I’ve been MIA for a quite a while – with good reason! Life decided to flip the script on me.
My family moved from Washington State to Nebraska in 2017, leaving the farm-life for suburbia. Then I spent winter of 2017 in Hawaii helping my best friend with her children while she was deployed. Only to get home to Nebraska to find that the hubby had kept our kids alive, but neglected the bills…so I got a part-time job working as a floral designer for Hy-Vee grocery store, a full-time job at the City of Gretna as a Permit Tech, a part-time cashier job at Yonkers, a part-time serving job at a local restaurant (yes, that’s 4 jobs at one time, all I did was sleep and work for 6 months) and we got the bills caught up. Then I was offered a job that paid what all four of my jobs equaled – work less/make more, YES PLEASE! So now I work 40 hours a week at Sympateco in Omaha, NE as a client services specialist.
Now I’ve picked back up where I left off. I’m back to writing my novel and screenplay. I’m back at creating with fiber and fabric. I’m feeling more “me” again. I’ve learned a ton about finance & budgeting and will be sharing that here as well.
I hope you’ve been doing good! I look forward to catching up. I’ve missed being here, but now I know what it means to hustle & grind. See you next week.
When I was growing up it was the norm to make gifts for Christmas. It could be because we lacked the money to buy store-bought presents, but I like to think that it was a sweet way to express our affection through our imagination and creativity.
Now, over the years I have been a maker of things and have become addicted to gift-making for holidays. I’m not sure that they were always appreciated or even that good of a gift, however it’s helped me save money and keep my mind and hands busy.
I almost wish I had taken a picture of the gifts I’ve made over the years so I could go back and see how my skill and taste level have grown (it would surely make a funny “wall of shame” photo collage), because I know darn well that I was not good at sewing or knitting or crocheting at one time but that didn’t stop me from giving a wonky looking handknit dishcloth or a badly sewn item of clothing. And I know for sure I used some crazy colored yarn that I was gifted from an aged knitter to make my dad a scarf and I never have seen him wear it, and for good reason; it was ugly as hell! But I used what I had and I really never stopped to consider the fact that he actually doesn’t wear scarves and he really didn’t need one that had every shade of 70’s green in it.
Now I am a proficient seamstress and knitter/crocheter and my taste has been developed by European travel and exposure to fashion outside the realm of the country town I dwell now, so I’m finally getting better at this. But as years go by I realize that gifts are not the only way to show our affection for someone we care for and sometimes it’s the more random and less tangible things that have the most heart, like sending a hand-written note when it’s not a holiday or birthday or stopping by to say “Hi!” and give a quick hug or calling up to tell them you were thinking of them and hope they are doing wonderful. Simple stuff, but super powerful way to show your love.
Shopping is fun, don’t get me wrong! I do enjoy that too. I just get a little thrill from making things. This year I haven’t made many gifts though. Seems I waited a bit too long to get started and I had to make a choice: go crazy trying to do more than humanly possible or choose to relax and do less. This year I chose to give myself the gift of peace and decided to focus on keeping it simple. Less truly is more.
Here’s a sneak peak at what I made for someone, not saying who, but they’ll find out in 9 days!
This is a pattern I found on Ravelry. It works up fast on large needles and I used worsted weight yarn but held double strands to make it a bulky weight. My friend, Gwen, taught me how to use one skein of yarn to make it a double strand by grabbing the inner tail and outer tail and using together. I never had thought of that before! When patterns called for holding two yarns, they usually said to use two skeins but then you end up with two partial skeins when your done. With Gwen’s method you can completely use the skein and move onto the next with very little yardage waste. I’m thrifty and this pleases me to no end!! So if you want to make this cool lover’s mitten set go here: Smitten Pattern
Have you ever looked back at your photos growing up and cringed at the awful hair styles you’ve had? For me that’s a resounding “Yes!” Almost every year or season I changed styles, if you can even call it a “style.” It’s actually quite comical. I own my unique nerdiness, especially when it comes to hair. I like change, what can I say?!
Let me show you what I’m talking about:
Yeah, so you see what I mean. I’ve been trying different things with my hair for as long as I can remember, but not always with a good outcome. I’ve only loved two styles and that was when I shaved my head (that felt amazing and was so simple) and when my hair grew out curly and dark with some grey highlights. This year I decided I needed a change and went and colored my hair back to blonde but now I’m wanting to go strawberry blonde or red. Maybe not. I may just shave my head come spring and grow it out all natural again.
The reason I even shaved my head back in 2011 was because I had such a bad hair color application and it couldn’t be fixed and my style was gross, so my husband said “Let’s just shave it and you can start over.” That’s exactly what we did. I was a little nervous because I thought maybe I have a weird shaped head or scars from all the falls I’ve taken off horses and from climbing trees, but it was actually perfect! My husband did the shaving, starting right down the middle so there was no going back! I really loved the feel of it and the way my head tickled when the wind blew over my short wee hairs. Instead of feeling less beautiful or womanly, it was quite the opposite. I felt super sexy and strong, like a true female should.
The only downside to shaving your head as a woman is that people assume you have cancer. That is the unfortunate part and I had to let folks know up front that this was my choice to re-grow my hair naturally. It was weird to hear women say I was brave for shaving my head. It’s not. It’s just hair and it grows back. Brave is saving someone’s life by risking yours. Brave is not a haircut.
