Smoky Mountains Tennessee

I’M BACK. With Moonshine

Put this on:

yes, i caught a southern accent while there. omg, i’m such a damnyankee. it’s gone now, thankfully.

Anyway, we had an absolute blast! Our cabin was lovely, in the mountains, driving up/down the mountain was terrifying. You could smell the brakes. So our original plan was to get to the cabin, To Catch A Falling Star, and drop off our stuff and get some groceries. Well, getting seven flatlanders from Illinois up that kind of incline, kind of made us never want to go back down…so we ordered pizza. Pro Tip: If you order pizza, and ask the delivery driver to bring coffee grounds (we couldn’t live without it) and offer him extra tip, he totally will. Duh.


i cropped out the tourist trap area.

No one told me that Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forgeย was a TOURIST TRAP. Oh my Lord. It was like being at the Dells in WIS. It was ridiculous! But hey, it was fun. We did some tourist stuff.


this was a serious tourist trap, but the moonshine was delicious!

Also, we did a chair ride to catch the view:


you can see that IT’S A TRAP!

We also did some hiking, or, more accurately, rambling in the woods taking seflies and eating snacks. Let me set up the scene:

The photographer has been waiting all day for the light. His camera is set up, film is ready, now he waits. He wants a picture of a small group of falls. Just as the light gets right, seven kids (me in the trunk, btw) pile out of a car making off color jokes, eating snacks and taking selfies. He hates us.


really, I would hate us too.








So after we ruined everyone’s day at the national park…

We had a hot tub, which we used liberally and a LOT of alcohol. It was a damn fine time. My husband was “house husband” and being the only male, got a fine taste of how polygamy must be awful. Poor guy. We had a great time though! ๐Ÿ˜€

Dear WordPress:

Dear WordPress, To Whom It May Concern:

I am a simple woman. I like short walks to the buffet and I have silverware in my back pocket in case of an emergency potluck. I’m lutheran, after all. I am quite busy and frequently rely on your mobile app. However, it has come to my attention that, despite clicking “follow” on SEVERAL blogs, they do not appear in my feed. Also, I have noticed that several blogs have followed me, and it has not come into my “notifications.” Sure, you might have emailed me, but if I get past the fifteenth Nigerian prince offering me a million dollars to make my pickles bigger, it’s a good day. Why would I bother with your incessant emails when I have the app on my phone, wherein, I would assume, albeit wrongly, the exact same notifications would lie? You email me like a forlorn ex girlfriend who fails to leave me a voicemail to clarify her displeasure at my avoidance of her calls. What’s the damn point of the app if it doesn’t tell me anything? Ugh. Fix this. Ain’t nobody got time for that.ย 

P.S. I also hate the new format for posting.

Oh, Make Me Over…

I’m all I wanna be.

Super duper vanity post. But, as my life has slowed down to a normal pace, I have nothing on my hooks, sewing machine or in the oven. I’ve been reading, ok? Stephen King. I get lost in books sometimes. Oh, trust me, there is a To Do List. I have another baby blanket, paid in full. I have the fringe on that infamous poncho. Oh, I did send my baby fishies home with my mother in law. Not sure if they made more or not. I would wager that, as Giorgio Tsoukalos would say “The answer is YES!” They are quite the breeders.

Anyway, back to me being vain and what not…I got my hair cut…


always with the stink face…

I just…needed a hair cut, man. I am totally not kidding. The last time I got a hair cut, it was one of those cheap and quick ones. The girl did do a good job, but my hair is just, not anyone’s friend. I got a really awful cut like a year ago (hint, WAY TOO MANY LAYERS!!) and my hair just hasn’t been manageable since. I’ve been putting band aids on it, but seriously, this person cut a layer that is, now at least a year later, only three inches long. So…that means it was like an inch long. I’m not kidding. It was soooooo bad. And there were a LOT of layers. So it was constantly getting tangled. Ugh! So I went to a real salon. God help me, the woman was like “whoa, who in the actual cut your hair like that?” I just, had no comment. I asked her to take off as many of the layers as possible. So that’s where we are. Ugh, I’m not super pleased. I mean, yes, it’s not constantly tangled, but man, it’s short for me. She couldn’t get that stupid 3″ layer, so I’m going back in 6 weeks, maybe we can get it out then. So stupid. Don’t let children cut your hair. This is what I get since my hair cutting friend left me for Chicago. She cut my hair perfect. All I had to do was buy her dinner. Oh and, one final note: “JUST BECAUSE I DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN MY HAIR DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HAIR, THANK YOU.” I was bleach blonde for a bit back in the day. I know how hair works. I think I annoyed her with my whole no poo thing. She talked to me like I was born in the back of a greasy spoon. But oh well, as long as she gets the damn layers out and I can go back to growing my hair.

