Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blog break breakdown and a Fire pit facelift

Hey dandies it has been quite the while! i physically havent been doigg so well and physically signed the consent forms for back surgery where they will decompress and fuse me lowest two vertabrae. So I've been I'm so much pain that even writing wasn't sounding great to me. But the point of this blog is to take my mind off of how much it hurts and it'll be over soon. I've even had little angels of encouragement randomly along the way to set my heart and mind at ease.
I had a major procedure called a Discogram followed by a ct scan who h showed my back to be much worse so its time. The consequences of going without doesn't leave much of a future for activities or being a mommy one day without it so cut me up doc! Haha my doctor is the sweetest guy and a very brilliant man and comes with a long list of accomplishments over the last 35 years he's been a spine specialist/surgeon so I'm in good hands. On to happy and better things!! My husbands niece Kim came in from New York with her boyfriend and they are spending the week with us. It was one of the things that fueled our patio fix including a lot of beautiful flowers, patio set. An antique ladder as a planter, string lights, and its coming along just lovely. The yard isn't quite complete but stil, we have a bit to get there! 
 So when we moved into our beach bungalow we were left with a disgusting yard which should have been handles by our landlord who is quite a bit of a persnickety lady (think weeds up toyour knees  cobwebbed moldy hibiscus and a moldy banana tree all bug infested) and a very sad little fire pit. Seriously it looked like a zombie fire pit, as you shall see,It was completely charred and rusted over but what remained looked to be like one they have at Walmart. Our hope is to finish an outdoor bar and built a stone fire pit but with me stopping work soon, disability won't pay for that just yet. Gotta make sure we have a little nest for a bad month. So here was the progress! You can do this with your old BBQ too if you'd rather spend your $ on party stuff or food or yard decor.
*First you'll need Rustoleum's high head flat of semigloss restorative spray enamel. This puppy makes pretty and stands up to 1200 degrees of built up heat!

* then pull apart your fire pit or BBQ if you can and hose it down with good water pressure on your hose nozzle or bust out the old summer spritz with a finger partially over the hose head, and get that puppy well rinsed.
 Then use a metal grill brush to scrape off any excess "funk" that may be plaguing your pit. 

*Once it's dry you can paint! Shake the can well and keep it a good 6 inches from the surface. Try to spray in the same direction. I had to sit for this part so it took me a while but let that dry for 20 mins and spray one more coat, make sure you always keep the can moving to prevent streaks, blotches or paint running. Let dry. Then set it back together. Now it's voila and ready for logs and marshmallows!!! The can can be bought at The Home Depot for around $3/$4. Not bad for the zombie fire pit! 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Trash to treasure Tuesdays and this little life.

