Friday, October 9, 2015

This Week's Craftiness

I made some crafty goodness this week.  I've got three items to share with you.

The first is a mini-hat that I created for Miss Joanie's birthday.



I love her legless skeleton hiding in the black rose! 

Miss Joanie said she will wear it while she's working the customer service desk at Wegmans on Halloween. If you stop in, wish her a happy trick-or-treat!


There was a card party at Teresa's on Tuesday which, unfortunately, I could not attend. I already had tickets to see a show that night. I still participated in the card swap, whose theme was Male Birthday.


It's not one of my fave card themes because it generally involves nothing pink, frilly, or ribbony, but I was really pleased with my cards this time!


And finally, yet another pumpkin hat!


This one is for Julie. She bought the hat and had her daughter Abby paint it. She gave it to me, along with the ribbon, and I finished decorating it. I so much prefer when people bring me the items and just ask that I glue them all together. (And usually to my fingers... the table... the floor... ugh.)


Office "witch" and co-worker Judy decided to model it. I think it fits her perfectly!

Happy Hallowitching!

~Steph

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Johnny Bender at The Gig

Johnny Bender is a local band that is comprised of two programmers, one firefighter, and a musician. We happen to work with the two programmers - Mike & Chris - and have been stalking this band since before they had fans. 

This was the usual party crowd I hung out with at a Johnny Bender show.


This is at J&B's. They were soooooo excited about the light show they added to their set that night.


The Milk Station in Cato was always a good time. They didn't have a stage there, but the corner was a nice space for the guys to play in.


Chris is saying, "I think I need to reconsider some of my life choices."
Tim is responding, "Speak up, dude. I can't hear you over the sound of the toilet flushing behind me."
"You're kidding, right?"


Nope. Not kidding.

But the Milk Station was a fun, friendly place. They not only allowed dancing on the bar, it was encouraged. 


I made Drew his own Johnny Bender t-shirt. I wanted one nice picture of the t-shirt. Just one. I got this.


I probably should have specified that I wanted one nice picture of the t-shirt and Drew. My bad.

The picture was a South Park-style rendering of the official band photo at the time.


On the back was the tour name I assigned them along with the show we were going to that night.


Mike liked to tell people that Chris would give them two dollars for coming to the see them play. For the Thanksgiving show, Mike announced Chris was giving away turkeys! To this day, I still want my turkey.

The shirt looks kinda cheesy now, but I assure you that in 2007 this was a really cool t-shirt. So cool that Mike asked if I wanted to be the band manager, which included all the perks of booking gigs, putting up posters, and being able to say I'm the band's manager. I said no, but I'll head-up the merchandising department! We can have hoodies, and car magnets, and key fobs, and beer coozies, etc... etc... It's probably a good thing that job never panned out. If it had, I imagine my attic would be full right now with boxes of Johnny Bender bobblehead dolls, Johnny Bender pens, Johnny Bender beer labels...

Damn it. Now I want to make some Johnny Bender bobblehead dolls. And beer labels. That would have been so cool. <Sigh.>

Johnny Bender's changed since 2007. They are still an amazing band, but they have a different drummer now. A local chap by the name of Sal. Or Joe. I never did figure out the business with his name. I call him, "That guy who's the drummer for Staind." Yep. Staind. When he's not rocking out with Johnny Bender, Sal-Joe is a drummer for a popular metal band.

Johnny Bender doesn't play out much anymore. But when they do, it's kind of impressive...



The light show is more high tech.


The Turning Stone dancing girls wear a little less clothing. 


Two programmers and a firefighter have come a long way from The Milk Station, The Cato Hotel, and J&B's. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to have gone to their heads. If it does, I'll dig out the email Mike sent me eight years ago asking if we were going to their next gig, and if so, could we stay until they finish because not many people can make it all the way to two am and it makes them (and the bar) kinda sad.

Oh yeah, Mike! I still got it! Just in case...

~Steph

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hello October!

It's my favorite month of the year... October!! I love the chill in the air. I don't necessarily like that we've had to turn the furnace on already, but it's still better than the humidity of summer.

I haven't been a very good blogger this year. I've been really busy and it's always on the tip of my brain when I'm doing something that it'll make for a good post. I'm sure eventually I will post about my summer adventures. I very rarely ever posted things in chronological order any way. Let's do a little bit of catch-up on the small things.

You may have noticed that I changed the look of the blog. I was getting tired of the dark red. I will likely change the photo at the top depending on the season/holiday. 

