Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I almost forgot today was Thrifty Thursday!

For the first month we were married in our new house, this was our only lamp. I guess lamps are one of those things I never think about when buying the basics for a room. But, they are one of the most important things! They make a room homey, soft, and cozy.

 I found this lamp in a second hand store for $7! Can you believe it? I haven't painted it or anything! I did however, replace the lampshade. The original lampshade was an awful brown-poop color, which kinda made you want to puke just looking at it. I found the lampshade you see here at Goodwill for 50cents. 

When looking for used lamps, look at the shape of the lamp, not the condition. Luckily as I said before, I didn't have to paint this one, but as long as it has nice "curves" spray painting it is always a great option. I recently bought an old brass lamp that is god-awful ugly, but the shape of the curves are beautiful. I'm leaning towards painting it a minty green to put in my spare bedroom. Also, you can easily re-write any lamp with kits you can buy at Wal-mart. 

Scout is thrifty because he was free...and adorable.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

Tomorrow night Evan gets home!

I'm pumped, but exhausted. I spent most of the day today ripping devil plants out of the front of our yard. I'm trying my best to make sure everything is perfect. The house is clean, the fridge is stocked, and the front yard will hopefully be competed by the time he gets in! On the way home from getting my hair cut, I bought a dozen plants to plant to make our walkway to the front door more welcoming.Was anyone else aware of how expensive plants are?? I was not until today...things that have the potential of dying...especially in my care...cost and arm and a leg! (Specifically $65 arm and/or leg...I might have gotten ripped off. But how was I  to know? I'm not usually in the plant ever.) Either way, they are quite lovely, and think the walkway already looks 100x better and they aren't even planted yet!

 The house is all clean and cozy; ready for Evan! Scout is ready to have his buddy back too!
 It's finally all cleared!
Side note: I filled the bin way too full, and now it's entirely too heavy for me to move anywhere by myself.
High five to me.
My new flowers waiting to be planted. I love the colors of the purplish-green ones! The leafy smaller plants will eventually have all different colored flowers on them! (We can only hope they make it that long)
 I finally caved after hearing, no less than 5 book reports, on the Hunger Games from the 9th graders at school. I read the first book Sunday morning, and I'm currently on the 2nd book. They are good...there will be a book review soon! I've been sworn to wait to see the movie with Evan...
 I was in desperate need of a haircut, and today it finally happened. I was seriously considering getting is all chopped off -- like pixie cut chopped off. But, I really miss my long hair so I'm growing it back out, expect I'm keeping my bangs. Have I ever told you how much I love bangs? Now you know.
 New headband from Mildred & Mable's in downtown Clarksville. It's my new favorite store!
I cannot figure out for the life of me why this picture is so blurry, but whatever. If you can't tell it's sushi. The wimpy Americanized kind, but it's sushi none the less! I've never tried sushi for several reasons:

1. Kittanning Pennsylvania isn't the hot spot sushi type of town...think more all you can eat buffet style.
2. It's intimidating! Sushi has always seemed like a trendy food, that only trendy people eat.
3. Does white rice, seaweed, cucumbers, avocado, and raw fish sound appealing to eat to you??

Although none of those things sound appealing, together...oh my...together its a completely different story! I don't know why I've never tried sushi before! It was so good! I doubt I'll be able to drag Evan along, but my friend Lisa, who took me, will have a lot of fun girl nights together eating sushi while the guys are gone!

I can tell I've already gone into partial independent woman mode (which I tend to do) when Evan is gone. I hate that it happens, but in a way, it's a coping strategy for me. You have to have this mindset that you can do anything and everything that you do together, by yourself. You trick yourself into thinking it's easy, enjoyable, and empowering. It can be, but when it comes down to it, I'm part of a team. Whether I like it or not, the team part of my brain shuts off for 9-12 months. It makes things easier to adjust to when hes gone. As silly as it sounds, it's hard to shut it off and let yourself need someone else again when he gets home. When you're married each person needs that feeling of being needed. Evan needs to know that I need him to mow the lawn, change the oil, and open jars. Being the man. Even though I'm capable to doing these things, it's part of how our mouse trap maze marriage works. In the end, no matter how much you think you don't need someone, we all really do. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On my mind

Must. Have. Tan-lines. Soon.

