Monday, February 25, 2013

Makeover Monday~ The Garage

Makeover Monday

The Garage
(otherwise known as the Black Hole)

This is our garage.

My husband has spent hours in here. He's purged. He's rearranged. He's stacked, moved, shifted. 
And, it still ends up like this. 
After first glance, it isn't too terrible. 
But, look closer. 

Tools, camping equipment, lawn stuff and fishing poles all conveniently crammed into one area.

Sports equipment, more camping stuff and boxes of "I don't know what's in here and I don't want to go through it right now" all stored for easy-access in another area. There's actually a table under all that somewhere! 

My car could fit and you could get in on both sides, if you held your breath, turned parallel to the wall and inched like a crab. 

This is my stopping point. 
Some people have tennis balls, but we're a hockey family.

This weekend, Scott decided he'd had enough. 
We were organizing the mess and this time, it was going to stay that way. So, hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to Home Depot we go!

First, shelves!

No more playing, "Wonder what's in the corner?"

And, it made room to spread out the tools and lawn equipment.

So much better!

Plus,  you can walk in the door without fear of being attacked by the cleaning tools like something out of the Sorcerer's Apprentice! 



It isn't perfect.  Scott won't let me label his shelves or tubs. *Pouting*
But, it makes me smile when I don't have "suck it in" to get into the car. 

So, what'd you do this weekend? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Makeover Monday~ Kinda

Makeover Monday

Work in Progress

I don't have an official "Makeover Monday" to share this week. I have a project in mind. I bought all my supplies, but my best intentions were sidelined by the opportunity to have a date with my husband. 

Sorry, Makeover Monday Hopefuls, he's kinda cute and I like him alot. 
So, he won. 

Still want a BEFORE and AFTER? 

(before marriage, two kids and fifteen years together.)


Apologies for the less than great photography, but you get the idea. 

So, while you anxiously await the space I want to show you next week, 
I have a question for you.

If you could snap your fingers and have one  area of your house magically organized/decorated, which area would you choose and why? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday Plot Swap~ Valentine's Style

Dawn's Plot Swap

Have a plot? Leave one

Need a plot ? Take one

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Could you make something sweet and romantic out of these? 

Nothing really says, "I love you more than life itself." like nasty, hissing insects!

How you doin'? 

I can totally imagine a scene with a woman crying to her friends, 
"He named a ROACH after me!"

Seniors get their groove on at Valentine’s Dance

Read more here:
The interesting part of this story is that organizers brought in "20-something" rookie football players to make sure there were no wallflowers. 
Perfect set up for a young woman who had to take Grandpa to the local dance and met the man of her dreams... Who hopefully still had his own teeth! 
Especially if her grandpa was like this guy!

12 true stories of romantic trips gone awry

Still need some inspiration? Check out this link. Awesome plot-starter stories. 
I especially liked: 
"Do you wanna touch?"
"Love, Italian-style."

So, swap with me!
Got any awesome love stories? 
Deep down, do you really want to a hissing cockroach after your significant other? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How he won my heart with a hammer...

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

My Prince Charming
What makes a moment romantic?

                 If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably already heard this story. I like to telling it again around Valentine's Day to remind everyone that romance isn't all chocolate, lingerie and semi-precious stones. It's about listening and showing your love, even if it involves household tools.

                  Despite appearances, the picture above is FAR from one of our most romantic moments. Some day, if you have a few hours and enough money for margaritas, I will tell you about that day and the unromanticness (Yes, it is a word. I don't care if the rest of the world doesn't acknowledge it). No, our most romantic moment involves a hardware tool and my soon-to-be husband was no  where in sight.
                 I met my husband two weeks after I moved to Texas. We met at a church we were both visiting for the first time. He asked me to lunch after the morning service ( an interesting story in itself, but I'll save it for another time). After the evening service, we ate ice cream at a park. I will add here that one of the top ten most romantic moments was when he turned to me and said, "Do you like to read? Because I just finished this great book. It's called the Notebook. I think the author is Nicholas somebody." (Insert  me swooning here).
                 After our official first date the next Sunday, he made a comment about the bareness of my apartment walls. I responded that I had never noticed I didn't own a hammer and nails until I moved into the apartment alone. We went on to talk about other things and I didn't even think about it again.
                The next day was a Monday in every sense of the word. I taught middle school at the time and let's just say all of my students were very much seventh graders that day. I remember wanting to cry when I pulled up to my apartment because my head was throbbing, as were my feet, and I lived on the second floor. When I finally dragged myself up the stairs, something was leaning against my door.

 A silver hammer with a shiny red bow. 
And that, my friends, is all it took.

So Tell Me Your Story. 
What is your most unconventionally romantic moment? Got big plans for Valentine's day? Ever swoon over a tool (no innuendo intended!)? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Makeover Monday~Paper Avalanche!

Makeover Monday

Paper Avalanche!

Run! Run for your lives!

My current WIP has an avalanche scene. 

My inspiration came from this.

Oh, the shame.

I almost didn't post this because...

Well, LOOK at it!

No, really. Don't look at it. 


This is my writing/lesson planning/bill paying/etc. area.

You can probably guess how much I was actually getting


I have this beautiful desk.

It has all sorts of cubbies and drawers. I love it.

But, it's on the other side of the house. 

And, for your own safety,

 you wouldn't want to roll up that top!

This is a space that will be featured on 

Makeover Monday soon.

