Brain Dump: Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom Edition

Okay, so I don’t know how exciting this is going to be for anyone, but my bathroom is on my mind. Constantly. There is so much drama in there right now, I’m having a hard time focusing on anything else.

Let me explain.

We live in a pretty old house. It was built in 1927, and it’s very much a product of its time. This is it from the back. I have no idea why there are no pics from the front. But I’m not going outside now. It’s cold.

Also, Jenny Trout refers to it as a “witch’s cottage”. Whatever, Trout.

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So, as you can see, it’s a 91-year old house. And like most 91-year olds, things tend to start falling apart. Like my toilet that’s leaking into the basement. And my bathroom sink that’s also leaking into my basement.

*sigh*

The short version of this frustrating story is that both the toilet and sink are irreparable and need to be replaced.

Our bathroom is super teeny-tiny. I mean really small.

 

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When we moved in, it was painted neon apricot and screaming white with textured plastic, avocado green, sliding shower doors. They were hideous. We tore those out and decided that cream and forest green was a good idea to counteract the neon apricot and screaming white. Mistakes were made. 

The slightly longer version is that I am a bargain hunting goddess–which is impressive since I loathe shopping.

But, we got a recommendation on a good toilet. It was $80 bucks–but then we saw it had a $30 rebate. Score!

We went to one of those places that salvages usable pieces and parts from old houses and found a porcelain sink that’s likely from the 30s and is in mint condition for $12!  <–that is not a typo!

However, it’s a basin sink. This means what little counter  space we had is gone. so, my husband is going to build a new base for the sink to sit in. And I’m going to go to the University of YouTube and learn how to tile and grout a new countertop and backsplash with these glass tiles that I found for $24.

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And, of course, we’ll need to paint. So, the cream is for the walls, and the siesta dreams (4th one down) is for the cupboards and wainscoting. $50 (plus there’s a percentage off rebate, but math…)

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These are my lovely $20 glass reproduction knobs. Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 3.35.02 PM.png

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And my $25 shower curtain.

Project total? $195

EDIT: I just found these gorgeous antique tiger’s eye glass door knobs on Etsy for $14.95. But I had a giftcard from my mom, so…free!

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And here’s the best part of all. Hiding under the hideous, fugly linoleum are these gorgeous turn of the century porcelain hex tiles! Clearly, we have a lot of glue and backing to scrape off, but it’ll be worth it!

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I’m now referring to this project as Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom. 

I’ll post pics when we’re done!

To see the finished bathroom, please come to my new blog.

Now, go check out what the other bloggers are dumping.

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan  *  Kellie  *  Jessica  *  Deelylah  *  Torrance

My Life’s Mission Statement

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Hmmm… I guess I never really thought of individuals having personal mission statements, but let’s go with it.

I write because I have these stories in my head, filled with quirky, delightful people I adore (and some that I super loathe – looking at you, Nigel) and I want to know how their stories end. I share them with you because I want to give us both an escape hatch into other lives because I not only need a break from reality, but I also need hope, and I figure you might, too. Sometimes life can be pretty depressing, and I want to create worlds where, even if it’s a struggle getting there, good prevails over evil, and love wins–and wins fucking hard. Ultimately, I guess I just want to make the world a little better–even if it’s only temporary and make people smile.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ statements.

Jess  *  Paige  *  Deelylah  *  Siobhan  *  Kris

Flash Fiction #74 – Dog Days Are Over

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Don’t panic…you’re in the right place. I just did some remodeling over the weekend. What do you think? Anyway, on to the post.

This month’s song fic was inspired by “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. You can read the lyrics or watch the video and listen to the song. Or both. Or neither. Totally your call. But anyway, here’s the story it inspired.

Lizzie’s phone lay on the couch between her and Cilla, vibrating almost constantly with missed calls and ignored texts.

“What do you mean you told him no?” Cilla stared at her best friend in amazement. “Literally all you’ve been talking about this past year is how you couldn’t wait for Grant to propose. You were going to be so upset if he didn’t. I can’t believe you turned him down.”

Except that she kind of could. She’d had a feeling this would be how it would go if Grant ever asked Lizzie to marry him.

Lizzie  wiped her her eyes and nose. “I don’t know. One minute we were having dinner at that little pub down on on Cherry, and the next, he gets up and starts singing, and a bunch of diners got up and started dancing–”

“Wait,” Cilla said. “He proposed with a flashmob?”

She sniffled and nodded miserably.

“But you love flashmobs. You…you have a whole Pinterest board devoted to them.”

