Monday, January 30, 2023

Revenge of The Room Weekend Recap

Tis Monday...again.  Did you get everything done over the weekend that you wanted to?  Me either.  I mean, I got stuff done that I was forced to do, not what I actually wanted to do and that's not fun.  "The Room" is rebounding on me saying "yeah, you're not done."  Last week was not great for sleeping.  I seemed to wake at 4:30 am every morning with no hope of getting back to sleep because of the gagging from the off gassing of God knows what in the room.  During my middle o' the night wee Thursday, I could swear I smelled vinyl pretty bad after we had used the fireplace.  (Not super strong but when I put my nose against the mural, I could actually faintly smell it which is hit or miss but I feel like after 2 months, it shouldn't still be doing that.

Some groggy panic Googling showed peel and stick wallpaper is pretty full of pure toxic crap that will off gas forever.  I initially found a decorators varnish that looked to be the solution I needed but all it took was one person's review of them applying it to their mural and it dried white and totally ruined it and that was all I needed to cancel the order.  Welp, ordering a vat of low VOC wax was going to be my hail Mary or have to consider taking it down.

Ugh, I thought I was done with you when I did the wood wall.  Clearly not.  Saturday I popped on some LMP and got to work.  I knew there was the possibility of slight color change but it was fine.

It just gave it a little more depth.  I made sure I got the seams and edges really well and then the entire thing.  I did one coat Saturday afternoon and the second coat Sunday morning before even heading downstairs.  It was tedious, made me sore in places I didn't know I had and all around sucked.  It will take 2 weeks to cure so I will give it the ol' sniffer test then to see if I need to waste two more days putting on two more coats which I think will have to happen so baseboard free is the life for me on that wall for a bit.  

In the meantime, I had sniffed the boards behind the bed and despite two cured coats of wax, it still faintly smells of stain.  Well, faintly x22 boards including the shelf sitting directly behind your head as you sleep and you waking up with your lungs coated and hacking out well, not pleasant things every morning basically tells you that you have more work to do.  I remembered I had an extra stained board in the garage so I had the Mr bring that in to let the Eau de Stain aroma build indoors.  I had a free sample of Ecos paints Air Purifying Varnish and I wanted to test it to see if it blocked the odor but wasn't optimistic aesthetic wise because it was a satin finish and I do not want to add SHINY to the list of things I don't like about those boards.  

After two coats over 5 hours, it was confirmed.  It blocks the smell.  

Shit.  πŸ˜‘

Okay, so poking around the interwebs, I go.  All I know is Ecos doesn't make matte in their clear coats so I needed to look at green building sites to see what was out there.  I found a matte varnish with low voc's when wet and totally odorless then dry.  It was half the cost of the other stuff so I ordered it before knowing if sealing the mural was the problem.  By Sunday morning, I knew it was the wood and hopefully that stuff will ship out today.  Am I happy that I'm going to have to clear under the bed AGAIN, move everything away from the wall and do two more coats on that bastard wall?  No but it's the difference between deeming the room uninhabitable and tearing it out or a day or two of inconvenience.  I literally feel like the room is poisoning me because after 2 hours with the door shut, it's enough to gag you out much less 7-8 hours.  Just a little giggle from the universe.  This stuff not working isn't an option so I just want it done.  I'm ready to move the hell on!!

Saturday night we were bored so I just threw on the new J Lo movie Shotgun Wedding on Amazon Prime.  While I had zero expectations, it was pretty dang funny.  Jennifer Coolidge, Josh Duhamel, Cheech Marin and Lenny Kravitz surprisingly are in it.  The Mr and I both give it a thumbs up if you're looking for a change of pace.  I know we're tired of watching the same crap.

Heads up to any of you who follow me on Facebook, the algorithm has changed AGAIN.  Reach has dropped significantly and I can't afford to pay for 'boosts'  ($14 per post).  So if you're wanting to still be notified of new posts over there, just make sure to like a post at least once a week.  I saw it's even affecting larger accounts like some of the Beachbody instructors I follow.  I also may post here other than M-W-Fri like I did last week so bookmark the page and swing by on the daily when you're scrolling on the toilet.  I am still trying to find a free solution to replace Feedburner for notifications through email but much like every single business out there, they all want your money and no one does anything out of the goodness of their hearts anymore.  So I don't know.  I am going to be potentially replacing Hump Day Polls with a new feature.  Those aren't really engaging and I don't know if what might step in from time to time will be either but I'm trying to shake it up a little where I can.  

How was your weekend?

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Friday, January 27, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #4

It's Aloha work til Monday!  (Man, do I miss hearing that song on the regular.  Pardon while I sing along for a second.)  Okay, now that I'm officially teary and missing the islands.  We've gotten really lucky on our park walks lately and saw little packs of deer here and there.  It's always so cute how they look up and stop- we look over and stop- they go back to eating and we take a few steps on our route and repeat with deer in headlights game.  I named this little weak one we saw after my grandma and told her it would make her strong and to go find a pack to take care of her.  I think I saw her in the pack of seven we saw on Monday.  She is wee but appeared stronger to me.  I hope that was her and that grandma is looking out for her.

In the overnight going into Monday, we caught a coyote roaming our yard at 1am.  I wanted to go out and ask him if he was a super genius.


