Back home

Praise God. After spending 4 nights at a local hotel, our power is back on & we’re home. We were without power for more than 96 hours – which sucks – but we were lucky enough to be able to stay off-site. Though all 5 of us in one hotel room (even a 2-room suite) was just the teensiest bit stressful. My children can’t seem to grasp the concept that there are OTHER PEOPLE in a hotel and they sure as shootin’ don’t want to listen to them bickering & shouting. I actually had to stick my head out the bathroom door WHILE I WAS IN THE SHOWER on Monday to tell them to SHUT UP!!!!

On Sunday, I trekked back to the house to empty the fridge. We lost everything. I filled 2 big black garbage bags & three white kitchen bags with the contents of the fridge & freezer. All that survived was some bread, an unopened jar of pickles & Hershey’s syrup. I thought that maybe the deep freeze in the garage would have escaped unscathed, but no such luck. That’s full of Dream Dinners & some Market Day stuff that I was counting on to get us through September at my mom’s. But Steve said it was all about 1/2 frozen, which means it was mostly defrosted & then refroze when the power came back on. The best part of everything?? Was opening up the glass bottles of milk & using a KNIFE to break up the cheese that had developed so it could be poured down the garbage disposal. 5 bottles of mostly mozzarella & smelly yellow water all over my hands. What’s the word I’m thinking of…..?? Oh yeah. EW.

Our stint at the hotel gave me a nice opportunity, though. Seeing as we haven’t had television at our house for 3 years now, I take the opportunity when we’re staying somewhere else to see what’s up on the tube. And, let me tell you, they did not convince me to renew our loyalty to it. First off, there weren’t a lot of channels to choose from (14 sports channels??? Really???). There’s the networks, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, MTV, VH1, A&E, USA, Spike, & a couple other ones I didn’t really recognize. There was very little to choose from. So I spent most of 4 days watching VH1, A&E & USA. There was only one show I saw that I really liked. Flip This House. This show was cool. The episode I saw was this guy who owns a company in San Antonio. He bought, sight unseen I think, an abandoned home. Somehow he bought the house without looking inside – at least that’s how it was presented to the viewer. After he takes ownership, he goes inside. To the single most revolting, disgusting, unhygienic, dangerous, filthy, horrifying dwelling I’ve ever seen. The house is filled with feral cats who have covered every square inch with cat poop & urine. The carpeting in the living room is so filled with years of cat pee that it’s HARD. Literally. They hit the carpet with a bat & it sounded like a veneered surface. The smell was apparently so overpowering, no one could even be in the house for more than 30 seconds without running outside & vomiting. The head Flip guy brought in 5 different contractors – all of whom refused to take the job or ask their guys to work in that environment. The contractor who did agree to take the job did so on the condition that they first bring somebody in to clean it. So they had to hire a hazmat team. Seriously. Clothes, boxes, food, filth, fecal matter, toys – everything was grafted into the floor & remaining furniture. They had to just shovel everything out the windows. They filled EIGHT dumpsters with hazardous waste. Then they discovered the rats & cockroaches. The contractors came in & ran out screaming like little girls at the huge rats. They bring in an exterminator who traps TWELVE rats the first day. He shows the owner what’s going on & you can HEAR the rats squeaking behind the walls. Seriously, dude. Burn the freaking house down & RUN FOR THE HILLS. They ended up having to totally gut the house (because the intense smell had become one with all the drywall) and spray everything down with some sort of primer paint that SEALS IN SMELLS. Bleaugh. Then they found the sewer problems. There were FIVE breaks in the sewer line, so they had to dig up the whole yard & into the house to lay new lines. The guy ended up spending more on the renovation than he did on the initial purchase of the house. So, liked that show.

Then the weekend was filled with celebreality shows on VH1 & A&E. Like “Rock of Love” with Bret Michaels of Poison. Where a group of completely skanky girls – whom you would have been afraid of in high school – try to out-ho each other to impress the ex-lead singer of Poison. Girls with incredibly big hair, too much makeup, full body tattoos, wearing clothes that barely cover their most private areas. Girls who insist that they’re there because they totally care about Bret and have a connection with him. You mean beyond the connection two dogs have with each other, sweetie?? Ew. They have heart-to-heart discussions about how they can really show Bret that they care about him. Their decision is, I think, the decision that every woman would come to in regards to showing their feelings to the man they love. They take pornographic Polaroids of themselves & tape them to his bedroom door. Because nothing shows your heart like strategically placed electrical tape & showing how bendy you are. Classy show.

Then there’s Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels on A&E. Now I was so scared of Gene Simmons growing up. My brother totally dug Kiss & even dressed up as Gene for Halloween when he was in junior high. But he terrified me. The show sounded interesting, though- kind of like The Osbornes but with a dad who can speak English pretty well and isn’t brain damaged from years of drinking & drug abuse. But what stuck with me the most is that Gene Simmons is afraid of everything. He’d never say, “I’m afraid” – instead he talks about why the certain thing is bad or unworthy or beneath him – but I think he’s really afraid. Of camping & animals & water & fish & unusual foods & anything unfamiliar. It makes me laugh. His kids are gorgeous, though.

I also had the pleasure of joining in on the fun that is Hogan Knows Best. Have you ever seen such a blonde family?? They all have the exact same hair – which I don’t think is a hair color found in nature. He lets his daughter have WAAAAAY too much leeway, though. Skirts way too short, cleavage way too visible, dating men eleven years her senior. I sure hope she’s smarter than she comes off on TV, cuz she’s gonna be in serious trouble if she’s not. The best part? Learning that the Hulkster makes her prospective boyfriends work out with him till they puke. Made of awesome.

And, I finished off the hotel stay with the fine Thespian adventure called “Scott Baio is 45 & Single”. I didn’t see anything except the last 2 episodes, but I was so disappointed in my very first crush ever. I looooooved Scott Baio when I was a kid. I was crushing on Chachi in a big, big way. But apparently he’s grown up into a 12 year old boy. I’ve never seen so much wincing in a single TV show. All surrounding whether or not he’s ready to get married. I mean, I understand if you love the guy & you’re really hoping to marry him. But if the mere expression of the word, “marry” makes him wince & flail his body around like a trout? Give. Up. Yikes.

In the midst of all this excellent television, I finished a new kit that’s up over at Sophia Sarducci right now! It’s called Wrought Iron Butterfly & here’s a peek & a link:

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I also got THREE layouts done!! Lookie, lookie!

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This last one might make you cry if you read the journaling. Just so you know.

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