Seven, Eight, Lay them Straight

One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door.  Five, six, pick up sticks. Seven, eight, lay them straight.  Nine, ten, a big fat hen!  Week seven, last week, I was completely and utterly stuck.  I couldn’t move.  I was paralyzed by clutter in every direction. Construction was mostly completed, but we still weren’t sure if we could move back into the rooms. Once our contractor gave us the A-Ok to move back into the rooms, I didn’t know where to begin.  I just stood there in a 360-motion, catatonic, staring at three months of messes in all directions.

Fortunately, friends came to the rescue (thanks, Jeff and Josh!) and helped us unload that huge storage POD, and move the larger items back into the bedroom.  Then I went to my happy place for all my storage needs—IKEA and spent a boatload of money on adorable Kallax storage boxes for my Expedit cube storage shelf.  (Expedit is now called Kallax, in case you were wondering.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, ignore this and watch this video because it’s funny and there are a gazillion puns like this going around in our house regularly.)

Steve kept telling me to push through, that we could make it happen, one box at a time.  He was right. Now we’re almost to the end of week eight, and I feel like we are ‘laying them straight’.   Things have come together. (Bookshelves, room dividers, desk, chairs, and storage boxes.  Thank God for the Makita. I love you Makita. I love me some power tools and yes, I am a female. Breakin’ stereotypes over here on Baseline.  Doin’ my part, friends, doin’ my part.)  We have gotten rid of bags of clothes, furniture, and other items we didn’t need, like tie-dying dyes that the neighbor happily received, a storage cabinet and bunk beds that our other neighbors acquired, free of charge.  (We love our neighbors, even more, when they take our junk. Won’t you be my neighbor? <<You just sang that in Mr. Roger’s voice, I know you did.>>. It’s okay to admit it.)  It really does feel good to purge.  Are you with me?  If you haven’t started purging, start with one shelf, one cabinet, or one drawer. Baby steps. From What about Bob?, Bill Murray’s character says, “One little step at a time and I can do anything!”  Best advice for decluttering, physically and emotionally.  Best.

Taking that first few steps over to the first box is one of the hardest parts for me.  Getting started is a major hurdle. I did as Bob said.  I baby-stepped.  I am ALMOST walking through this decluttered house, safely.  (BTW, Steve did try a few of those IKEA puns while we were shopping, and I said, naturally, on cue, just like the girlfriend, Donna, in the video, “STOOOOPPPPP!”)

End of Week 7 excitement in this next video.  This is just after we moved our furniture back into the room.  I know my face is super freaky in this video.  The lighting makes me look ultra creepy.  Ultra. (Click bait.)




Now the Big Fat Hen, is the Big Fat Debt we have to pay off as a result of all this construction.

I’m actually going to make you…wait for it.

Wait for it.

I’m going to show you week 8 & 9 once we’re fully completed unloading all of the boxes and getting this house back into working order.  I’ve had to wait, so I’m going to make you wait.

We bought Boy a chair from IKEA and had him assemble it on his own tonight.  It’s like a Big-Boy Lego set.

This just happened: “It does not work at all. There’s all this extra crap. There was no instructions to use this! It was not in the instructions! Nowhere in the instructions!  I almost dropped this on my foot. I’m 100% sure they messed it up. I haven’t completely figured out the screws because the screws are jacked up.” (Awesome IKEA furniture rant from a newbie.  Don’t you love it? …..I’m a bad mom for logging this in my blog.  I couldn’t help it.  I did pay him 5 bucks to assemble my desk chair also, so I’m not SO bad. Parenting guilt.  He got much better at the assembly on my chair, on his 2nd try. Yes, I’m a bad mom.)

Until next Friday.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

Still walking.

My foot hurts from walking.  I think that’s why.

I’m going to get a tennis ball and roll out the ache in the bottom of my foot.

I’m hoping that helps because I have to keep walking.

Just like I kept unpacking those boxes, I’m going to keep on walkin’.

In case you didn’t hear it the first 3 times, I’m going to keep walkin’.

Steve had an appointment early this morning and I had to bring him home, so while I was waiting, I walked an Arcadia neighborhood.  I’ve learned to fit in the walks whenever I can.  It’s workin’ for me.

Now, I think we all need to rewatch What About Bob?  There you go, homework.


Summer homework.  I am a teacher after all.



Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

This title line was from a Heather Locklear hair color commercial in the 80s and 90s, I think.   My house is talking to you.  My house is looking more and more beautiful, (and right, it should, after this intense make-over.)

It’s disturbing how, after you start to fix one thing, you start to notice how there are 5,000 other things that need to be fixed.  (Here’s how the thought process goes, “Oh, I need to order blinds for the sliding glass door and the new window in the studio.” “Ooooh, I hate the blinds in the rest of the house, maybe we should get those replaced too.” “I mean, we can’t live with substandard blinds in the living room.”  Insert the Wayan brothers’ voices from White Chicks, “Omg, if I have to look at that dreadful broken screen on the door one more time, I think I might have a BF!”)  

So, back to my house, the crew is painting now, and I’m not sure I love, love, love the color of the house, but if I think of it as a shout out to the 1950’s, this new paint job fits the house.  It’s like the house was sayin’, “Take me back! I want to be what I was at my origin, paired with a sock hop, poodle skirt, and Rock Around the Clock playin’ in the background.”  My house is happy.

Week 6, at the beginning:

Week 6: Later in the week

It’s not all done yet, but we’re getting much closer.  One of the main lessons I’ve learned is, when you don’t think things are ever going to work out, they do.  They may not work out as you expect, but they’ll work out, and you adapt.

