Haunted Trail: Part 1

I am beyond excited about Halloween! For whatever reason this time of year has always been my favorite. I think it’s just October in general. But Halloween is just FUN!! 

I am the PTA Treasurer at my kid’s school. Have been for 4 years now. And every year we have a Fall Festival as a fundraiser. It’s been a tradition at this school for years.

Until a couple of years ago, we didn’t realize there was a hidden jewel literally in our school’s back yard. An outdoor learning center in the woods! It was put in 20+ years ago and had become over grown. We (the PTA) paired up with the local Master Gardeners and made it great again.

It is an awesome area for the kids to learn about nature and to get out of the classroom to explore. It is also open to the local community after school hours and during the summer to come and enjoy the various trails that wind up the hill and through the woods.

The thing I’m most excited about is the fact that it is a PERFECT place for a haunted trail. We have had one the past two years and this year I have volunteered to take over that project. I am going to try my best to put together an awesome one for the students, families, faculty, and local community to enjoy.

My first objective was to get ideas…. Pinterest overload! I am a major DIYer and found so many great ideas. BUT thanks to Vyvanse and Wellbutrin, I am was able to just pick a few managable projects that I can accomplish way before the last minute.

The outdoor learning area has two huge asphalt areas that are divided by a trail head. Then there are several trails that wind up and round in basically a loop right back to the asphalted areas. My plan is to have several “themes” on the asphalt and on a short loop around one of the trails. BUT that’s the idea in my head. I will have to go map it out and narrow things down…or maybe expand. We will see!

So far I’ve broken the trail down into these following themes:

  • The Witch’s Lair
  • The Ghost Trail
  • Clown Town
  • The Valley of the Dolls

My second objective is to collect all my supplies.  I have a budget of $200. Some from the PTA. Some from my pocket as a donation. Facebook is a great place to get some help. I’ve rounded up some good FREE stuff to borrow or keep to use.

I also hit up Craigslist and found some huge, FREE tubes I just couldn’t pass up! I fortunately have an awesome brother who picked them up for me. 

These are going to be tunnels for the kids to crawl through.

These tubes are about 20 inches in diameter and 4 feet long. My plan is to put them together, paint the outside, and put something on the inside to creep out the kiddos if they choose to crawl through! I I’ll keep you updated on the finished product.

Yesterday hit the jackpot at a couple of local thrift stores and stocked up on some creepy-ass dolls. Some of these things I don’t even have to “creepify”. It’s crazy!

The kids and I put the dolls on daddy’s side of the bed. He wasn’t amused.

So now I’m off to collect even more creepy things and to work on some easy and fun DIY projects that are kid friendly…which means I get to use my kids are free labor. 

Haunted Trail: Part 2, coming very soon! 

Slime and more slime

Thanks to YouTube and now Elmer’s smart marketing people, I have spent more money on slime making materials than I am willing to say. Like, this summer was probably more expensive that when we went to the beach….just kidding, I think.

Anyways I wanted to share a discovery I had towards the END of the summer, because, well, I’m an IDIOT. And idiot who RAVES about Amazon Prime, yet chose not to check Amazon for the gallon of Elmer’s glue. Instead she took her kids to Hobby Lobby and spent way more for it….along with 100 other things we didn’t need….because that place sucks you in and spits you out…broke. 

I DID go to Dollar Tree for shaving cream. BOOM!  Because I was being a smart shopper. (Insert Eye-roll here.)

So here it is. Short and sweet. Gallon of Elmer’s glue at Hobby Lobby….$24.99. even with 40% off it isn’t as cheap as Amazon Prime’s $11.99. And that’s got free 2-day shipping…..you’re kids can freakin’ wait….

So here is the link. Be smarter than me!!!

Lenovo Yoga Book

We finally cracked and bought our daughter her first real tablet, a Lenovo Yoga Book. She first had a Leap Pad. Then an Amazon Fire for kids. 

So far we are impressed with it. The keyboard can flip all the way backwards. It is also a touch screen keyboard that can be changed to a blank drawing pad with the touch of an icon. It is lightweight and has great screen quality. It runs on Android which I also love. 

