• Bitch & Moan
  • Technology strikes again

    I am married to a nerd. ?I don’t feel bad calling him out on the interwebz because he is fully aware of his nerdyness. ?As a child the trusty husband would take computers apart for fun. ?Ask the trusty MIL about the time he did something to their computer during mid-terms during her masters coursework and she had to wake him up to fix it. ?No technological upgrade in our house comes without a price. ?It has been well documented on various blogs (here, here, here and here). ?I may pay the price for all of this work, but in the end it is pretty cool. ?My computer is custom built and our TV set-up is da bomb. ?It does come with written instructions for all babysitters, but it’s all good. ?I can stream Netflix, Hulu and LastFM from my computer to the TV. ?I have a DVR, Wii and Xbox. ?There are benefits to having a nerdy husband.

    Last week the trusty husband finally received a bonus from work. ?It has been a very long time since he’s received a bonus or a merit increase (thankyouverymuch a-hole ex-president). ?My husband works his ass off. ?He never fully takes a vacation. ?He is forever checking his email on his phone and does it all with such grace it is amazing. ?So when he found out he was going to get this bonus he said he was going to buy himself a new TV. ?He is horribly jealous of anyone who has a flat screen TV. ?I was ok with the purchase. ?It wasn’t my money to spend so why not.

    Let’ take a moment to also note that along with the nerdyness, my husband is a cheap Swede. ?This isn’t derogatory, just a fact of life.

    Here’s where buying a TV gets painful.

    Our entertainment center was not large enough to hold a new 42″ television thus requiring the purchase of a new entertainment center. ?Trusty husband looks online and finds what he thinks will work. ?Being the cheap Swede that he is cheap Swedish furniture is an excellent compromise. ?Last Thursday we head north to the big blue building where you get to keep your pants on*. ?When seeing the new entertainment center in person I hemmed and hawed over it. ?I wasn’t sure. ?I caved, but made a few add-on adjustments like drawers and doors. ?Read: I spent more money. ?We walked out having spent more money than he was originally anticipating. ? He pretty much had a panic attack the rest of the night.

    By Friday he had recovered because that was TV buying day. ?In addition to the TV he also purchased a blueray player. ?I spent the afternoon at the church preparing for a fundraiser dinner that was Saturday night. ?When I got home the trusty husband had assembled the entertainment center and I had to do the adjoining book case. ?No prob. ?I’m pro at IKEA furniture. ?I slap together the book case and drawers. ?We go to put on the doors, but have to move the drawer hardware up because I had it in the wrong spot. ?Then we went to put in the drawers. ?They didn’t fit. A 20 minute discussion argument over doors and drawers ensued. ?Screw it and move on. ?I just want to watch TV. ?The Canada vs. Slovakia hockey game was on and I was missing it.

    We get the TV mounted in the cabinet. ?(It is slightly crooked, but we are trying to ignore that for the time being) ?We start putting other stuff into the cabinet. ?Blueray player, check. ?Xbox… feck. ?It doesn’t fit into the spot we wanted it to go. ?Try the cable box in that spot. ?Nope. ?Does the stereo (which pretty much controls all of the sound for all of this stuff) fit? ?Nope. ?Danger! Danger! ?Elle is over tired, sore from standing all day and missing a very important hockey game. ?I gave up and went to bed.

    Where we stand at the moment is more cables had to be purchased. ?The trusty husband also has to purchase a USB hub because apparently I either sold our extra one in a garage sale or it was in a box that went to the Goodwill. ?How was I supposed to know we’d need that? ?We had to move the stereo to the book case and cut a hole in the back so the cables will come out. ?He has to extend all of the speaker wire because it won’t reach the stereo. ?We have to return the doors we purchased for the cabinet and purchase two more drawers and to run the whole shebang we still need a PhD.

