Tag Archives: writing

I Fell Into a Whirlwind of Crazy

I know it has been awhile since I have updated this blog, and for those of you who actually followed it and read it—I give you my sincerest apologies.  If you even bother at all to read this, I am very very grateful!

I did not fall of the planet, but I did fall into a whirlwind of chaos.  I was supposed to share my experience of updating our home before we left for Germany.  I even have two blog drafts that I never got around to completing! Well, after my last post, things became hectic.  I started my first semester at UCCS–and it was TOUGH! Tons of papers had to be written for my classes, I had to run around town returning cable boxes, modems, picking up medical records, getting the dogs ready for international travel, getting the kids and myself check-ups for international travel, and running up to Denver twice to get our passports in order.  We also traded in “Cherry,” my Chevy HHR for a Honda Odyssey. There seemed to be a million and one things in my way.

So what did we accomplish? If you haven’t been reading, the Drab to Fab home improvement list can be found here.

We replaced the kitchen counter tops, sink, and faucet.  We painted the kitchen cabinets and replaced the ceiling light fixture.  We tiled the family room (all 340 sq feet).  We replaced the vinyl flooring in the laundry/3rd bathroom and the kids bathroom.  We re-grouted the master bath and kids bath.  We re-glazed or re-surfaced the shower tubs and caulked all of the bathrooms.  We replaced the garage door openers (well hubby did that all by himself). We repainted the basement, kitchen, living room, dining room, and family room. We also replaced all of the outdoor light fixtures.  I’m sure there is much more that I left of the list.  We did it all in 4 months and went about $400 over our $8,000 budget. Here are some images that I did manage to take with the intention of blogging about all of this.

Tiling the family room
Tiling the family room
Our “New” Honda Odyssey
kids bath
Re-finishing the Kids Bath Sink with Rust-Oleum Counter Transformations
kitch light
New Kitchen Light Fixture
Backyard Landscaping–this is only the first of 2 deliveries.
Entry Light Pendant
Entry Light Pendant


Transitional Chandelier
Dining room Chandelier
New counters, sink faucet and a fresh paint job for the cabinets
New counters, sink faucet and a fresh paint job for the cabinets


I got all A's in 4 tough classes! The studying instead of blogging was worth it!
I got all A’s in 4 tough classes! The studying instead of blogging was worth it!

Traveling overseas for vacation is not this intense, but a military relocation overseas is ridiculously difficult! With all of the work in the house and all of the other “stuff” that needed to be done, there was no time for blogging. I didn’t have time to take very many pictures of the progress.

It took the packers 2 whole days to pack up the house and another whole day to load our stuff into crates.

Moving sucks.

Moving Day
Moving Day

We drove from Colorado Springs to the Dallas airport in the afternoon on January 7th.  What a whirlwind of crazy! We packed that minivan with 7 suitcases, two teenagers, two large dogs, and ourselves.

Just a "few" of our bags
Just a “few” of our bags

Looking back, I honestly don’t know how we made it to Germany without losing our minds.  After a very long flight to Frankfurt (9.5 hours), we still had a 4-hour drive to our duty station—and sleep.

Though we finally got into our housing on Jan 20, we are still not quite settled in.  Our car arrived safely one month after we did.  Let me tell you—grocery shopping without a car stinks! Sometimes we used the taxi, but it isn’t cheap, so we hauled our loaded bags on foot most of the time.

It was almost 3 full months before our household goods arrived.  Army loaner furniture=YUCK!  I am and always will be grateful for the furniture and borrowed kitchen items, but it certainly wasn’t ideal.  We didn’t even have internet for the first month.  Imagine teenagers with no TV, cell phones, computers, or video games for 1.5 months! Yup it was a picnic.

The house is now mostly unpacked and I have the internet, my car, and a growing wardrobe. I am almost satisfied.  I will have lots to share as we make a home in government housing, travel around Europe, and learn about the German way of life.  For now though, I am mostly happy and can’t wait to blog about our experiences over the past 2 months.


Welcome to Germany
Welcome to Germany



My Muse Took a Left Turn on Aisle 8

My muse and I were working in harmony just a couple of months ago. Poetry was flowing through my fingertips, story ideas were flooding my brain, and I was making progress toward my writing goals. She threw inspiration in my direction weekly. She smothered me with emotion. But like me, my muse has ADHD. Something caught her eye on aisle 8–the crafting section of my brain. She turned left down the aisle of glitter and glue. I followed her quickly, hoping to drag her back to aisles 7 and 9, but she dodged me and made a sharp right down the aisle of craft paper and paint. I urged her to get back to aisle 7 where Webster and Roget were busy duking it out; if not, would she please follow me to aisle 9 where Emily and Sylvia discussed poetic death. She stomped her little slipper shod foot in defiance and turned away. To please my muse, I followed her down the aisle of stamps and ink.

