Friday, August 31, 2012

A cheesy day.

Current Mood : Disco-ish

Dearest Son and I had a great time prowling today ! We got the monitor cord returned and he asked me to hold his half – until he found the across-the-street Mal-Wart had the small Lego Monster Fighter sets. He got one, featuring a tiny Swamp Creature figure that Lagoona will probably love. May have to get a photo next time he leaves him on the floor somewhere.

As for me, since I got Ghoulia’s scooter, there isn’t much I want, besides little Dollar Tree-type household goods, like ice trays and a decent cheese grater. Unfortunately, there isn’t one I like around for less than ten bucks, so I put that one off. Instead, I got the ice trays, a new pitcher (I wanna start making iced tea), some plastic cooking/ serving spoons, a set of six small melamine plates that go with our dinnerware, and two new fat quarters I couldn’t resist – a green ‘bubble’ print and a colorful paper lantern one. I also got some snacks for later. We’re doing a ‘staycation’ for the holiday, and can always use snacks.

Beloved Hubby was home early, and while he’s working Saturday, he’s off Sunday and Monday. While he and Dearest napped, I finished off Hunger Games. Enjoyed it, so I requested the library put me in line for the next two books in the trilogy. Suzanne Collins writes a lot like me – chatty, without putting much weight on the words, figuring they’re just my thoughts, they’re not philosophy for the ages. I really got into it, though. By the time I’d gotten through the descriptions of meals in the Capitol, I had such a yearning for cheese …it was like a haunting in the back of my mind and teeth. Maybe I can get some of that delicious gouda this weekend.

In other hopeful news, Jersey Shore has been cancelled. Whew. Now, if we can just go after whoever thought Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was a great idea…

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now the fish in my virtual aquarium are starting to look scared...

Current Mood : Fishy.

I can fry fish ! It’s really not that hard. I guess I should have known that when I saw a Moose do it. I used the egg and cornmeal left from the fish, stirred it with milk, flour, and a bit of baking soda, and made great hush-puppies, while the oil was still hot. Dearest Son wanted to try them, unusual for Mr. ‘Doesn’t Like Unfamiliar Food’, but he ate it up and asked for more. Which he got, a little mix makes a lot of ‘puppies. Needs a bit more salt, but not much, and the fish was tasty, too. Our finances have recovered – slightly – so if we don’t go out for our once-a-week dinner treat on Friday, I’m havin’ a fish fry !

Beloved Hubby hung the ironing board for me today, where it’s easy to get to and use. Now if I can just get off my round rear and get some sewing started, I can use it.

Not today, though. Dearest Son had his own appointment, and that took up most of the morning, before Beloved’s classes. It’s family therapy, more or less, to help all of us deal with his challenges – and ours. Today was mostly a ‘meet your therapist’ session, and I’m pleased to say we all liked her. We made the initial intake appointment when we were still living with F & MIL, and it was kind of startling to realize and verbalize how far we’d come in just a few months.

I’m still sort of foxed from the sleep clinic debacle, and once home, Dearest and I both crashed. I felt so bad that Beloved still had classes to attend, but he’d slept pretty well that night. During the drive to the appointment, Dearest found a monitor cord that needs to be returned to the store, so we’re gonna do that tomorrow, and split the proceeds. Too bad there’s no flea market until mid-September !

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back-To-School Robecca !

Current Mood : Lucky ! 

Did ya’ll see this yet ? It’s a $290. paper bag. Jil Sander’s ‘Vasari’ bag. True, it’s coated paper, and it has stitched seams and metal grommets at the bottom and the name of the designer on it, but otherwise, it’s a brown paper lunch-sack. Like the ones they sell at Dollar Tree, 40 to a pack. Yet these have already sold out. (sigh) Story’s here.

At least I got something good out of that tale of excess. Looked up the difference in ‘eyelet’ and ‘grommet’, since the three versions of this story I’ve seen use the terms interchangeably. I would hope this expensive bag uses grommets, since they’re designed for more durable, heavier materials, but it probably utilizes eyelets, since those are vastly more common on fashion pieces, being strictly light-duty.

Meanwhile, in my little world, I’m happy because my leftover-based chicken stew was delicious and Beloved Hubby was home early – and we got to get the Diesel-truck’s license plate renewed before the deadline ! It was actually cheaper than we were quoted, so we had a few bucks left over. So we celebrated by hitting the Salvation Army next door. On Half-Off Everything day ! Except furniture, which was 25% off.

Dearest Son found two pair of pants he liked, Beloved Hubby found two great pair of slacks as well, along with a so-so belt, and some cute small bowls. I found a stack of four door-mounted ironing boards – the kind I’d been looking over at various websites for $20. to $30. I got a great one that looks barely used, for $3. ! In fact, our purchases totaled less than $20. I finally have a place to iron fabric when I’m sewing. Not sure where Beloved’s gonna put it, it can hang just as well on a wall as a door. But it’s what I’ve been wanting, and I can’t wait to use it.

Of course, as we pull into our home parking lot, I spy something familiar leaning alongside the Dumpster. Yup. A full-size regular ironing board. Ah, well. It’s dented and doesn’t have a cover, so I still think I did good. Now all I have to do is get Beloved to hang it. Won't take long. He'll want to wear those new pants sooner or later ! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I still love this thing !

Current Mood : Jubilant !

Current Image Notes : Click to read, it’s really cute !

Rather quiet day, but I had a big success with dinner. I made a new-to-me version of that old classic, Chicken and Dumplings. I haven’t made that in six years, at least. My usual ‘family’ recipe takes a nice, clean kitchen into a complete mess of a disaster area, and the final product is still kinda bland. The new version mostly just changes the dumplings part, but it was delicious ! And nowhere near as messy. While I washed out a newly-found patch of conducive wax gunk in my hair, Beloved Hubby snuck to the pot and ate all the dumplings out of it ! That’s one of the best compliments he’s ever paid to my cooking – and this from a guy who was not at all enthusiastic about tonight’s dinner menu.