    Basically, purchasing a new TV was a complete disaster with the exception that the picture is utterly amazing. ?We keep putting DVDs in the player just to see the difference. ?The new Star Trek in high def on a blueray player is almost as good as in the theater. ?Now if we only had surround sound**…


    *Years ago there was a radio commercial for IKEA and they were giving directions. ?They were it’s the big blue building where you get to keep your pants on, not the big white building where you have to take your pants off (the neighboring hospital)

    **When we had our house re-roofed last fall all of the banging around loosened the surround sound speakers from the housings and one fell out and was hanging by the wires. ?I didn’t want to leave it like that so I pulled it down. ?When I did that I broke a connector so we also need new surround sound speakers.

  • Elle's World
  • Mid-life crisis

    So ?it think I’m going through a mid-life crisis. ?Ha! I bet you thought I’d bring this up January didn’t you? ?Trick’s on you. ?I’ve been writing multiple posts at night an scheduling them to auto post at 3 a.m. every day. ?Truth be told… all of this mid-life crisis stuff started popping up in January. ?It wasn’t until now that I got around to writing about it.

    Right… personal identity crisis. ?I’m on a track to lose some of the weight that I’ve gained. ?Things are going better for me in the emotion department, but I’m still in need of some kind of change. ?I attempted my usual “paint a room” solution, but that backfired when I found out I wasn’t going to get to keep my office. ?I’m still in the need of some change.

    I am also tired of feeling like a tired old mom. ?Here are the things I’m considering doing…

    1) cutting my hair. ?This isn’t unusual. ?Cutting my hair is my fall back change thing. ?The trouble is that I’m going to China in July and I wanted to grow my hair out so that it was fairly low maintenance while I was there. ?Believe it or not, my hair is less maintenance when it is long as opposed to short.

    2) I’m considering unconventional haircut.

    This is the photo I like, but imagine the back being longer on one side. ?It would be a little 80s, but I think it has the potential to turn out cute.


    3) I’m considering coloring my hair. ?Now that should totally not come as a shock. ?Typically my hair is colored. ?Especially since the onslaught of grey hair. ?However, I’m thinking about above mentioned hairstyle with chunky color in the front and the possibility of throwing in an off the wall color (purple or pink) just for fun. ?The crazy color would be the wash out kind like I had before, but it would be fun.

    I’ve also considered that bleach blonde like pictured above, but I’m too much of a sissy to go through the pain of totally bleaching out my hair.

    4) Here’s the big one… I’m considering getting my nose pierced. ?I’m 33 years old. ?Honestly, why am I considering this? ?I have no clue. ?I just want to do it. ?My fear is my allergies and my constant need to wipe my nose. ?I still want to do it.

    So am I totally crazy and really in need of a vacation or should I go for the whole shebang?

  • Elle's World
  • Good news, it’s not broken

    Last Wednesday I spent the majority of the day in my kitchen standing. ?Without shoes on. ?By that evening my foot was in terrible pain. ?I was fairly certain that it was just because I stood all day. ?Without shoes on.

    I have horribly bad feet. ?They are pancake flat. ?If I have to stand for long periods of time I need shoes. ?Moreover, shoes with a certain kind of support. ?I’ve found that Birkenstocks fit the bill. ?I’ve worn them for years when I had jobs that required me to stand for long periods of time. ?So much so that I’ve worn the sole and most of the cork off of one pair. ?In recent years I’ve discovered that Crocs are a nice fill in. ?However, me being as dumb as I am, forgot to put on shoes.

    Thursday morning came and my foot still hurt. ?I really did a number on it. ?Friday… still hurt. ?By Saturday I was beginning to question my standing and began wondering if I had accidentally run into something and broken my foot. ?Sunday wasn’t much better. ?By Sunday I was significantly limping and no amount of foot support or type of shoe was going to fix the problem. ?We went to a Super Bowl party (where I spent a portion of it playing Wii bowling while sitting) and right around half time I was asking the trusty husband if the hockey bag was in the car because I was going to use sock tape to tape up my foot to see if that helped. ?We didn’t. ?I just limped around some more.

    The good news is today my foot hurts less than it did yesterday. ?This leads me to believe that 1) I stood too long without shoes on and 2) yes, I am dumb.