Hot Plate
Hot Plate

So instead of my creativity expressing itself through language it has taken a turn toward crafting and DIY projects. Today I made this lovely hot plate for my coffee themed kitchen. It was so cheap to make! I’m thinking that all the ladies in my family will be getting one for Christmas, themed to match their kitchens.

This evening I made a lovely candle holder. Well, I decoupaged a cheap clear glass one from Michael’s ($0.97). I could fill it with scented candle wax to give as a gift.


Yesterday I made a cute little tin for my gum. I buy my gum in the large bag, so it’s nice to have a clean place to keep it rather than in my purse pocket. I came across a recipe for homemade lip balm and perfume rub that I could put in the tins as well. I’m thinking that would make a great birthday gift for the lovely ladies in my life. I’ve also made several magnets from bottle caps with images in the center.

Decoupaged Tin
Decoupaged Tin

Aside from the few little items I’ve already made, I have several larger projects planned out. I will be giving two old end tables a makeover as my new nightstands. I have an old steamer trunk that will become a coffee table, three vintage suitcases that will become a chair made from and two tables.

Though my muse has led me astray, she IS keeping me productive and creative–which is the sole purpose of a muse after all.

Quarter to Four (am)

It is a quarter to four in the morning and I am energized and sleepless.  My body undergoes strange adjustments when I quit smoking and insomnia, scattered thoughts, and cravings are just a few of them.  I have spent the wee hours of the morning researching repair techniques for an old steamer trunk that I purchased today–I mean yesterday–at the thrift store, gathering some project materials, and brainstorming story ideas.  Then I heard a faint chirping noise about 20 minutes ago. I opened the basement window to better hear it.  The early bird sings and suddenly the insomnia has become the better part of my terrible nicotine-free oddities.  As the time passes, cars zoom in the far distance, the coal train whistle blows, and the bird falls silent.  The sounds of a new day dawn.

Precious Time

Having finished my semester successfully and finally graduating from Pike’s Peak Community College with my AA, I had planned on being highly productive in my writing and beginning my summer reading before my first semester at UCCS begins.  However, I have been rather lazy instead.  I’ve spent the past three weeks lazing around the house with my loving husband and kids and occasionally heading out to the lake with the family and the pups or going out to quaint Old Colorado City to visit the shops and eat great food.

Day at the Lake

While spending my days in such a manner is not wasted time, I am beginning to feel as if I am running out of time. I still have so many projects to finish, books to read, and writing to get done.  We are heading out to the mountains tomorrow for a four day camping trip.  I plan on taking lots of inspiring photos and perhaps writing a few poems.  I’m also taking my plant press to preserve some wildflowers for a future project.  I see Mod Podge and canvas in my near future.  This precious time with the family has reminded me to slow down, relax, and enjoy the people I love most.  My kids are growing up fast and these days are fewer and fewer now that they are 13 and 15.  Time is running out, but not for projects, reading, and writing; quality time with my children is running out.  My eldest will be headed to college in three years, and my son is at the age where spending time with family is a chore.  Capturing these precious moments now is more valuable than any other thing I could do with my time.

The Viewing of Miss Saigon


Theatre is filled with buzzing,
people talking in low tones,
as we greet one another
and talk about the show.

Crowd assembled in anticipation
of what they soon would witness,
will it be better than Madame Butterfly?
Hush falls over the crowd.

We marveled as the lights fell.
the orchestra begins to play,
The stage looks like a battlefield,
so detailed in every way.

We watch intently, emotions whirling,
as the story unfolds before our eyes.
Vietnam Veterans restless, uneasy.
They know. They Know.

House lights rise and illuminate
tear streaked faces, tissues in hand,
Vietnam Veterans hang their heads,
collect themselves and rise.

We relieve ourselves and re-fill
with wine, beer, and martinis.
We file into the theatre,
eagerly anticipating the finale.

Will he live? Will she find him again?
Vietnam Veterans know the end,
They lived this story.
They know. They know.

The crowd watches, unable to breathe.
The fight is intense.
As one the crowd sighs with relief,
the hero lives.

The room vibrates and hearts race.
In awe the crowd looks above,
from the ceiling a helicopter appears,
thunderous blades whirling.

At the chain-linked fence she screams.
Miss Saigon, papers in hand,
Begs, pleads for freedom granted
Only to be shoved away like garbage

We watch in anger, heartbroken.
Vietnam Veterans shed tears.
They lived this nightmare.
They know. They know.

The house lights rise once again.
The crowd rises, slowly, solemnly.
No one speaks. We do not dare.
Now we know. Now we know.