There’s still some thick broth and chicken pieces left, so tomorrow, I’ll add potatoes and carrots to it for chicken stew – a hearty lunch. It’ll use up some of the potato surplus, too. Sometime Thursday, I get to try my hand at a fish fry. I remember those from Friday nights of my childhood, spent at the Loyal Order of Moose lodge, just before Bingo. Delicious fresh-caught flounder (we were about three hours from the ocean), dipped in cornmeal, then deep-fried one plank at a time, and about every third or fourth fish, hush-puppies made from leftover cornmeal and milk were fried up, too. So tasty. Such a powerful memory, I bought frozen flounder without a clue how to cook it. Time to learn, and use it up.

It’s about all I did today, really. I think I’m still dazed from my near-total lack of sleep at the clinic. I’m muddle-headed and can’t plan jack, and have caught m’self reading the same page of my book over and over. Oh, and you’re gonna laugh. Guess what else I had on hold at the Library that came in ? A copy of The Hunger Games ! I wouldn’t even care about it, but I really liked that Barbie that Mattel made based on the lead character. Wasn’t expecting it anytime soon, since I was third in line, but there it was. Now I’m trying to hurry up on the book I’m reading now – Mercedes Lackey’s The Gates of Sleep, ha-ha – so I can read Hunger and return it for the next patron.

After that, I’ll probably look for cookbooks. I made a master list of dinner  menus, and it’s a pretty thin selection. If I can make a Chicken and Dumplings meal that both my guys will willingly eat, and fry fish, I can probably cook just about anything that doesn’t require fifteen seasonings, twenty ‘main’ ingredients and two stove/ovens. Problem is, most cookbooks are either ‘Pour cereal in bowl. Pour milk in bowl. Secure spoon. Serve.’ simple or ‘You Will Need’ lists that take up the whole first page of a three-page recipe – and that’s without pictures ! And we don’t have a microwave.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yes, I know - but it was hard enough to get that photo *without* their helmets !

Current Mood : Sleepy

Ugh. What a horrible night. Worst sleep I’ve ever had was at a sleep clinic. Twice. While they kept a full CPAP mask away from me (wisely, in my opinion), they wanted me to try a nasal pillow one. It’s basically a half-mask that straps firmly around yer head and forces air down your nose in an attempt to keep your airways open as ya sleep. For it to work effectively, you have to keep your mouth closed. The air pump itself is as quiet as the sound of the softest of sheets against bare legs. And I was able to ignore most of the wires and straps this time.

Only problem is, I have to re-learn how to breathe and sleep to wear this thing, and if I dare move or itch, I’m rewarded by a blast of forced air that’s both startling and loud until I fix it. It seemed like I’d barely fall asleep before I got blasted again, and I’d have to make numerous attempts to get it re-seated correctly in total darkness. I’m a side sleeper, but I had to be flat on my back all night, with my neck and chin also at a strange angle, to get what little sleep I got. While I’ve been practicing breathing through only my nose at night, it’s not yet natural for me, and that got me blasted a couple times. The tubes are far larger than a cannula, so getting all of them stuffed up my nose where it would stay was a challenge. It was also held on snugly, so sometimes the strap pressure bent my ear, or made me feel like the clinic was trying to make a Persian out of alley-cat me.

Also (yes, there’s more !), if it’s not on right, your own breathing echoes in your ears like you’re resting next to the world’s worst snorer, who inconsiderately breathes exactly as you do. So I got little to no rest at all, and several times wanted to rip the darn thing off my head and lie there until the morning came. I didn’t, but after lying there for hours, with inescapable noise and wind and wires and pressure, I don’t think anyone’s  really responsible for their thoughts.

After an eternity, it was over, and I got to come home. One of the wires had pulled and the tape took skin off my neck with it, and my nose is irritated, broken out, and tender. Also very dry. Had a light snack and just regained my equilibrium until it was time to wake Beloved Hubby. He and Dearest Son had a great ‘boy’s night in’, watching movies with potato chips all night. Hmpft. Actually, I’m glad. Dearest is a little apprehensive when I’m gone for medical, so it’s good that he’ll have some positive memories from it all.

Slept for three hours straight, and according to Beloved, didn’t so much as twitch. He was a bit worried, since that’s not my nature, either ! Not sure how this’ll all play out, but if they insist on it, I’ll try to use the thing, but if I don’t adjust to it in a week, and if it still costs me far more sleep than it gives me, out it goes. I can get a brand-new air exchanger on the market for less than $700., about half that used, and I know I can handle that ! Still have those cannulas, too…

Thing is, since we moved, I’ve been sleeping a lot better. Still some trouble getting to sleep some nights, but those are usually at the end of a day of sittin’ around. Gotta move more for a good night’s rest.

Enough about that. We opened up Ghoulia’s scooter, with Dearest handling the twist-tie honors. Only three of ‘em, and they were simply twisted paper, no wires. Very nice. No potential scratching the plastic or finishes. While he handled that, I carefully extracted the Ghoulia and Slo-Mo cardboard figure. Let’s face it, having that adorable graphic was half the appeal of owning the scooter, for me at least ! An eBay seller – who sold me most of the Roller Maze skates – offered just the cardboard characters and accessories for $10., and I was tempted. But I’m glad I held off and got the whole thing. It’s so cool !

The attention to detail is amazing, even when it’s details I don’t really like. If it’s possible to use a body part, it’s done. Skeletal hands hold the axels and the rear-view mirrors, and make the non-functioning zipper on her backpack, bones decorate the back storage coffin, and make up the kickstand and hand-grips, while a soft, flexible ribcage holds her owl(or many other pets) and a spine decorates the floorboard. An eye doubles as a non-functioning headlight, and it has that ‘brains’ seat. The ‘skullettes’ are everywhere. Hubcaps, gauges, helmet – and Ghoulia’s signature one appears under the eye headlight and the backpack. The ‘drip’ motif is on the seat, the front fender, both helmets, and, of course, the cup. You only see the cherries on the seat, because the license plate is red splatter – which reads ‘BRAINS’ ! Both helmets come with built-in glasses that easily detach. I’m hoping that, when Slo-Moe comes out, he has his own, or he’ll have to borrow a Roller Maze one.