“I know.” She sniffled again.

“What happened then?”

“He did the whole getting down on one knee thing.”

Cilla covered her face and peered at Lizzie through her fingers. “I’m afraid to ask,” she said, her voice a bit muffled. “but then what happened?”

Lizzie grabbed a throw pillow off the couch and wrapped her arms around it, doubling over as she leaned forward. “It’s awful. I don’t even want to tell you.”

“Too late now,” Cilla muttered.

She buried her face in the cushion. “Mraphaffal nramd.”

“What was that?”

Lifting her head partway, she repeated, “I hugged him, and then I ran.”

Cilla’s mouth fell open. “Oh, honey…”

She felt bad for Lizzie, but goddamn, right now, she felt worse for Grant. Normally, Cilla would be going down with the ship of sisterhood, But it wasn’t like Grant had just proposed out of the blue. Lizzie had been dropping hints for months. Showing him flashmob proposals and talking about how Art Nouveau was the most gorgeous era for jewelry.

“Did he also happen to propose with a nineteenth century style ring?”

“Actual antique from the looks of it,” she murmmured, staring at the floor. She look up at Cilla, eyes swollen and red from crying. “Why do I do this? Why can’t I just be happy? That was everything I ever wanted.”

Cilla scrubbed her hand over her face, dread and frustration tightening the muscles in her shoulders. “How long have we known each other,  Lizzie?”

“What?”

“How long have we known each other?” she asked again.

“Since freshman year of college, so…what–nine…ten years?”

Cilla nodded. “Okay, I need to know…do you want comfort? Or do you want the truth?”

“I want a big cup of do-over.”

Cilla frowned at her. “But would you really change anything if you could do it over?”

“I don’t know–yes, I do. I would have canceled lunch today.”

“That’s not making a choice–that’s avoiding one.”

Lizzie scowled at her. “Fine. Since you seem to know all about what’s in my head, give me the truth.”

Wondering if their friendship would survive this, Cilla took a deep breath. It was too late to stop now, anyway. “You don’t want to be happy.”

Lizzie opened her mouth, but Cilla cut her off.

“Before you say you do, I want you to think for a minute about every relationship you torpedoed. It’s like once you start feeling comfortable with a guy, you start picking fights with them until they break up with you. Except Grant didn’t go anywhere–so you had to.”

Lizzie didn’t say anything. She just stared.

“I love you, Boo, but it’s like you’re afraid to be happy. You want it, but you hide from it. And if that doesn’t work, you kill it however you can.”

Lizzie sat there for the longest time–not speaking, not crying, not moving. Finally, as if she were a living marionette and someone else was pulling the strings, she grabbed her phone and stood then walked toward the door. Cilla watched her go, wondering if her calls and texts would get answered or if they’d just vibrate into nothingness on someone else’s couch.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan  *  Deelylah  *  Gwen

Promptly Penned: I Swear to God, I’ll drop this cake!

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Prompt: “Take a step closer to me and I swear to God, I’ll drop this cake! I’ll do it! Don’t test me!”

From the corner of her eye, Laura watched her older sister, Katy, slowly navigate the perimeter of the room, mingling with the twenty or so guests who’d chosen to spend their Saturday here, in hell. Though, none of those people had heard her sister bitch about the centerpieces. Apparently, reusing the ones from their sister’s wedding last year made Katy feel like no one really cared about her impending marriage. Nor had they heard her complain that only a quarter of her guest list had bothered to RSVP.

Laura was still baffled that this many people had decided to attend yet another bridal shower for Katy. Of course, Laura was just as baffled that she’d agreed to host another bridal shower for her. But after their youngest sister had bailed, Laura didn’t really feel like she had a choice. Well, not one that wouldn’t warp their family dynamic even more than it already was.

She carried the oversized punch bowl back into the room and set it on the table, barely avoiding Katy’s sister-in-law-to-be, Tina,–or was it Gina?–as she wove drunkenly into her path. Laura envied the woman’s foresight to drink heavily prior to this exercise in self-torture. But, at least the meal and present opening were over–the only thing left on the agenda was cake.

She carefully arranged the color coordinated napkins and plates Katy had insisted on and darted into the kitchen to get the cake. The sooner she got this cut and served, the sooner she could get the hell away from her sister before she said something she really regretted.

Lifting the cake from the counter, she turned and nearly ran into Katy who stood there holding a napkin. “What is this?” she asked, waving the offending paper product in front of Laura’s face.