She LOVES to draw. And for some reason she loves to draw anime. Not sure who’s kid she is, but I still love her. Ha! The Yoga Book comes with  what they call a “real pen”. It is used in a variety of ways including draw on a special pad of paper that transfers the image to the tablet screen. 

She has pestered us since she was 8 for a cell phone. What??? Crazy kid! Now that she has her Yoga Book she doesn’t say a word about a cell phone. She is able to use Google Hangouts through her email to talk to her friends….and I can see EVERYTHING. And I don’t have to pay for a phone line or data. WIN!!!

If you have a child who loves to draw or write, check out the link below and give the Lenovo Yoga Book a look. So far my daughter loves it. And Amazon Prime had it at our door in two days! 

Parenting win….so far…..

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes love me. Especially the pterodactyl kind. Every summer for the past several years has been miserable. I even said “forget it” to gardening, something I love, thanks to those blood suckers.

I’m serious people. The mosquitoes in our yard are like….carry-your-kid-off huge, Pterodactyls…..

Around March of this year I decided that I should finally follow my mother’s advice (it’s only taken about 42 years). She’s always said to  take B vitamins every day for stress and jaw-clenching… something I was experiencing.

I noticed a difference in the jaw-clenching immediately. Stress is an overwhelming thing if you don’t get it under control. Everyone has different ways of doing that. I added the Stress B Complex to my stress-reducing methods and am thankful I did. Little did I know it had an extra benefit.

That benefit: Being less attractive to mosquitoes. I continued taking Stress B-Complex once a day. When May rolled around and it was gorgeous outside I decided to take a chance and do some yard work. I thought for sure I wouldn’t last 10 minutes.

I spent hours outside and never got a single mosquito bite. None. Zero. I knew those suckers were there. I saw them…. remember, ours are pterodactyl size. They even landed on me!

In the back of my mind I was curious how it was possible I wasn’t getting bitten but at the same time didn’t put much thought into it as long as they weren’t biting the life out of me.

Then one day, scrolling through Facebook, I saw an article about vitamin B-1 and how it deters mosquitoes. You know how you read a gazillion ‘cure’, ‘DIY’, ‘the answer to all your problems’, posts that are garbage? Well this one wasn’t. I had tested out the theory before I even knew about it.

So…. B-Complex is now a daily thing. For me and my kids. I get the kids some multi-vitamin gummies with B vitamin in them. They seem to work so far.

Warning though…..B-Vitamins stink. Like, don’t carry them in your purse even in the bottle because your child might tell you your purse smells like a butt. They should also be taken close to meal or snack time. If not you may get a little burpy. 

Here are some links to the products I buy off of Amazon.com. Easy Peasy!

For me:

Nature Made Stress B Complex with Zinc Tablets, 75 Count

For the kids:

Sundown Naturals Kids Star Wars Complete Multivitamin, 60

Cheapest mosquito preventative EVER!! 

One more product I will throw in here for pets:

If you are looking for a GREAT flea and tick collar for your dog or cat check out what we use, Seresto, in the link below. 8 months of protection!!

 I love the convenience of Amazon, especially Amazon Prime! It is worth not having to go into a stinky pet store.

Seresto Collar Dog Large 70 cm by Seresto

Redneck slip-n-slide

Soooo….. I’m somewhat of  a cheap-ass. I rather DIY most of the time. When it comes to entertaining the kids it’s no different. The cheaper the better. One of their favorite “it’s hot as hell outside”entertainments is the redneck slip-n-slide.

To be truly honest I’ve grown somewhat of a social phobia. (Something else I’ll blog about more in the future.) So the more we do at home or somewhere that doesn’t include a crowd of assholes, the better for my sanity.

One day I went and bought some “waterslides” from “Wal-Maddening” to use in our front yard. To say I was disappointed when I got them out and set up is an understatement. Those damn things didn’t look like they were portraited on the stupid box. Reminded me of a nasty McDoo-Doo hamburger. That crap never looks like it does in their commercials!! That day I said “never again”. And that is when the redneck slip-n-slide became a summer staple at our house.