The seat is contoured for two doll backsides, and I can fit two of the ghouls on it, if the back one sits side-saddle (like Slo-Moe is on the cardboard) and the front one wears the helmet or has her hair down. Unlike most Barbie Vespas (both Mattel and knockoff), MH dolls can reach the handlebars while seated. Thanks to their jointed elbows and wrists, it looks darn close to natural. Posing is a little tricky, because my kickstand keeps folding under, but it looks AWESOME !! While I didn’t much like the spine, it helps anchor the doll’s feet for posing, so I’m sort of a fan of it now. I still think it tries to incorporate too many design elements – body parts, ‘drip’, cherries, MH logos – that war with each other instead of mesh together, but I can’t deny how great it looks with a Ghoulia doll, leaned up against the School.

(psst, Mattel ! It’d look even more incredible with a Slo-Moe doll !!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today, I learn to hate the word ‘Hold’…

Current Mood : Peaceful

Ok. So. After watching the 1946 version of The Razor’s Edge last night, and not finding our copy of the book anywhere, I put a ‘hold’ on the novel at the library last night. It’s awesome. Ya go online, find the book you want at the library branch you want, and ask them to hold it for you – and within a day or so, it’s waiting for you in a special section of shelves by the circulation desk. I verified twice that I wanted OurTown’s copy (shown as on the shelf available) for OurTown’s library pick-up. Awesome.

Um, well…not quite. We ended up there today, and I wasn’t surprised to see it wasn’t on the Hold shelves. After all, it was kinda late when I placed the order. Wasn’t on the regular circulation shelves, either. Oh, well. Somebody beat us to it, no big deal. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person on the planet who watched that movie Saturday ! We queue up to check out our other selections. I made a query about the hold, and the librarian replied that it may take several days for it to make it to OurTown from another library. I said I’d verified that this very OurTown library had it available before I placed the hold, but it wasn’t even on the shelves there, so I’d just check again later. She tells me again that it’ll be several days before it arrives, so I give up. Of course, when we get home, what’s waiting for me ? An e-mail, telling me to come get my Hold copy of The Razor’s Edge. (sigh) (rimshot)

Speaking of surprises, Beloved Hubby handed me a $20., telling me I could deposit it Monday, and use it to order a Ship to Store Ghoulia’s Scooter from Mal-Wart’s website ! Gleee ! According to the site, I’d have it Friday, which would be so sweet. I could hardly wait.

Well, ya’ll know me. I really couldn’t wait. NextTown’s Target showed ‘limited stock’, but it was a bit of a drive. It’d be easier if I just ordered it from Mal-Wart. Too bad it says ‘Site To Store arrives by 8/31’ on the ‘place order’ page, but ‘arrives 9/5’ on the’ confirm order’ one. I could wait a week, but two was a bit much. Called TRU, just to verify they didn’t have it…and, of course, they did. One.

“Can you hold it for me ‘til tomorrow morning ?”

“No, we can’t do overnight holds.”

“Ok, um…can you hold it ‘til I get there in an hour or so ?”

No. We can’t hold anything for customers on the phone.”

Now I felt like an idiot. If he’d just said, ‘We don’t do any holds anymore, Lady. Sorry’, I would have been fine with it. But now I felt like I’d asked too much, but ended up getting kinda ticked. Do they accept holds via carrier pigeon ? What about telegraph ? Flaming arrows ? They do have a ‘pay online, pick up in store’ program, but it only works for about one out of every 500 toys. So you can’t do holds via online either. Do they only hold things for you while you’re in the store ? That makes so very little sense to me…

But, although I’m lazy, stupid, and cheap, I’m also completely self-centered, and still wanted the darn thing. And there was still enough time between that conversation and my sleep clinic appointment to make it happen. Which I did. As shown, I now have this darn scooter, and now want absolutely nothing related to any of my hobbies. There !

It’s not as fulfilling as I thought it’d be. Anyway. Still gotta pack and finish getting ready for my darn appointment. Yawning just thinkin’ about it. Wish me luck !

And I hope you soon find that you have everything you wanted, too ! (that’s one of my best wishes !)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stickers ! I'm like a twelve year old around stickers, I swear...

Current Mood : Questioning

I was reading a bit earlier this week - according to an LA Times  article, US residents waste 40% of their food. Article’s here.  Original report is over here. Hard to believe, especially when I toss out next to nothing ! Our budget for chow’s gotta go far, and I’m great at reusing leftovers for lunch. I think the last food we tossed was some takeout rice that wasn’t good when it was fresh and a couple hot dogs that got shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten. They were not supposed to be that shade of brown. Since we even eat going-stale bread heels – toasted with parmesan cheese, they’re great on spaghetti night ! – I wonder who’s tossing out all the chow we’re not.

The article says the average family-of-four tosses out over $2k in food each year. I’m not sure how, since $190. is actually a little more than what we spend each month ! On just groceries and stuff like laundry detergent and light bulbs, I mean. If we cut out soda – I’m actively trying to scale down on that – our grocery bill would drop further. And it doesn’t include our semi-weekly eating out splurges, which for is us more about ‘entertainment’ over  ‘food’. …but even then, wow. So much waste when so many are hungry just seems obscene.

Enjoyed my not-cleaning time by sleeping and reading a lot. Unfortunately, I also hopped up on the scale…and drank water for the rest of the day. Yikes. I gotta start hitting the Wii Fit again, and put down the sodas and snacks. I’ve really packed it on ! I think most of our ‘wasted’ food goes down my gullet, instead of the trash. Gosh, so much of it in the last month has been cheap junk food fer sure.