“Normally, I’d say it was a napkin, but I’m guessing it’s about to become an objet d butthurt.”  She tried to step around her sister, only to have Katy move in front of her.

“I thought I told you my colors were cashmere and apricot. This is peach.”

Laura counted to ten before opening her mouth. It didn’t help. “Cashmere isn’t a color. And those are  the apricot napkins. You can check the trash for the label.”

Katy sniffed. “Well, it was mislabeled, then.”

“It’s not a big deal.”

“Maybe not to you! But this is all part of my special day!”

“Oh, my fuck. Are you serious with this? They’re just napkins. You are forty-three years old. This is your fourth special day. You need to get a goddamn grip.”

Shh!”

“What? Your new inlaws don’t know that Greg–”

“Craig,” she corrected.

“–is about to become husband number four?”

“Shut. Up.”

“Just get out of my way, and we’ll get this over with–you know, before the napkins ruin everything.”

Katy lunged toward her.

“Take a step closer to me and I swear to God, I’ll drop this cake! I’ll do it! Don’t test me!”

Katy never did listen.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories!

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Jessica  *  Deelylah  *  Kris

Top 10: Things I Believe to Be True

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Regardless of reality or science, these are just random things I believe to be true, And yes, I will defend them to my last breath. As always, there’s no order to these.

10.) Skynet is only slightly less terrifying than our current social and political climate.

9.) Long flowy hippie skirts are the world’s most comfortable clothes.

8.) Crocheting is a form of dark sorcery.

7.)  I have the best friends and family on the planet.

6.) Van Halen is the worst musical act of all time.

5.)  Math is tangible evidence of evil.

4.) Fuck is the most useful and versatile word in the English language.

3.)  Good lip balm is necessary for me to live a content and productive life.

2.) Spiders are Satan’s snowflakes. There are not individual species of spiders. Like snowflakes, each one is unique. They are individually handcrafted by Satan.

1.) I have the world’s best job, and I’m lucky as fuck to be able to do it.

So…what do you believe to be true? And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ lists.

Jess  *  Deelylah  *  Gwen  *  Kris

Flash Fiction #68 – Call Me Crazy

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This month’s flash fiction song is one I’d never heard before this challenge. It’s called “Call Me Crazy” by Travis Collins. The video is here and the lyrics are here if you’d like to give a listen/read.

Content warning: some violence and allusions to abuse. 

The dirt was clay. She fucking hated digging into clay. It was wet and cold and almost slimy. It sucked at her shovel, stuck into the treads of her too-big, borrowed boots, and made it difficult to get any real power behind the tool, but she’d manage.

Despite the damp chill of the October evening, she was starting to break a bit of a sweat, but that’s what digging a three foot deep hole would do to a person. Dusk settled like an old musty blanket, muting the changing leaves, and dulling the sky. Soon, the only light would be the running lights on his truck.

He’d be pissed if he knew she was letting it run with the doors open so she could hear the music while she worked. Of course, it was so old, it didn’t even have a cassette deck. And it was stuck on that fucking country music station. But, it was better than the eerie near-silence of the rapidly approaching winter–nothing but small animals rustling through the dried grasses and the honking geese up and leaving this desolate place, flying to warmer climes. She’d always wished she could do the same. But, maybe now, she wouldn’t need to.

She straightened as she surveyed the hole. It was finally deep enough. A shiver snaked down her spine as the chorus of one of his favorite songs drifted to her from tinny-sounding speakers. An audio ghost haunting her from a lifetime past. She pushed through the chill. Maybe it was appropriate this song was playing tonight. Though, it was more of a eulogy than he deserved.

Planting the shovel in the mounded clay, she walked to the back of the truck and dropped the pickup’s gate. Thankfully, the tarp-wrapped body hadn’t moved much on the drive out here. Rolling it to the edge, she dragged the deadweight over her shoulder, and hoisted it in a fireman’s carry. Bastard was heavier than she would have thought, but she’d gotten him this far, she could move him a few more yards.

A muffled groan startled her, and she nearly dropped him, but she kept going until she could fling him into the hole. There was a sickening crack as he hit the bottom, then nothing but the tail end of his favorite song and her harsh breath. She filled in the hole then drove over it, repeatedly, for good measure before shifting the fallen tree to cover the signs of disturbed earth. The same one she’d moved to dig the hole in the first place.

Sure, someone might find him someday. If they cared enough to look. But they’d also find the evidence of everything he’d ever done to her–every photograph, every video tape–all sitting in the middle of his kitchen table. Along with his muddy boots on the mat by the door and his truck parked in the driveway.