    Hopefully tomorrow it will feel even better and I can get to work on that 5 miles a week walking goal.

  • Bitch & Moan
  • I swear this stuff only happens to me

    I know we’ve all had our fair share of crappy days.? Here is a typical yesterday for me.

    The trusty husband has been out of town since Sunday.? This left me and the boy alone… for a week.? We are both still alive as of this writing.? Yesterday was slightly questionable.

    The boy and I both got out of bed when the dog started barking.? 7:00 a.m.? That was nice.? Usually she starts barking 10 minutes before the alarm goes off.? The boy goes into the bathroom.? A few minutes later I hear, “mom, I need your help.”? Due to some stickage the boy peed down his leg and all over his pjs.? I said accidents happen and sent him off to find sweats.? We found sweats (that were too small because I haven’t don’t laundry all week).? The child put them on, but then started saying he wanted a different shirt because his pj shirt didn’t match his sweats.? I told him no because he was just going to have to change again after breakfast.? To this he started screaming.? Of course he did, I hadn’t had coffee yet.? We argued about that for a while until I told him just to get dressed for the day, but he had to pick out clothes because for the love of god I needed coffee.

    Coffee brewing I sit down to watch exactly 2 seconds of the morning “news” (GMA doesn’t exactly count as news).? Then there was more screaming from behind his closed bedroom door.? I asked what now and his issue was that he couldn’t get his jeans snapped.? Instead of asking for assistance like a normal human being he became Screamasaurus, the evil child that makes your ears bleed.? This went on for 10 minutes.

    I finished making breakfast and finally had my coffee in hand and my day could finally begin.? We manage (mostly) to get through breakfast.? I go to do my morning work blog reading and the boy does his homework.? Yes, there is homework in preschool.? I tell him it is time to go to school and to put socks and shoes on.? He goes through 3 pair of socks to find ones he can get on his feet, complaining the entire time.? I threaten to send him to school without shoes or socks unless he gets them on now.? *ching* another point for parent of the year.

    9:00 we finally leave the house (10 minutes late)

    We walk in the door at school and I notice the cart of lunchboxes.? Frick.? It’s lunch day.? Every Wednesday is lunch day.? The boy looks so sad and I send him off to class promising him a lunch *ching ching* 2 points.

    I run upstairs to drop off my stuff in my office (holla! I have an office now) and notice the bag of leftover communion bread sitting on the counter.? I had planned to run to the grocery and find something for the child, but hells no, I’m gonna raid the church kitchen.

    I throw together a lunch of a PBJ sandwich (complete with concecrated challah bread, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, a capri sun I found in the fridge and 1/4 of the pear I brought for my own snack.? Hey, at least I brought food for someone.? I later find out that the child ate the entire lunch.

    We get home and I decide that I’m going to try to finish the skirt I started earlier this week and try to finish the blouse that goes with it so I have a nice new outfit to wear to work tomorrow.? I spend the afternoon cutting out fabric, and start on the hem of my skirt.? All of a sudden the needle goes over a pin and hits it in the wrong spot.? Snaps the needle, bends the shit out of the pin and then the worst happens.? I dislodge everything and the broken tip of the needle falls into the sewing machine.? Now this isn’t the free serger we are talking about here.? This is the very nice sewing machine I purchased 3 years ago for a hefty sum of money.? I clear everything from the machine and go to take out the broken needle.? As I use a dime (I can’t find my sewing machine screwdriver) to loosen the needle screw the needle bar moves to the left.? That’s not supposed to happen.? I spent the next hour totally taking apart my sewing machine to try to fix it, but no luck.? It is busted.? I even tried walking away and coming back to it. Nope.

    I pack the boy and my sewing machine into the car and drive off to the fabric store.? I showed the machine to the Viking lady.? She does all the same stuff I did with equally crappy results.? It needs service.? Service=money.? Did I mention that our chocolate fridge died last week?? Even worse, the repair guy won’t be back until the 7th meaning I won’t get my machine back until the 21st at the earliest.? No new outfit for me.