If you think my brain will ever NOT operate in Looney Tunes, you would lose that bet.

Now let's introduce:

The 3 Best Workouts That Can Help You Poop and 2 to Avoid  (Dude, call the one yoga pose what it is...FART POSE.  You basically say it without saying it.)

6 Calf Stretches to Release Tight Muscles  (I need to do these more.)

If You Want Your Gua Sha To Help With Fine Lines, Don't Do This  (Good tip!  I tend to do this with mine especially if I'm trying to relieve jaw tension.)

10 People on Why They Struggle with Certain Hygiene Tasks  (Ugh, the water down the elbow thing.  Same.  )

How to Have Assertive Communication Without Ghosting or Raging  (Very good tips and remember that "no." is a complete sentence.)

25 Small, Simple Ways To Be A Better Partner Right Now  (Some really wonderful reminders to keep the squishy vibes alive.)

7 Mistakes You're Making That Are Increasing Your Heating Bill, Experts Say  (Will have to remember the safe temp when we're away.  I'm about 8 degrees off.)

10 Iconic Unscripted Movie Moments That Turned Out Amazing  (Wow, didn't know that Empire Strikes Back and 40 Year Old Virgin which explains why the scene was so hilarious.)

Redditors Share 95 Old Person Things That May Reveal You're Getting Old Too  (See ya lil happens WAY sooner than you think!!)

Did you miss some posts here this week?  Check 'em out below:

Goodbye LMP  πŸ’”

I'm not sure if we have plans this weekend or not.  Nothing I know of but that could change, I suppose.  I wouldn't mind getting a real batch of snow so we could go real snowshoeing and not splash around in slop pretending to be snow.

What's on your forecast this weekend?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Gifts for Your Gen X Man

Do you know how many stupid lists I see come out year after year for Valentine's Day, Father's Day and Christmas that try to talk you into giving your man something for his grilling, alcohol or sports addictions?  Well, I do the grilling, he doesn't drink and he watches one college team so those lists are pretty much useless to me.  So what do you get a Gen X dude who just wants to be left the hell alone and maybe indulge in nostalgia from time to time?  Here's my suggestion list that is Mr approved for your viewing pleasure.

While I'm all for personal expression, a rug in the office of Han Solo in Carbonite or a full on Millennium Falcon is more for your man's room when he was 10.  What if we could express the love for Star Wars in a more fancy pants style that is better for the sophisticated Sith Lord he is?  Enter this Ruggable Dark Side Damask Area Rug.  The Mr has this and loves it.  When he sent a pic to his co-workers, they instantly knew what it was and loved it.  The fact it's Ruggable means when/if it gets dirty, peel the rug back and chuck it into the washer!


The elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire have a new member in the form of the Mr in his stormtrooper garb from Hasbro's Selfie Series.  If your dude isn't feeling the Star Wars universe, he can be made into a Power Rangers, G I Joe, Ghostbuster or Marvel action figure instead!  It's not expensive and imagine the look on their face when they're immortalized in action figure form!  (Just an FYI, you need to download their app and it takes pics of their face from different angles so the idea will have to be the surprise- you'll need his cooperation and all sides of his face to get it ordered.)

Back in the day you knew why you needed to keep a pencil handy when listening to your cassettes, which scenes got rewound the most in your favorite VHS movie and the floppy discs were the future.  While they are relics and unidentifiable to today's youth, if you know, you know and you miss it.  This t-shirt is a fun way to remember how we all got started with our entertainment as kids.

If he's looking to get back into or break out his old vinyl collection, this record player is a great quality without spending audiophile bucks.  Nothing beats the rich sound of vinyl to take him (and you) back to your youth!

If he's a musician, this Marshall Bluetooth Speaker will speak to his heart.  In addition to being compact and super stylish, it packs a lot of sound into a small package.

And now for some practical stuff

Do you know how many times the Mr has settled down to drink his morning cuppa and then gets a Teams message "let's get on a call."  What should've been a 5 minute call turns into 90 minutes of people griping and now the Mr has ice cold coffee which was not what he started off with.  This mug warmer is the perfect way for your man to keep his morning jolt as piping hot as when he poured it and before his co-workers ruined his planned relaxing morning.

Did you know 1 in 12 men are color blind while only 1 in 200 women are?  Some men go their whole lives never knowing that they are color blind.  As a kid, the Mr was made fun of because he would color his tree trunks green and his leaves brown.  The nurse called his mom and told her he was color blind.  Well there was nothing she could do.  You can now!  These sunglasses have helped the Mr be able to enjoy the fall leaves and other vibrant colors that he missed out on until his mid-40's.  Even if your man thinks he may not need or want them, they are returnable so it would be nice to try them out first and return them if he doesn't but it could be life changing.

I'll be honest, when the Mr put this key organizer on his wish list for Christmas, I didn't get the appeal but you know what?  He friggin' loves it and that's all that matters.  He likes not having his keys be all noisy because isn't the world noisy enough?  

Getting older sucks and your eye doctor has no problem reminding you that your lack of being able to read menus even with contacts in is "totally normal for someone your age."  Instead of having a pair of readers around his neck, he can pop these babies out from the keychain and read what he needs to then go back to looking like the cool SOB he is.  I cannot tell you how many times the Mr has already used this in various situations in the past 6 weeks since he got them when in a pinch!