Played with Robecca for a while – it always amazes me, when I’ve finally found and purchased the doll I’ve been looking for, that everyone else hasn’t found him or her, too. I’m so used to being in my little doll desert that I forget there’s places even emptier-shelved than ours. One thing I can say, Ghoulia’s roller-maze dress doesn’t do much for her. The black, white, and green go OK, but the bright pink sleeves look garish next to her lovely hair, and the skirt really rides up if she sits.

And, yeah, I took Dearest Son to Dollar Tree today after a big leftover lunch instead of sewing. (sigh) I’m so lazy. But now that I’m cooking a lot more, I need some things we’d managed to work around, and a recent grocery store reconnaissance run showed that DTree had most of it cheaper. I found MH stickers in a cardboard display rack in the ‘Back to School’ section, on a pin under  the Barbie set and beside the Cars and Avengers ones. They didn’t have much tea from which to choose, but I got most of my other little needs.

A sign in the window advertised rib eye steaks, which I had to see. Which I did, they had plenty – very thin, odd looking vacuum-packed little frozen bags of meat. If I’d have known how to cook ‘em, I might have bought one, just to say I’d bought a steak for a dollar ! The small resin tombstones were nearly sold out already, so I was glad I’d already bought my ‘Stay Scary’ one. Things are normally pretty tight in there, but it was still a jolt to see the first aisle packed with ‘back to school’, the next one ‘Fall/Halloween’ and the third dedicated to ‘Christmas’.

Got to see the 1946 version of The Razor’s Edge, a black-and-white version of the Maugham book that remains one of Beloved Hubby’s favorites. My next doll, if she doesn’t come with a name I reject out of hand, will probably be named Sophie. We had a hardback copy of the novel, but can’t find it, so my next library trip will hopefully snag me one.

Oh, and tomorrow’s my 'sleep clinic, round 2' visit. Gotta leave at 8:30pm, probably to get all wired up and not sleep again. You’ll know if it doesn’t go well, because you’ll be able to hear me from space if they try to slap another CPAP on me. I don’t think the wildly misnomered ‘nasal pillows’ will work, because the ten-minute test I had with them a couple weeks ago didn’t attempt to have me actually sleep in the thing. I’m a side (almost belly) sleeper, and those tubes go around both sides, so… I said I’d try, and I will. Just hope it goes better than last time, but I can tell ya honestly that I’m not looking forward to it. (sigh) So I’ll be either way early with tomorrow’s entry, or it won’t get published ‘til Monday.

In the meanwhile, I hope your weekend’s going great ! I got new stickers to play with, so I’m happy !

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sorry, ya'll...

Or maybe it was just a simple, temporary burnout. I dunno...
...I didn't mean to drop out like that ! I actually have half an entry for Sunday, and part of one Monday written, I just... couldn't get it together for squat all week. I mean, I busted butt cleaning this place, it got neglected for three weeks, and my own lethargy was starting to disgust me, but the need to write I normally have was just gone. It may have been a minor depression, I think I must've been, since I actually watched Oh, Sit !.  Twice.

That need started to sneak back today, but when you've been home for a month and about all you've done is sit around for three weeks and clean house for one, there isn't much new to say. The Institute called, I'm perfectly fine. "The Girls" are about as normal as they can be, so I couldn't help but feel that all the sound and fury was for nothing, and I'm the idiot for wasting your time, telling you the tale. Darn you, Shakespeare ! A cyst I had shortly after Dearest Son was born (that was drained within a month of me finding it) ruptured, and that is what was confounding the squeezing machine and the techs. They wanna drag me backwards through Hades again in six months, to check on whatever they did to me. Arrrgh. At least the non-surgical incision has mostly healed. And the VA gave us mileage money, which was nice. We're sooo broke, my guys are actually eating what I cook ! My menu does tend to improve when there's no 'ah, heck, let's eat out' option. This week, I'm gonna attempt my own little fish fry, use up some of what's in the freezer. Wheee ! 

Anyway, as mentioned, I busted butt all week and cleaned house, and it looks great. Even scrubbed the bathroom facilities and swept. If you'd have seen it Monday, before I got going, you'd have called Hoarders on me, not for hoarding, but for laziness ! It's nice to know I can push this place from 'pit' to 'palace' in less than a week. Dearest did a great job on his room, and Beloved Hubby, in between classes (that started up Monday), even pitched in and cleaned up his desks and AirSoft arenas. He said he needed someplace to put those stupid-expensive textbooks. I was wondering where all his socks had disappeared to ! 

That means I get to sew all weekend ! I even ran my few errands today - I've never been so glad to turn in library books in my life, Starlight's been on gas fumes for the last couple weeks ! - so I'd have as much time as possible. I'm gonna make my first run at my Halloween project. Which ranks, because I won't be able to share much with you as I go, it's gonna be a surprise. One that needs quite a bit of lead time. But if I can make it work, it'll be soo awesome. And if it doesn't work this week, heck, I still need a new purse. 

Part of the housecleaning eliminated the last clutter-stand, so now we can actually *use* the dining area again, and if that's what came out of it all, I'm happy. That was the last spot I haven't been able to vacuum since we moved here, so it was with some pride and a bit of joy that I did so yesterday. I tend to hesitate when it comes to storing Beloved and Dearest's things, but they were piled up and in the way, and they weren't doing anything about it, so I had to. But they're both fine with it, and happy for the newly emptied space, so it's all good. 

Well, now. I feel more like myself again. Thanks for hangin' in with me ! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

And this is my second-favorite image...(snerk)

Current Mood : Wondering

Thanks, ya’ll ! Your good wishes worked, I slept through the night – about ten hours ! – and didn’t re-open the non-surgery suture. I’m on light duty ‘til tomorrow night, but if I wake up tomorrow morning and it’s still intact, I’ll be happy. Just wish they’d given me more than six ‘steri-strips’ that need to stay on for five more days. I’ve soaked the first two pairs.