These. Shoes.

Fresh air. Horses. Farm. Simple Living.

Liberty. Freedom. Failing.

Summer. Haircut. Asap.

Deployment. Marriage. Future.

Cross Cultural. Fail. Trip anyone?

Why? Why? Why?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review


Revolution is a young adult historical fiction novel. The main character, Andi, is a struggling teenager. When her younger brother Truman is killed, it tears her entire family apart. A cloud of darkness hovers over her life, and Andi blames herself for her brother's death. Her father, a successful Noble Prize wining geneticist, stays away working, while her mother goes insane by spending day after day painting her dead brother. Andi is left with just her shattered emotions, and her music. Music is Andi's escape from the pain she can't bear to deal with. Andi struggled in school, not because she wasn't smart - she was brilliant - but because of the constant pressure to do well, she rebelled and blew everything off. She hung out with the wrong crowd and didn't care about anything except music. She can be very angry, hurtful, and venomous at times. She is on anti-depressants which she misuses to smother the pain by taking too many, or mixing them with alcohol. When her dad returns from a long absence he decides to take matters into his own hands to fix is withering family. He puts his wife in a Brooklyn mental hospital, and tells Andi she is coming with him to Paris (how horrible!) until she finishes her thesis to graduate. While researching and exploring Paris, she meets Virgil, a boy who loves Andi for who she is, even when she tries to push him away. When Andi finds an old diary belonging to Alex, a girl her very age, only living during the French Revolution in 1795, her life takes an unexpected turn. Alex and Andi have a lot in common. They are both very artistic. Andi with music, and Alex with theatrics. They both are motherly figures. Andi to Truman (her brother) and Alex to Louis (the Dauphin of France). Both of these boys die at the same age. Despite the time differences they are both feisty, smart, and strong-willed. Andi ends up warping back in time to June 1795, in the same shoes as Alex. Andi learns the importance of love, liberty, and the revolution within a person.

At the start of the book Andi is a pretty dark character that I had a hard time relating too. Donnelly does a great job contemplating and complying how a rebellious teenager would react and feel to situations, but I don't know if the majority of people can relate of how she deals with pain. (Then again, this is a young adult novel) For example: She would become so engulfed in playing her guitar that she would play through the pain of her fingers bleeding.

Maybe it's because if I get a paper cut I'm whining about it for the next 3 days, let alone willful, self-inflicting pain. A little too emo for my taste.

 The tempo of Andi's thoughts are disorganized, but somehow meshes for her character. Donnelly uses a lot of musical references for Andi's thoughts and emotions, further deepening Andi's connection with music. However, I found a lot of the songs and lyrics in the book were unfamiliar. I feel like I needed Youtube up to research the songs to understand the backdrop of inspiration as I read. Much of the musical references felt forced and awkward. There are "rapping" lyrics also inserted, which I skipped over and didn't bother reading. All of the songs felt like they were more in the way, than adding to the story.

The story-line didn't quite flow. The feel of this book starts out very dark, emotional, rustic, yet mysterious. Which I really enjoyed! Then, out of what seems like nowhere it turns into a time traveling, teenage romance. The two halves of the book don't quite go together. Donnelly didn't transition the "time-traveling" scene well, it happens out of nowhere! It made the whole story turn for the worst in my opinion. I think it would have flowed better if the "ghosts" Andi had been seeing became real in present day France, rather than her traveling back to the past.

Donnelly did do a great job researching the historical background for the novel, which as a history buff myself, I really appreciate that she took so much time doing so. I learned a lot of interesting knowledge that I had no idea occurred before now! (I'm currently reading The Days of the French Revolution because of it!) I think she made the French Revolution have life, rather than reading from a distant account. It is a great way to have young adults learn about history without wanting to stab themselves in the eye over and over again.