One thing you should always be able to find on any firetruck is a tarp. We use tarps for a variety of things. Mainly for what we call salvaging….where we cover people’s stuff to reduce water and smoke damage. They are also used when we stage important equipment for rescue operations. Sometimes they are used to make water chutes to divert water.

*The following pics show off a damn good water chute put together by one of my crews on a fire scene. Photo credit goes to Capt W.*

Water chute made by one of my crews to divert water and protect property.

Two pike poles with a huge tarp used to divert water leaking from the floor above.

At our home, tarps are basically used for slip-n-slide and grass killing. Tarps, stakes, a water hose, and some dish soap….BOOM! Hours of entertainment for all the neighborhood kids. The type of entertainment where the adults just take about 15 minutes to set it up and then get a few hours of freedom to drink beer or something…more than one, two, or ten days in a row.

This is the first year I went and bought new tarps and a sprinkler. In years past I just used a knozzle on the hose and set it to where there was just enough pressure to whip it back and forth across the tarp.

I got this awesome sprinkler from Home Depot. It is stationary and has a bunch of water spray patterns. 

Do you have some random items that you seem to have an abundance of? Something that you aren’t sure #1 where they came from and #2 what the heck they are for? Well, I have a supply metal stakes that I have no clue where they came from. Somehow I had about 4 different packs. Perfect for the redneck slip-n-slide!
So here you go….the redneck slip-n-slide.

#1 Find a place that has decent padding. Anywhere with rocky terrain,concrete, or some like traffic is probably NOT a good spot.

#2 Somewhere with an incline is preferable. Anywhere with over about an, ehhh, 86° angle would probably be frowned upon. If you aren’t sure..here is a pic of angles as a reference….

#3 Use some stakes to tack down the first tarp that will be the top of the slide. I’ve been told that running space is necessary to obtain maximum speed…so plan accordingly.

#4 Tuck and tack any other tarp under the one before it….meaning overlap them with the one above being on top. If you don’t understand, sorry. I just confused myself. But I have total confidence that you will figure it out.

#5 Hook up a continuous water supply. No water = tarp burn. 

#6 Throw a bottle of soap out there for them to use. Dollar Store stuff works just fine.

#7 Enjoy some free time to drink some beer or take a nap or whatever.

So there you have it. The redneck slip-n-slide. Hours of unmonitored fun. You’re welcome.

Housework Hell

 

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I wake up every day with the intention on getting shit done. Everything. In one day. Catch it all up. Then maintain it. Have a spotless house.

Um. Ok. Nice dreams. But the reality of it is, I am too lazy. As a matter of fact I’m laying here typing a blog about how lazy I am. A blog about my lack of motivation. Lack of caring. Lack of will power. Lack of, well, alot.

I’m completely opposite of a “successful”, “Pintrest”, “Good Housekeeping” mom. That’s me. You will rarely see me post recipes, DIY stuff (athough I am a DIY freak!!!), fancy decorations, fun-filled vacation, perfect holidays, life hacks, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m successful enough that my kids get food, shelter, and clothing. I have managed to keep them, my husband, our 2 dogs, and our snake alive so far….along with somewhat clean and dressed. And I’ve made some pretty kick-ass stuff all by myself.

I am just baffled at why, as women, we put so much pressure on ourselves? The stupid thing is I care NONE about how my girlfriend’s homes look like. It makes no difference to me in how I view them.

So why in the hell do I beat myself up for my mess? Why can’t I let adult people over? Or ask for some help?  The intent is there. The guilt is definitely there. I just have no motivation. It’s overwhelming. The mess. The disorder. The idea of fixing it for it to just get wrecked again.

Maintenance WAS the key. Notice I put “was” in bold. That’s because I used to have my shit together. Now it is so overwhelming I don’t even try and start.

I guess for now I need to lay off myself. I get the basics done. That’s more than some people do. My house is always full of neighborhood kids. That’s got to say something good about me, right?

I should follow the advice I give my friends when they are overwhelmed.

“Just embrace the glorious mess that you are.”

Be messy. Live life. Straighten it all out later.