News from the Trenches

I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed over here but what else is new, right? You know how when you move into a new place, you manage to keep it perfectly clean and orderly for about a year and a half. Maybe it’s a month and a half for you, but you know what I mean. You have some sense of control over your environment because you just moved into a new place and you unpacked everything to go exactly where it’s supposed to go?

And then after that honeymoon of everything being so fresh and new, you start to let go of control a little. The carpet isn’t always vacuumed everyday and your daughter tracks in bits of grass and the laundry isn’t quite folded the exact same day you washed it and the tracks in your shower door are starting to get moldy and gross and the grout in your kitchen tile is starting to collect coffee grinds…bla bla bla…?


Maybe it’s just me. I’m having one of those everything-is-gross-and-I’m-really-super-hyper-aware-of-it moments. Like I drank too much coffee and I need to pick at everything kinda feeling. I hate that. Life can be a little too vivid sometimes. I need to dial my awareness back a notch or drink two glasses of wine instead of the usual one.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hi before I have to slap up another sponsored post. You guys are going to start thinking I only blog for money these days. Sad. Pathetic. What happened to my life where I blogged every little fart that passed?

So what else is new?

I dabbled in a little online dating this week. Of the free variety. What a crock!!! Oh my goodness. You know, there are a lot of creeps out there. I started chatting with three guys and all three of them turned out to be scam artists. In fact they may have all been the same scam artist using three different profiles. Thankfully, I caught on before I gave them my social security number and credit cards. Sheesh! Maybe the magazine-quality bio photos should have been a red flag? Hmmm….. I may be lonely but I’m not that lonely. I have met two real people who seem to be interesting. It’s kind of scary and fun at the same time. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I just hope they are as old and hopeless as I am. Or that they aren’t as old and hopeless as I am. It’s scary meeting people that you don’t know. You advertise your best self and then they are disappointed when you show up with a few extra pounds and a double chin or you under-advertise and you end up meeting whackos who are so insecure you have three online fights with them over whether or not you are really interested enough to meet in public. Maybe meeting someone at a bar is not so bad after all. I’m starting to think I do need to be drunk to date again.

But don’t worry. I’m fine. It was just something fun one day when I was bored and Bug was away on vacation with her dad. I am not becoming one of those moms who goes out every night. I probably am not going to meet anyone until I’m 60. We’ll have a hot shuffleboard date.

Secondly. I’m a little bent out of shape with lately. Have you noticed my book is out of stock every single day? I thought it was because it was so popular it was flying off the shelves. No. That is not the case at all. I sold about 37 books. Seriously.

They are just not printing them. Some kind of distribution battle between the actual printer and amazon. I’m just over it. If you want to buy my books, I say click over to Barnes and Noble. They don’t seem to have a problem keeping them on the virtual shelves.

In other book news, I will be reading at the Mesa Verde Library in Costa Mesa this Thursday the 12th at 7pm. I plan to do a little craft too and I don’t have anyone lined up to read the French parts for me so that might be a little piece of entertainment for you locals. Come listen to me make a fool of myself!

What’s new with you, pussycats?


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I think summer is here. No more cold spells. Which I love. Even though the heat out here in the desert can be quite oppressive when it gets up in the hundreds for days on end, there’s something that harkens back to my childhood when I wake up in the morning and tip toe outside and it already feels warm at six in the morning. I was raised here in the desert and deep inside I’ll always be a desert rat.

That’s not saying I’m not anxious to get back to the beach. I AM. I think about it almost every minute. I just want to know where I’m going to live already. I hope to nail down an apartment situation this weekend. Work has been picking up so I really hope I can afford to get into a complex with a pool. How cool would that be? Bug could learn how to swim…I dream of nice white walls and light flooding in the windows so I can take photos without having to constantly dodge the redneckedness of my mobile home.

I feel bad saying that. I love this old mobile home. I’m going to be sad to leave it. But I won’t be sad to leave my crazy neighbors. Nosiree.

Say cheese Katydid! Just lost another tooth.

I’m going to miss my mom and all the kid-watching she does. We’re just going to have to make sure I find an apartment with room for an air mattress because she’s going to come visit us as often as I can talk her into it.

Speaking of… I found an apartment a few weeks ago in my price range. It was pathetically small. It was the size of my living room with no other rooms attached to it outside of a closet with a toilet in it and a shower in another closet. This is how studios normally are but this one was just super small and sad. It didn’t even have room for a refrigerator. I could have a mini fridge and that’s it. I could probably fit a bed, a table and maybe an expedit bookshelf and that would be it and it wouldn’t be very brenshui.

I seriously considered it though because it was cheap. I like the idea of minimalistic living, having only what you absolutely need and nothing extra… I could just pretend I was living in Paris like Linguini in Ratatouille. I could even hang a bike over my door…but then I thought about all these crafting posts I do and all the art supplies I keep on hand. Where would I keep them? I can’t really afford to go out and buy supplies every time I have a project. So I let that apartment go.

Teacher appreciation week Sunday afternoon relaxing.