And she’d be gone. Long gone where the ghosts of the past had been laid to rest.

Okay, that’s it for me this week. Be sure you check out the other stories by clicking on each blogger’s name. 

Jess * Siobhan * Gwen * Kris * Deelylah

Promptly Penned: Traitor

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Prompt: They say I’m a traitor. Maybe I am. All I know is that I did what I had to do.

 

“Hi, I’m Roxanne,” I said when she answered the door. “We spoke on the phone earlier.”

“I’m Alicia.” We shook hands, and warily, she invited me inside, leading me to her dining room table. I carefully moved some macaroni artwork off the chair before I sat.

She smiled, but she kept shifting in her chair as if she were considering running away. “I’m a little nervous. Can you tell me a little more about how this works? I mean how did you even get into this…business?”

I studied the woman across from me. Her hair was falling out of her messy bun. It wasn’t a cute Instagram messy bun. It was a straight up mess, complete with what looked like crusted baby food in there. Squash, if I remembered my pureed vegetables correctly.

I looked like her not too many years ago. Exhausted, frantic, inside out shirt, and a leaking nursing bra. Though, my kids prefered to slime me with peas.

“To be honest, I didn’t even intend to make it a business, but my brother-in-law left me no choice.” I sighed. “I don’t want to sound cold. I’m actually pretty fond of him, but when his kids were little and his wife was out of town, he’d drive for five hours, show up on our doorstep with his infant and toddler, and basically move in until his wife was back from her business trips.”

“He did not.” She looked furious on my behalf. I liked her already.

“Oh, he did. And he and my husband would sit around and play video games and I was stuck with five kids under the age of four. But my favorite was when my husband was at work, and my brother-in-law decided that that meant it was naptime for him.”

She leaned forward. “I have to know. Did you kill them? I think I would have killed them.”

“Honestly? I came far closer than I’m comfortable with. That’s when I started studying the occult.”

Alicia got up. “Keep talking, I’m going to get us some coffee. You want creamer?”

“And sugar, please.”

“Okay, so tell me more about how the occult figures into all this.”

I shifted in my seat. I was pretty sure I was going to stick to it when I stood up. “Well, I didn’t go full bore. I started out looking for protection spells and binding rituals. And while I was researching, I discovered sigils.”

Alicia placed a huge cup of steaming coffee in front of me. “I wanted to make a mocha, but all I had was Hershey’s syrup.”

I took a sip. “You know what? This is great. Trust me, I’ve made much worse. And I drank it anyway. Because caffeine.”  I took another sip then shook off the memory. “Where was I?”

“Sigils.”

“Right, sigils. These things are so incredibly versatile. You can use them for protection, hexing, attraction, but as far as I’m concerned, their best use is warding. It was getting so bad, that my brother-in-law was coming up two or three times a month and staying for three to five days at a time. I snapped. I couldn’t take it any more.”

“What did you do?”

“Dude is a pig. Seriously, doesn’t pick up after himself at all. So, I took a pair of his dirty underwear he’d left wadded behind the door and hair from the shower,” I shuddered, “various herbs and oils, and boiled it together under the light of a full moon. Then, the next time he called to tell use he was coming, I took a small brush and painted warding sigils on every side of the house, the garage and the cars. And I waited.”

Alicia had slid forward in her chair, her eyes wide. “What happened?”

I tried not to smile, but it was almost impossible. “He called a few times. Said he was lost. My husband thought he was pranking us, but nope. He turned around and drove the five hours back home.”

“No.”

I nodded. “Couldn’t find the place at all.”

“That’s brilliant!”

“When my husband pisses me off, I do it to him, too.”

She laughed and clapped her hands.

“These days, I let my brother-in-law visit every two to three months. And now that I’m not stuck at home with nursing babies, I leave, and let my husband and his brother parent all the kids.”

Alicia shook her head. “I’m impressed. Seriously impressed.”

I shrugged. Some people would say I’m a traitor to family togetherness.” I shrugged. “Maybe I am. All I know is that I did what I had to do.”

“You absolutely did. And,” she added, “you didn’t go to jail for murder.”

“Exactly.”

I pulled my spellbook out of my purse. Technically, it was one of those planners with all the stickers for things like doctor’s appointments and soccer practice, but it doubled and a mighty fine spellbook. And hey, I’m a busy mom, makes sense to combine the weekly menu with my side gig.

“Now,” I said, clicking my pen. “Who are we warding against? Tell me everything.”

That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories, too.

Kris * Jess * Siobhan * Deelylah