Ok, so good stuff! I’m down 13#! Whoot whoot! And my muscles are coming back! I was so depressed after my knee problem (ahem, NO THANKS OBAMACARE.) I just stopped going to the gym and lost my lady guns. I look, like, 1000000xs more like myself.


just, don’t ask about my #selfies. long story, inside joke. involved teasing one of my friends who brained herself with a wine bottle.

This is right when I gained a bunch of weight:


#ancientaliensshirt from, like, my first post?

I’m pretty happy about that! I knew as soon as I got running again, things would get better. At the time, I was just like FORGET THIS.ย  You can’t run 20 miles a week and then just stop and expect nothing to happen. Onward and downward? I’ve got about another 20# to lose and I’ll be back to my old self again. Anyway, I’m going to go read my book. Tomorrow, crochet. Ta ta!

Regrow Scallions (Take One)

get in the groove and let the good times roll, we’re gonna stay here til we soothe our soul

Way back in the day, you can ask brittlynnstalker, she knows, I was poor as dirt. Like, no sheets on the mattress on the floor, no dresser, no TV, not even a garbage can poor. We’re talking broke. Although I only overdrafted my account twice. Whew, trust me, it wasn’t easy. I have enough credit (not enough funds obviously or you’d see my jeep with WAY bigger tires) to probably buy the entire town I live in. It’s not if you can afford it, it’s if you can afford to keep it. Anyway, I was poor, but not in debt, dammit. Never been in debt. Paid for my jeep with cash.

Around this time an old friend of mined move in with me to help with rent. Real stand up guy. Crazy as the day is long, but completely a true friend. Saved my life once, no joke. Well we didn’t have heat and we didn’t have AC and we didn’t have food so it was a little weird. One day I came home from work and opened the door to him, shirtless (as was his custom, remember, no AC) brandishing a half of an onion at my face while inquiring, “Onion?”

No hello, just “Onion?”

A delightful snack.

I don’t know how I remained relatively sane. The other day, when I bought some scallions, I remembered that, being that broke and hungry and ridiculous and stupid and young. A lot of drunk as well. Don’t judge me, if you’ve ever pinched pennies that hard, sometimes you need a break. It was worth it. I’ll retire on a million if I never add to it again, and that’s not a lie either. I started a retirement fund when I was 17. My future children’s college is paid for. I’ve got stuff squirreled away, it’s just not “mine” anymore.

Anyway, right now I am in not the best economic situation, not NEARLY as bad, but I am prepared. I can’t save, but I’m not eating into my savings. And in that spirit, I looked at my bunch of scallion bulbs and thought, hey, why not see if we can get these to grow? Hopefully it will turn out better than the romaine and celery attempts. If you’re too lazy to read (I understand, I ramble a lot), they bolted and it was a dramatic failure. So here we go:

ReGrow Scallions:

I put them into a small mason jar and dumped them on the window sill. Within a day, I had quite a bit of growth. Within a week, as it is now, I have roots growing. I’m debating sticking them in dirt to see if they take off.


If they bolt on me, I will be quite annoyed. If this is a success, my next attempt will be regrowing ginger.

Save your tea bags, times are hard. ๐Ÿ˜€


Be A Sinner and Sin Strongly (Eat S’mores)

Be a sinner an sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ.” –Martin Luther

it’s about John, but same theme?

Martin Luther, the great reformer. Nailed 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. He married a nun. I think he was a stand up guy. I’m an old school Lutheran. I keep silverware in my pocket in case of emergency pot lucks.

Now, I am all about eating healthier and making food from scratch. I see little merit in pre-made box food. I see even less merit in canned frosting. My God, it’s powdered sugar and milk, if you can’t mix that, you need some exorcising.

But, I am also a firm believer that life is freakin’ short and you have to live a little. Ain’t nobody want orthorexia. That is just foolish. I can’t stand when someone won’t eat something just because it’s not spinach leaves and mustard. True story. I’ll tell you all another time. People be crazy.

I have my personal weaknesses, funnel cake, corn dogs and ice cream are the usual suspects. But I’m also a big fan of s’mores. Maybe I just like burning marshmallows. If you separated the ingredients, chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallow; you’d be hard pressed to get me to eat them. Not a chocolate fan. Crucify me, I just really don’t care that much for it. Maybe I just like the process, the campfire, finding a perfect stick, skewing a big fat (gross) marshmallow and lighting it on fire until it’s a molten goo. Slap that on chocolate and graham cracker, I’ll eat it. I sin a little, to spite the devil.