    The rest of the evening was mostly ok.? I fed the child frozen mac n’ cheese and I ate leftover pizza.? I laid on the couch with my laptop and watched one of the greatest movies in the world.

    I swear this stuff only happens to me.

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • The serger story

    I decided to join the quilters group at church. ?The median age of the quilters group is about 82. ?I do it because I like old church ladies and the quilts go to a good cause. ?Old church ladies make the best snacks.

    A few weeks ago I was working with one of the ladies and another woman came over asking if I had any use for a serger. ?I always have use for sewing equipment. ?I asked how much the person wanted for the serger and this woman was pretty sure the lady was giving it away (it was coming from this lady’s neighbor). ?Hells yes I’ll take a free serger. ?I’ll take a free anything (by the way, does anyone have a free refrigerator? ?The Sweet Hope one died last week and I have to make truffles the first two weeks of February). ?I agree to the free serger and last Monday the quilter lady showed up with the thing. ?Sweet!

    Last Wednesday I busted it out to give it a shot. ?45 minutes of trying to thread the thing and I was cooking with gas. ?I needed something to sew so I decided to make the dog a new sweater (don’t ask). ?I get to sewing and all of a sudden my new serger comes to a grinding halt. ?Ok, it was more of a long drawn out squeaky halt. ?I do what any other sane and handy person would do, I first oiled the snot out of it and then took it apart and then I read the directions. ?The directions that say the machine is made from oil impregnated metal and shouldn’t need to be oiled because it makes a linty mess and the lint acts like a giant oil sponge and could clog things up. ?And also when I took the back off of it the motor was kinda hot and sparky when I ran the machine. ?Hello, linty.

    So then I started looking ?for a new motor. ?Because honestly those sewing machine repair guys are a bunch of rip-off artists (kinda like a certain locksmith).

    I let the serger sit for a while and when the trusty husband got home I told him the saga of my FREE machine. ?I then proceeded to show him my bunk serger and damn if that thing didn’t work properly. ?I hate it when my free shit works like it is supposed to. How else am I going to find stuff to complain about?

    Then Friday I had the day to myself so I went to the fabric store for new serger thread that wasn’t blue or red and while I was at it I thought I’d get new needles for it. ?I’m sure the thing could stand to have a needle change. ?I carefully wrote down the type of needle I needed. ?I’m not a complete idiot.

    I poured over the types of needles and settled on an 11/75 universal. ?I get home, spend the next hour rethreading and rethreading and moving needles and rethreading and moving needles and rethreading this darn machine. ?The needle would not catch the other threads. ?I was stumped. ?I then pulled the old needle out of the trash to find out that they are totally different lengths and the ones I bought would not work. ?And by this time I’d used the machine so much trying to get stuff to work that it was doing it’s squeaky hot burny thing and well, I gave up.

    But I got a free serger (that I can only use for 5 minutes at a shot).

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • Why I do it

    I will freely admit that I love comments. ?It is a part of what keeps me going as a blogger. ?I get jealous of other bloggers who get 10, 20, 30+ comments on posts. ?Back in the day I got tons of comments. ?I do miss that.

    When I (we) started blogging I (we) did it for our family. ?It was never about me. ?I wrote about our adoption process and how things were going. ?Writing about personal stuff just filled in the gaps and made the story more real. ?Then I started helping people. ?There were people who were starting the Russian adoption process and wanted to know how and what to do. ?I was very happy to help. ?Once we got the boy home I blogged to let people know how things were going. ?I’ve always tried to be real and in turn that helped other families know that they weren’t alone. ?So you see, comments are/were vital to who I am as a blogger.

    I will also admit to being a very bad commenter myself. ?I read a ton of blogs, but comment on very few. ?Like you, I have little time. ?The addition of a very large puppy had even lessened my time in front of the computer. ?For that I apologize. ?Can we both try to do a little better m’kay?

    Now that we’ve kissed and made up a little, here’s a little story (and the reason I still blog).