I also enjoyed how Donnelly slowly peeled away facts about Andi's past. At the start of the book we know Andi blames herself for her brother's death, but it's not until later that we learned she was supposed to be walking with him to school when he died. It made you intrigued to keep reading, but didn't hold out too long to be exasperating. Overall, this book is well-written, mysterious, and interesting. But, between the flawed storyline and the music references it just made it a little choppy. I would recommend it, but I wouldn't put it on my library shelf to read again. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

Lately my mantle has been bugging me. I can't quite get it how I want it and I'm not sure why. Really, I think it just might be because I wish I could have some color on my walls...alas the grievances of renting. The white walls wash every inch of color I stuff into my living room. Maybe someday, in my own house, I can change the paint color once a month if I want too. (Evan might hate me, but I totally will)

Sitting along the top of the mantle are my designated living room green decorations. The vase to the far left is from my stand-by antique place here - This Old Place - in Clarksville. The white globe has a candle holder in the bottom, when I remember to light it. It is from the Tour-Ed Mine Flea-Tique in Tarentum, Pa. The pitcher was Uncle Don's. Last, the tree/bird nest thing (makes it sound really expensive and classy eh?) is from Hobby Lobby.

Ok, get excited!
The picture is probably one of my favorite thrift-ed items I have. I found it sitting in the corner of St. Vincent thrift store back home in Pennsylvania. It was lonely and without a price tag. When I found a little old lady to ask how much it was she sweetly mumbled..."Oh I don't know, $3?" Without a second thought I frantically yelled "SOLD!" louder than I should have. I was holding on to it for dear life, warding off any other old lady trying to get even a glimpse at it.  

I love the greens and yellows in it. They are bright enough to catch your eye, but the painting itself is pretty muted so it blends in with all my other things. For the different holidays I've been cutting out seasonal things and sticking it on the picture!

Halloween: A vintage laughing moon with a witch flying through the sky, and cat walking down the path.
Christmas: Santa flying through the sky on his sleigh and adding in fake snow on the ground.
Valentines Day: A couple strolling arm in arm down the path with cupid peeking out behind the tree.
Easter: Easter eggs, rabbits, and a dove flying through the air.
Forth of July: Fireworks!

Ok, so me actually finding sweet pictures on google has happened, me printing them off has happened, but the whole cutting out and putting them on the picture hasn't...haha oops. I might have a whole drawer full of the sweet vintage people, cats, and moons, but none of them have seen the light of day. Why am I so bad at executing all my good ideas?? Maybe next year...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)

Pleasure for your ears :)


 //Protecting the fort//

 //First time making veggie couscous//
 //It was ok, I kinda wanted a burger afterwards...//

 //New dress!//

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I want a cow.

I mean wouldn't you want a cow?

Specifically a Guernsey cow.
I really am a farm girl at heart...a girly farm girl, but a farm girl none the less!
One day Evan and I are hoping to have some land somewhere. Horses, chickens, and a cow for me, and lots of hunting land for Evan. I think it would be awesome to have a family cow. Having your own fresh milk supply to make homemade cheese, cream, and a plethora of other products sounds fantastic to me.

Any of you guys want a cow? Or am I just that strange?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The little things that I love about Mr. Slee:

He always wears a watch
He drinks too much coffee
He never swears: ever
He is literately prepared at all times for any situation possible
He can make the perfect cup of tea, just like I like it
He acts so serious and guarded
He is knee slapping sarcastic/funny and one of the easiest people to talk too
He pays the bills and balances the checkbook
We sing Taylor Swift songs together. In the car. With passion.
He loves manly things: guns, hunting, camo, push-ups, etc.
He has no interest in football or video games
He doesn't care about what others think about him
He graduated Summa-Cum-Laude 
How he has a habit of twisting the rabbit ears of his shoe laces when hes done tying them. It's cute ok?
He hates spending money
He keeps both of our cars spotless
He loves pretzels, peanuts, pop-tarts, and popcorn
He always writes me letters over e-mails when we're apart
He has, and will always have, short hair
He will buy anything from anyone door to door, he just can't say no
He knows a lot about tea...which is funny because he doesn't really drink it
He is one of the hardest working people I know
He has a whole library on leadership and theology books
He hates large crowds of people
He wears his glasses smashed between his eyes
He puts extra pepper on everything
He doesn't have wisdom teeth...seriously, how lucky is he?
He loves his job
He can cook better than I can
He likes the AC vent in the car blowing on #3...never #4
He has to know the kitchen is clean before bed or he can't sleep
He is better at picking out jewelry
He never avoids conflict 
He believes the first day of Buck Season should be a national holiday
He doesn't like to swim or ski
He knows everything about anything
He buys me food instead of flowers
He is always bouncing one of his legs while hes sitting
He is annoyingly smart, and aces any test without having to study
He has been to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Germany, Ireland,       Afghanistan, and would hop on a plane anywhere in a minute without thinking   

So I might be missing him a little bit, I'll admit it. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nonna Shirley

Yesterday Non passed away in her sleep. 