So, here's some craftiness you might have missed...

I haven't made a lot of cards. I liked this super yummy design I found on Silhouette's website.


Witches' Hats and Pumpkins are very popular this year. Stacey surprised me with a pumpkin and hat she picked up and we had a crafty afternoon decorating them. It only cost us two Fs and two GDs.

When judging the difficulty of our projects, we use the F system. As in, how many times did you say "fuck" before you were done. And Stacey throws it out there like a proper pirate. 

I tend to say "goddammit." I learned that word from my grandmother. It was her favorite swear word. RIP...goddammit.


Stacey went with her favorite color -- purple.


I make an orange one, because that's what I had ribbon for. When I went looking for items to decorate with, I was quite surprised to find my Halloween craft selection a bit sparse. How did that happen???

My girlfriend Kelly bought her own hat and painted it. She asked if I'd decorate it. Thankfully she also bought the ribbon and feather sticks too.


These are so much fun to do!

I found a paper mache cauldron at Joanns a few weeks ago. I had an idea in mind and I ran with it. 

The result was fairly close to the finished project in my mind...


Not all projects turn out well. For weeks... WEEKS!... I scoured for inexpensive plastic/foam pumpkins to make decorations I'd seen on the internet. All kinds of wonderful designs that were beginning to be recreated on my craft island. But those fake pumpkins are expensive. Even with a coupon, I can't justify the cost when it's for something I don't really need.

I did find some little foam pumpkins in the Dollar Tree. I cut them in half, painted them, and mounted them onto my picture frame. The result was... well... not great.


It's very colorful! The flower is very pretty! The pumpkin is buried. Unrecognizable really. This isn't the first time I've had a crafting fail. Just one of the few times I've shown anyone. Maybe if I scaled down the flowers too...

No time to think about that now! We're into October. Time to start the Xmas cards!

~Steph

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Shopping Trip To Costco

MY SHOPPING TRIP TO COSTCO
An Emotional Fairy Tale

The first time Drew and I went shopping at Costco was because it was rainy and neither of us likes to do anything on lazy, rainy days. Since the housework ain’t gettin’ done, we said, “Let’s go get some meat!!”

We get there and after a “test drive” around the parking lot, Drew finally finds his parking spot.

Why does he have such parking issues???? Who the hell can’t park a car???? WHY DO I KEEP LETTING HIM DRIVE?????

We go in and notice there are people everywhere pushing stuff and selling stuff. Food, phones, rain-repellent treatment for your vehicle, etc... etc... I hate stuff like that. They’re nice enough people, but leave me alone. I've been suckered into enough crap in my life. Please don't try and sell me stuff I don't need. I have a hard enough time leaving a winery without buying a bottle or two. I don't need this kind of pressure when I'm sober.

No, I don’t need baby wipes. I don’t have a baby. I don’t care if you can use them for other things. Grrrrrr.

We round the first corner and I almost run into some guy. He’s standing next to the TV display and talking to the guy standing across from him at the something-else display. Tablets? Phones? I don’t know, but they’re obviously both selling something.

I go, “Oops. Sorry.”

He says something back. I will never know what. I think the words “today” and “deal” were in there somewhere. All I saw at my eye-level was the DirecTV shirt his perfectly sculpted arms and tight chest were pushed into. The shirt wanted to burst open from the awesomeness. I looked up and was met with the face of a Greek god.

OH MY GOD!!!!!  IT’S ALEX!!!

* For those of you not in the know, Alex is the hero of the romantic comedy that I wrote and published what seems like three lifetimes ago. He's amazing. And he's awesome. And he's totally in love with our heroine Lyssa.

Ok, maybe he wasn't as Greek as he should be. His skin was as pale as mine. But he had the facial hair!!! HE HAD THE FACIAL HAIR!!!!!! His hair was cut a little shorter than our hero’s would be, but I can definitely forgive that. His eyes were soft and his smile even softer.

Words? What are these words you speak of, your majesty?

My jaw fell open. And it stayed there for a second longer than normal. Then this came tumbling out, “No. Thank you. But we’re not interested.”

WE AREN’T??????? SINCE WHEN??????? THIS GUY IS MY DAYDREAMS IN 3-D!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S IMAX PRESENTS ALEX AND THE CASE OF THE DRIPPY PANTIES!!!!!!!

At this point, my brain completely snapped.