    As you know I’m a crafty sort of gal. ?In the various and assorted crafty type things I do, I sew. ?I taught myself how to using my grandmother’s sewing machine when I was in middle school. ?I got my first sewing machine when we lived in Kansas and I’m on my 3rd one now. ?A few years ago I thought I’d foray into clothing making. ?I made a skirt for the insurance fancy dinner and it turned out wearable.

    In the last year I’ve started making other clothing from actual patterns. ?Prior to the this (and that one skirt) I have stuck to stuffed animals, halloween costumes and quilts. ?I know how to sew, I have very little money to purchase new clothing… logically, I could sew my own clothing, right? ?Sure.

    Late summer I purchased about 5 patterns and a whole ton of fabric to start a nice fall wardrobe. ?Stuff I could wear to church or work. ?Everything would go together. ?I would be set. ?I set off to make my first blouse and got 90% completed with it (including zipper) and tried it on. ?A little boob smashy to say the least. ?I looked at the pattern envelope and couldn’t figure out what the issue was. ?I was making a pattern for my size… right? ?I then whipped out the tape measure and holy mary mother of bejebus! ?I’m fat! ?According to the pattern envelope. ?Sure, I’ve let myself go a little bit, but oh hells no. ?My measurements were such that the largest size on the pattern wouldn’t even fit. ?I had to go back and buy more fabric and a new pattern.

    Round 2… a shirt that fit (kind of, but I still wear it). ?Will I show you a photo of myself in it, maybe, but only if I’m drunk and that doesn’t happen very much anymore (I had a bad experience).

    After shirt fiasco #1 & #2 I put the patterns and fabric away. ?This week I was cleaning out a cupboard and found the patterns and fabric. ?I had also gone shopping at the mall for stuff for the boy and couldn’t go into any of the stores that I like because I didn’t have money to buy anything for myself and I was depressed, but wanted new clothes to make me feel better, and then I got more depressed and so the cycle continued. ?So it was sort of fortuitous that I found all of this stuff. ?Because this time I’d be careful and not screw up.

    Also, I got a new toy. ?A free serger. ?There is a whole other story about the serger (which consequently is the story I intended to tell with this post, but the shirt story is way better so I’ll tell you the serger story later this week and then we can draw this out and I’ll have more to write about and you’ll have more opportunities to tell me what a dumbass I am). ?So I carefully cut the fabric for a new blouse I was going to make. ?It took me an hour just to lay out the fabric. ?It was a silky fabric that is a pain to work with. ?I got the pieces cut and I started to put said blouse together (cursing the whole way because of my fabric choice). ?I tried on the blouse a few times to make sure it fit properly. ?It was a little big, but I thought it wouldn’t be that bad. ?Then I tried to put the collar and facing on. ?It was a cowl neck blouse with long open ended sleeves. ?I am a visual person and the pictorial representation of how to attach the collar and the words didn’t match up. ?I punted (into the far left bleachers). ?It was ok, ?It was still wearable.

    Then I got handy. ?It was a silky fabric that was unravelling slightly as I put the whole thing together. ?Never fear! ?I have a new serger. ?I am also a glutton for instant gratification. ?Of course the free serger came with free thread. ?Of course the free thread didn’t match the fabric of the blouse. ?Who cares. ?It’s just finishing interior seams. ?No one will notice. ?I finished up my blouse. ?It needed a little modification because of my fat factor over estimating the size. ?The collar wasn’t that bad, it was a little long (long tunic length), it was ok. ?I would wear it dammit… I made it.

    The next day I got dressed for work and put on my new blouse. ?I second guessed myself a little. ?I wasn’t sure what people would think. ?Oh there goes crazy Elle again wearing stuff that she really shouldn’t. ?I didn’t care. ?I would wear my new blouse proudly. ?Then I went into the bathroom to finish getting ready. ?I lifted up my arm to put on my make-up and sho nuff, that shirt would be coming off. ?Those open ended sleeves? ?Yeah, you could see the serger stitching. ?Wouldn’t be so bad except my shirt was a dark olive green and the serger thread was red and navy.