I’m thinkin’ this house might be a metaphor for life.

Life is beautiful.

Until next Friday.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

I ate totally crappy this week & didn’t exercise as much.  It may have been that trip to Vegas that threw me off kilter a bit.  All that to say, taking a few days off to Vegilax was a good thing.  Now, back on the exercise bandwagon again via walking laps at Raging Waters today!

The Way to This Girl’s Heart…

The way to this girl’s heart…is through potatoes.

I love potatoes in any form.  Hash browns, french fries, scalloped, mashed, maybe the only way I don’t love them is raw.  But my mama has been known to munch on a raw potato when she’s cuttin’ them up.  Whilst enjoying some cheesy potatoes this week, I was taken back to an episode of Freaky Eaters, “When I eat cheesy potatoes, it instantly puts a smile on my face.”  Yes, definitely, but thank God I didn’t get stuck there at age four.  I do love variety.  (I can’t imagine a cheesy potato prison. Watch this, a woman in a cheesy potato prison for 30 years.  Wow.  There are limitations to loving something.  You with me?)



The way to this girl’s heart…is through claw machines.  Yeah, that’s what I said, claw machines.  If you aren’t familiar with a claw machine, here you go:

And yes, I was at Walmart. **Unashamed.  I totally want to be like this guy.  Summer goals.  I have goals, people, goals.  Best quote: “These two seem so gettable.”  I totally think that when I’m trying for the panda in the corner.  There is strategy here, for realz. I don’t play team sports, I’m an individual sport kinda girl.  I play the claw machine, yo. Oh my garsh!  (The next video that shows after this one is a Claw Science video.  Wha?  Yeah, Claw Science.  I’m totes on that. More summer goals. By the way, I WON that pig on my first try.  Then I got greedy and spent $3.50 more trying to win a panda.)

The way to this girl’s heart…is through happy endings.  I love the end of the school year because it’s the END.  We get to start over.  (There’s a thing called summer, that we still get to have as ADULTS! We, teachers, deserve it because we encounter over 25 students ALL DAY & live through it.  Some days are HARD, especially at the end of the year.)  Summer is awesome.  This, I look forward to. Even though I’m teaching summer school, I’m still THRILLED that it’s summer.  (Thrilled. Did you hear me?  Thrilled!  I mean, I got to watch the Comey stream on my laptop and fall asleep midweek!  Soap operas and naps on a Wednesday?  This is the life.)

Listen to the song by Weezer because I’m telling you to.


Speaking of the end, it’s close.  The near-ending to this unreal construction solar panel debacle is such a huge relief.   We’re going to be ready for the final inspection by next week.  What?????  Hard to believe.  Once that’s done, I will be so relieved.  (If you pray, please ask the LAWD for grace during our final inspection.   We would love for our inspector— Code Enforcement Officer, to not scrutinize the rest of our house when he comes in to observe the fire and carbon monoxide detectors.  He is trained to find something wrong.)  



Until next Friday.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

I’ve gotten more exercise over the past few weeks than I have in years!  My stamina has picked up and I’ve gotten over 11,000 steps many days over the past few weeks.

Let’s get real.  Here’s what I still struggle with…body image.  This is of a different sort, now that I’m thinner: my wrinkles, imperfect teeth, sagging skin on my legs and belly. Then I think, I COULD do a lot of reconstructive surgery, get lifted or enhanced boobs like so many other American women.  But I’m kinda like, no. Not gonna do it.  Why?  It’s a rabbit hole for me.  (Plus the entire budget that I could have spent on my body, I spent on my house.  Lol.)  So, y’all can deal, or not, with my gap, crazy teeth, and saggin’ skin.   If I make you uncomfortable, you can always stop reading and stop watching.  I’m here to remind you that imperfections are legitimately human.  I love you.  Deal.  I have to…



Break on Through to the Other Side

Little is struggling with breaking through to the other side. Middle School. It’s scary.  I told her a story about how, when I was 9, I moved from Arkansas to Texas. That was just before 4th grade.  I didn’t tell her this, but that was one of the hardest times of my life. Moving from my best friend, Nell, and moving to an unfamiliar Christian school where my memories are filled with the brown and yellow uniforms. (Who decides that brown and pale yellow will be THE colors of the school.  Can you say drab?  It’s the color of #1 and #2.  Just sayin’.)

This is our wall this week. The wall of our bedroom:

Week 4, Day 1

Week 4, Day 2

Week 4, Day 4   When Something Ends Up Where it Shouldn’t Be…

If you’re like me, everything relates to a song.  This one came to mind this week. Flashback to The Doors in 1967.  I’m looking forward to breaking through to the other side of this nightmare.   You with me?

Speaking of breaking through to the other side, in better news, I have been given the job that I applied for last week. I will be working with students who struggle with reading throughout grades K-5.  The bonus is, I get to stay at the school I love with people I love.  I don’t think I’m supposed to say I love people at work, but I’m going to say it anyway. Shout out to my CYP peeps!

Until next Friday.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

I’m reflecting on the fact that, had this set of circumstances happened to me over a year ago, I likely would not have coped the same way.  I would have coped with this stress by eating and eating to mask my feelings.  I’m grateful that I have stronger & healthier coping skills now.  I am walking instead of eating.  This seems like a simple substitution, but it took me YEARS to finally put this into practice.  I never thought I’d be here, over 90 pounds lighter and coping differently. I thought I was a hopeless cause.  Losing weight was for other people, not me.

Now about the colored featured image, I Can Do Hard Things. I think it’s evident that after the past few years, that I can do hard things and not only survive, but thrive.

You can too.