I loved my shaved head! It gave me so much more time to getting ready and I finally get why guys are way more chill than us ladies…short hair is a breeze and always looks chic!
The “after” picture. My son Hershal had longer hair than me! It felt so good and was an instant improvement from what I had.
Wowza, that’s some bad hair! 2011 was the year I shaved it off and started fresh. So glad I did.
There you have it. My series of epic hair fails and my most favorite hair style ever: shaved head! I know it is silly to think hair can define a person, but in all actuality it does make statement about who you are. I’m not sure if my constant changing of hair styles means anything about who I am or more like who I’m not. I think it shows that I don’t take myself too seriously and really love a good laugh even at my own expense!
What is your most epic hair “fail” or do you even have one? Some people have flawless hair and good stylists their whole life through. I don’t know what that would be like. Boring?…Great?…I can’t even wrap my head around it, it’s that foreign a concept to me. Some things are better left a mystery, I guess.
Anyway, enjoy your day. Laugh it up and remember: It’s only hair!
Who has seen every state? Who has dreamt of pulling up roots and traveling where the wind takes you?
It takes courage and faith to free yourself from convention, to chart your own course into the unknown. The life of an RV owner is a daily adventure with a journey logged in miles and the only constant is change.
It’s my honor, and great joy, to pass on our RV to a new adventurer. Our family has enjoyed several trips in this 1998 Fleetwood Bounder. It has been a place where memories were made, our home away from home, and now it’s time for someone else to create their favorite moments to look back on.
This 34 foot RV is a fully contained Tiny Home on wheels. It has it ALL! (Minus a mortgage) You can use it as it was intended-to travel the open road with all you need in life-or use it as the family vacation home that can go to any destination (this is how our family of 7 used it) or park it in your yard as a guest house or Mother-In-Law suite. It could be a great tour bus for a traveling band or a mobile business center. There are many possibilities with uses for this RV!
It’s a great deal at $21,500. Low miles, good condition, runs, and all appliances work. It’s located in Eatonville, WA but could be delivered if negotiated at the right price. Call 360-832-3354 for more info or to set up a time to see it.
Some days I am full of self doubt and can’t find a nice thing to say about myself (those days are generally that one week before my period when all my hormones are all out of whack), but what brings me back to center is a poem by the amazingly talented Maya Angelou that, in my opinion, all women should know and memorize by heart: Phenomenal Woman.
A good friend of mine gave me this poem in a letter when I was 17 years old and it has become not just a poem to me but a mantra that has seen me through some dark times and insecure moments. I thank God for writers who have give words to my emotions, who have put my thoughts in a clear order and shed light on my path.
So, repeat after me, “I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me!”
‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Men and women both use it. It’s a thing of courtesy when we try to smell our best, and I thank everyone who makes an effort. But why the heck can’t us women get deodorant like Old Spice gel stick with a woman’s scent? Seriously, it bugs me that female pit-stick is smaller (less product for the same price or more than the male counterpart=RIP OFF!) and we have to choose between gooey clear gel and white chalk. Huh? Are you kidding me?!
Secret “Clinical Strength” clear gel
Lady Speed Stick “Invisible Dry Power”
Left to right: Old Spice, Lady Speed Stick, Secret
Old Spice “Original”
Come on Old Spice, make a woman’s line already. Or better yet, all you lady-brands pick up your game and give us the gel stick like Old Spice with a nice feminine scent. Is it really that hard? I end up using my husband’s pit-stick most times because I love the feel of it and it doesn’t leave white marks on my clothes or goo. It glides on nicely and works pretty damn good. I still have not found a woman’s brand I like and want to stick with.
I also don’t like paying more for less. I notice a lot of things are priced higher when marketed to women than men, which is another problem I see in stores and businesses. Go see for yourself. You can get a package of plain white t-shirts in the men’s department for the price of one t-shirt from the woman’s department. Hair cuts for men, super cheap, woman with a short do will still pay more than a man…why? It’s a fact that men have historically earned higher wages than women in the same line of work and still us ladies will end up paying more for similar universal products and services.
Okay, so I posted late on the 2nd and yesterday missed out completely due to spending all my waking hours at a holiday sale in Seattle with my Mom and many talented artists. It was a fun day, but I was too tired to post anything when I got home.
Do I feel bad? Not really. It would have been a lame post anyway if I had tried since I felt tired and uninspired. Someone asked why I would choose December of all months to commit to writing a daily post and I said I like a challenge, but the truth is I’m just crazy; in a good way!
It rained so hard last night that our roof was leaking an upbeat melody into the pots that catch my indoor rainforest. I’m thankful it’s sunny today even if it’s colder than I like. I prefer a warm beach to a snowy mountain, so I will bundle up and make it through these cold months until I can escape to the seaside under the warmth of the sun. Dreaming of the beach keeps me going…
In the mean time, I count my blessings. I have a loving husband who makes me breakfast and gives me sweet lovin’ morning, noon, and night-whenever I want it. Our children are healthy and wonderful people. My extended family and in-laws are awesome. I have phenomenal friends that make me a better person. We have a home, food, warm clothes, and all our bills paid. I’m thankful for all that I have! It’s not to say I don’t want for more, just that until then I am happy and grateful for all I have now.
Okay, I’m off to decorate the home for the holidays! Enjoy your day!