Mom said she knew everyone around her up until the very end, and kept telling everyone how much she loved them and appreciated them taking care of her. She was so sweet, kind, and generous. It's really sad to lose Non, especially because we were pretty close, but I'm beyond thrilled to know that she didn't suffer. It's bittersweet. She was surrounded by everyone she loved, and it was a quick and painless. I never want to see anyone go through what Uncle Don had to suffer with for months on end.

I will miss her so much. She was such a strong lady. At 3 she lost her mom, and grew up like Cinderella (not joking) with her step-mom. After she married Pap-Jim they had 7 babies and she walked to work everyday. Believe it or not she's never had a drivers license. They never had much money, but she always managed. When I was born Mom named me Meredith (duh) and profusely stated there would be no nicknames. Not Mere, Mary, Mere-Bear, it's Meredith. Non never gave two shits (her own words) about what Mom said and has been the only one allowed to call me by her nickname for me - Meremiss.When I was a baby they divorced, and she moved right down the street from us, which was awesome. I would have sleepovers there and she always made amazing food. She could make one hell of a baked mac-n-cheese, and her specialty was soup. Any soup, you name it, she could make the best! She could never make a little bit, only amounts large enough to feed an army was acceptable! Eventually she met Dan. He was her everything, her gentlemen, and her best friend. They got married; I was her flower girl. Even when Dan eventually succomed to Alzheimer's she stuck with him until the end. They were so happy together, and Non always kept a picture of him in her wallet that she kissed. She made sure he was bathed, fed, happy, and loved on him everyday. The thought of sending him to a nursing home was out of the question, and gladly took on the burden of keeping him home. 

She was always getting people's names wrong, and making up words. Just in the last couple of years she managed to call Evan, Evan instead of Ethan. Example: she was always ordering stuff from "Jim Beam" little did she know she meant to say LL. Bean...strangers thought she was an alcoholic by accident. Anytime you went to her house the TV or radio was always blaring with a pot of coffee on. As soon as you walked in the house she always tried to feed you. Her cat's name is appropriately name GD, which everyone found offensive at first. It really stands for George Dan, but Non probably meant it in the bad way too, haha. "Life is better on the Porch" was her life motto. She loved to swing on the porch visiting and feeding whoever stopped by. I could say another thousand funny things that she's said, and another two thousand times she was giving to others.

I told Mom as soon as she got a glimpse of Dan and her mom in heaven, she would be outta here, no looking back! I guess I was right...Sunday she was her normal spunky self and come Wednesday morning she was out of here! We will all miss her so much. But, we'll all see her again someday on the other side! I can't wait! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wanna Wiggle?

Today a student asked me "Hey, you wanna see me wiggle?" 

The first thought that came to mind was "Oh god, this kid is going to do something completely inappropriate, show me drugs or illegal contraband...what is the world coming too?"

"Um, what's wiggling?" I asked reluctantly.

"It's dancing!" another student said flabbergasted.

Oh god. It happened. I can now officially been dubbed as old. Out of style.

Why am I not up on pop culture anymore?!?!

I will render the situation by using a that OK to do in a blog?

#idowhatiwant #oldisthenewyoung #wiggle #Evanknewwhatwigglingwas #dangit

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kirby Man Hell

I am currently awake at 11:23 p.m. because of the damn Kirby man.

Who might the Kirby man be you ask?

A Death Eater. 
(All my negative references keep going back to dark Harry Potter characters for some reason)

Seriously I'm so upset right now. I feel frustrated, and walked all over. As soon as I walked in the door I dropped my bags, said "hi" to Scout, and set my Zaxby's dinner on the table. I've been craving Zaxby's like no other, so saying I was pumped was an understatement. Then someone knocked at the door. I opened it and there was a girl standing there. Scout meanwhile bolted out the door, so I politely told her to wait one minute while I made sure he didn't run away. As I turned around to go back in the house, this girl had already made her way into the foyer of my house! A little put off, I asked her what I could do for her. She then offered to clean my carpets for free, no strings attached. I tried not to be rude, but told her I was just about to sit down to eat dinner, maybe next time. She told me it would only take 20 minutes, and seemed pretty persistent and wouldn't leave. "OK, Fine" I said. What could it hurt?