If any of you have a man with a beard, you know the struggle is real after they shave at the sink only cleaning the essential hairs HE can see and not the ones 98% of the population can if they went in there.  Enter this marriage saving Shaving Shower Mirror so he can let those nasty strays go down the drain and you can even use it too!

We discovered this soap in a little French shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake and it's one of those manly fragrances that you could just sniff and take hits off of for pure dopamine.  (Or will make you want to tackle him after his shower.)  The Mr and the bathroom smell so good after he uses it!  It's a totally relaxing scent that isn't overpowering at all and y'all know I'm sensitive to strong scents.  This might be more of a fun 'just because' or stocking stuffer gift so he doesn't get a complex.  

I hope this gives you some ideas for your Gen X man/son/dude in your life!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Goodbye LMP

Most people knew Lisa Marie Presley as Elvis' daughter and obviously so did I initially.  There was so much written about her in the rag mags back in the day (now every 'news source' feels a rag mag these days, doesn't it?) and therefore much mystery around who she was as a person.  I remember very clearly watching her clutching Michael Jackson's hand in terror as they walked out on the MTV VMA stage in 1994 looking like she wanted to be anywhere but there.  We were in Las Vegas on a trip with my family and had retired for the night and there were rumors about this appearance so we were glued to the TV.  Watching that kiss with the rest of the world, you knew it was going to cause a stir and then there came the famous Diane Sawyer interview with them where you actually got to see Lisa's personality.  You could tell she was likely told to act a certain way but man when her personality came out, it was undeniable.  She was feisty, snarky, a smart ass, funny and every other trait that was very similar to my own at that time.  We were soul sisters on some level personality wise.

When there was talk that she was writing music and recording an album, I couldn't wait.  I think everyone was waiting to see how she sounded so they could compare her to her father.  Would she 'live up' to her last name like that should even be a thing.  Children aren't their parents and should never be compared to them, famous or not.  What sealed the deal for me with her was her interview/performance on Letterman while promoting her album.  The fact that she went after he basically ragged on her for years and called him out on it within 30 seconds sealed the deal for me.  I didn't care if she sang off key and sounded like a cat screeching in an alley, I would support her and buy her records.  Luckily, she sounded amazing.  A wonderful singer in her own right that sounded nothing like her dad.  Her lyrics were raw and unapologetic and people picked them apart looking for who she could be referring to.  I didn't care who she was talking about, I just knew I hadn't heard lyrics so raw maybe ever.  Her first album To Whom It May Concern came out as we were going through my in-laws illnesses.  In the wake of my father in law's passing, there was a familial implosion and underhanded BS we had to deal with on top of his death.  Her lyrics would hit me at times as we suffered through people's lies:

You said it wasn't sharp but I cut my finger
You said it just wouldn't burn and I scarred my face
You said it just wasn't there when it fell down on me
Well I'm just a son of a bitch no matter what you say

To watching manipulation in a relationship I knew would come to a head one day:

Maybe the reason I got needy is because I never had real devotion
Maybe I criticized your loyalty because it wasn't given to me


And damn it if I didn't try to do everything that I was supposed to
And now what do I do now?
I don't know
Cause I'm still leaving
Now who's gonna save me next time?
Oh, not you for the first time
Somehow I'll be alright
Somehow I'll be alright

Her words reminded me of things I'd written in high school before I had any real idea of the heartbreak and uncertainty finding your true love can bring and all of the obstacles and feelings that can come along with it.

When her next album Now What came out, I could not wait and it didn't disappoint.  This album got me through the worst stress of my life between the crap that went down after his dad's death to the most absolute crippling work stress/anxiety I had ever experienced.  I would be in the file room or at my desk after an encounter with my manager who used to be my friend but an upgrade in position turned her into a vicious sea hag and I would turn Lisa's song Idiot on full blast.

I'm gonna tell you what I think about you in that unforgivable way I do
You're an idiot
And I hate your guts
I guess I'm about as happy for you as I would be a cockroach in my food
I know it's terrible
I really hate you though

I still have that song along with I'll Figure It Out on my anger management playlists when I want to punch the hell out of someone.  That song in particular hit when I was going through yet another adult rejection from my father and it was like my shield against him to get that hurt out of me.

It took me all my life
To finally figure out
That I'm not in the mood
To be anything like you
Maybe it's alright
Maybe not
I'll conduct my choir
I'll figure it out

She also has a hidden track at the end of the last song Now What that is a cover of The Ramones Here Today Gone Tomorrow.  I was so happy to find it because when you see there's still like 4 minutes left on the song that just ended, you know you're in for something fun!  Even though I hadn't heard the original, the Mr had so he was quite happy for this little Easter egg and I loved it on it's own merit as being hers.  Here's a fun but distorted video when Marky Ramone came out at one of her shows supporting that album.  

Her third album Storm and Grace went in a completely different direction and that producer made both her and Diana Krall's album sound almost identical.  It sounded more like his vision than theirs to my ears but both women raved about working with him.  We were lucky enough to see her on a small tour she did in support of that album.  I remember being behind the venue listening to her do soundcheck and I could not stop smiling.  I was so proud of her!  She funded that tour herself for her fans and we were all so grateful.  Sadly my camera at the time was HORRIBLE in low light and no pics were allowed so I had to snap a few crappy ones before security started hunting those of us who did sneak them in.  