When Mamie’s Toffee, a friend of a friend somehow on the wonder of the Facebooks, shared a blog post from Five Heart Home called S’mores Dip, I was sold. I sent out invites for guinea pigs to come help me eat it. It’s pretty basic, you need a cast iron skillet, butter to grease the pan, chocolate chips of your choice and marshmallows. I’m leaving steps out, click the link if you want to know how to make them.

wpid-20141021_210106.jpgforgive me Father, I am eating processed food…marshmallows aren’t even marshmallows

After I managed to twist a few arms, I had a hearty crew to test it out. Oh man. It’s good. An excellent party trick.

wpid-20141021_215534.jpgdon’t burn yourself…pro tip…

And I love a good party trick. Pop in oven, impress all. Who doesn’t love that? Dip in graham crackers and get melted chocolate-marshmallow heaven and IRL likes.

So forgive me, I have sinned. But all in good faith.

Another Jeep Load

I went again to help unload some things from my grandmother’s former house. She has passed and for a while my brother was living there. But now, the house must be sold and we are all flailing to get it sorted. I’ve mentioned it briefly a few times, I am saving the majority of pictures for the winter, when I will have ample time to sit inside and examine them thoroughly. But I thought I would share, what I hope is, my last Jeep load of things.

wpid-20140724_122817.jpgmy mother’s (she has passed) paintings of birds on ceramic. she did a ton of these, hoping to sell them for $5 back in the 70’s. the detail is insane. one day, i’ll show you paintings she did on eggshells.

wpid-20140724_125928.jpga drawing my mother did of my father. if you look close, you can tell his eyes are blue.

wpid-20140724_125439.jpgplates and mugs, engraved with my name, my brother and my sister’s (my sister has passed) I try not to forget my sister, even though I never knew her.

wpid-20140724_125642.jpga very dusty picture of my brother and I. my brother often has that far away “wish I was doing anything else” look. he still has it.

wpid-20140724_130155.jpgwords of wisdom…from the beatles and grandma. she used to write little notes and thoughts and tape them in her cupboards.

wpid-20140724_130130.jpgwho are these people? i’m not sure.

wpid-20140724_130258.jpgsome of my grandmother’s notes on our relations

wpid-20140724_130205.jpgabout her pets, I never knew Barney, but I remember Spoons and Stein. She neglected to mention that Spoons was often referred to as “Poodie” and was the laziest creature to walk the earth. And Stein was the master of drool and could drag a human child via leash. Stein was a fun dog. Cabana (aka Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong) was her last dog, inherited from a friend. Cabana was put down last year, but that dog had a great life. Fat as a house. I think she got a waffle with peanut butter every morning. You know what she would do? My grandma would make TWO bags of popcorn, per day, for the birds outside. TWO.

wpid-20140724_130742.jpgthis has a story. my great grandfather had a friend who was dying and trying to finish his coffin on time. His friend offered this violin if he should pass before the coffin was finished and my great grandfather could finish it. the coffin was finished and we have the violin.

wpid-20140724_130357.jpgmy grandmother wrote out her life story. on whole two pages. she forgot to mention the time she got mad at a crossword puzzle, quietly turned it over and wrote “CRAP.” on the back of it. or that when she would laugh really hard she would snort.

And for now, it all sits in the basement. Eventually I’ll get it all organized. I’m sure you all know, you’ve been there. But, for example, a picture of my grandma’s dog, Spoons. Do I need to save that? Should I save it? There’s 100 of them. What to do? What to do? Saving it for a snowy day, then I’ll make some decisions.

The Ridiculous Apron

Now that things are back to normal, ish, I can get back to being crafty! Whoo hoo!!

2 Mondays ago was the day I had to pick up my friend from the airport. Her flight didn’t arrive until the ungodly hour of 1pm. Which is an eternity if you are impatient like me. The house was clean, the laundry, dishes, everything done. Spotless. And here is me, nervous as heck, pacing back and forth with nothing to do. I decided to investigate my scraps pile in my sewing room, originally thinking of making something simple, like napkins or something. Anything. I needed to keep my hands busy.

When I went digging, I discovered a forgotten scrap of the most hideous, ridiculous fabric ever. If there is one thing I have a soft spot for, it’s ugly colors combined in insane and nonsensical ways. I feel like I need to adopt them. I have made more hideous pillows out of horrible ombre yarns that I can shake a stick at. And this stuff spoke to me. I bought it and made a skirt out of it. A skirt so ridiculous, that I, yes I, cannot even figure out what to wear it with. Man, it’s ugly. Awesomely ugly. One day, fair skirt. One day, I will rock you.