    In the end, I made world’s ugliest shirt. ?And that is why I blog. ?To tell dumb on myself.

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • Feeling Thrifty

    In general I hate thrift stores. ?There is the exception of the used clothing store downtown that I find utterly fascinating, but have never purchased things from. ?I find second hand clothing (from someone I don’t know) blicky. ?I would like to think that most places wash the clothing prior to putting it out, but I can’t be certain of that. ?I don’t want to try on something that may or may not have been washed and I don’t know where it came from. ?I also don’t purchase clothing on ebay for the same reason. ?I can’t touch it or smell it prior to purchasing. ?I know, smell it right. ?This is the point where you say, “so that’s where your kid gets if from.” ?Actually we’ll blame my mother. ?She abhors second hand items because of the fear of the originating house. ?When I would ask to go to sleep overs at friends houses she would ask if they are clean. ?She has some issues about cleanliness.

    In late August we had family photos taken by Willow and in December we finally got the prints. ?This isn’t to say that Willow is slow in getting prints to customers. ?Just the opposite actually. ?I just happen to be fairly low down on the list of gets their stuff because I work in trade with her and with Christmas coming up I wasn’t going to push it. ?Instead of purchasing large prints, as I’m apt to do, I opted for 9 different 8x10s. ?Trouble is prints need frames. ?Frames cost money. ?Money is something I don’t have, or I have very little of it.

    This is where overcoming my fear of thrift stores comes in.

    I figured I was handy. ?A frame is a frame right? ?As long as it is structurally sound (as far as a frame goes) and has glass I’m good. ?Paint does wonders for things. ?I’ve stained frames in the past, why not paint some. ?Nearly every frame in my house is black so I figured I could buy a bunch of different frames and paint them all black. ?I happen to have a can of black paint too. ?So yesterday the boy and I set off to find a collection of frames for our prints at the Goodwill. ?I considered going to the dollar store, but I’ll save that for glass if we need any. ?I scored 9 8×10 frames and 3 11×14 frames for $26. ?The 11x14s don’t have glass, but that’s ok. ?I’m using those in my office at the church and I don’t have the prints ordered yet. ?I’ll have those foam mounted so I won’t need glass. ?Now I just have to paint all of the frames and put on a few hangers and I’ll be set.

    While I was at the Goodwill I also looked at some chairs. ?I’m redoing my office at the church and even though there are two desks and a file cabinet I am thinking I might be able to sneak in a small comfy chair to sit in. ?I want to make it look as much like a real office as possible so people stop thinking it is a storage closet. ?At the current moment I have about 20 clocks, 2 old computers, 1 old monitor, the as-built plans for the church addition, 5 boxes and flip chart paper stored in there. ?Granted it used to be the old copy room, but it is now my (shared) office. ?I have waited 5 years for a space of my own. ?Sorry about that tangent. ?Chair, right. ?I found an IKEA chair at Goodwill that would fit the bill. ?I can recover it to make it presentable, but I didn’t walk out with it. ?I might go back today to look again. ?It was only $14.99. ?I’m just not sure if it will actually fit in the office or not.

    I’m liking this new thriftyness. ?I don’t think I’ll go purchase a new wardrobe at a thrift store (yet), but if I can decorate a little on a budget then well done. ?So what is your opinion? ?Thrift store or no?

  • Elle's World
  • So that worked out well

    About once a year I seriously mess up my website.? This year was no exception.? I just didn’t expect it to happen on the 3rd day of the year.? You see… WordPress has this handy feature that tells you when there is an upgrade.? It has even gotten so handy to add in an automatic upgrade feature for tards like me.? What’s more, I’ve had an automatic upgrade widget installed for about 2 years that basically does the same thing as the WordPress nag.? So I have twice the nagging to upgrade my blog.? Kinda like having both of my grandmothers in the same room at the same time.