She was so shy and reserved when she came out.  She talked to all of us like we were just hanging out.  After about two songs, she saw we were all cool and started letting her hair down, laughing and joking and just being a general badass.  I so wish we were somehow able to record that show.  It was truly such an intimate show and watching her do her involuntary Presley sneer was so adorable.  She even mentioned it later in the show how she was NOT trying to imitate her dad but people pointed it out to her when she started and she came to embrace it but she could also tell by the audiences faces when she was doing it a lot.  So adorable.  I will cherish that night for the rest of my life especially now.

While I didn't initially resonate as much with her final album because of its country undertones, that show helped change my mind. She wrote the song Storm and Grace about her son, Benjamin Storm Keough.

You are the most beautiful man
That I've ever known
Too much to offer
And too much held close to the bone
Just step on the breaks there
You got what it takes

You blow me away, yeah
Your storm and your grace
My heart can't seem to take it
Your storm and your grace

You have the most beautiful heart
That I've ever known
It kills me you can't ever show it
And a shell has been grown
Stop moving so fast there
Take your foot off the gas

You blow me away
Your storm and your grace
My heart can't seem to take it
Your storm and your grace
You blow me away
Your storm and your grace

You can see in her lyrics the intense love she had for him and it feels like she could sense he might not be long for this world?  When he died by suicide in 2020, I was scared she wouldn't be long for this world either.  I feared it was coming.  The fact that she hadn't yet died of a broken heart when she wrote this essay about grief almost 5 months before her own death made me feel like maybe she'd make it.  Maybe she'd found some way to channel her excruciating pain which is so honest and raw in that article into something to help others.  It seemed that was the direction she was taking in helping others from what some articles have said but it's hard to sift through all of that and know what's true.  If so, it's all the more tragic that once she was finally able to move forward in a way that could be of service to others she had that opportunity taken.  Anyone who saw her at the Golden Globes saw how unwell and frail she appeared to be.  I literally gasped when I saw her since it's the first real time I've seen her recently and I just hoped after the awards circuit that she would get the rest she looked like she needed.  Her death ripped through me and I am still in disbelief.  

Her memorial was so very much all facets I've seen of her when she was kind enough to share herself.  There were gospel interludes which she grew up on with Elvis, songs sung by her friends Billy Corgan, Alanis Morrissette and Axl Rose, and beautiful eulogies including one by one of her teen twins read by Priscilla, a eulogy from long time family friend and manager Jerry Schilling who did an absolutely stunning job of memorializing her and her personality which cracked us up, Sarah Ferguson - that's right, Fergie- who did a lovely job of eulogizing her 'sissy' and I could not stop laughing because of course Lisa was friends with the first black sheep of the royal family.  Perhaps the most moving and tragic was read by her son in law that was written by her first born daughter Riley who conveyed what it was like to be loved by her from a small child to two weeks ago on her couch.  In that eulogy, it was revealed that Riley gave birth to a daughter whom she hoped she could love the same way she was loved by Lisa.  Good on her for being able to pull off the ultimate eff you to the press by being pregnant and giving birth.  I pray Lisa was able to meet her and love her but my heart breaks that she will never get to know her grandma personally.  I can only imagine the absolutely beautiful hellion she would've been as Grandma Lisa.  

I don't know why someone I've never met means so much.  I can only assume as someone who has a low BS tolerance, searing comebacks balanced with empathy and vulnerability that I found a strong kinship with her.  Someone who if we'd become friends would've been a feared duo to anyone who saw us coming.  πŸ˜„  I loved her for her...not who her father was.  I loved her for her own merit, honesty, talent and truth.  The world is a little darker for me knowing she's not in it.  The only solace I and I'm sure anyone else who knew, loved or admired her is that she's with her beloved son again and that she and her daddy were finally able to duet in person instead of by technology.  The video for one of the duets is sadly a fitting memorial video for her.  (You can see others here, here and here)  I'd like to think they're sitting at the piano together again; they have a lot to catch up on.

I love and miss you Lisa.  Thank you for everything.  


If you want to skip to different parts of the memorial, I've got timestamps below.  Even if you weren't a fan, there were some wonderful performances.

Jerry Schilling's Eulogy (*highly* recommend watching this!  You will laugh and cry)

Blackwood Brothers Quartet Perform (wonderful full circle story told here- Lisa's grave revealed)

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Monday, January 23, 2023

Next Project and Nature's Surprise Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning everyone!  I hope you got in some tomfoolery this weekend sprinkled with some productivity.  