The next thing I know 2 guys are hauling big boxes into my house. 
The guy first asked me what kind of sweeper I had. I told him I just bought a new sweeper less than 6 months a go, so I wasn't interested in buying a new one. He still persisted in demonstrating the Kirby, which he referred too as the holy of hollies when it came to sweepers. They start vacuuming with these little "test pads" which their bags are made out of. They laid these test pads all over my house. (I know they want to show me how much my sweeper sucks, and how dirty my carpets "really" are) The coffee table, my sofa, the end tables, the fireplace, were all strewn with these stupid pads. When Scout walked on them they proceeded to yelled at him when he messed them up. HES A DOG FOR GOD SAKE. 

He showed me the prices. These sweepers cost $2,400. Or, you can do monthy payments of between $200-$350 a month for 12 months. THAT IS A MOTHER FREAKIN CAR PAYMENT PEOPLE! I told him I didn't feel comfortable with spending that kind of money (EVER) without talking to my husband first. They asked when he would be home. I panicked. I simply told them he was training (I didn't mention he was away and wouldn't be home). They said to call him. I told them he couldn't answer. They told me to take a picture of their stupid pads and send it to him. I told them his phone was shut off. They even said they would wait at my house until he called me! I was beginning to get really annoyed. These people were relentless! 

This guy swept my floor and my couches showing me all the little tools for 2 FREAKING HOURS. "Your husband has allergies, you need this sweeper. They guilt tripped me every which way: "That's not fair to let him suffer because you didn't buy a good enough sweeper in the first place." They made me feel stupid: "I can't believe you paid that much for that hunk of plastic!"  Then, he suggested I let him sweep my mattress. I told him that's where I draw the line; absolutely not. I told him I was not buying this sweeper, so he should call his boss that conveniently left him at my house to come get him and his little side-kick monkey too. He told me a sob story about how his laptop just died, and that he could win a trip to Vegas and a new laptop if I helped him out. He kept trying to get me to pick a payment option. I asked him if I bought the sweeper if I could go to Vegas all expenses paid too. He laughed, but I knew he didn't think it was funny. BECAUSE LETS BE HONEST: THIS SWEEPER COSTS AS MUCH AS A VACATION!

FINALLY his stupid boss arrived.

His boss was upset that I didn't get my carpets shampooed yet. The last thing I wanted was for these fools to stay in MY house one minute longer. He kept repeating over and over that it was part of the demo and it needed to be done. I probably told him - no lie - 6 times NO! (Note: this is where I let Scout back inside so he could jump all over them, sniff their crotches, and lick them. Bravo Scout! AND it's now almost 8:00 at night) Then he started: "If your husband was here right now what would he think?" I told them he would beat me for spending that kind of money on a stupid sweeper. When they finally realized that they weren't getting a sale they packed up their crap while they pouted. The boss was clearly upset that this kid didn't make the sale...I kinda felt bad for him because I knew he was probably going to get yelled at once he left. But you know what? It's ME that's sitting up late in bed upset, NOT THEM.

When I finally slammed the door shut and locked it, I remembered my Zaxby's. It was completely cold, and my toast and fries were completely soggy. SO MUCH FOR MY $8 MEAL. Now I'm out because of THEM. Ugh SERIOUSLY'?! I'm so mad at myself for not telling them to leave sooner. I should have walked back the hall, got the gun, and told them to leave. NOW. If another Kirby person from hell shows up at my door I'll loose it. I don't understand how these people think they have a right to be so demanding and pushy while they are in other people's homes. It really blows my mind. Watch out Kirby man, WATCH OUT! 


Just letting you know!

To be right where you are.