    I got bored last night so I thought I would take care of the upgrade.? I started with the WordPress upgrade (since there are auto upgrade widgets, but most of the time they don’t work).? I skimmed the error message, something about database blah blah blah.? Lots of words and I didn’t read them.? So I moved onto the third party widget.? Lo and behold it actually worked.? Like better than it had ever worked in the past.? That is until I got to the very end where it had upgraded all of my files and then I got to the database upgrade portion.? I get an error message about database not being the right kind.? UNDO UNDO UNDO!? Wait, shit, no undo button!? Crap.

    A very long and frustrating story somewhat shorter, one that involves me calling the help desk and the downloading of all kinds of programs and reading SQL code and the trusty husband not getting me a cookie when he got up to get himself a cookie it still didn’t work.? At which point I said eff this and went to bed.

    Magically, my site was not fixed in the morning.? I’m still a little pissed at the internet for not taking care of that for me.

    Then I had to haul my 400 pound laptop down to the trusty in-laws house today so I could try to fix it.? More downloading of programs and still no cookies later I finally gave up.? I downgraded my site to a former version of WordPress, but have lost all of my sidebar widgets for the time being because my test site is where I hide all of code for various things and me, being smart, didn’t bring the password for that site because I couldn’t be even smarter and change the password for it to something that I could actually remember.

    The good news is I still have a website.? The bad news is I still have to upgrade and my site is just a hair larger than the maximum upload amount for the database upgrade.

    The trusty husband says I should leave well enough alone.? Think I should listen to him?

  • Elle's World
  • I suck at gifts

    More specifically, I suck at gifts for my husband. ?Which is odd because I love to give gifts and I love my husband. ?You would think it would be easy. ?Trouble is… he has expensive taste. ?I don’t purchase him clothing that often because odds are he’ll return what I purchase. ?He outright told me once that I don’t know how to pick ties. ?Oh hai! ?I have a good sense of color you boob. ?Evidently pink isn’t in his wardrobe repertoire.

    I went through a jag of buying him booze for a while. ?Actually, that is my fall back gift. ?Booze and books. ?In my defense, I do buy very fine and expensive liquor.

    I like to be creative in my gift giving. ?I had all of my Christmas shopping done last year before December 1st because I did most of it on Etsy. ?My trouble is I can’t shop online for the trusty husband because I use the Paypal account to buy everything. ?It is the one online thing we share. ?We both have 15 email accounts, but we share a Paypal account. ?Technically we shared an Ebay account too, but I wised up on that one this week.

    The trusty husband’s birthday is Friday the 13th. ?I just so happened to be browsing Etsy for Christmas ideas because I had the trusty husband’s gift already picked out in my mind. ?I came across something I thought my brother-in-law would like for Christmas and IM’d the trusty husband the link. ?He shot it down, but while I was in that particular search I found a gift that the trusty husband might like. ?However, the gift was a little more than I really wanted to spend. ?The fact that the gift was on Etsy meant someone had handmade it. ?Meaning, I too could make it. ?Being the person who likes to make things difficult I began researching how to make a Cigar Box Guitar. ?As I was browsing the tubes of the internets I received an IM from the trusty husband with a link to a guy who makes cigar box guitars. ?Ironic no?

    I began to think I was rather clever. ?That didn’t last long.

    The boy and I went to the art store that afternoon to look for unfinished cigar boxes. ?At one time they actually had them. ?We didn’t have any luck. ?The luck got worse when the boy ratted me out at dinner and said, “me and mommy went to the art store to look for a box.” ?Nice kid.

    Since I didn’t find the box at the art store I turned to the next logical place (in my mind) to buy a wooden cigar box. ?Ebay. ?Now remember, the trusty husband and I share an Ebay account and all of the notifications go to his email. ?I bid on one really cool box, but lost the auction. ?I thought I was sly and logged into his email account and deleted the notifications. ?I then created my own Ebay account because the logging into his account was rather difficult since he sits at his computer all day. ?I would only have to delete Paypal notifications should I win. ?I then bid on another box, won and as soon as the trusty husband left to go back to work I quickly paid for the box and deleted the Paypal email. ?I was smart. ?Of course I then realized that he was going to be on vacation next week not allowing me to work on said guitar on the sly. ?So that meant I had to get the supplies and whip the thing together on Friday (today) if I was going to have it for his birthday. ?This meant I couldn’t wait for the box that I’d won.