There’s also something I’ve been meaning to ask ya’ll. You already know my MH addiction has taken myriad forms, to the point where I make my own ancillary themed products. I’ve said, especially after having such a good time altering my last one, the oversized Barbie convention tote, that I’m gonna make my next purse. I still intend to do so, but when I worked on the design in my head last year, I had embroidered MH logos all over the thing. Now…not so much.

I mean, I like the ancillary things that have absolutely zero to do with the dolls. Shoot, back in ’10, when the line first came out, I was looking for lunchboxes and notebooks in the back-to-school sales – something that didn’t happen in the States ‘til this year. I was looking for Valentine’s Day cards and fabric and all the silly things that other popular brands, like Barbie and MLP get. Nothing out there, not even at Halloween, not even a Happy Meal line. Most of that’s changed (still no fleece or flannel with Frankie on it, though), as of this year, but I find I don’t want most of it anymore. I did get the lenticular ruler, because I’m always using those in my pattern re-drafts, but I never started an MH-centered pencil collection the way I still have a Disney Princess one. Good thing about pencils, even if your interests change, you can still use a pencil no matter how it’s decorated.

I guess my question is this : Now that it’s out there, often easy to find, and fairly cheap (it’s no more expensive to get MH than Barbie, although it’s sometimes harder to locate), are you less interested in the not-doll-related stuff, or more ? Would you go to McD’s for a month if there was a Happy Meal ? Or are you immune to it all, and really only have an interest in two or three dolls a year ? Or are you still staunchly a Barbie Girl or Boy ? I’m really curious about how other fans – and not-fans – see it all.

As for the purse…well…I’m looking through my fabric stash for something I can use to re-make my youth. Back in the day – and I’m talkin’ mid-80s day ! – I had a soft plastic roll-bag purse. Pink, with a Candie’s logo on it, not that I cared about the brand. It was simply perfect. Well, after I added the shoulder strap from another purse, it was. Right size, right closure, easy to use, it really fit me well. Of course, I wore it completely out. Never found another. So I’ll probably sew m’self one. Thanks to Obsessively Stitching, I figured out how to scale her doll-size roll bag to whatever size I want (directions here), and it’s nothing to make it less long.

Like most things in my life, I just gotta get offa my backside and make it happen !

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wishing you great luck for the weekend !

Current Mood : Relaxed but a bit worried still. 

What can I say about today, except that it’s over, at least until Wednesday, when I get the results. We were a few minutes early, so we got to cool our heels in the waiting area – together at least this time ! – for a half hour. I don’t know why cutting into me and taking stuff out from inside, then taping me back together is considered ‘non-surgical’, but that’s what the post-care paper they gave me said.

At least this time, I was smart enough to keep my cell phone with me, signs be darned, so I was able to text Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son that the ‘non-surgical’ part was over. Just had to wait for ‘clean up’, then I could get dressed and get my post-non-surgical papers and supplies. And we were outta there ! Ironically, the whole thing was less than an hour and a half, and that includes the long initial wait. Ah, well.

And Dearest put the time to good use. He’s drawing his own comic book, and had two pages done by the time we left. Beloved also did some sketching, which made me happy. It’s been a long time since he did anything artistic.

Once home, I followed my directions to the letter. It said ‘no heavy activity for 72 hours’, and I probably slept at least twelve. Off and on. I’d promised to take Dearest to Dollar Tree, so we went late in the afternoon. They didn’t have any more of those wire waste-baskets Beloved wanted, so I got a blue plastic trash can I liked and it’s now what I use, Beloved got my ‘old’ one. Didn’t see much I wanted, but I did finally snag a resin ‘tombstone’, hip high to a Monster High doll, with ‘Stay Scary’ in glittery blue letters. I always meant to score a few of those, even back in my Barbie days, but by the time I put a couple bucks aside, they were always sold out.

They got tons of Halloween stuff now. Feathered black birds, rubber bats, paper garlands, wreaths, several sizes of tombstones, even lenticular portraits that change from ‘grandma’ to ‘ghoul’ as you walk past. I have an idea for the annual LiveJournal photo contest that might utilize my tombstone, but needs a ton of sewing a lot more ! I also have to alter a pattern ‘til it fits…but if I can pull it off, it’ll be awesome !

So I was glad I went, but I wondered how many other shoppers noticed that I was bleeding. Side seam of my shirt was soaked, but I don’t think anyone saw. Beloved helped me clean up and reapply bandages, but he was pretty worried. Knowing him, he won’t sleep much tonight for checking me every few minutes. It’s pretty much stopped, but you know how it is with loving ones ! Hand-washed the blouse in the sink – luckily, the pattern will hide anything that doesn’t machine-wash out later.

Well, since now I *really* gotta relax, lest I start it up again, I’m gonna turn in early. Hope your weekend is great – and that you’ll find something cool you always wanted !

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I don't know why this image makes me laugh still...

Current Mood : Chilled

Gonna be apologizing all week, I’m sorry to say. (grin) Yesterday was an upheaval, and it wasn’t right of me to drag you through it when  you got your own problems, but I did and hopefully it’s gone. Played a buncha Carpenters music this morning, had a good ole-fashioned emotional throwdown, and hopefully that’s over, too. Still can’t look at the rice crackers, though.

Not much else going on. A Monster High LiveJournal poster pointed me to new images on the Argentine and Spanish websites – both via Cartoon Network, which is odd. The US Cartoon Network site has no MH at all. Makes me wonder if there is some truth to the series rumors that’ve been floating about since 2010. Anyway, I snagged a few I liked and posted them on Flickr and the MH site there, and they’ve been fairly popular. Today’s image is my favorite of the lot. There’s also a ‘Friday the Thirteenth’ game that I couldn’t get to work, but seeing Ghoulia holding a horseshoe, face-palming, is hilarious. I’ll post that one tomorrow.