DO SOMETHING!!! HE THINKS YOU’RE A MORON!!!!!

For whatever reason, Drew was lagging behind. And he was movin’ slow. Abnormally slow, even for him. And staring at the ceiling??? I grabbed him by the arm and said, “No, we can’t look at this stuff today. Come on. We have to shop and then get you home.” Drew stared at me like I had three heads, which firmly backed the point I was trying to make.

I AM A SOCIAL WORKER! THIS IS MY MENTALLY CHALLENGED CHARGE!

“You need to push the cart, Andrew.”
“I am!” The whining he inadvertently added was pure gold.
I'd feel bad about this, but he's really NOT pushing the cart. He's still staring at the ceiling. I grab the end of the cart and pull it and him down the aisle.

I must confess, I’ve done this to Drew in Wegmans before when he’s being stupid, but then it’s a joke and the cashiers know it. And so does he. But this time? No joke, Drew is clueless, and it so totally worked! I got an even sweeter, more patient smile from the hot guy. The kind of smile that says, “It’s so nice that you bring your handicapped brother out shopping. You go, girl.”

I am the worst wife on the planet.

We get a few aisles down and away from Alex’s Caucasian doppelganger and I can’t contain it anymore. I blurt out… “Did you see that guy? He was freakin’ hot! If we had stopped, I’d have bought whatever the hell he was selling.”
“What guy?” Drew is genuinely lost today. Just utterly oblivious.
“The guy that looks like Alex! Totally hot!”
“Alex?!” Now Drew’s mad. I think he’s actually jealous! “Who’s Alex??”
“Hello? From the book? Alex and Lyssa?”
“Oh yeah.” He calms down immediately. “Him. Duh. I didn’t see him. It looked like him? Good.”

Now I’m practically pissing myself. Apparently if Alex isn’t real it’s ok to freak out about a hot guy. Who did he think I was referring to? The only people we actually know named Alex aren’t hot. And are females. WTF???

We continue shopping and I kind of forget about the DirecTV guy.

Until....

“I wanna check out this stuff.” More whining.
“It’s high-tech speakers and junk we don’t need.”
“I wanna see!”
“Oh, my God. You’re like a three-year old. Ok.”

We head down the aisle, which I didn’t realize in that mammoth store was actually near the front, and it ends right where we started... at the DirecTV guy.

I happened to look up and the timing was perfect. Our eyes locked. We did the polite smile thing. I started to panic again. I noticed Drew picked up some $70 gadget he didn’t need.
“No! You can’t have that! Let’s go! Time to check out!”
He puts it back on the shelf and I steer him back down the aisle.

By now he’s used to me saying to him, “No! You can’t have that!” Especially in Costco --- because that’s every other aisle with him! Seriously!

“I just bought you four new shirts from Kohls! You don’t need that! Put it down!”
That really happened, too!

We check out and I’m giggling like a moron. Drew has no idea what I did. He’s tired and just happy that we bought a ton of meat. I was going to tell him on the way home about my using him to cover-up my inner teenage girl’s insecurities, but my mind got distracted with trying to calculate how many meals we could get from the giant pork loin, chicken drumsticks, and whole chicken roasters we bought and how much it cost us. In doing so, we discovered a very important detail.

They never charged us for the $35 three-pack of ribs we bought. I don’t do a running total when I shop, so I had no idea what to expect at the checkout. If I had known, I definitely would have told them. I love a bargain, but I’m all about paying for what I owe.

We felt kind of bad, but weren’t going to go back. We were halfway home and it was pouring rain. The two people working the checkout didn’t catch it, and they actually emptied the cart for us. Plus, the woman who checks the cart to your list on the way out the door didn’t see it at all. We only bought 7 items. It’s not like they were hiding. If it had been a different scenario, like the cashier gave me a $50 in change instead of a $5, then yes. We'd have gone back because they would have gotten in a lot of trouble for a simple, honest mistake. But this time? Nope. We’re honest, but also kind of lazy, so we weren't going back. 


So, in conclusion, I got to drool on a hot guy, pretend Drew was my mentally challenged charge, and we got a crapload of ribs for free. I love Costco!

UPDATE:  Drew does now know the story. When I told him, he just smiled at me and said, "There's a lot of things to see at Costco! Even on the ceiling." He can be so much fun to be married to.

~ Steph

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ashley & Ryan's Baby Shower

At work this week, we held a baby shower for Ashley & Ryan. The parents-to-be are both co-workers of mine and also happen to be fans of the blog!

