on over and check her out!

I'm hoping to win an advance copy of her book entitled My (Not So) Storybook Life by posting an excerpt of it here. As many of you know, my best friend is currently fighting breast cancer so the portion of the book that most intrigues me is how Liz deals with the diagnosis and eventual loss of her friend to cancer.

No matter what your current stage of life, I suspect you will thoroughly enjoy this book!

***
Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Spice Cake Gift Box.....

Happy Friday morning!

Last night I decorated a small gift box for a special friend using the new Spice Cake Designer Series Paper from Stampin' Up!. One of the best parts of being a demonstrator is getting to see all of the ideas that other demonstrators share with us....and this box is no exception! I used Natalie Decker's boxes as my inspiration and went from there. I decided to go ahead and cover the whole box in lieu of just a band as Natalie did to make it just a little more special....

I'm hoping to get some time to do something creative this weekend....I don't know if it's the weather, a lack of motivation on my part or a simple case of missing mojo but I'm really having a hard time coming up with new cards, scrapbook pages and/or gift items. Am I the only one having this problem lately?

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Catching Up.....

Hi there! I didn't mean to take a two week break from blogging but it's been a busy time around here!

I'm happy to report that Tammy came through her surgery quite well and is healing nicely. Thank you to all of you who committed to praying for her....I know without a doubt that God heard your prayers!

In between doctor appointments and everyday life, we've celebrated a few things over the last couple of weeks. My father in law turned 83 on September 5th and this is the card I made him:


I used the sample on page 16 of the Holiday Mini Catalog as my starting point. In fact, I CASED the entire thing because I liked it so much! I used a retired sentiment stamp but everything else is current.


On September 9th my mom had a birthday and while I will not reveal her age, I will share the card with ya! This is the first time I've used the Sweets for Sweet stamp set and I overall I like the way the card turned out.


Last but not least, I attended a graduation ceremony for Safe Family Ministries and made cards for all the graduates. Each one was done with a different designer paper but used the same layout. They turned out lovely as well.....

Thank you for stopping by....have a good evening!

My photo
Wife, sister, daughter and friend....God is good! Welcome!



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