I also took a fine-point Sharpie to Captain Penny’s belt and did fairly well detailing it. I even put masking tape above it, to get that top edge without marking above it. Haven’t decided if I want him/her to have a red flying helmet or a green one. Guess I should ask Robecca ! Still looking forward to spray-painting Puma-dude, but we’re expecting thunderstorms soon, so the humidity is back up again.

Gonna try to get some sleep. Wish me luck tomorrow, would you ?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

(incoherent noises of deep frustration)

Current Mood: Guess.

Sorry, ya’ll. Had another medical appointment today, just a follow-up I wasn’t really concerned about, but had feelings of apprehension all last night over anyway. It was compounded when my ten-minute procedure took over two and a half hours, and nobody was telling me anything. They wouldn’t even let me wait with no information with Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son, nope. I was stuck in a small room with an April issue of Time, an older copy of Forbes, and two Oscars-themed Entertainment Weekly magazines. I got so bored that, even after replicating every bit of yoga I could remember from Wii Fit, twice, I started writing ‘All wait and no info makes Dorrie a bad patient’ over and over on the back of a search-a-word puzzle with terms like ‘benign’, ‘radiation’,  ‘cyst’ , ‘abcess’, and ‘biopsy’. Guess what sort of medical test I was having ? Bonus clue for the ladies : look down at your blouse. What’s inside ? Yeah. That. Just the right one.

Two hours later, I was finally told that my ‘simple follow-up’ test was irregular, and I needed more testing. And after that, it was still inconclusive, so I get to go back Friday for a biopsy. I can’t worry about it. I just can’t. I’ll end up in a ball in the corner of the kitchen, mentally fried. It could be said that no one would notice the difference, and I’d agree, but I simply can’t think about it right now. I’ve dealt with further heart deterioration, anemia, diabetes, thyroid issues, sleep apnea, asthma, and lifelong scarring, in this year alone. I’m too wrecked to worry about anything else.

I’m just really beyond *&^%ed at the ‘Institute’. Beloved waited the whole time in the lobby with no clue. He wasn’t told even what little info I got, and was really starting to worry as we were approaching the third hour of a half-hour appointment. Short of making a scene and frightening the few other patients in the lobby – most of whom were elderly – there wasn’t much we could do, so we left. But there’s a half-written letter elsewhere on my hard drive, and the finished version will be going with me Friday.

So. My day was pretty much wrecked, and the day was about half over by the time we got back home. We’d gone to an Asian grocery earlier, near Beloved’s school, and I’d stupidly purchased a pound bag of rice crackers. I proceeded to eat nearly half the bag, and for once in my stupid life, I am actually sick of rice crackers. Mildly nauseous, to tell the truth. I can’t even look at the remainder right now.

How was your day ? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nude Ghoulias, everywhere !

Current Mood : Happy !

Well, at least for a little while today. Totally skunked on the scooter, they didn’t have any at all, with or without a doll. Since funds are limited right now anyway, I’ll just wait for better times and order one then. If I still want one later. The obsession seems to have faded somewhat. They had the ‘Ghouls Rule’ DracuLaura I’ve been sort of leaning towards, but $30. is ridiculous, and honestly, that dress looked super-cheap. Not a hem on any of it. Much as I love those wings, I won’t pay $20. for just them on eBay, and I’m certainly not gonna shell out for more for the doll. Even with a $5. off coupon.

They also had ‘Dot Dead Gorgeous’ Spectra, the one character I don’t have, but I still don’t like her much. Gave her some thought, since she was within budget, but ultimately decided to give her a pass. Some Bratz and Moxie outfits were really pretty, but again, cheap, and I can make most of ‘em, I just have to get off my lazy butt !

Checked out the Barbie aisle. Didn’t see anything irresistible there, but the ‘Ultimate Boyfriend’ Ken doll, that one that talks and records/plays back the owner’s voice, was marked down to $15. And that video recorder Barbie is still available for $35., beyond my budget this week, but still in the running for the nebulous future. I also drifted through the Disney Princess doll section, and was intrigued to see the Little Disney Princess ‘toddler’ dolls on sale for $15. Hate to start another collection when I barely play with Princess Dorrie anymore…but have you seen the toddler Flynn Rider / Eugene doll yet ? He is absolutely adorable ! Plastic hair, not that I mind, that sideways quirked smile was almost irresistible. I will probably go back for him later. He’ll make a much better Prince Beloved Hubby !

Eventually – yeah, it took me about an hour – I decided that Skull Shores Ghoulia’s borked arm has been bugging me, a lot. I thought to replace her, even though I don’t much care for her swimsuit or shoes…but she was $19. Roller Maze Ghoulia was only $13., and I love her outfit and skates. Minus the coupon, she’d only be eight bucks. Not bad at all. I’d still have some cash left, and could use it to take Dearest Son to Dollar Tree later. That sounded good to me !

I was barely home for a half hour before I had both dolls undressed and under the hot water in the bathroom sink. It helps soften the vinyl, make head swaps go a little easier. It’s vitally important to not twist, just pull. It’s still way too easy to damage the bodies – Barbie head-swaps are simple in comparison ! -  and I cracked the neck on the already-broken Ghoulia body, but…with the Roller head on it, the crack doesn’t show, and her head moves normally.

So, there for a while, I had two nude Ghoulias resting in their stands, waiting for their hair to dry, and resting from their ordeals. Now that they’re side-by-side, you can really see the difference in their hair and face paint. RM has nearly aqua-colored hair, not so much dark blue as most other Ghoulias, and has less dramatic eyes. I’m happy. I now have a Roller Maze Ghoulia and a Skull Shores Ghoulia that are both perfect, and one RM with a broken arm. I’ll probably use the broken arm one as a fitting model, and finally let that completely wrecked DLaura body rest. I also have another pair of skates, the glasses, and the dress, which is so bonus !

Don’t they look great ? One day, I’ll find ¾-inch wide black elastic, and make another cuff or two, for my new sewing Ghoulia ! Not sure why, but every time I remember to look for it, it’s sold out. I’m so happy about Skull Shores, though !

