• Alpha+Mom post,  artsy fartsy,  how-to's,  Tis the Season

    A Leprechaun Trap and other Mischief

    Proud Leprechaun Hunter

    Bug had the most interesting homework assignment this week. She had to build a Leprechaun trap. I love her teacher. She always assigns her students with the coolest art projects for homework. If I was a first grader in her class I would get an A+ or an O for outstanding or whatever it is they give out these days.

    They even get to draw pictures for their math assignments. If I was a student now I could be a drawing math whiz! Can you imagine? That would have been so much better than that stupid math baseball game we played in second grade where I had to stand at the blackboard in front of the class with shaky knees and add and subtract under pressure while all the other students yelled at me. Hey Battah Battah! Nah, I’m not bitter. I don’t blame my dyscalculia on my second grade teacher or anything. Heh.

    Anyway, this is not about me. This is about Bug and her school art projects. Amazingly, it doesn’t seem to hurt Bug if I get involved. This is always a worry for me because if I’m not careful I’ll completely take over her art projects and then it’s me who’s all excited to get a grade and not my kid. I tried really hard to not butt in with this one too but I have to admit I did sort of take over at the end. It’s just that she wanted to make the Leprechaun a bed out of a coffee sleeve and then I had this brilliant idea that we could make a pot of gold (sort of like that coffee sleeve) that could actually snap when the Leprechaun tried to steal a gold piece.

    Leprechaun Trap

    So I let her decorate the box. I just provided the supplies. What? I can’t help it that I happen to have green leaves and green glitter, translucent stones and every color of construction paper in my craft box. It’s my job to have these things! I also have a glue gun too and next thing you know I was helping her glue in rocks and a pine cone and it just got more and more fabulous. I couldn’t help it. And then I helped her cut out the rainbow too because the scissors flew into my hand when she sort of lost interest after red. You know how that goes.

    Yeah, I suck as a parent.

    She made the ladder though. All by herself. I just glued it. I wanted to get rid of the ladder, personally, so I figure letting her keep the ladder counts as me not taking over too much.

    But who cares about that, let’s get to the best part!


    Exhibit A : hole punched in small cup (which we then covered with black paper to look like a cast iron pot)


    Exhibit B: To make the gold piece bait we hot-glued two gold gems together with a piece of embroidery thread between them. Hot glue is my best friend. It holds tight and is Leprechaun proof.


    Exhibit C: The piece de resistance! The black embroidery floss is then attached to the lid like so and then covered with leaves to disguise it.


    If you try to snatch the bait piece of gold (all the other jewels were glued down) the lid snaps down on your Leprechaun head! We tried to make a movie of the action but then the lid stopped working and I had to reinforce the hinge with a bendy straw and then we were late to school and now it’s held hostage at her school. Maybe I’ll finesse the whole craft next year for Alpha+Mom and make a movie then.

    Which reminds me, do you need a Saint Patricks Day activity? I’ve got one for you over at Alpha Mom! A Leprechaun Treasure Hunt!

    Pot o' cheese

    The Leprechauns have been into mom's baking dishes!

    Those Leprechauns get into everything!

  • Moody Blues

    Still in the Woods


    I cannot wait until I can write a post called, “And then I lived to tell about it.” But unfortunately I’m not there yet. My computer is back up and running. I have all the software I need to work on a day to day basis but I can’t use my apple mail or safari. Both cause ram-crunching memory leaks.

    It’s really weird. It’s either a virus, which I haven’t found any evidence of, OR some kind of cache issue where Carbonite backed up so many versions of things that my email and internet browser can’t find the cache they are looking for. I just need to find those caches and throw them out but I’m floundering because I can’t tell what is what.

    The good news is Toby is helping me out. He’s been a real friend through all this. It’s funny how I have all these mixed up feelings about our disolved marriage and where things should be with our (still pending) divorce. But stronger than all that is our friendship. It seems to have stood the test of time. I am so thankful for that. It doesn’t make sense to the outside world but I just have to tell myself that outside opinions don’t matter. We are a still a family. Not a traditional one but we still put each other first which is really cool.

    Anyway, when I finally get it all sorted out I’ll try to write a comprehensive post about what happened to my hard drive and why the restoration process went so wrong with Carbonite. I’m sad to say I can’t recommend Carbonite as a product if you own your own business. It’s handy if you need to back up 30 gigs or less but if you have a mac I wouldn’t recommend it. They say they are compatible but they aren’t.

    In the meantime, I’ve got a busy week! Work has been flooding in which is a real answer to prayer.

    It’s funny, before this whole computer problem happened, I prayed that I would be more motivated to work. I was in a slump creatively. Nothing really made me feel excited anymore and I hate that. It’s really hard to be creative when you are bored. I can’t really do my best work unless I’m on fire over whatever project I’m working on or I have a deadline looming. Deadlines are good for inspiration.

    If neither deadline nor interest are present in a project then I tend to while away my time cleaning my house and watching Netflix. It’s stupid and pathetic. There is a reason why creative people are not good business people and this is it for me. I can’t afford to be a domestic goddess or up on all the latest tv shows. But when the juices aren’t flowing they aren’t. I’m a blob of stagnant energy.

    Kick the computer that I work on out from under me for a month and suddenly the urgency to make money is knocking me down so hard I wake up with panic attacks every night. It was getting really bad. I would lay awake for four hours every night doing nothing but stress out with such concentration that I could almost feel it like a bag of bricks on my chest. Everything from impending cancer to eviction to the possibility that there is no God…my brain worked so hard pedaling backwards in it’s tiny hamster cage, I think smoke came out my ears.

    Normally, when I can’t sleep I just open my laptop and start working on something. It’s the best cure for insomnia and underproduction. If it’s boring it puts me back to sleep. But I had no laptop. I had an ipad that I could watch movies on but I couldn’t turn off the smoking hamster wheel long enough to keep track of any storyline. Every five seconds I would launch into some new anxiety attack.

    Well, anyway. I’m sure I’m not unique to this. Many many bloggers have written about their battles with mental illness or depression or financial troubles. I don’t think I’m mentally ill. I think I just hit on some hard times. Hard times are happening to all of us. It’s not an easy time in history to be providing for a family but it’s not going to get easier either so we best buck up and make the most of what we have, right?

    I can say that I started reading my bible every day and praying on my knees. I used to just say a prayer wherever and whenever. Doing dishes, taking a shower, sitting on the pot. Whatever! God doesn’t care, right? Well, I think he does. I kept thinking how the bible always talks about prayer and fasting together. I’ve never really gotten around to fasting but I’ve started praying with more purpose. I actually get on my knees, put my head down and then pray for ten things. I count them off finger by finger and it takes me outside my hamster wheel brain just long enough to stop the destructive cycle that has been my thoughts lately. You can call it whatever you like. Maybe I’m fooling myself with some kind of mental meditation or maybe God hears me and prayer actually works. All I can say is that it’s helped me a lot. I was so down and now I feel hope again.