So even though I'm not updating the blog as often with craftiness and blurbs. This pot is stirring. Im not sure if its me stirring it, my husband, the good lord, my family, my work, or all of us.....but its a brewin! 
      My husband's niece (mine too by marriage!) is coming to visit next week all the way from New York,  so we are prepping the place for her arrival and I have a million tests and doctors appointments to be had as well at the same time. in fact ill be in a ct scanning machine when her plane lands! but we are hoping that the weather here is beautiful and that she can just relax and enjoy herselfI will give a full blog post on before and afters of the patio. Some trash we've found, some diy, some rehabbing, and yes some Wal Mart (which feels like splurging when your on limited income)  even.  Hey I'm on a budget but here is another amazing photo of something that is going to serve as a flower and herb stand in our patio to free up some room for firing up the BBQ. It will be a nice retreat for me to recover from my upcoming surgery (almost there finally!!!!) as well.
    Things are looking up. I didn't know it was possible. But it's hard to notice that things are looking up when your head is always down.  There was barely little rays of hope. Ive personally experienced losing our home in 2007. a wildfire ate every shred of memory i had ever made where i grew up. and i thought that was bad. cake compared to the fire of pain that burns you from the inside out. 
Alls we had a few weeks ago was prayers from friends and family. Extra Groceries being delivered, cans of beans, coupons, collection calls,  i had to cut work which was very difficult financially in the midst of it and mentally to relinquish control of stability, we were literally having friends give us toilet paper and now things are falling slowly into place. We are still not out of this riptide but we aren't drowning at the moment...and breathing without fear is a lot nicer than gasping for air in between the blows. 
With a lot of family and friends' prayers and just trying to envision what I want from life and my recovery and putting anger aside as this physical "speed bump" has forced me to have more faith and say thanks for anything instead of poor me why me what did I do? It's tested my marriage for the better (even if it didn't feel like it) and its giving me a break. I've burned out in the whitewash for so long and now Im Floating past the break and things are calming........even if its cloudy and cold. I don't know a lot of relationships or marriages that would survive this. Almost everyone we know lives on credit, parents helping (even if they live with them) or watching people travel and have children.....all while my husband has to pull the weight of us both and can only comfort me with words. Even hugs are excruciating. I've  met people along the way whose relationships didn't work out because a physical disability. It is something that affects everyone around you when it becomes too much. Only a few of us are lucky enough who have family and partners nutty enough to stick around. We expect in sickness and in health much later in life and when it's mixed I with for richer or poorer when you are supposed to be in your physical prime is very mentally challenging for couples. Especially if you want to travel, make plans and be parents one day. It's hard to  think you may not have that. But you have each other and I keep getting surrounded by people who have so many great strengths, whether its words of encouragement, handing me chocolate when I'm crying, or watching someone else whose physically hurting laughing  It inspires me to tears. So now I have new goals to set. Inspirations are going to be my aspirations. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blog break

Hi bloggers, stay tuned. I have taken a blogging break due to my physical issues but I will be back. Going to show a super low budget redo of our patio and it will not disappoint. We literally had haunted hibiscus, cob webs and all!! Now it's slowly transforming into an entertaining area for myself to relax while I recover from surgery. I will show before and afters....despite the embarrassment. Things get rough when your caretaker is working commercial union construction, cooking and trying to clean and all on three hours of sleep a night. There are superheros. My husband is one...except his hair isn't superhero hair. But it's cuddly. 💗

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beat the heat with water sweets!

 Okay so maybe you are having a small get together, friends over, shower, or maybe you are just sitting alone and soaking up the sun on your patio or couch! It's a great way to make your water taste amazing!
 (who needs Mio? That stuff freaks me out! It's like hair dye for water. Yikes!)
This can be made in a single serving as I did, or in a pitcher or drink server. I prefer glass servers because drinks stay colder longer!
* First fill your beverage server with about just over half full (to prevent overflowin!) with cold fresh water. 

* Next, select your fruit of choice. For mine I picked strawberries and green grapes. Slice your fruit small enough to fit well in ratio to the size of your serving container. If you are trying larger, circular fruits (or veggies) slice them garnish style to keep the circular shape and then cut that in half to bring out its juices and flavor!
* Third step, pop those fruity tootys in and add just a pinch a raw sugar, stevia and cane sugar work well too. 
 Some fruit is less dense so it will float to the top, so grab a muddle or spoon and muddle the fruit slightly to release its flavor into the water. Three or four muddles tops, you want your fruit to be somewhat intact otherwise it's just asking for someone to choke! Then let the fruit sit and relax for a bit.

*Alright! Smells good right?! So now give it a swirl, and add ice, just enough to keep it cool. Pop a little garnish on it or even sugar the  and a straw and you are ready to sip on a delicious twist on good old water! Now grab your cutest hat with some sunscreen and so sip in sweet summer style!

This easy mock tail recipe works great for non colored sodas, sparkling water and alcohol or champagne as well. I have also done this with Hansens cherry vanilla Creme, a shot of blueberry Stolichnaya vodka or if using regular vodka just a dash of Triple Sec and it is absolutely delicious. This recipe is just a great way to kill the sweet tooth and get hydrated with something healthy like fruits!  Enjoy!