We started out at our wits end over the neighbor situation.  For those of you who have never lived in attached living- be grateful.  I am on edge 24/7 from these a-holes and moving just isn't an option.  You all know how the housing market is out there and it would be no guarantee we wouldn't have dicks living on either side of us who let their dogs bark, hoot and holler, etc.  We've looked at a lot of soundproofing articles over the years and the best form for existing rooms seems to be green glue behind a layer of 5/8" thick soundproofing drywall.  (Even better if you use the super expensive soundproofing kind with a layer of dbag dampening crap in between.)  Then the Mr played devil's advocate about the corner fireplace wall that is against that same wall where dbag #1 has mounted his TV and occasionally just rams something into it and would we need to put the drywall over that.  (Yes.)  Then our gas fireplace is 27 years old and should we be replacing it and how much are we talking?  We went and grabbed lunch and decided to hop over to the only open fireplace store in the area which was really hopping.  Once it was our turn, we explained the situation, of which three grown men were baffled by and you could see the squeaky wheels turning


He quoted us a price for this dinky ass 26" insert when we told him we had a 32" and what it would cost to remove the old one and a couple hundred for making a custom plate if needed and throwing in some insulation along the wall.  $3000.  About what we figured but that was also for ventless which is not what we have.  They were really steering us away from vented despite the fact that's what we have, how much more energy efficient it is, etc.  The Mr did a little research later and yeah it might be more energy efficient but the stuff that is going out of your flue is now, in a smaller amount, being released into your house.  We just paid $1100 last year to get one deadly gas out of here and aren't really down with replacing it with carbon monoxide in any amount.  So we'll need to do a lot of research but right now the consensus is to add the drywall to the one wall and give the full 45 day cure time on the green glue to see if it helps enough that we're satisfied or if the fireplace is the weak point.  Future us problem right now.

Sunday morning, we watched Lisa Marie's memorial service.  I will be doing a separate post on why she meant so much to me.  I feel the need to put something out there because so many people only know her as Elvis' daughter or assuming things about her because of who she married, etc.  Those who didn't listen to her music don't know her as anything else.  It was an incredibly emotional service and even the Mr who doesn't cry shed some tears.  The entire time, big wet fluffy flakes fell here just as they have resumed back up as I started typing about her.  When the service was over, we had lunch and went to the park to absorb the unexpected gift nature gave us.

We didn't get much of a base for actual snowshoeing so we grabbed our snow sneakers and poles to give a good upper body workout too.

We were right to grab the poles because it was a squishfest on the trail and needed to have some stability.

On our way out, we saw deer tracks over ours so we knew they were somewhere close and we finally spotted 4 of them.

It was nice to get outside and enjoy the snow while getting in a workout too.

Then we wound down with some cocoa and Chateau and tried to mentally ready ourselves for the week.  I've got a lot of improvements to make after a one pound gain after throwing strength back in and freaking my body out.  But congrats to the Mr who lost 5 lbs!  I need to work on water and lunches being actual lunches because I failed hard by pouring cereal every day.  I need to work on that this week and do better.

How was your weekend?  Anything you need to improve this week?

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Friday, January 20, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #3

Happy Friday you sexy beasts.  We're firmly into the third full week of the new year.  I hope it's treating you well and I hope our fellow snow lovers (all six of you) are getting plenty of the white stuff to play in because I know we're not.  😒  We got in our two strength sessions this week like I planned.  One with 10 lb dumbbells and one with bands.  It was quite disheartening how heavy 10 lbs felt when I was used to lifting 15-20's for so long.  I know I'll get back there but I have a hand injury that doesn't like me very much during or after those sessions.  Wanna know how I injured myself?  

Ready for it?

Putting on a GLOVE!  Yep.  I'm apparently at the age where you put on a pleather glove and if your ring catches just right inside as you plunge your hand in, it will eff your connecting finger tendon right the hell up!  

Now let's plunge into:

3 Ways to Stick With Your New Year's Resolution  (This is about the time motivation starts to wane for those who made them.)

Is Stevia Bad for You? What Experts Say About This Sugar Substitute  (I made myself giggle when in the article it said "what does stevia taste like?" and my brain without skipping a beat said "shit.")

Weight Loss Meals Substitutions That Taste Amazing  (Yum, these sound delicious and I need to get out of this food rut!)

The Number of Calories Burned Shoveling Snow and How to Do It Safely   (I love shoveling snow but also be careful doing it.  Lots of people have cardiac events while/after doing it, especially in January.)

Treatments and Home Remedies for Dry Nose Relief (As soon as the heat comes on for the year, it's Aquaphor time for me.  Especially if we're going on long drives in the winter, the heat from the defroster kills my nasal passages for a week or more.)

Practicing This Feeling Could Actually Help You Live Longer, Says a Neuroscientist (I remember on a diet board (not SP) the first person on the board that day would start a 5 gratefuls post so we could all start our morning with gratitude.  It was always a nice post to start the day.)

A Quick, 10-Minute Ab Workout for People With Back Pain  (I can always use a workout to support my back, that's for sure!)

Former Miss Canada Siera Bearchell speaks out on pageants and body shaming  (Um, this is seriously disturbing, disgusting and our world is friggin' EFFED UP if a woman who looks like this can be called fat by loser no life trolls who slink out from under their bridge to the 'safety' of the internet.)

The Mr Shared This Absolute CRINGEFEST of an interview  (If you suffer from second hand embarrassment, just skip it.  I couldn't even finish it after the pies, I was wrecked but someone else may enjoy it. 😳)

Lisa Marie Presley's Memorial Service is Sunday.  In case anyone was a fan of Lisa's like I am, her memorial service is Sunday morning and will live streamed from Graceland at 9:50amCST but I would try connecting around 9:30am in case there are any issues.