Evan left for 3 weeks a couple of days ago to do deployment training in Louisiana. I thought it was a bummer, but I figured it wouldn't be that long, and it's not like we haven't done this before, yada yada yada; no big deal. Wrong. Last night I got home from work and my house was so quiet. This fact alone was kinda funny, because Evan doesn't really talk or is a loud person in the first place. I couldn't understand exactly why it seemed so deafening. I walked in and it was my same tan couch, the same drinking glasses neatly stacked in the cupboard, and the same familiar pictures staring at me, but it was...different. Just knowing Evan is home, even if he is upstairs in his office or outside washing the cars, is what makes our house peaceful. I didn't cry or have a meltdown, I just didn't realize how empty this house feels without him here. 

So now the ticking clock in the back of my mind is getting a little louder, and sounding a little more urgent. But rightly so, because we're down to 2 months until he leaves. This deployment I feel a lot more confident and calm. I feel like I kinda know what to expect (the worst). I'm expecting to worry, to feel a little helpless, and to not get a phone call everyday, and then worry more about that. As weird as that sounds, knowing that I'll feel all those things ahead of time makes it easier to deal with it all emotionally.

This time around I think it might be even a little harder in one way. Last deployment was challenging for the simple fact it was our first go of it. We had only been married a month when Evan left, and everything was new. We weren't exactly sure how the whole shindig worked. Before we were married we were use to being apart. We had never lived together, and when we did (for a month) it just kinda felt like we were being rebels. I guess I really didn't feel married. We lived in a furnished apartment and lived out of suitcases. When he left, I felt like we always had, in love, but apart. Now that's all changed. My life is completely different now that I've been married, and we've been husband and wife together for a year. Now we have our furniture, our dishes, our zip-lock bags, our underwear drawers. Our dog, our routine, our life. Stupid little stuff like that makes it different than last time. Coming home and crawling in bed alone doesn't feel right at all anymore. 

- Time out. New obsessed song. - 

My family wants me to move home while hes gone. As tempting that might sound, I think going home would be avoiding being alone in our house. Plus the last thing I would want to do is lose my baller job right now. Since jobs in general are hard to come by right now. Plus I have a feeling some of the other girls around here might need me. It's their first deployment and I know they are super nervous. They don't say they are, but I can tell. This time around I'll be more alone and have a lot more time on my hands. No best friends, no family, just Scout and I. 


Don't worry, I have a plan.

I'm a weakling. I know I'm not anywhere near as strong as I use to be. Now that I've lost the weight that I didn't want, I need to tone it up. Working out is going to be a new priority! I'm not sure what my actual plan is yet, but I know I'll still walk Scout everyday. Then start Hip Hop Abs, and maybe P90X when I wouldn't die from a heart attack.

Organize. I Meredith, solemnly swear to clean my house everyday, and not let it look like a pigsty. 

Volunteer somewhere. I'm not sure of where yet, but I've looked into a few different places around me. There is a Manna Cafe which serves meals to the homeless that looks pretty awesome. Another organization hires students to work on an organic farm, I can't remember their name, but it looked pretty sweet too.   

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet Lucy

"Lucy" for those of you who might not know is Scout's new dog bed. At first he thought it was a big fluffy chew-toy, then decided that it was the perfect thing to dub as his girlfriend...if you catch my drift. SO FREAKING GROSS. We had friends over for dinner, and can you guess what the mid-dinner show was? That's right Scout and Lucy! (Evan put her in her room, and Scout laid in front of the door and cried) 
He is so embarrassing. 

Now we both refer to his bed as another member of the family. (We're really weird, I know) Texts like this from Evan crack me up. "She has green fuzz" like hes genuinely interested in learning something new about our son's new girlfriend. 

I got home and saw Lucy. Poor Lucy...she was laying in a deflated puddle in the middle of the living room floor. Indeed she had green fuzz, and it was strewn about the room like a murder scene. My blood pressure immediately rose. Seriously? I just spend $60 on a new dog bed that you're treating like a cheap date! I snatched it and loathsomely dragged it back the hall screeching "This is why we can't have nice things! Lucy has only been here for a week and you treat her like this!" Scout just followed me back the hall with a glazed-over, innocent I-don't-know-what-your-talking-about look. Exasperated I was crawling around gathering green fuzz like it was payday money and shrieking about the mess. 