By coincidence, I've been on a baby shower craft kick lately. Like so many of my crafting obsessions, it was spurred on by a picture I saw on Pinterest.


I decided I HAD to decorate Ashley & Ryan's baby shower. HAD TO! I contacted our "Unofficial Office Shower Coordinator" Natasha and asked, "Can I decorate?" She said, "Please do!!!"

I knew what I wanted to do, and much to my surprise, it ended up being even better than I imagined. That doesn't really happen often. Usually, I end up apologizing. "It looked so much better in my mind." My world in my brain is gorgeous and always perfectly decorated.

Ashley & Ryan are having a girl, so naturally, everything was done in white and shades of pink.


I ended up ordering the tissue paper pom-poms from Amazon because I couldn't find them in town. I know how to make my own now, but honestly, I'd sooner buy them.

After hot gluing the clouds on a piece of dollar store foam board, I punched holes in the board and tied 13 strings from it. I glued my Silhouette-cut rain drops to the strings randomly. It didn't take as long as you'd expect. I tied metal beads to the ends of the strings to give them some weight. Honestly, not sure if it was necessary, but I did it anyway.


Mini banner!!!! My new favorite thing! I stuck the poles into two vases that I used at Diana's wedding reception and filled to the top with patio stone. It held the sticks nicely. I was thrilled that the Noga's took the banner with them after the shower. 

I was also determined to make a diaper cake! There's a story behind that...

Once upon a time, a childless couple went to BJ's to buy diapers. This was no ordinary childless couple. These were "special" people who chose to be childless. [Insert dramatic music here.] They were determined to be childless to the point that they get physically sick when even thinking about children. Seriously, people, they don't really care for anyone under the age of thirty*.

* Exceptions: Chapmans, Malteses, my masseuse's ADORABLE daughter, 2 out of 3 nephews, Max circa 2013, Abby-Dabby-Doo, and Pam's favorite son.

But the wife was determined to make a baby-shower-themed diaper-based decoration! So Mr. and Mrs. Baby-NOT headed to BJ's for diapers.

Husband:  This is the diaper aisle.
Wife:  The boxes are numbered. 1, 2, 3, 4... Is that the age of the baby?
Husband:  I don't know.
Wife:  There's weight on these. 10 to 12 pounds. Is that the diaper capacity? Do babies really shit that much??
Husband:  I think that's the weight of the baby.
Wife:  Oh. There's more stuff over here. 
Husband:  Those are baby wipes.
Wife:  You gotta wipe them too? Gross. Little bastards can't do anything for themselves.
Husband:  Just pick something.
At this point the husband is leaving the aisle. Left alone, the wife can be quite unpredictable.
Wife:  HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH?!?! I DON'T THINK THEY HAVE ANYTHING IN YOUR SIZE!!!
The husband, who is totally used to this by now, continues walking... shaking his head.

So, the clueless wife picks up size 2 and proceeds to look for the beer and snack aisle. Because when you don't have offspring counting on you to wipe their ass, you can pretty much be as irresponsible as you want!

Two hours later...

WHY THE HELL AREN'T THE DIAPERS WHITE?! THE PACKAGE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BLUE AND YELLOW AND GREEN DOTS!!! THEY'RE *BLEEP*ING WITH MY DECOR DESIGN!!!!!

Some white and pink glitter ribbons later...

I'M SO DONE WITH THESE *BLEEP*ING DIAPERS!!!

The end.
(...of the story, any way.)

Tuesday night, Drew and I snuck into work to setup for the shower.
This is how it looked setup in the conference room, except brighter. My phone's camera sucks.


My favorite post-setup comments:

Maryann - I stood up close to the raindrops and blew at them to watch them move!
(She mimicked the action to show me. How cute!)

Natasha - If Heidi's having a girl, I want that cloud!!!
(All yours, sweetheart!)

Me to Bonny - I wonder if those diapers would fit my cat.

Everyone was very complimentary about the decorations, especially Ashley & Ryan. I don't normally make things for the recognition, but it's still always nice when people like my work. This was a case in which I really wanted to make some decorations and there just happened to be a party that needed some. I decided to do this with six days notice. Very short time-frame for me. When people request crafted items, I get anxiety if I don't have at least a month's notice. That's just me though. And even if I bitch and spazz through the entire process, when I get done, I'm always happy with the results. And usually, so is the recipient, which makes it all worthwhile in the end.

