Saturday, February 10, 2018

2018 kitchen "refresh"

Nothing major but I changed out some of my kitchen decor and I love the cleaner feel so I wanted to post a couple of photos :)
I loved my previous clock and sign over the sink but I feel that the new ones reflect my current style so much more accurately and I love the way the kitchen looks right now. much as I love my countertops so much better than the original blue and white I am ready for a change so we'll see what the future hold in that department.
The sign above the window is new and also the sign in the
corner to the right of the stove is new since my last update.

The clock is new, I changed the flowers on the table and the
wooden star is also new(I'm getting another identical to go
underneath that one)
It's kinda crazy how just a couple of new things makes the whole place feel different.
Slowly but surely, friends, I'm finding my style and creating my perfect "tralace" :)
Have a great day!

What am I?

DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a long drawn out post...just so you go into it knowing what you're getting into. You'll probably reach the end and wonder what in the world you just read as there's no point to this rhyme and no reason. You've been forewarned.....

Here I come again with another long overdue life update.

Gosh, you guys....I'm just sitting here with my fingers poised above the keyboard wondering where to start or what to say or even how to say what's in my head.
I think I'll start with a little background...sharing some things I've not shared here on the blog before.
This is something that I don't put out to the general population...not because I'm ashamed or unsure of who I am but rather  because not everyone understands the phenomenon. It's difficult to explain to someone who just doesn't "get it" and also I am just generally a private person.

But, here it is....I am an empath. Actually, I'm a pretty strong empath with mild psychic abilities. If you aren't sure what exactly an empath is then I encourage you to do some research. But, basically, just for the purpose of me getting this blog post down in black and white, an empath is someone who takes on the feelings and emotions of those around them...that is the barest definition and doesn't come close to fully explaining what an empath is or what it encompasses. It's something you are born with...and not something you just decide to be.
Note that there is a significant difference between being empathetic and actually being an empath.
From as early as I can remember I've known I was different and that I could see things in their barest truth. I always knew I could "read people" with an uncanny accuracy. It's all about the energy...I feel people's energy...I also feel the energy of SO many other things...almost everything puts off an energy vibe.
 It wasn't until quite a few years ago that I realized that there was a name for it or that there were other people just like me. And, since then I've done hours upon hours of reading and research just trying to learn and understand why I am the way I am. There is science behind it but I'm not going into all that.

The one thing I have not been able to get a grasp on is shielding...and that just means being able to shield myself from others' emotions.
I could sit here and tell you all day long how very difficult it is to take on the emotions of everyone around you and you will never understand. Heck, some of you may be shaking your heads and thinking that I've finally lost it.
You wouldn't be far from the truth. The past few months have taken their toll on me and my psyche.
I feel things strongly...not just the baggage of others but my own emotions as well. I tend to go all in when I love or care for someone. When they hurt or go through hard times "I" go through the same feelings. And, let's just say that the last few months have been a never ending barrage of worry, stress and heartache....and very little of it my own.
There was the stress of the holidays...2 of my boys laid off between Thanksgiving and New Years and obviously they struggled emotionally as well as financially. Our oldest son went through a heart wrenching break up that I feared would destroy him and myself along with him.  Our next to youngest made the announcement that he planned to move over 2500 miles away from and family. Then there was my own holiday stress of trying to make everything perfect for everyone. I've been sick 3 different times this winter and have a sore throat AGAIN. My oldest son switched from day shift to night shift so I have my 5 year old grandson a lot more often...and I love him and am so thankful for the time I get to spend with him, but he's exhausting. And then there was my brother who is a meth addict who has lived with us for the most part for just over a year now. It would be difficult to live with him in the best of circumstances but as an empath who feels his constant inner turmoil it became more than I could handle. He is diagnosed paranoid delusional not related to drugs or alcohol...he also suffers from an instituionalized personality disorder due to being in prison for so many years. He talks to himself a LOT...he questions absolutely everything, he comments on everything and he is always right. I think he likes to argue but it's mentally exhausting to deal with. His reality is on the opposite spectrum of mine and he refuses to budge...whereas a "normal" person knows that sometimes you have to make compromises and sacrifices in life.
On top of all that...which may not sound as bad as it's actually been....I had to deal with custody issues for my 17 year old niece. It was a lot more stressful and involved than I'd anticipated. I love her probably more than she realizes but she comes with her own set of emotional baggage.
As an empath...every single bit of this "stress" (for lack of a better word) is amplilfied exponentially. And, again, unless you ARE an empath you will not understand.
There are more...many many more... small stresses as well...but I'm not going to go down the entire list.
Heck, I don't even know why I'm even trying to put this all into words. Perhaps I'm subconsciously trying to put it into context for my own self.
My son did move away 2 weeks ago and to say that it has devastated me is to put it mildly. When he drove away it literally brought me to my knees and left me on the ground squalling uncontrollably until I vomited.  It's gotten better but barely.