Scout sat in the corner with his eyes following me around the room. I looked up and had a - If you weren't so freaking cute, you would totally be dead - moment. But he is totally cute, so it's not like I could stay mad. His eyes were worried (like normal) and weepy. He looked sad and embarrassed like he couldn't believe he gave in to the temptation. He was sitting there waiting for me to call him over to me and tell him it was OK, and that I don't hate him. 

I immediately felt regret. I mean he's a dog, does he really know better? I called him over and he sprinted towards me, practically knocking the wind out of me by landing in my lap. I kissed his face and strached his head. I told him he needed to be nice to Lucy, and that it made mom mad when she had to come home from work to a big mess. He cocked his head to the side and listened intently, taking every word to heart. Why does he have to be so cute? Or is he really good at acting really pitifully sorry?

I think it's the latter. 

If my future kids are as cute as he is, they might be able to get away with anything.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

OK, so I have a new weekly post I want to try to do: Thrifty Thursday. 

I was going to do Tightwad Tuesday, but that sounded a little negative (but funny, haha). Loving the art of thriftiness isn't always about being a tightwad, as some people would assume; it's about getting something unique, well-made, and having fun without selling off your first born child! It's a win-win situation. As some of you know I furnished my entire house from used/junk/thirfted/antique/whatever-you-call-it goods. Most of my wardrobe is also lightly used clothing from second hand shops. Evan refers to it as "junk" but that's his opinion...I'm pretty sure he should be thanking me for being frivolous and freaking awesome....but that's my opinion. About 75% of the stuff in my house my husband would have thought was "dirty" and "old." (Luckily he was deployed, therefore he didn't really have a say into the matter -insert coy smile-) 

I've got my act together and have slowly, but surly, have been making our house a home. Here's a tiny corner into my house that's home.

Table & chairs: Non's (grandma's) aka free // Curtains: antique shop .50 cents // Fruit bowl: antique shop $6 // Salt & Pepper shakers: junk store $2 // Wooden Spoon & Fork gift // Table cloth: This Old Place Antiques $11 // Grand total: $19.50

The hunt of finding all these one-of-a-kind things is the fun part for me. A nice bonus of that is you save money, lots of money. The only thing I purchased new for our house was our mattress. I don't know about you, but I didn't want to take the chance of bunking with someone else's bed bugs. This weekend I'm on the hunt to find a few things for our spare bedroom and some new spring/summer clothes! I'll let you know what I find!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yesterday was glorious. 

I had off due to Election Day. That meant sleeping in, cleaning, and relaxing. It was a good-feeling kind of day. Having a random sunny day off just made it that much better. Another good thing about yesterday is I cleaned my bathroom. This means my entire house is clean all at the same time. This might the first time this has ever happened in the history of me being a wife. I thought about going shopping to try to find a few things for my spare room, but I made the wiser choice of taking a nap. Hey, cleaning a bathroom is hard work!

House: 649 Meredith: 1

 I took my duvet cover off to wash it. It doesn't look as pretty, but duvet cover or not, I love my bedroom.

 Proof of my clean bathroom!
I can't promise it will last, but I'm trying really hard for Evan's sake. I will say, having a clean bathroom is one of the best feelings ever. I have to try not to get mad at Evan when he comes home and takes a shower, because that means it's technically dirty again. (Please notice the reflection of my make-up brushes on the counter top...impressive I know.)

My view from the couch, as I was sitting on my bum watching Nanny 9-1-1.
Anytime I get the idea that a baby is cute I watch a few episodes of it. (I may or may not have thought a baby was cute. I thought about stabbing my eyes out for a millisecond.) That show will scare anyone into not having children. Horror, absolute horror.

 When Evan gets home the first thing he does before he dirties my clean shower, and after hes mauled greeted by Scout, is make a cup of coffee and gives me a coffee kiss.

 Just us.

Scout was extra cute yesterday, he's loving this new warm weather!

 Evan trying on his new socks for deployment. The stocking up has commenced!

Scout napping on his new dog bed we've appropriately named Lucy, since Scout thinks its his girlfriend. He's so weird.

After Evan got home from work, we hung out and drank coffee and tea. It was such a nice day we left the living room door open to get some fresh air in the house. Scout wasn't complaining on that decision. The TV buzzed creating background noise, but we were just happy sitting together on the couch. We didn't talk, we didn't make-out, we weren't even snuggling, but neither of us paid much attention to the TV either. The closer we get to deployment, the more we tend to do this. Just being happy being together.