Of course, if anyone from work wants something for a shower in the future, keep in mind that you're getting whatever I'm in the mood to do. It might be steampunk, or pirates, or Halloween!!!

~Steph

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Joanie's Favorite Steph-Story

Several people know this story and some keep asking me when I'll post it.  It's a fave amongst the Steph-fans.  I hadn't really thought about doing it...until this morning when I read my cousin Ashley's post on Facebook.  She recently had a baby and someone mistook her for still being pregnant.  My reply to her would be waaaaaay too long for Facebook, so I thought I'd share this on the blog.  

Throughout the mid-1990's, I worked for MetLife.  I met a lot of people there who are my bestest friends to this day.  Joanie, Bonny, Diana, Ginny, Bev the happy morning harpy who reminds me of that dancing dwarf from Twin Peaks, but only with A LOT more smiling.

Turn this up to 78 and you have Bev.

Auburn (circa 1995) didn't have the State Street Extension.  Instead, that area was known as the State Street Mall.  It was an outdoor, stone-paved park with some sad trees, a few benches, and I think maybe a crude wooden jungle-gym thing.  I could never decide if it was supposed to be an art installation or a pull-up station, like you'd find along the Nature Trail at the college.  Either way it was certainly capable of giving any interloper a week's worth of splinter and a highly-toxic viral infection.

(((I should probably point out that my memory is about as reliable as betting on Anthony Weiner to keep his dick in his pants, so I might be completely wrong about all of that.  For fun's sake, just go with it.)))

During the summer, Connie's Tex Mex had a food cart in the small downtown park, which was on the same block as MetLife.  One day, Joanie and I decided to walk down to get some tacos for lunch.  I don't know who the woman was who worked the cart, but she was uber-friendly and quick to serve. 

Joanie ordered hers first, loading her soft-shell taco up with all kinds of great goodies.  I came next. 

Super-friendly woman:  Do you want any peppers?
Me:  Oh no.  I can't do those.

I patted my stomach, the universal symbol for, "If I eat those, I'll be belching them up all day long." Well, I thought it was the universal symbol for indigestion.  I was wrong.

Super-friendly woman:  I couldn't eat those either when I was pregnant.  How far along are you?

In my peripheral vision, I could see the look of horror on Joanie's face.  This well-meaning woman made the incorrect assumption that I was pregnant.  It's a well-documented fact that I have never been nor ever will be pregnant.  I have no maternal instinct what-so-ever.  I can't stand babies or kids or most adults, for that matter.  There's a reason I refer to children as the "future felons of America."  Not that I particularly expect children outside of our fine nation to be any better.  Yuck.

However, was the lunch-lady's assumption based strictly on the tummy-pat or the fact that I was slightly overweight at the time?  Either way, I didn't have it in me to embarass both her and myself by pointing out that I wasn't knocked-up.  So, I answered the only way I could think of to get out of this situation without one of us having to apologize.

Me:  About... four... months?

Yep!  That was the solution my panicked brain came up with.  I am four months pregnant!

As soon as the words passed over my lips, Joanie took her food, turned away, and walked down the mall in search of a place to sit.  Her body trembled from trying not to burst out laughing.  She looked like a crippled old lady as she walked with her legs clamped tightly together to keep from pissing herself.

The food cart matron continued to tell me all the weird things that happened to her body during her pregnancy.  I nodded and agreed to all of them.  She could have confessed to having cravings for hobo dung and I'd have said, "Amen, sister!"  

Thankfully, there were other patrons to feed, so I got my food soon enough and joined Joanie, who was sitting on a bench, head bent over between her legs, crying tears of laughter.  She couldn't look me in the eye for a solid week.  It's ten years later and there are still days that she'll look at me and start laughing.  I know she's thinking... About four months.

So, the moral of the story is...
1.  The universal gesture for indigestion is to fist-bump your stomach.  Don't pat it.
2.  When someone makes an honest mistake (especially one you might have accidently perpetuated), don't be a jerk about it.  Especially when they're super-friendly and they're preparing your lunch!  
3.  It's better to laugh at yourself than be embarassed.  Twenty years later... we are still laughing. 

~Steph

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Postcards From Tennessee

My parents moved to Tennessee when I was 25. As soon as the car was packed and they were gone, I proceeded to tell everyone that they abandoned me at a very early age. Given my sense of humor and the fact that I've never really grown up, most people laughed and agreed at the same time.