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yummy Aldi's nectarines...

Current Mood : I *have* to make this dress !

Re-re-reconsidering Over-thinking purchasing Ghoulia’s scooter. TRU sent me a $5. off any purchase coupon this weekend, and it’s been burning a hole in my mental pocket. Today was kinda busy – especially if you consider my two-hour nap ! – so I’m heading over tomorrow, to see if they even have it, then debate for two hours if I really want it, or if I really really want it, or it’s just a prop for my usual childlike romantic ideology, thanks to that ‘lost chapter’ story that I’ve now read four times. It’d be much easier if the non-doll one didn’t come with that cardboard Ghoulia and Slo-Mo. You probably find it easy to believe that I’ve actually considered buying just the cardboard figures, but they come with the accessory pack on eBay – and if I’m gonna spend $10. on that, plus shipping, I might as well throw in a few more bucks and get the whole thing !

Only problem with that line of thinking is, there’s only another ten bucks between that and the version with the doll…and while I’m not much on that Ghoulia’s lip color, I can always use a spare body to fix my broken-armed Skull Shores one…

Anyway. If TRU doesn’t have one, I’ll wait to come home and order a ‘site to store’ one off Mal-Wart’s website. Could have it by next Monday, for the same price. I’m just hoping to use that coupon.

But that’s tomorrow’s fret. Today, we did some cleaning, especially to the fish tanks, and made a big grocery run to Aldi’s. I’m always utterly amazed when we unload it and try to find space for everything, it seems there’s never an end, and we paid about a week and a half’s usual bill for it all. And it lasts a bit over a month ! True, I supplement with other groceries, but the monthly run to Aldi’s is always a blast, and they’re the cheapest on all the stuff we use up every month. This time, we’re trying their toilet paper. We’ve abandoned several other brands by trying what Aldi’s sells, one package trial at a time.

So I’m enjoying that wonderful feeling of security – the one ya get when the rent/mortgage is paid or you’re considering storing some surplus groceries in the hall closet, ‘cause the pantry’s full right now. Problem is, that’s full of our stuff already !

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just another day-dreamy Sunday...

Current Mood : Still day-dreamy...

It’s funny, but of all the photos I’ve seen of other people’s Robecca Steam dolls, no one has re-dressed her. I’ve seen her missing her jacket and blue plastic cage crinoline, but rarely has anyone removed her shoes, much less made something for her.

And I can kind of understand why. Her hair and body colors are so unusual and extreme, it’s hard to not dress her in more of the same of what she comes with, since only draping her with yards of many different colors will show what looks good on her besides blue, black, and white. For right or wrong, I kinda figure that since I can see her copper color looks good with blue, I’ll probably stick with ‘cool’ colors for her – blues, greys, maybe some dark greens, and possibly some silver. Can’t help but think most prints will clash with her already-busy ‘skin plates’. So I’ll probably stick with rich, jewel tones from the cooler side of the spectrum.

I also played with several digital ‘dress me’ games, with her and several other characters. Here’s a whole page of online MH paper dolls, games, and coloring books – this link will take you to page one. There’s three total, includes everything from pedicure to room d├ęcor to cake designing. I was right, most of the reds and pinks that are always popular with dress-up dolls really don’t look good on Robecca, even when you can change her hair and skin colors as well.

That said, I really wanna take her with me next time we go out, so I can drape her with fat quarters at Joanne’s. That’s about all I like there ! I’ve signed up for their mailer three times – twice online, once at the local store – and still never got one. I can tell ya, when they put the fat quarters on a 99c sale, I’m gonna go nutz ! So it’s probably good I’ve never gotten the sales papers…

Kinda let another day get away from me without doing much. But it was nice to play with Robecca and daydream about my next project. I think my next purchase is gonna be an ironing board, though. I need one, bad ! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rocket girl...burning up her boiler out here alone...

Current Mood : More upbeat than before.

Current Image Notes : The diary's missing, 'cause Beloved Hubby wanted to read it. Lol !

Don’t mind me, I’m kind of in a recovery funk today. I just took it easy, let m’self ease back into regular life. To be honest, though, I’m not surprised I’m all down today. It’s like everything has been a twinge depressing ever since that mess I hit headlong on Friday. For the first time ever, there was a homeless guy with a sign at the quickie-mart where we like to get sodas. The ‘white cards’ were posted yesterday at our apartment complex, which they always are on the 10th, but it’s still sad to see so many doors have pre-eviction notices taped to them. Pantry moths in the remnants of a bag of rice I was gonna cook up for lunch. I can only hope they don’t spread to other things now that I’ve tossed their half-cup home out with the trash. It’s just too easy to be down some days.

But there’s still so much to be happy about, I couldn’t let it have the whole day. Not when I got to debox Robecca, and she is amazing ! I thought that the moving gears other fans mentioned were on her boots. Nope – they actually are in her legs, just behind her knees. Her legs are more loose than most other MH dolls, they even bend forward, just a bit too much to be comfortable, but I figure that, like Frankie dolls with one eye bigger than the other, it’s a feature, not a fault. I’m weird like that.

I also discovered that some of her Captain Penny penguin pets have a copper-tone jet pack (just like the rest of Penny), others are black or dark grey. I love variations !  

And I have so many photos still to take ! Got three ‘gag’ image ideas for Robecca, I gotta show ya’ll those wonderful treats Deborah sent me, and the Barbie boat cleaned up fairly well, so I wanna show that off, too. And I still haven’t posed any ghoul with the glittery red Jemgirl Creations shoes, or the Create A Monster ‘cat’ ones I got cheap off eBay. Shoot, I’m behind showing ya’ll the wonders of the School playset, now that I think about it.