I'm sure we'll toss around the idea of taking the big tree down but I'm not committing to it.  No one will ever be over here again this time of year so as long as we don't want the space back then meh.  I'd like to maybe go on a drive or something.  One of my resolutions especially after being basically housebound all last year is to get out more even if we don't have anywhere specific in mind.  I think that would help our mental health.  Also, need to season my pie irons so we can go to the park and make campfire apple pies like we were going to do in early 2022 and never got around to.  (Supposing I can ever keep a fire going long enough.  Yeesh.) 

Anything going on in your neck of the woods this weekend?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

How to DIY Remodel When You Have Depression

A quick word to those living with depression/anxiety etc.  Please make sure if you're choosing to do a DIY project this year and  feel too overwhelmed that you consult your doctor or therapist if you feel yourself going down a slippery slope.  The tips given in this post are not to be construed as medical advice, they are guidelines I learned for myself as we went through the process.   I'm sharing our experience and also a reminder to myself for future DIY projects because they're looming.  


For those of you who saw our master bedroom remodel project, you know it was a long, arduous road.  That would've been the case with most people but when you throw having depression into the mix, the road is longer and seems to jump five steps back with every one step forward you think you're taking.  An actual renovation with contractors hired is one kind of stress because you have to make sure you're not getting taken, they don't flake on you with their schedules or altogether, they deliver in the time promised and they don't do shoddy work.  When you decide to take on a large project (or any sized, really) yourself and you aren't a master at those skills- the pressure is even worse.  It's all on you to get right or screw up.  It's up to you when that project(s) get finished.  It's that extra stress that is why most people pay someone else to do it but sometimes people like us (me) are optimistic enough to say "we can do that" and then swan dive into the abyss when we can't see the bottom.

I didn't have true before pictures for that remodel because 1) I didn't really know it was going to be a before when it happened and 2) the room would've looked similar to this:


I took that picture in the midst of an anxiety attack when I decided it was time to work on the bedroom which had become a dumping ground for three years.  Nothing had a home so there was nowhere to put anything on the dresser that made sense or wasn't basically moving one pile to a different place.  The dresser had a bunch of clothes we never used or seasonal dΓ©cor that was barely dragged out anymore.  I remembered what my best friend always tells me, take one small spot and tell yourself you only have to do that area.  That day I was going to work on the left side of the dresser and the picture was to remind me that if I didn't feel like I was making progress that I could look at it and see that I was.

The bedroom was only for sleeping because that's all you could do in there.   I come from a "piling" mentality from my childhood.  Everything was put into piles for later and often times later never came.  I wish I hadn't picked up that habit but as you can see, it followed me my entire life.  Since the Mr isn't a neat freak he didn't care so if he didn't care about seeing it, I didn't care about making it a priority to clean it.  It's embarrassing to share that picture.  It's not exactly hoarders but I would be mortified for anyone I know to see that in person yet I know I'm not alone.  Cleaning and tidying videos wouldn't be as popular as they are if others weren't seeking a less chaotic home.  I mean that came after organizing my nightstand drawers and that felt like a monumental feat that took me a week to mentally recover from.  Don't think I don't know how utterly ridiculous that sounds to be mentally drained from going through 4 nightstand drawers.  People who don't have this issue roll their eyes, say things like "you just have to force yourself to do it!" and other unhelpful things that make you feel like a bigger loser for not being able to Nike-fy yourself to "just do it."  (Which then starts you on a whole separate spiral.)

I'm not saying my tips will necessarily be helpful to your particular situation but I know what I went through, how I dealt with things (good and bad) and learned from certain situations so I'm sharing those insights from my perspective.  

1)  Do your research on how long the projects you want to tackle usually are, estimate how long you think it will take and double it When we started June 3rd, I expected it to be about 2-3 months.  It was 5 1/2.  You need to ask yourself if you're willing to live in the doubled amount of time and if you are mentally in a place where you will be able to push yourself through so you're not living in a permanent construction zone.  For instance, when we decided to have the ceilings smoothed a month into it, the complete asshat-ery of this company and the damage they caused in every square inch of the second floor was utterly unforeseeable.  More so the paint issues we encountered in the bathroom after from humidity and uh "communication issues."    Those two things broke me early on and if those didn't, every single project after did a good job of finishing me.

2)  Communicate VERY clearly with each other.  Y'all...any couple who reno's together will tell you it's stressful on a relationship.  Some people have actually broken up over it!  (I saw it on House Hunters the other day!  LOL)  There will be times you are going to snap at each other, get irritated with each other and there are going to be hurt feelings, middle fingers behind the others back and maybe some voodoo involved.  Outline a plan and have a safe word if you need to that tells the other person "I'm aware I sound like a raving jackass right now, have some grace with me, please."  A word like "moist" or "pickle" should be out of the ordinary enough unless you want to go with a phrase like "turd burglar."  It should break the tension and make you both laugh for a second.  I cannot stress this enough.  We had some problems and resentments when all was said and done so workshop Wednesdays had to come back with a vengeance.