Despite the fact that I was sure Tennessee was just a "phase" they were going through, my parents have lived there for 20 years. 

There are perks to having parents who have moved to Tennessee. Especially when your sense of humor comes from your father. The below are the postcards that my father mailed to me as soon as they were settled. Unlike so many other things I've accumulated in my life (craft supplies, movie ticket stubs, husbands), I kept the postcards.

 This is the first in a series of Appalachian Life Cards. Collect them all. Trade them with your friends.
Love, Mom & Dad
P.S. Hi Jeff! Or whoever's carrying C-19.

Incidently, my father had worked at the Auburn Post Office and had a habit of writing notes to the carriers on the mail he sent me. So, if there's a name in here or a reference you don't get, then you're either a total stranger who stumbled on this or it's a coded message for the postman.


Mom could only find 9 cows. She says one is a bull. She never did find the tree.
Love, Mom & Dad



This guy looks an awful lot like the Mayor of Pigeon Forge.
Love, Mom & Dad


My father made another joke about my mother and her family on this postcard.  I'd have made a joke about the tree penis.  Either he missed it or purposely didn't mention it.  Probably the latter, because how could you miss that glorious tree penis!


Mom & I were going to see this movie, but we decided to wait for the video.
Love, Mom & Dad


There is a place for everyone in the Mountain Empire. I enjoyed the license plate and the bottle of Perrier on the bumper. Mom & I have a new standard to shoot for.
Love, Mom & Dad


Go stand on Grover St. someday and watch --- this is the way Larry DiCenza walks when he delivers the mail.
Love, Mom & Dad


If you give us a muffler for Christmas, give it to Mom. 
Mom and I are still arguing about the lamp in this picture. Mom says it's Elvis. I'd swear it is Bill Keough.
Love, Mom & Dad
P.S. This is the last card in the series.


It's too bad.  I loved getting these postcards.  So glad I kept them!  Thanks Daddy!!

~Steph

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

St Patty's Day Hat

This past St. Patrick's Day, I made and wore a mini-hat!

 

Except for that, March was kind of snowy and boring.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

From the Archives: I Have Stitches!!

A friend of mine requested this story.  I don't remember when it happened.  It was about five... six years ago?  It was before I started this blog.  If you've never heard it before...


I HAVE STITCHES!!!