Right after I finished the skirt originally; I want to say this was in January of this year, the skirt was so insane I didn’t even post a picture of it; my dirty-hippie-NSA-watch-list friend whom I recently helped move came over, saw it and about died. Like, he was really jealous. At first he thought it was an apron, but when he found out it was a skirt, he was still jealous. I had forgotten I had a decent chunk of the fabric left.

Back to that Monday, waiting for the plane, I quickly text my good hippie friend that I had enough to make an apron. There was an explosion of YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU, MA’AM. Perfect! I selected loud yellow thread, got to pressing and got going.

wpid-20140623_123124.jpgmon Dieu

In between the beginning and the end of this apron, wedding happened. Finally, the week after, July 4th, to be exact, I actually had enough time and enthusiasm to do something besides being extremely lazy and grazing through the leftovers. I decided to crochet the ties for the apron. Off to find some ugly yarn! Whoo hoo! Ugly yarn stash!

wpid-20140704_135006.jpgthis matched the thread the best…wait for it…

I crochet a length wide and long enough to service as ties and decided they needed to be dressed up a bit. So I decided with the ol’ reverse single crochet! Works like a champ when you just need a little something to neaten off some ends.

This is how:

wpid-20140704_165833.jpgdeliciously ugly yarn…

You work backwards, left to right.


Right side facing, insert hook into next stitch.


Yarn over,


draw through.


Yarn over, draw through the two loops and into the next stitch!

wpid-20140704_170038.jpgIt’s kind of weird, until you get the hang of it, but it works great for a simple, small border.

So I whipped that hideous thing out and then sewed it all together:

wpid-20140705_170447.jpgCโ€™est la fin des haricots!

Needless to say, he was tickled pink and very happy with it!

moderate cursing?

Finally, Wedding Stuff!

music is NSFW

then I PROMISE never to write about it again!


(if you need any of the “pre-show” please click this tag: “wedding“)

Before this, there were two gigantic shopping trips for supplies. I also made aprons for my bridesmaids, the pattern was from this site, Molly’s Sketchbook and they were very easy and stunning! Let’s begin at the week of…

Day One, Monday: was to pick up my amazing and ridiculous maid of honor at the airport. She is from Florida! After showering me with gifts of flamingo related items (I collect flamingos, really, it’s pretty epic) and getting her to my home, I settled her into the guest room. We went to my aunt’s house, my aunt married us. She is ordained and goes by Ordained InterFaith Minster, Priestess. She’s all around amazing. We discussed final plans for the ceremony (here is a picture of some silly/not my style vows) I think we all got entirely too drunk later on in the evening. Aw, shucks. My dear maid of honor also gave me this STUNNING crochet blanket. Fitting as she is the crazy lady who taught me!

wpid-20140706_140916.jpgthis is half of it, it’s huge!

Day Two, Tuesday: We spent the day with my maid of honor’s parents, a little bit of shopping, I got some amazing earrings (more on them in a future post, I’m making a matching necklace), she got a beautiful bracelet, we had lunch, swam in her parents pool and a delightful dinner. We managed not to drink too much. We were good girls. Also I started the preferment for the bread. Which was like, baby heavy. Like, heavy as a baby.

Day Three, Wednesday: COOKIE APOCALYPSE. My girl and I worked hard and made eight dozen cookies. 4 dozen chocolate chip, 4 dozen sugar cookies. The recipe was from the and were absolutely amazing!

wpid-20140625_071409.jpgwhole lotta cookies goin’ on. that lovely betsey johnson purse on the stool was from my now husband. i love her purses!

wpid-20140625_071343.jpgthis is the insanity that was my kitchen…FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER. WE WENT THROUGH FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER.

It went rather smoothly, we kind of worked out a system and just kept banging cookies out. Immediately after they cooled, I put them in the freezer. We sampled a few, obviously. That day, after all of that, we had the bridesmaids over for lunch and I gave them their aprons. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take pictures of them, because, well, I was sort of busy ๐Ÿ˜‰ After that was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Everything went smoothly and I apparently kept apologizing to the waitress that I was “hosed” as in very drunk. Which, I was, granted. Momma needed to drink to keep from pooping herself!!

Day Four, Thursday:ย BREAD APOCALYPSE! Oh my baby Jesus. I literally borrowed every bowl and pan I could get my hands on. Every single one. Also I went through every kitchen towel we owned.

wpid-20140624_101755.jpgthis is just the preferments, BEFORE THEY GREW.

