Monday, November 28, 2011

One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's...Trash

I survived Thanksgiving with my extended family and came out of it with minimal emotional scarring. The last two times I've stayed at my mother's house have been the only two times in the past 45 25 years that I've stayed with her and not wanted to kill her. I don't know if she's mellowing in her old age or if I'm maturing in mine. Either way, we seem to get along better now than we ever have. I love my mother dearly but she can be extremely difficult to get along with.

My sister ratted me out and told Mom that I talk about her on Facebook. Mom told me not to do that anymore and being the obedient daughter that I am I assured her that I would not talk about her on Facebook as soon as I got home. I didn't say that I would never talk about her on Facebook, just that I wouldn't do it right when I got home. And I certainly didn't say that I wouldn't blog about her. I am the evil good child.

Mom's birthday is a few days after Thanksgiving and for her gift she asked me if I would reupholster a small stool that's in her bedroom. It was there when she bought the house for my grandparents 30 years ago and it still had the original orange and brown vinyl covering. I told her I would be glad to cover her stool so went to the fabric store on Black Friday where she picked out the second most hideous Asian brocade in the store.

I borrowed a staple gun and cordless drill from my sister Shamayn then spent maybe 20 minutes stapling the new fabric and batting over the old vinyl. When it was done you would have thought I just presented Mom with a priceless Ming vase. (You have to pronounce that "voz".) She loved her stool and I loved not hearing her nag me about it anymore. Everybody wins.

Since her retirement Mom has been working hard to declutter her house and get rid of a lot of unnecessary junk she's accumulated over the years. Some of the unnecessary junk includes things like non-working refrigerators and a trash compactor left over from the 70s. The fridge was easy, she was ready to get rid of that. But the trash compactor took some persuasion. Fortunately Shamayn handled that. Mom insisted that she needed to keep the trash compactor so she could compact bulky trash. The only problem with that is that she hasn't even opened the thing for at least 15 years. She hangs grocery bags from one of the knobs on the outside of the machine and uses that for her "trash can".

I don't know how Shamayn did it but she finally convinced Mom that the compactor had to go. Not knowing what to do for a trash can, and since she was used to having a grocery sack hanging from an appliance, Mom hung a grocery sack from the handle on her (working) fridge and was quite content with that setup. She always has plenty of extra plastic grocery bags because when she goes to the store she tells the bag boy to pack them light. If he doesn't comply, she will elbow him out of the way and show him that one tube of toothpaste and a Sally Hansen facial waxing kit are enough to fill one bag and no bag should be any fuller than that.

When we got to her house and saw the new trash system, Jayson immediately offered to go buy Mom a nice trash can. She nearly had a hysterical fit and absolutely forbade him to do any such thing. She liked her system, she liked the small bags, she liked to schlep the bags out to the big can under the carport every 15 minutes. And apparently she liked having trash hanging from the door of the fridge where where she keeps her food. Yuck. To maintain the illusion of peace, we let it go.

We weren't able to stay long enough for Mom's birthday but she sent me a text this morning and told me what Shamayn gave her. Shamayn's really good with gifts and holidays and all that. I barely remember to acknowledge a birthday and I rarely produce a gift. Gifts are not my love language so I don't really care if I ever get one or not but unfortunately I tend to forget that not everyone is like that. Plus, Shamayn is just more thoughtful than me.

The first text from Mom was a picture of a very nice trash can sitting where her compactor used to be. I told her I loved it, I like where it's sitting, and it looks like it's small enough so she can still empty it every 15 minutes if she wants to.

Here is our text exchange about the trash can:
MOM: Mayn got me a trash can at Bed & Bath. It's made to hold grocery bags with hooks on the front and back. I told her I didn't want one. Jayson wanted to get me one and I said no. Mayn said I had to have one. That's where she put it and she said I have to use it.
ME: Okay, it's just gross to have your trash hanging on the front of your fridge where you keep your food. Trash belongs in a trash can. Get used to it.
MOM: Well it's small so I can keep it empty. You step on a pad to open it. I don't have to buy bags. I don't have to touch it except to empty it. I don't really have to look at it. I guess it's okay. At least I have my stool.
ME: Go comfort yourself with your stool.
All I can say is thank God for Mayn.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Hookers, The Critter Fixer, and Pringles Duck Mouth Kisses

I woke up with a "lady trouble" induced migraine this morning which killed all the wonderful plans I had for the day, including the Home for The Holidays Gift Market in Katy and Discovery Green Flea.

