Category Archives: pinterest

Eight Things I’m Looking Forward to (Dreading) in August

Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this Thursday because by then I’ll be an empty-nester! Even the dogs are stressed.

— 1 —

My baby boy moves into his Freshman dorm this week. I’ve spent the past year building a Pinterest board to make his transition to college perfect. Bluebirds should fly through his window to light on his arms and bunnies should gather at his feet as he recites the Periodic Table.  He’s not on Pinterest, and is not interested in 95% of my college-related suggestions. In fact, he taunts me, as if since he’s eighteen and a high-school graduate he can do anything he wants to.

— 2 —

SO not gonna happen. We’d hoped to get a suite-style room (two guys to a room, four guys share/CLEAN the bathroom in between. Instead, he’s got a large communal bathroom. That’s what I had as a Freshman too. I can’t imagine the filth four male Freshman could inflict on one bathroom.  The cleaning crew probably wears Haz-Mat suits. But he gets AC (thank God). Is it really global warming or are we just wimps? There were only TWO dorms on campus that had AC my Freshman year, and they were at the far end of campus and so tall everyone had to factor in elevator-wait time to get to class.

— 3 —

He has a class schedule, but has yet to show it to me. I love scheduling classes. I carried 18-21 credit hours a semester without ever missing Peak Tanning Hours on at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For four years. One would think this Freshman (who already knows he has to go to Drop/Add because of his AP test scores) would ask his mother’s advice. But alas, no. With his work study job I’ll just have to ask when he’s available for dinner.

— 4 —

Ah, dinner. As in dates. I sincerely hope those are forthcoming. He’s been much more a “hang out with friends” sort of person during high school, which is great. His friends are a very diverse group, and there have been many overnight events at my house. My dogs are EXCELLENT chaperones if Michael and I are asleep. If there is so much as a lingering hug in this house a large snout separates them. Seriously.

— 5 —

My house is a wreck and I can’t find anything. . . except John’s dorm stuff. I’ve made lists, checked sales, ordered online, ordered and picked up in-store, and even ordered from overseas when I couldn’t find just the right thing. John says he knows what he’s taking, but in less than 72 hours he’ll be moved in. How ready can he really be?

— 6 —

I was a little hurt when he said he didn’t want me to put anything away, or even make his bed for him. Aaron, his older brother, let me do all that. But John’s more like me. This is his first place (no roommate yet) and he wants to make it completely his own. I DO understand that. So perhaps I’ll make some breakfast muffins and meet his dorm neighbors and their families.

— 7 —

He can’t have “air-breathing pets”, so I was thinking about a Beta fish with one of those plants in the top of the bowl/vase you see at doctors’ offices. I’ve never really done the fish thing, and I’m not great with houseplants. Anyone have experience in this area?

— 8 —

Once he’s moved in I will have to put all the details out of my mind. He’ll be the one getting emails from teachers, he’ll be the one making sure he eats healthy and gets enough sleep. I’m going to write, tidy up the house, and let everyone know how awesome the newest Nerium products are. And yes, I will demand responses to my texts within a reasonable amount of time of I’ll have a seat under a tree near his dorm and read a book.

When a Nonna Wants a Rocking Chair . . .

I wanted an old rocker. A rocker that had already put generations of babies to sleep. I had one many years ago – my grandmother’s, in fact. But our family will always have at least one female chocolate lab and our first, Millie, ate everything. Her preference was loafers with tassels, and she didn’t care if there were feet in them or not. Her second choice, though, was wood. She preferred it nicely painted or stained. The runners on a rocking chair were a snout-level snack when we were all away during the day *sigh*.

Anyway, I had my first grand-baby flying in from Austin (oh, and her parents) and I was by-God going to have a rocker here when they arrived. So I’d been stalking rockers on my fave online estate sale auction site, Everything But The House. Just in time I scored an old rocker we picked up about ten minutes from our house. I was glad Michael had insisted on coming with me, because there was no way I could have moved this baby on my own. I couldn’t even lift it!

It was covered in cobwebs and dust, and someone had clearly given it “a lick and a promise” with some leftover white paint about a decade ago.

Ornate curlicues had been knocked off (probably by a basketball that wasn’t supposed to be in the house) and replaced by someone who needed new bifocals.

It has an embossed leather inset seat that had been painted (EEK), has at least three major cracks, and has plain upholstery tacks holding it in place in a completely random pattern. Or perhaps Morse Code. Or by the same person who painted it after a few too many beers. Decide for yourself.

It also has lovely decorative carving on the headrest, and is way comfortable. Since I can’t sit in an ergonomic desk chair for more than fifteen minutes, this is high praise.