Anyway, back to my side table. 

Some of the clutter experts emphasize figuring 

out why the clutter got to this point. 

I can tell you the why of the end tables. 


All of this paper was there because I couldn't deal 

with it. If someone was coming over, I would make it into a

nice, neat stack. Pretend I had it all together. 

Kinda like I was doing with my real life.

New Year's Day,  I turned on the Macy's parade.

 (Well, 'cause I love it! )

Grabbed a trash bag.

Turned on the shredder

And, went to  work.

I turned this....

Into this....

I even organized the drawer.

The best part is, for the most part, I've kept it clear for the 

past two months. 

Every time I see the avalanche building, I make myself stop 

and clear it off. 

Do you have a  precarious, pile of paper? 

Any trick for controlling the paper clutter that you want to 


Any spots in your house that look this? 

You can lie to make me feel better.  It's okay. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A False Prophet, a Found King and Oompa Loompas

Friday Plot Swap

Dawn's Plot Swap

Have a plot? Leave one

Need a plot ? Take one

We've got some good ones this week!

How'd you like to be an innocent hitchhiker who catches a ride with a man declaring to be Jesus? 

I love how the news article causally mentions, "Oh, yeah, and the hitchhiker had a hatchet."

Of course, why wouldn't he? 

Body found under parking lot is King Richard III

This one is specifically for my time-travel writing friend, Janet Taylor

Oh, the possibilities. 

The historical story of how it got there. 

Maybe a modern psychic who kept seeing a body there?

 The implications for the business? 


Oompa loompa doompety doo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you.
When Oompas attack,
what will you do?

Bonus Swap: 
This story made my heart happy. I just had to share. 

They grew up across the street from each other. He used to drive her to school. They fell in love, but her father arranged for her to marry someone else. So, they eloped...and have been married 80 years! 

Sweetest love story ever. 

So, Swap with me!
Could you do something awesome with these? 
What twists would you add? 
Heard any good plots lately? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Myth of a Carefree Childhood

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

The Myth of a Carefree Childhood

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that read: 
I just want to be 10 years old again with no worries in the world. 
If I remember correctly, it was accompanied by a picture of a child on a bike, riding with no hands, or some other heart-swelling image of nostalgia. 
Several comments followed about the carefree, joyousness of childhood. 
Youth is wasted on the young and similar cliches. 
The same faulty rhetoric people feed teenagers when they declare, 
"Enjoy high school. It's the best years of your life."
Trust me, if high school was the best years of my life, 
I would have snapped and gone running naked down the street a long time ago. 

It's all lies. 

Because, you know what? 

I live with a ten year old. 

A smart, beautiful girl who does well in school, has close friends, as well as  a strong family that loves her fiercely... And, she worries about everything
Not just about how she looks or if her favorite Disney Channel couple is going to stay together. 
She worries about the little girl who stole her snack from her locker because
 "Why would she need to steal food, mom?" 
She worries about her friends when others tease them. 
She worries about the boy her sister likes not being nice enough for her. 
She worries about what the country will be like for her children. 
(No, I'm not exaggerating.)

The idea that childhood is this blissful, free of stress, time is absurd.
 At no other point in your life are you in such confusing situations 
with such little control over your own destiny.  

I remember laying in bed at night, unable to shut off my mind. 

My mom probably remembers having to call my third grade teacher at home  because I couldn't stop crying. The teacher had made a boy stand in the trashcan as a punishment during class. I was so humiliated for him that I couldn't sleep and so scared of getting the teacher in trouble, it took my mom a good hour to get out of me why I was sobbing uncontrollably. 

That's the carefreeness of childhood. 

When adults look back through the rose-colored glasses, they discount the overwhelming pressure of that time in a child's life. 

By the time I was my daughter's age:
  • My parents were separated for the third or fourth time.
  • I had lived in three states in three years. 
  • I knew what drugs were.
  • I knew what alcoholism looked like. 
  • I had sat at the graveside of someone I loved. 
  • I had vague information about what sex would be and the thought was pretty terrifying. 
My life was far from stress-free. And, I wouldn't consider my childhood to be "bad". It just was. 

Children deserve for adults to respect the their emotions, ease their fears with out belittling them and offer empathy and compassion. 

Not just a patronizing pat on the head and a wistful, 
"Oh, when I was your age..."

So, tell me your story. 
Do you remember your childhood as all sno-cones and games of tag? 
Do you think people romanticize those early years? 
Is high school ever the best years of someone's life? 

Monday, February 4, 2013

No Makeover Monday

No Makeover Monday
Sad Dawn

My plans for a BIG Makeover Monday were thwarted (yes, I'm using the word THWARTED) by the lack of cute shelf paper in the DFW area. 

I have an idea for the best pantry makeover EVAH. But, I can't find any cute shelf paper. And, just in case my husband is reading, the "camo" paper we saw does NOT count as "cute". 

I want something with color.
Or else, I might be forced to *gulp* paint! 

So, here is the BEFORE.


Sad Dawn.

Any suggestions for shelf paper? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Plot Swap~ As Seen on TV

Dawn's Plot Swap

Have a plot? Leave one

Need a plot ? Take one

I went to a workshop once where the presenter compared loglines to the little blurbs you see on your TV guide. Last year, as an experiment I scrolled through my guide for some plot ideas. I decided to give it another try with some different movies this year.
Click on the logline to go to the movie description.