    Yesterday I piled the child into the car and we drove all over hells half acre buying the supplies to make aforementioned guitar. ?Good news is I found a really cool Cohiba box at a local cigar store that would work perfect. ?I bought a neck piece at the mega home improvement store. ?I took my limited knowledge of the parts I needed to the music store and the patient guitar tech helped me piece together the mechanical bits I needed. ?I then went to Radio Shit to pick up a piece I needed to make the guitar electric and then to another mega home improvement store to buy glue and a few other bits I forgot at the first mega home improvement store. ?I had everything I needed (except strings because I forgot those) to make my very own electric cigar box guitar. ?Oh, and we don’t have an amp.

    I was going to be the awesome wife and I’d finally get a gift right!

    That is until the trusty husband came home and told me that if I delete things from his email I need to empty the trash. ?Doh. ?And he did some Ebay searching yesterday and the dumb little box that says “search suggestions based on your history” listed things like guitar bits sold me out.

    So for my husband’s birthday… he’s getting a nice build your own cigar box guitar kit (that I get to put most of it together).

  • Elle's World
  • White & Nerdy

    According to my Dad’s side of the family… ok, all of my family, white & nerdy pretty much describes me to the T. ?I am pretty pasty and I did teach myself how to code websites. ?In fact, I married Mr. White & Nerdy and adopted Jr. White & Nerdy. ?If it weren’t for my love of super cute shoes I would be up there in the down right geek range.

    In order for Sweet Hope to become a 501(c)3 we have to keep very accurate financial records of sales. ?Theoretically, this could be done with any number of programs that are accessible to us. ?For instance, I have access to a copy of Quickbooks Pro. ?I really should be using that. ?However, I like to make things difficult on myself. ?Moreover, I’m a big fan of spreadsheets. ?It just so happens that Mr. White & Nerdy is the king of all White & Nerdy (except that he’s super hot so we just ignore the nerdy part) and is pro at making spreadsheets.

    When he dies, if he isn’t sainted I will come down from the heavens and smote all of those who didn’t think he qualifies for sainthood. ?I mean honestly, he married ME. ?This poor man spent the week out of town working his ass off and then drove 2 1/2 hours home in the pouring rain only to have me beg him to make me a spreadsheet as soon as he walked in the door. ?I didn’t even offer to pour him a drink. ?And he did it. ?If that doesn’t qualify for sainthood I don’t know what does. ?Saving peoples lives and helping the poor are nothing compared to acquiescing to your crazy wife’s whims.

    So the trusty husband created this 5 page spreadsheet that can track what customers have purchased, how much they paid for shipping, how much we paid for shipping, how much paypal took from us, how much we spent to make truffles, how many truffles and caramels I have to make, how many I get to eat extra are left over and how much money we get to send to the Baby Home. ?There is some other stuff in there too. ?When he was all finished he started to mention what would be cool is if we set it up so that I could enter how many boxes of each thing people ordered and it would automatically calculate a bunch of other stuff. ?Secretly, this is what I really wanted, but I didn’t want to push him into too much. ?My response was, “yes, I would like the super deluxe nerdy version please.”

    This kind of stuff is what I really dig about owning a business. ?Of course, Sweet Hope makes a profit every year so that helps. ?If we were operating at a loss it would be a whole different story.

    Don’t forget you get to start voting for your favorite flavors on Monday.

    This weekend I shall be pimping my child out for candy around my mother’s neighborhood. ?Watch for the small person in the safety orange kitty costume. ?He’s overly cute and you will be compelled to give him sugary treats that his parents will later steal while he’s sleeping. ?Because that’s what we need in this house… more candy.

    Here have a video so you forget about the fact that I just mentioned that I steal from my child.