The chair, without even a sponge-off, went to the Graduation / Welcome Baby Emma party along with Emma’s great-great-grandparents’ card table. While I was there the rocker was never empty, despite the overstuffed chairs and sofas in abundance.

Cut-throat card games are a traditional activity at all large Ballard family gatherings, and we were packed in there like sardines. I left before the card games started, but Michael and John didn’t get home until nearly midnight. The party started at 2 p.m. – LOL!
So my question, I guess, is where do I even start? Is the embossed leather salvageable? If so, do I need to remove it and restore the wood and leather separately, then replace? The chair is very sturdy, but this section is split.

Fill with sand-able, paint-able wood filler/glue, right? Ideally, I’d like this beauty to be a deep lake blue, about the darkest blue in this upholstery fabric I bought when a local craft store went out of business. I plan to use it to cover the throw pillows on my chocolate brown sofa (matches the dogs)

But I want it distressed all to hell so it doesn’t matter if a little one scratches it with a fork or colors on it with a crayon, or if I get a bit of nail polish on the arm. And I would like brown leather on the seat, with decorative nail heads or something equally pretty and comfy. I have a large number of creative high school grads I can put to work on this project. And it can be done in stages. Emma is hopefully only one of many children to be rocked in that chair – why not leave room for each to add his or her own touch?

Paging Dr. Pinterest

I’m joining in with Mama Kat this week about things I’ve pinned on Pinterest and then ACTUALLY DONE! Yeah, with my Pinterest boards that’s like one in a thousand, because I pin a million different brilliant things and then forget I’ve pinned them. It’s actually supposed to be about crafts and recipes this week, but I’ll have more than enough of those posts to come. These are about health.

I’ve been trying really hard to use my health care dollars more efficiently and to not use antibiotics at all unless I absolutely need them. A month on broad-spectrum antibiotics by mouth and through an IV at home would convince anyone antibiotics are nothing to be taken lightly. Neither are steroids, pain medications, or anti-inflammatories. I’m not a doctor and not trying to diagnose anything or dispense medical advice, but these are all things that were worth a 24 hour trial for me. All worked and saved money, discomfort, and time.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION:

I’m a fifty-year-old woman who has birthed two children. I’ve worked as a nurse for over twenty years, and gone many a twelve-hour shift without stopping to empty my bladder (let alone eat a meal). I know when I have a UTI. So when I called my primary care doctor’s office, told them I had a UTI, listed all my symptoms, and asked to have an antibiotic called in I was insulted to be told I’d have to make an appointment to see the doctor. Really? I was feeling compassionate that day, so I offered to compromise. “How about I come over and pee in a cup for the nurse practitioner?” I asked. Nope, not an option. So I set up an appointment for the next day. Men rarely get UTIs, but if they did you’d better believe their staff would call in prescriptions. Even the most timid would have patients come in immediately and work them in quickly. Dr. Pinterest, on the other hand, suggested a dose of Alka-seltzer 3 times a day until symptoms are relieved. Evidently it changes the pH of the urine and kills off the virus. I cancelled my appointment, and couldn’t help but be a bit smug about it. Anyway, it saved me a co-pay and a prescription I really couldn’t afford and I never had to leave home. YAY!

SORE THROAT:

We’ve had nasty viruses going around this winter, and allergies are still acting up because the weather is so unpredictable here in Kentucky. My husband and youngest son both had sore throats, but did not appear to have Strep. Dr. Pinterest to the rescue! They gargled with mouthwash and peroxide and perked right up. No antibiotics, no long wait and large co-pay at the Immediate Care Center on the weekend.

NOSEBLEED:

This one I learned the hard way (pre-Pinterest). A heavy nosebleed that won’t stop is controlled by Neosynephrine spray in the affected nostril and pressure (thumb and index finger) just where the nostrils divide. I paid $250 for that.

WASP STINGS:

Ground wasps can take over small holes made by moles, chipmunks, and other unappealing creatures. The only way to know they have done so is to mow over or walk over an opening. My husband was allergic to bee stings as a child, so when he came in covered with stings I was frantic. I ran out to see what we were dealing with, and got stung all over. I immediately gave my husband benadryl and made him sit beside me while I hit Pinterest. Soon we were using plastic cards to swipe the stingers out (try them in both directions), and then pressing thick onion slices to each and every sting. We didn’t even swell. Thanks, Pinterest!

HICCUPS:
Here’s my own Pinterest tip: a no-fail cure for hiccups a patient taught to me when I was a young nurse. Hiccups can be quite dangerous for people who have recently had major surgery or who have chronic lung disease.

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