I think I’ve talked about Bug’s anxiety about school before. It was really bad a week ago. So bad that I started looking up things on the internet and ended up buying a workbook for her to go through. We’ve only read two chapters but she’s been super keen to color in it. She loves it. Toby thinks it’s all hogwash but I’m inclined to think it’s good because we went from three to four freak-out tear-fests a morning to maybe one or two now and somedays none. I just worry about her so much. She probably gets her tendency to over-worry about things from me. I just don’t want her to suffer from anxiety for the rest of her life. So hopefully with this workbook and another book I’m reading we’ll have some tools to deal with her fears.

Now I just need some campy stamps! Campy Stamps!!

I sent my 40th Birthday Camp Midlife Crisis invitations out last week. I feel like a crazy stupid fool planning a big party right in the middle of summer when I have so many work projects going on AND a move. I don’t know how I’m going to pull it off, not to mention the world is supposed to end or at least burn into some kind of terrible financial depression…but I figure it’s now or never. This is my journey and I’m a mover and a shaker. I have to make things happen if I want them to happen. I can’t sit around waiting for life to line up for me. This all makes me think of my year’s goal list. Can I really make it to New York this year and possibly hire an agent? I guess they say if your goals don’t scare you then they aren’t high enough. Well, my goals definitely scare me.

day 2 First swim of the season!

Sometimes I get mad at myself for not accomplishing all these things that I want to do when I was younger and hipper and more photogenic. But then I remember my little one and I realize that everything is happening in this order for a reason. I might not build an empire or star in crafting videos on the local news station or release coffee table books with pretty origami paper inserts or have drinks with celebrities… but I do have a daughter and she is perfect. She slows me down for a reason. I just have to stop fighting against it and savor it.

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I need to savor everything in this crazy life. Because it won’t last forever.

We’ve been swimming at my Grandma’s house once a week. Bug still does not know how to swim and it’s a bit nerve-wracking. She’s close. She just has to get over her fear of getting water up her nose and in her ears. I can’t say I blame her. I still swim the breast stroke above water myself because I hate it too. So this summer we have goals: learn to swim, learn to ride a bike and learn to tie her shoes. I think we can do it. Especially if I get around to getting her bike tires pumped up. (Bad Mom!)

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Bug’s kindergarten held a Mother’s Day Tea last week. It was darling. They made us paper-plate hats and I have to say with pride that mine was by far the most stylish. Don’t I look fancy in it? She wanted to know why I didn’t wear it to church on Sunday. I told her I wanted to keep it nice to hang on the wall and thankfully she bought that. It’s hanging in the bathroom making the bathroom look fancy.

These kid art projects make my heart swell up until it feels like it might burst and then I can’t figure out what to do with them. I hate to throw them away because there is just so much love involved but I don’t know if my threshold for clutter can take much more. Sigh. It’s just too much. So I keep them around and go on day-dreaming about that nice white apartment…

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We went to Knott’s Berry Farm this last Saturday. It was a blast. I can’t tell you about it yet because I’m due to write a sponsored post this coming Monday. But I’ll have lots and lots of photos and funny stories to share.

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Ah, Mother’s Day. I wore my favorite green striped dress. How come I can’t find a link to who gave it to me. Where are you Texas Leah? That was you, right? Blarg.

Anyway, it was a nice Mother’s Day. I spent it with my mom and my grandma eating a big lunch.

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Other random shots from around town…

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We have a pink plastic flamingo in our backyard now. That officially makes us classy, right? I’m planning on moving him to the beach with us, stuck in some pot of a cactus to remind us of the desert. He’ll make me stand out when I’m living in cookie-cutter apartment land with only a balcony to call a yard.

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Strawberry leaf hula girl.

Strawberry leaf hula skirt girl.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh...... It's officially iced coffee season!

It’s officially iced coffee season I’m pleased to announce.

Tough Girl

So go get your teeny weenie bikini on and enjoy one in the kiddie pool! That’s what I say.

And that concludes my instagrammia update.

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Did Instagram kill the blog star? I don’t know. I don’t use my water-proof purse camera anymore now that I have a handy dandy iphone and that’s kind of sad. But I do love the instant gratification of sharing images right when they happen. I don’t blog as much but I don’t think that’s Instagram’s fault. I think life is just busier/crazier.

I do have some questions for you, dear readers who have stuck by me through the years. I’m dreaming up a new design for this site that probably won’t happen until the tenth of never but we can dream…. I’m going to kick most of my ads to the curb. I’m sick of them and they don’t pay enough. Do you have any special requests? You have kept me afloat all these years with your comments and business connections, it’s probably about time that I asked for some customer feedback.

More blogging? More craft posts? Less ads? Do sponsored posts drive you crazy? More and more of them want to be on my main blog page and not on my review blog which I have mixed feelings about. I hate being a sell-out and I don’t want to force anything on the readers who have been so loyal to me, but at the same time reviews pay the bills and I think I bring more to the table than the average reviewer. So tell me what you think. What would you like to see more of? I’m not going to make any promises. Promises seem to be the kiss of death for me but it would be fun to tumble around your suggestions in my rock-polisher of a brain.