It was insane. You see the picture above, of the island in the middle of my kitchen? Imagine that, FILLED with cut up preferments. We did 10 batches of bread, that made about 16 rolls each batch. I did a regular french bread, just yeast, flour, salt and water.

wpid-20140626_111953.jpgI numbered each bowl of dough separately so I knew what order to bake them in. Sometimes I am clever. This isn’t all of them, by the way.

After the first few rolls, my maid of honor got the hang of shaping rolls. I did write about shaping rolls, well actually I was making pitas, but same procedure without the rolling pin. So we did about 160 rolls, which looked something like this:

wpid-20140626_145721.jpgI think we filled three gigantic bags, maybe four. I don’t remember. Those are the JUMBO bags, not the measly regular gallon bags. Also, those bowls are every single person who has a bowl, loaned out to me.

Immediately, they went in the freezer with the cookies. I wanted them to taste as fresh as possible.

Day Five, Friday:ย Food. Lots and lots of food making. We made a romaine salad, a chickpea salad, and the boys made potato salad(s) and coleslaw(s). The tent went up.

wpid-20140627_121648.jpgtables, chairs, lots of them!

Later on, I got a semi-surprise bachlorette party, I mean I knew everyone was coming over, but I didn’t know they were bringing, um, well you know. Lots of phallic looking gag objects. I got all beaded up and we got rather silly. It was pretty much amazing. I have the best friends. Not to brag or anything.

DAY OF, SATURDAY: I threatened that one of my bridesmaids needed to carry a bucket in case I pooped myself. Also, last minute I realized I forgot to sew a part of my dress, LOL, and pushed that sucker through the sewing machine at high speed. My brother arrived to practice the music, which he wrote. Our bar, apparently a gift from one of the groomsmen, made by himself, arrived. We thought we were just borrowing it!

wpid-20140627_121620.jpgobviously we cleaned up in here before the event. And by “clean up” I mean threw everything in the garage. We covered the pink floyd poster, it was to throw us off the trail.

Everyone arrived pretty early, I was still in a tank top and jeans. Can you tell by the choppy way I am writing this, it’s all kind of a blur? Truly, it was wild toward the end there. So let’s get to the HAND MADE WEDDING DRESS…

wpid-20140628_161412.jpg.jpegin my very messy dressing room.

wpid-2014062895161550.jpg.jpegsorry, it’s blurry, I was freaking pretty much out.

I wore my grandmother, June’s pearl bracelets and ring. Earrings from the husband and necklace as well.

There are a ton more pictures, but I don’t want to post pictures with other people in them, just out of respect for them. Well, ok, one. Only because I got permission. Express permission, as he just told me:

188we’d rather be drinking…

Isn’t he a handsome fellow? TAKEN! ๐Ÿ˜€

Trust me, it all went flawlessly as I could hope, I did not cry, I did not poop myself and I drank a pile of booze. The plant hoard served as the BEST centerpieces ever, there was a lot of ohhs and ahhs over my beloved hoard. And they were essentially free! Everyone had a great time, there may or may not have been streaking (not by myself!) and in all honestly, it was so much fun, so relaxed I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

I hope you enjoyed all the pre-show, this wild ride! I am personally, very happy and very glad it’s all over so I can get back to crafting stuff! Thanks for reading! I will not be changing my name on here, so I can have some semblance of internet privacy, so it’s still!

Hello Everyone!

it is impossible to not like this song.

Just stopping in for a quick “Hello!” and some updates! As I am sure you can gather, I’ve been very busy, I am eight days, 7 hours and 8 or so odd minutes from my wedding. Whew! Too too too many things to do! My gal pal from Florida arrives on Monday and from then on it is work, work, work!

Honestly, I really can’t wait to share with you all what I’ve been up to, but right now (a) I don’t have the time and (b) I don’t want to spoil any surprises, should some sneaky wedding guests be reading this blog!

I’m going to try to document as much fun stuff as I can and hopefully share it with you in segments. So, ta ta for now, I will hopefully be writing again in about a week and a half. I will try to sneak some time in to see what stuff you guys have been up to!

Wish me luck and have a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ˜€

I Saw the Light…

praise the Lord, I saw the light

  • What is the word for sewing when you have to tear out seams that you messed up?
  • I think it’s “unpick”
  • I’ve unpicked the top of my wedding dress
  • Once
  • Twice
  • I’m an idiot.
  • But now I think it’s back under control
  • Straight is the gate and narrow the way
  • I think the chest baskets are done
  • God help me and the creek don’t rise, I’ll have a wedding dress by June 28th.
  • 21 Days, 2 hours and plus or minus 30 minutes…