It’d be ridiculous, in the middle of all this bounty, to wonder what Mattel’s gonna crack out for frenzied Christmas shoppers this year, but you happen to be reading the blog of The Empress of Ridiculousness ™. So here we go. It’s all ’s fault. I was looking up the Dream Boat when I was soon distracted by memories and not-memories, and since the whole place revolves around Christmas catalogs, it’s impossible to not think of the upcoming holidays. Shoot, just yesterday we found a cricket in our bedroom and heard the cicada screech-songs, two signs that Summer is fading, no matter how hot it still is. Not to mention the awesome holiday cookies Deborah sent. You can’t look at those and not think anything but ‘Christmas !’. Unless it’s ‘YUM ! MINE !! I wanna eat it !’ !

Anyway…I was feeling a little smug today, since there’s ‘nothing I want’. Yeah, stop me if you’ve heard *that* before. So I wonder if the Holiday 2012 season is gonna be ‘catch up while you can on those dolls you couldn’t find earlier’ or ‘here’s all new stuff for you to chase after. Enjoy !’. What do you think ? Which would you prefer ? I’m kinda hoping for a quiet season, m’self.

But it’s neither here nor there right now. It’s nearly bedtime, and we had a big pasta supper. I can barely stay awake, and hope to wake up in a lighter mood. I get to go to Dollar Tree tomorrow, which is always something fun to look forward to !

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh, what filthy things have I fetched home *now* ??!

Current Mood : Happy but slightly unsettled. 

Sorry to do another vanishing act. Got some heavy news thrown like a grenade at me last night that took some time to process, and there was simply no way around it. I haven’t really finished, but at least I can move on without it eating up every other thought that rolls into my semi-empty mind. It helps that I have Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son, who both listened and got indignant on my behalf, and I have some friends who will also listen to me prattle and whine. On the plus side, I finally had that little chat with Dearest about my ongoing issues that I’ve been meaning to, so it’s all good. I don’t feel like I’ll fly apart in public anymore – yes, that was a concern for several hours today – and I know what I have to do, so it’s pretty much under the bridge. I’m just tired of getting forced over this same stupid bridge that someone else burned ten years ago, over and over, and almost always just as I’m feeling secure and happy in my life as it is.

(ahem) Anyway. Once my mental balance was restored – I like to think of it as a washing machine’s  ‘spin’ cycle, that’s sometimes off and has to have the load shifted around some ‘til it’s back – I felt unbearably restless. Beloved told me to raid his wallet, take whatever I found, and vanish for as long as I needed to be gone. He was home for the day, I could do whatever I wished, by myself, if I chose.

I was out the door fifteen minutes later. It’s Friday, which means one thing around here – Flea Market at the county Fairgrounds ! Sure, it’d be super-hot, but it was only 90 degrees at noon, not that bad. Big fans kept the air moving, and there were no empty booth spaces. Even the ‘dirt’ part was full of tables fulla prowlable junk. So I did what came naturally, I prowled the heck out of it all !

I saw unfortunate broken vintage dolls, unfortunate haired modern Barbies, footless Bratz, a nearly-scarily bizarre three-foot-high Dora the Explorer doll, who slurred her signature phrases drunkenly, ancient coffee makers, candy that isn’t manufactured anymore, necklaces so heavily beaded that I don’t know how the wearers can stand up, and more porcelain figures than can be contained in an entire retirement village. I spent $7.

What that got me was a Lucite ‘display lifter’, basically a ‘C’ shaped elevated shelf, for Beloved to use on his desk, an adorable vintage Wilson mini sewing box, complete with tray, a wicker Barbie end table, and what remains of a 70s-vintage Barbie Dream Boat. That’s what that weird white box-thing is. It was filthy-dirty, and a little broken, but for $5., I was willing to go for it. Even if I just take a photo or two with Lagoona and Gil, it’d be worth it. Besides, ya’ll know I love a challenge restoration !

The little sewing box is so cute ! It was marked $5., but I pointed out a crack in the back, and got it for $2. The Lucite shelf and wicker table were tossed in for free. Yaaay ! I made another circuit and was ready to go, desperate for a bit of wind from Starlight’s open windows. Wasn’t quite ready to go home, so I stopped at a local thrift, got rid of a box of post-move culled goodies, and bought a bag of books for a dollar. Got Beloved a gorgeous hardback copy of Roget’s II New Thesaurus, and the rest is tacky fictional stuff for me to read. Sticky and thirsty, with plenty to lug in, I was ready to go home.

Researched the Dream Boat while lunch (frozen pizzas) cooked. Ok, here’s the truth of the matter. Years and years ago, I passed up a Dream Boat in excellent condition at GoodWill. It was pretty cheap, I had the money, and the style fits right in with my FriendShip airplane and Country Living home, which I love and still own to this day. But I was being virtuous at the time, and not buying new doll stuff. And yes, I have regretted it ever since, how did you guess ? My ‘new’ one is in much rougher shape, and is missing far more, but hey, I got one ! And who knows what I’ll find next week, next month ? I happily settled in to clean it, once the last pepperoni was off our plates. And I’d checked once more to see when Robecca was gonna get here, darn it ! She’s been at our PO since 10am yesterday (whiiiiiine)….

I was lucky that the Dream Boat is either hard plastic or vinyl over cardboard, so most of the grime was dust, and most of that came off with plain water and elbow grease. Went through three rags, and some parts are permanently stained, but that’s all outside. Fine with me ! One day, I’ll find that white ‘steering deck’ part that goes on top (image here. Bottom of the page.), get another Magic Eraser for the stubborn stains, and then I’ll be happy. Actually, I’m pretty happy with it now !

I’d barely finished cleaning it – and I still had the sewing box to go – when I checked Tracking again. Robecca was here ! I barely remembered to snag the trash on the way out, and darn near skipped to the mailbox. Yessss ! My Robecca, and she’s *gorgeous* ! I opened the box enough to get the diary out, as, believe this or not, Beloved wanted to read it. Not gonna open the rest ‘til tomorrow. After all, I got a lot of new goodies today. Might as well space out the fun !