The migraine has been downgraded to a plain ol' nagging headache but it has upset my tummy enough to make me leery of leaving the house. So.... I thought I'd use this time to update my poor lil neglected blog. We've had house guests the past two weekends in a row so that means I've had to give my attention to my live friends instead of my virtual ones. Hence the blog neglect. Not that my live friends are more important than my virtual ones, they're just harder to ignore when they're in my face.

Since it's been about 3 weeks since my last update and since it takes a minimum of 10,000 words for me to describe one 24 hour period in which I do absolutely nothing, I think I will spare you as much commentary as possible and make this a photo journal. Uploading and arranging photos can be way more time consuming than typing out my stream of consciousness so that should tell you how much I am putting your needs before my own. I'm just a giver like that.

A friend was archiving some old photos and posted this one on Facebook of me and another friend doing what comes naturally when we eat Pringles.

I have a small collection of retro Delft ceramics. I buy them on eBay when I can find a piece I don't already have for under $20.    

I didn't have any candlesticks and I still don't because the eBay seller shipped them in a store brand popcorn box. They probably would have made here just fine in a Pop Secret box.

To the seller's credit she did give me an immediate refund. I couldn't just toss out all that lovely broken ceramic so I'm making jewelry out of it.

Remember this tulle "valance" I hung with thumbtacks and was trying to decide what to cover the tacks with?

I've decided they needed to be covered with vintage brooches. It'll take me a while to collect enough to cover all the tacks but I'm checking eBay daily to find what I want in my price range.

I like to find really cheap broken brooches that need a little TLC.

Replace a few stones, polish it up and it'll pass.

This poor little Sarah Coventry earring had all kinds of issues, including a piece that broke off in my hand.

I changed out some stones and will use it as part of a jewelry "collage" to hide the missing piece.

This is my most recent creation for The Build Zone class.

The triangular part of the focal was an old metal earring that I pounded flat. The large vintage rhinestone is mounted on a small rectangular piece of steel that I found in a parking lot. The vintage earring at the top also serves as a hanger for the necklace. I got that little hook thing in the fishing department at Wal Mart. Jewelry supplies are everywhere!

Here's a close up of how the screw back earring is used as a hanger. I drilled a hole in the triangle piece then snipped off the round end of the screw post. I screwed the post all the way through the hole and secured everything with Ice Resin which also seals it to keep it from tarnishing.

Our friends from Lafayette came for a visit (which requires its own blog entry later) and Jamie tried to teach me how to crochet this hat.
This is how mine turned out. I had an excellent teacher but the yarn I used was different from hers which made my hat come out too small for a human head. It made a nice little drawstring pouch, tho.
I even lined the pouch (as best I could) and will probably give it to someone for Christmas. I might even include a piece of jewelry.

Jamie and I found a yarn shop called The Hen House, which was conveniently located next to the Critter Fixer Pet Hospital.

The Hen House had all kinds of upscale pricey fru fru yarns as well as classy little doodads like this.

While our friends were here we also went to the little antique shop up the street from me where I scored this awesome mirror. It was really inexpensive compared to others I've seen like it but that's probably because there are a couple of swirly pieces broken off the frame. I'll just sand those to make them look like they're supposed to be that way and paint them to match. No one will know :)

Remember this little guy from this post?

Guess who got to come home with me?! I told myself I'd leave it at the shop for a couple of weeks and if it was still there when I went back I'd take it as a divine sign from God that I'm supposed to buy it. I went back, it was there, I was obedient to God's will for me to have this lovely vintage scale.

I will start working on another photo journal type blog entry that will show some of the highlights of our recent visit with friends. These highlights will include our trip to the Blue Bell factory (aka heaven) in Brenham, a little shopping excursion to the Harwin Central Mart, and a couple of sightseeing excursions including the impossible to describe Orange Show as well as the sights and sounds and aromas of The Flower Man's house. Oh the aromas. They were anything but floral.