 Later that evening, we had a big Army meeting to be briefed on the upcoming deployment. I personally thought it was stupid. Then again, that might be my opinion on most Army-related meetings. I tried to talk Evan into taking a bottle of vodka with us to make it more bearable, but he gave me stop-being-ridiculous look. Dad is such party pooper sometimes. We arrived and were told the meeting would last 45 minutes...I translated that into meaning 1 1/2 to 2 hours. By the end of the meeting (1 hr 45 minutes later I might add) the look on everyone's face told me they wish I had brought a bottle. Mostly it was wives scribbling notes vigorously of dates, telephone numbers, and pointless information all with worried looks on their faces. Too bad nobody told them all those details will change another 5 times. I didn't bother writing anything down. I guess I'm officially a hardened, and slightly bitter Army Wife.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review

Bird by Rita Murphy

Bird, is a young adult fairy tail. The story begins with the main character Miranda, who is a small, thin wisp of a girl who is easily carried off by the wind. She arrived at Bourne Manor, which sits on the shore of Lake Champlain, by a strong wind. Bourne Manor is quietly whispered about by everyone in the town. It is a mysterious old house that seems alive with misfortune, charm, and controlling powers that encompasses those who reside there. Miranda cannot remember where she came from, and has grown up only knowing Wysteria and the four hounds who occupy the manor. Wysteria an elderly widow who is somewhat cold, hard, and controlling who doesn't seem to care for Miranda like a daughter, but more like a maid. We're never sure if Wysteria is a naturally hardened person, or if the house itself is weaving its darkness into her. Miranda does not see herself as a slave at first; she sees herself as eternally grateful for Wysteria's kindness to take her in. Miranda spends all of her time at the manor, and isn't allowed to venture outside for fear of being carried off by the wind. When she does go outside Miranda wears a pair to steel plated boots to stay securely to the ground. Miranda then befriends Farley, who gives her a taste of freedom, adventure, and a side to the brave Miranda that she never knew existed. Miranda and Farley try to figure out the mystery and fortune of Bourne Manor, and escape before its too late.  

The creativity and sheer uniqueness of this story was a pleasure to read. The books feel eerie and enticing with a twist of magical delight. The characters were exceptionally well-developed, and Miranda might be one of my favorite characters that I've encountered in all my reading. Overall, I really loved this book, although it had even greater potential if the author would have done several things:

 1. I had a hard time understanding who this book was intended for. Children? Tweens? Teens? The book is written simply and is very whimsical, making you believe it may be for children. But, the dialogue of the characters refers to an older audience. The age of Miranda is also hard to pinpoint. At first I pictured her as a young child, but then throughout the book she seems older: 14, maybe 15. 

2. The book needed expanded by at least 100 pages. It was a little short, and kind of left us hanging and still wondering.  

3. Although the characters were not undeveloped, the overall story line was, but I think this goes along with the book being too short. Much of the story is engulfed in bewilderment. Most of the time one could see this as an appealing, suspenseful aspect, but in this case the majority of the story we're left in darkness just wondering...and wondering. Every time you think you might learn part of a secret, the author never really manifests any answers. For example, Miranda finds a bottle hidden in Wysteria's room with her name on it. She eventually learns it's a sedative, but we never learn its purpose or if it was ever actually used on Miranda! Small parts of the story like this seem imperative to unlocking the whole mystery, but we never do! I especially wish she would have expanded on Bourne Manor, Wysteria, and Miranda's past. I think it would have helped understanding why certain events happened in the book, especially if we knew more about the house's past since it was the predominate reason for events and kept the story moving. Although most of the book leaves us with even more questions, I stilled liked it, which is saying something.  

This book has little riddles whispering through the underlying pages of the book, which then transfer into the fascination of the Bourne Manor and Miranda, even after you put it down. As I sit here, I still feel like if I think about it enough, I can still lift the fog from the Bourne Manor and what all the clues meant. This is why this book was still good. In most stories if we don't figure out the mystery we're disappointed, but Rita Murphy manages to turn disappoint into a lingering sense of hope and wonder. I would absolutely recommend this book!