A week ago Friday, I had a dermatology appointment to have a couple moles removed from my back.  They didn't really bother me because I couldn't see them, but Jessica explained that that was exactly why they had to come off.  They were a bit misshapen and I couldn't see them to monitor them.  Whatever.  I trust her, so if she says they have to go, then they have to go. 
I arrive and am almost immediately shown to the Alice in Wonderland room, so name for its twenty-foot ceiling, large cabinetry, and super-huge chair.  I'm a big girl and my ass can engulf most chairs, but this chair was ginormous!  I felt like a little kid sitting on the thing.  A little kid wearing a bright blue dressing gown and Christmas socks. 
Yes, Christmas socks.  Brightly colored socks with Christmas wreaths on the sides.  It's cold at work and I'm tired of freezing!  Plus, I'd forgotten about the appointment that morning so I was dressed like a North Pole reject instead of in my normal too-fat-for-fashion style. 
The assistant Veronica (aka Vern) explains that it's a mole on my lower back and the back of my right thigh.
"Thigh??  But I didn't shave!"
"That's fine." 
Vern is not surprised.  She, along with every other medical professional I've ever seen in my life - my PCP, my gynecologist, my dentist - all know I don't shave my legs (unless it's bikini weather) because my skin is ultra-sensitive.  But honestly, I would have tortured myself for this little procedure.  No one wants to freeze moles off a Sasquatch.
"Ok.  I don't remember her mentioning the thigh.  Then again I don't remember before lunch."
I sat in the gigantic adult high-chair watching Vern prepare the instrument tray.  It looks like she's emptying a fishing tackle box.  I'm still fairly calm at this point. 
Vern leaves to get Jess and I take that opportunity to survey the rest of my clothes.  Specifically the condition of my underoos.
Oh, please God.  Tell me I wore the good ones.  YES!  No unholy stainage! 
Then Jess comes in...
"I didn't shave!"
"That's fine."
"Ok."
She checks out the moles.
"Oh yeah.  This one (on the leg) will only need a couple stitches.  But this one (on the back) might need a few more."
"STITCHES!!!"
I think it's a compliment to my dermatology office that I trust them implicitly.  But sometimes I wish I would pay more attention when they're talking to me and maybe I should ask a question once in a while.  I apparently missed the entire conversation on what was going to happen this day.
"Not freezing?  You guys usually freeze Diana's face off."
"Um, no.  Not for these."
"Well, can't you use lasers?  Hell, my GYN lasered out my entire uterus last October.  Chernobyled those walls right off.  Worked so good I'm thinking about giving tours."
Jess just smiled at me like I was her retarded Aunt from Alabama.  (I get that look a lot.)
"Hop on up." She gestured to the table.
There was no "hopping" going on here. 
"You got a stepladder or something?" I mumbled while lumbering up awkwardly onto the chair which transformed into a kind of leather dining room table.
"Ok.  Time to numb the area.  This will pinch."
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
I wanted to say.  Instead I just kind of whimpered...
"mommy..."
"Yeah, that actually hurts quite a bit," Jess admitted.
"uh huh..."
"And one more time."
To my amazement, the anesthetic needle in the back was MUCH more painful than the thigh.  I thought it would have been the other way around.  SURPRISE!
As Jess set about the business of carving me up, she’s chatting with Vern about the weekend, various mutual friends, the awful 80’s tunes playing over the PA system.
“Do you like Phil Collins?” Vern asked me.
“uh huh...”
I’m not sure she said Phil Collins.  She could have asked me “Do you like deep fried bunny rabbits?” and I’d have agreed.  I was more concerned about Pinhead back there sewing up the mess she was making.
At one point, Jess has her finger covering the hole she whittled into my back and with her free hand she grabs some kind of tool.  It looks like a soldering iron.
WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT????
Apparently the look of horror in my eyes did the speaking for me because she quickly explained.
“It’s an electric needle.”
Great.  Excellent.  That didn’t really answer the question I was mentally asking.  So, I would have to verbally speak it.  This required some strength.  When in moments of extreme fear, it helps to summon a great warrior’s spirit.
“Hurts much...does it?” 
I apparently conjured up Yoda.
“Doesn’t hurt at all.  It’s to stop the bleeding.”
WELL, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DUG A HOLE TO CHINA IN MY BACK!
“Are you touching something metal?” she asked.
My left hand was.  I moved it post-haste to the top of the headrest.
“Don’t electrocute me...” I managed to squeak out.
Jess just laughed.  I still have no idea if that was a joke or not.  Don’t want to know.  She wasn’t lying about the electronic needle though.  Didn’t feel a thing.  I was willing to bet someone's first born she was lying.
When she got done, I had one stitch inside my back and five on top with two on my leg.  Seems like a lot of trauma for just a few stitches, but I’ve never really had stitches before.  I had two or three in my chin when I was in Third Grade and I fell, splitting it wide open.  I don’t really remember the stitches though.  I remember my father, who worked in a mental institution and has seen some disturbing stuff, almost passing out when they started to stitch up his little girl.  He took it way worse than I did.
Back at the dermatologist's office...
The procedure was done and they let me get changed.  Vern assured me Jess' stitchwork was fantastic.  They gave me a sheet with some instructions and a note to come back in 10-14 days.  If there was anything else, I missed it completely.  (Yeah, that’s never gonna change.)
After making my next appointment, I hobbled out to the CRV, slid into the seat and drove home without moving anything except my left hand and my right foot.  It’s a good thing I only live a few blocks from the doctor’s office.
Upon getting home I called Drew at work and promptly told him...
“You need to get a ride home!  I am not getting into the car again!  I don’t know if it was bandages or stitches, but something kept pulling all the way home!  Oh, my God!  This is awful!  I’m dying!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
A bit dramatic, I admit.  I could hear Drew rolling his eyeballs at me thru the phone.  But he got another ride home, where I proceeded to lead him on a tour of the house to pick up all the things I’d dropped since getting home.
“The mail...some spools of ribbon...that box...I HAVE STITCHES!”
I discovered I actually drop a lot of things.  But now I had no way to pick them up.  I couldn’t bend my back or bend my right leg.  I tried to pick up an envelope once without bending.  I almost ended up in a split.  Then Drew would have to pick me up.  He was better off just getting the crap I dropped.  At any given time that weekend there was a good chance you could hear...
“Drew!  Pick this up!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
Drew and I agreed on one thing...The Uterine Chernobyl day surgery went A LOT better than my seven stitches.  After the lady-bits barbecue procedure, I made breakfast and cleaned the kitchen while he napped!  This time it was...
“Drew!  Make me breakfast!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
That’s ok.  He owed me.  And lord how I've made him pay.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015

For being the shortest month of the year, February lasts a really long time. Especially in Auburn, NY, which as of today, has had 119 inches of snow. I say "had" but the *bleep*ing stuff is still on the ground. It hasn't left. The sun yesterday helped to melt some of the *bleep*ing stuff. The heat wave of 22 degrees was nice. (Insert sarcastic grin here.)

