Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Come on Baby, Like My Fire

Stew requested a "fake campfire" for last night's Pack Meeting and since I vaguely remembered googling how to do it a while ago when we'd thought about doing it before, and therefore figured I knew the general approach (lights and fan), I was like sure no problem.  Well I can't remember when he asked exactly, toward the end of last week probably, but we had a pretty busy weekend, so I of course didn't get started until yesterday afternoon.  Actually I had gathered some of the supplies I'd had on hand on Sunday evening (streamers, strobe light) and made a mental note to run to WalMart on Monday for a fan and red light bulb.  Well turns out fans must be a seasonal product because I couldn't find any!  Nary a fan to be found.  In their place were dehumidifiers and space heaters.  I stuck it out though, browsing aisles twice for good measure, and finally found a small USB powered "personal fan" for a dollar in the clearance section.  I crossed my fingers it would work with my phone's USB wall charger, snagged it and hightailed it out of there as by then it was 3 pm, time to get boys and then home for the hellish homework hour.  I pulled all my supplies into the bedroom and shut the door and tried very hard to not be dragged into the chaos that roared outside my door.  Sitting there, frustrated before the homestretch, I felt very much like a cave woman, growling at her wild young and tearing away at a cardboard box, going Grrrr! Fire! Fire! Fire!  A little over one hour later I was happy enough with what I came up with... plus I had no time left to tinker.  Though as they finished up their soup dinner I did take a few minutes to take a knife to it, stabbing here and there to let more light through.  

Basically it is a strobe light (mine from back-in-the-90s house parties [what? OF COURSE I still have it]) plugged into a power bar and both wedged into a small canned food cardboard flat, alongside a plastic trouble light with red bulb, also plugged into power bar.  Then the USB powered fan, which hallelujah worked with an old phone charger (and actually ended up being the perfect size and air strength, a small desk fan would have been too big and bulky), got plugged in too... Next it was time to creatively camouflage all those innards with cardboard kindling and logs, plus yellow and red streamers for the flames.  The last yards of a roll of yellow duct tape and some light brown shipping tape held it all precariously together.  It is likely a fire hazard itself but less so than an actual indoor campfire so give me a break. Also it stayed together during transport to-and-fro (Stew had good idea to set it on a tray of some sort so I used our big pizza cookie sheet), and it held up to one of the boys in my Tiger den sticking his hand in there enough to stop the fan a couple times.  

  It looked pretty good in the dimmed hall lights at the Pack Meeting, served its purpose, and stayed together, so yay!  I forgot to take pictures at the meeting, so I snapped these afterward once back home.  We will leave it assembled in case we need it again, or until I need to scavenge it for parts.  You never know when we might have our next wild house party in need of a strobe light.  

And here is a video clip to fully capture the lovely ambience.  :)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sad Thing

Since you can't appreciate happiness without some sadness, thought I would share a #sadthing...
RIP Earbuds circa 2000 or whenever the first iPod came out.  The iPod bit the dust back in grad school 2010, but these earbuds hung in there and have been my buddies for all my runs since I started about 5 years ago. They must have been in my hoodie pocket and went through the wash & dry and got all twisted &  squished together with exposed & split wires toward the jack end.   :(

The pack rat / use-it-until-it-dies spirit in me almost wants to see if wrapping electric tape around ithe wound would fix them, but alas, the voice of reason / "life is impermanent" spirit in me decided to just thank them for their service and throw away.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Three+ Happy Things

This picture makes me smile, despite me seeing some flaws / body image issues, I actually think I look fine... plus it helps that I remember that pictured smile being very authentic as it was taken at the end of my first Booty Barre class last week. The instructor shared it on her Facebook today to promote the class so I downloaded it to share here. Yay. I went again today and maybe she went a little lighter on me as I didn't sweat as much (though I did get smart and wore my Buff headband this time)... but I had the same 'whee that was hard but fun' buzz after so bet I will feel sore again (in a good way) tomorrow!

On Tuesday we got these cute pumpkins in the mail from mom...

And yesterday I finished my second hat of the season, the toned down with higher brim version. I think it turned out cute and may make a couple more in other color variations. But first I need to finish a quick skull cap for Cyrus to wear to flag football in his team colors of white/yellow/green. 

Of course I also need to finish the kitchen painting project and I have 5 library books to read too but whatever I guess there is no rush really, which is nice. My recent/ongoing study & practice of mindfulness is really helping me chill out more and stop/pause the lost-in-thought downward spiral that can happen when life is busy. Plus crochet is very zen for me so I guess it makes sense that I have picked it up again amidst the 31 Days of Mindfulness Summit. A recent speaker, Sam Harris, at first seemed cocky & w/ content & name drops over my head, but then I detached from that judgement and what he was saying started to be really deep. 
***you are not your thoughts***  
***there is no spoon*** 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Colorful Booty

This past weekend I got the urge to crochet again after a month or so loss of interest.  But I still have the patchworky color mix sense that I had when I was last doing granny squares, so I made a trippy hippy / crazy grandma hat that I ended up added a little brim to.  After one or two tries at the brim, I thought it turned out cute this way... but it hasn't quite got so cool in the mornings that I need a knit hat yet so I guess it will have to wait for a bit to go public IRL.  Next I think I will make a similar more toned down color-wise version with the brim starting a bit higher up and belled out a little longer, like a 1920's cloche hat.  

Also along the same crazy color lines, I wore this thrifted maxi dress yesterday after altering the straps to be halter since it was fitting weird and was a simple adjustment.  The faux patchwork and pattern/color mix made me happy and maybe sometime this winter I will have to wear that hat with this dress with a long layer of black in between to break up the insanity a little bit.  

Another fun thing I did this week so far was to change up my running schedule so that I can get in 3 runs a week, possibly with the intention of training for a marathon, or at least another half. Yay.  It also frees up my Thursday morning so I can take a Booty Barre class (a mix of pilates, dance & yoga), which I tried for the first time last week and it totally kicked my ass.  I mean I have been running twice a week and doing yoga and walking dogs, etc., but I haven't really been doing any straight-up cardio since I don't know, forever.   I was dripping in sweat but laughing about it and felt a rush afterwards until I was in pain for 3 days straight.  I was the only one that showed up so hopefully the instructor (same Scout mom friend that I took a Belly Dance class from) will keep it up even if it is just for me a few more weeks at least, so that I can get a feel for it and can maybe do it on my own with a video at home or something.    

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Found above the cupboards...

While listening to a talk about the how one guy fought off the "asshole voice in his head" via practicing mindfulness, I finished taping the next half of the kitchen to paint and while perched near the ceiling on a ladder I found this odd mix of stuff lying in a 1/2 inch of dust above the cabinets... a dog chewed nerf football, a tin foil ball, a hot pink bouncy ball, a wallet (sadly empty) and a picture of a sorta cute guy standing by a hunting/fishing boat.