3)  Take a break if you need to.  I'm pretty sure there was twice that we took a week long break.  One was right after I was about to jam the bucket of spackle up the Mr's ass after he "helped" in the bathroom for the third time and the other was our desperately needed marriage retreat for 5 days.  Yes, it will add time onto when it gets completed but you cannot push forward when you are crying, snotting, curled up in a ball on the couch, cursing every Pinterest project you saved and being absolutely miserable.  The project and your relationship will suffer if you don't.

4)  Take progress pics.  Sometimes it can feel like you've done nothing especially when the room isn't visually changing much.  If there are other elements to the project that need to be done, take pics of those so you can remind yourself you DID do something.

5)  Decide if lists will help or hinder you.  The Mr loves a good to do list.  He's task oriented.  It's his jam.  I can be but if there is too much to get done, it started to look like a never-ending task that won't ever be completed.


That will throw me into a tailspin and stop me in my tracks.  Even if you start the to do list but get overwhelmed, assign a few tasks to your partner to take off some of the pressure.

6)  Take care of yourself.  This should actually be higher on the list.  I stopped my skincare routine completely because my nightstand with my stuff was in the basement, my mattress was on the floor, I was breathing in every toxic substance known to man and I'll be honest- it could be days before I showered because of the depression of having to fight every. single. aspect. of this particular reno.  We both really just gave up from a hygiene stand point.  Every day I looked like I'd wrestled a hippo and lost.  When I took the time to do something as simple as apply my pressed serum that makes my skin feel smooth, I cannot tell you what that did for my self esteem.  It's such a small act but SO important.

7)  Be ready to pivot.  I cannot stress this enough.  I would've loved to have ticked off one project at a time but there are days when it's beating you.  The tears flow, you wonder what possessed you to upend your lives and there seems to be no end in sight.   When a task should be easy and it is making every single thing difficult, if you need to drop that project for a smaller one and come back when you are not filled with rage at its it.  Save yourself.

8)  Try not to spend too much time dwelling on what's going wrong and find a solution.  (I know...this is easier said than done sometimes.)  This was a big mistake we made early on with the ceiling debacle and rehashing everything that was going wrong.  I'm a swirler by nature and if more than one thing is going wrong at one time, I'm usually having an inward spiral that is eventually going to bust out.   Bitching about it for days wasn't going to fix it.  When it became clear we were not going to get a break on any aspect of any project, I knew something was going to go wrong and I had to press forward.  Stain isn't working?  Hop online and see what can be fixed.  Having an actual panic attack over whether your wall is going to rip off the studs?  Research and see what others have done in similar projects to ensure that doesn't happen.  Start thinking like the a-hole your project is and what you have coming up.  Write down some contingency plans in case you may need them if that color doesn't turn out like you think or whatever so that in the midst of panic, you have a solution.  Sometimes the solution is looking at something that didn't turn out the way you planned and saying "good enough" and moving the hell on.  If you don't, you will both be depressed and living in a half finished construction zone and then you'll really be depressed.

9)  Give yourself/selves some grace.  If you were not blessed with the construction gene and your sensei is YouTube University, then you cannot beat yourself up about making mistakes.  They will happen.  Hell, I'm sure you've paid someone to do jobs for you and they've screwed the pooch on it.  I know we have and we even had a friend who did construction for a living and after researching how to lay our hardwood floors upstairs, we realized he basically did ALL OF IT wrong on the first floor.  I'll reiterate it...this is what he did for a LIVING so your shot of screwing it up is apparently just as likely as someone you're paying.  I like to research a potential DIY project and see what the common mistakes are and then pin/save a bunch of videos that explain how to rectify that situation or give the best tips.  We did a LOT of that.  Do we see things we wish we'd done differently or screwed up on?  Oh yeah.  But when you think of the money we would've paid someone else to do all of this crap and to potentially still not have it turn out as well depending on the contractor, I feel it was worth it.  There are lessons we'll take forward with us and have much more confidence should we take something like that on again in the future.  That's how you get experience.  It should also be noted if you get in over your head, know when you're beat and call in the pros if you need it.  Even if you only need them to do certain parts.  We thought we could do the hiding of the wires for the TV but there are obstacles there so we're going to need to bring in an electrician.  Am I happy about that?  No but I can live with some wires until we can get that scheduled and have it installed properly.  (Then I can do my next project!)

DIY is hard for everyone.  Those friggin' house blogs out there do not show the truth of what goes on and can make you feel inadequate when it's not smooth sailing for your project.  You throw someone with depression, anxiety or prone to panic attacks in that situation and it feels almost impossible.  I usually give myself a minimum of 4-6 months before embarking on anything else and even then it's typically on a much smaller scale.  I hope my tips helped you if you're in this situation and considering a DIY project.  Your mental health needs to be paramount during that time and if it slips, you need to deal with it and/or ask for help when necessary.   If you have any tips relevant to this topic, feel free to share what works for you too.

Good luck out there.


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Monday, January 16, 2023

Time to Change Weekend Recap

If anyone happened to sing that Peter Brady style when you read it, you get bonus points.


Good Monday morning everyone!  I hope you had a nice weekend whatever you ended up doing.  