For the benefit of those who aren't here to experience the wonders and joy of Central New York in the winter, I present ... WTF!!! A Photographic Display of *Bleep*ing Stuff.

Our sidewalk.

Our neighborhood.

Our drive to work.

The parking lot at our job.

And just for fun, the same parking lot on a sunny day. 
If anyone comments on how pretty it is, I will hunt you down 
and make you eat all this pretty crap.

Ok. Now that my obligatory rant about winter is out of the way, how about some nice stuff that happened this month.

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I went to a Tea Party hosted by Syracuse health store Natur-Tyme! It was a lot of fun. I took pictures, but they sucked. So instead, here's a picture of the mini hat I made and wore to the event. They had raffles for people that wore hats. I wasn't a winner, but the hat was well received. 



We had tea sandwiches, which were amazing. The theme this year was India, and the curry chicken with cranberries and grapes was outstanding! I will have to try to make that. They also served delicious desserts and tea, of course. The tea came from Organic India. I'm completely addicted to it now. Loved it!

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Drew finished putting the top on Craft Island!



I love it!!! It's the perfect height for me and everything is organized. (Although I still find myself walking about the room in circles looking for items in their previous homes. It makes me laugh.)

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I had a Stampin' Up party this month. My girlfriend and Mommy-Away-From-Mommy Laurie let me host the party at her house. She has the perfect setup for the party. My house can fit maybe five people in it. Tops. She's a lifesaver!!

The cards I made for the swap.

The cards we made at the workshop. I love the Etch-A-Sketch card!!!
So easy to make too!!

Here is a card I made last month for Pam's birthday and forgot to share. It's a shadowbox card. The template is by designer Lori Whitlock. You can download it from Silhouette's website HERE.



*  *  *  *  *  *

Tastefully Simple's Spring-Summer 2015 catalog came out! Lots of neat new products. I can't wait to try the Red Bell Pepper Hummus mix they've got. Drew ordered me a box because he knew I'd be wanting that! Love me some Red Pepper Hummus!! 

Drew's putting together his tasting packets for new parties.
I let him rent out space at Craft Island to work on. I gave him a discount.

And now I'd like to take this time to shamelessly plug my hubby's website.


People that know me are well aware that I am Drew's biggest fan, as well as his harshest critic. I use a lot of the Tastefully Simple products because I do truly like them. Are there some that suck? A couple, yes. But taste buds aren't universal. What I might hate, you might like. For example, I think the Bayou Bourbon Glaze and Vidalia Onion Dressing are totally freakin' rockin', but the Gluten-Free Pizza is nasty. Your own experience may vary.

And because I promised some of the girls at the Stampin' Up party, here's the recipes I made...

Crock Pot Bayou Bourbon Meatballs
1 large package frozen meatballs
1 bottle Tastefully Simple Bayou Bourbon Glaze
- Put meatballs in a crock pot on low. Cook for 3 hours, stirring every hour. Pour one bottle of glaze over meatballs. Cook another 1-2 hours. Devour!

Simple Broccoli Salad
4 heads broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Tastefully Simple Bacon Bacon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 bottle Tastefully Simple Vidalia Onion Dressing
- Mix, toss, serve. This keeps very well in the fridge for a few days.

I also served the Asiago Alfredo Warm Dip and Raspberry Chocolate Cheeseball, which were knee-quakingly good. Those are Fall-Winter Items that will only be available until March 7, 2015, so if you girls want them, snag them up now!!

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Let's see, what else happened this month... nothing! Well, nothing of interest to you, probably. We went on a wine tour with a bunch of people from work. That was a lot of fun! Again, no pics. We were mostly well-behaved.

I'm sorry to say that second book isn't any closer to being done. I think about it a lot. Does that count? If you think you're tired of waiting for it, just imagine how my characters feel?

Oh, my God, woman! Please just finish that book!
I haven't had sex in almost three years!!!

Sorry Alex.

~Steph