Last week I had to break down and buy a new gadget:

My grip strength was always kind of bad but we essentially stopped doing strength training about 6 weeks ago and were just focusing on walks for activity during the final push of the remodel because that's all I could handle.  The past 2-3 weeks, I've noticed an alarming amount of weakness when doing things like opening jar lids.  (To be fair the Mr, who has excellent grip strength, has also felt like the jars are overtightened.)  My hands/joints would ache and while I would've loved to jump straight back into strength training upon our return, I didn't trust I could even hold a moderate dumbbell.  So I got that grip strengthener for under $10 to help me build things back up as we move into light strength training with bands this week.  I'll be honest, I wish I got one that started lower than 50 lbs because I can barely move it but I'm not sending it back so I'll work with it.  Of course the Mr can squeeze it completely together no problem.  Show off.  But when I do it, I can feel it in all of my weak points like my elbows, shoulders, etc so I keep it on the couch next to me and do it about 20x or more each side before I'm even allowed to open my laptop and then whenever I think of it throughout the day.  I've already felt some relief in my finger joints and stuff so I think this was a good move for me.

It's been a rough transition back into everything.  We weighed in Saturday and got to see the damage we did all through December.  I don't mean just on vacation, which is typical but we developed a pretty 'eff it' attitude and didn't gorge every day or anything but we'll be paying for it for a while.  (Actually, a quick peek shows I've been avoiding the scale since the weigh in before Thanksgiving where I hit a weight low I hadn't seen in a while so I thought I'd live there in my head.  I could tell even the following week I had put on a little noodle weight and I wasn't ready to see the scale creep up even a pound.  I have a very bad habit of letting the scale dictate my happiness.)  I intended to come back from the trip all fired up and ready to jump back into things but it's been much harder physically and mentally than anticipated.  The first order of business was just movement because we didn't get a lot of that on vacation that would've counted as a workout.  We got back into our walks pretty quickly at the park but those first three or four were a real eye opener with all of the extra weight we're carrying.  So essentially almost two weeks of walks to get the body back into that habit and build up stamina just a bit.  Based on the above mentioned grip issues I was having, that had to wait until this week where the plan is two resistance band based strength sessions in addition to walks and maybe one 'formal workout' thrown in there.  Next week we'll trying adding the dumbbells back in and seeing what the bodies are up for.  I have been failing miserably on lunch throwing together what is easy over nutritious sometimes like just having Honey Nut Cheerios for lunch because I didn't have the desire to do more than that. I've never been quite this bad about getting back into a routine after a vacation but I think because we just had so much to deal with and both of us feel like we didn't really get the rest we needed, it was hard.  Stuff was waiting on us when we got back that didn't make it any easier and we both agree we very much need to change some stuff this year mentally because we're not happy but we are also limited in just how much we can do.

I feel like I let you guys down all the time.  I don't have an interesting life on the daily right now and unfortunately, we are one of the ones who have to still take Covid precautions so we're not 'pre-pandemic' in this house.  (If you're new here, I don't need opinions on that and have tried to do a good job keeping Covid out of it but that part needs to be mentioned here for context only.)   While we were very busy last year with the second floor stuff we really only got out twice to do anything that wasn't reno related and our relationship and the work we've been doing has kind of gone in the shitter so we have a lot of rebuilding to do this year.  More balance between what needs to be done and getting in some fun where we can even if that's stuff we do at home like board games, puzzles, crafts, etc.  The remodel was our 'hobby' last year but hobby with a huge learning curve.  It's also quite frustrating when the room is 'done' but we're still dealing with a stain smell that irritates my throat.  It doesn't smell like fresh stain but the second that door closes, in two hours I feel my body is being inundated with toxic crap.  I've been burning incense twice a day in there the past 4-5 days or so and plan to keep blasting that damn wood to soak it up and then put beeswax furniture polish on it to lock it in.  I have gone through 12 friggin' boxes of baking soda the past 40 days to absorb the smell, charcoal bags, everything I could find online.  The last resort is either stripping it or removing the wood.  Yeah...I recoiled in horror at the thought too.  I'm sure the Mr was about to tap out on life at that nugget of info.  So wish me luck on the incense front because I don't know what else to do and the internet is ZERO help.

I hope to have something worth making you stick around this year.  I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for you guys.  I can say it 1000x but it wouldn't come close to conveying it.  I also want to thank those who buy through my Amazon text links.  I want to be very upfront, I don't make an income from this blog.  Those links are strictly to cover operating costs which if I'm being truly honest, it still doesn't cover.  So any time you guys are kind enough to buy through my links, I well up a little because it truly means so much.  I don't get offers for sponsorships or bigger ad networks that cater to big blogs and truly, I don't even want to be a "big blog."  I don't need that much attention.  I just like my core group of peeps and I'm good!  I also wish I could find a free version of an email for you guys like Feedburner used to do.  I am beyond frustrated with that so if anyone should happen to have suggestions I can research, I'm all ears.

I do want to give a shout out to the Mr who if you read this post, you knew there was a difficult discussion in his future with his mother.  He did end up having that discussion last week.  While you don't usually get any kind of resolution or ownership taken when dealing with gaslighting narcissists, he was able to say what he needed to say, spoke his truth and had a weight lifted.  He was rewarded with two very strong signs of support from his dad so it's safe to say he did the right thing.  I am beyond proud of him.

I know this was an all over the place post but that's kind of me right now so welcome to it!  πŸ˜†

How was your weekend?  Anything you're looking to change this year?

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