I began to wonder if I was a freak of some kind because who really feels this broken and lost over a child moving away??
But, then I realized that it's BECAUSE I'm an empath...I become so emotionally vested in those I love (especially my children) that it amplifies every emotion. And, especially with this child because he and I have always had a strong bond. Unusually strong, in fact. And now there's a knot of emotion in my throat that refuses to go away. It is a physical hurt and the grief is unbelievable and unbearable at times.

You know...I don't even know where I'm going with this post. There's really no "point" to it. It's just a jumbled set of thoughts that may make absolutely no sense to anyone other than myself.

I just want to say that I'm getting better. I'm learning to focus and meditate, I'm working on growing spiritually because that is the root of all healing...both physical and mental.
I will come out on top of all this and I'll be happier than ever. But, for now it's a process that I am slowly clawing my way through.

I haven't crafted in months...not really. I did make a couple of Christmas gifts--they were quick projects and didn't even turn out that great.
But, crafting and scrapbooking make me happy so I'm going to do more of that.

Just bear with me, friends...I know I've not been myself the last few months. I've been a terrible wife and friend and not the greatest Mother or Nana....I've just let everything swallow me up. One thing I know is that I am a survivor and I will get through this "slump".  I'm not too proud to ask for prayers, good thoughts, positive send it my way.

If you've read through this far then you're either a saint or a very good, thank you!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

My thoughts on "older" trick or treaters

With tomorrow being Halloween I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook the past few days related to the holiday. Whether it be photos of the kids in their costumes--which I personally absolutely love--or just stories of their antics in choosing costumes or getting dressed, people love sharing. One of the things I see floating around every year is this:

"For those passing out candy this year on Halloween 🎃, when a teenager comes to your door, please give them candy without saying "aren't you too old to be doing this"?... at least they're not out drinking & driving, vandalizing, doing drugs, etc. I would much rather they knock on my door for candy. Also, please don't refuse a child candy if they aren't dressed up. Some families can't afford it or maybe dressing up is uncomfortable if not unbearable to some. One last thing, size does not always determine the mental age or special needs of a child. In your eyes you may see a "teenager" or "an adult" but their mental state may possibly be that of a younger child.
I copied this from a friend because I felt the need to share. Copy and paste if you would like to share."

This strikes a chord with me every time I see it. I find it extremely sad that some adults feel the need to make a child feel guilty or ashamed for simply trying to squeeze in another year or two of an all too fleeting childhood. And when I see posts like this one I am always reminded of the one year my boys went trick or treating around our small town. They were in their early teens and they wanted to dress up and I encouraged them! 
Along our route we stopped in at one of the local churches that was having Halloween activities. In order to get candy you had to go into one of the classrooms with the lights off where there was candy spread out on the floor. You had so many seconds to get as much candy as you could and what you got you could keep. I didn't go into the room with them for obvious reasons and didn't really think anything about it. But, later that night, we were at a haunted house hosted by another local church. There's always a campfire at this event and lots of local people. Well, there around the fire was one of the ladies from the previous church and while we were certainly acquaintances we weren't friends. We definitely knew who one another was though. So, she sees my boys and then APOLOGIZES to me because when my boys went into the darkened classroom for candy they (those in charge) had moved all the candy to the edges of the room making it almost impossible for them to find any. Why, you ask? Because they thought they were too old to be trick or treating and she didn't realize who they were. But, it shouldn't have mattered WHO they were...they were in a CHURCH where they should have been treated with love and tolerance, unconditionally. 
To this day my heart breaks every time I think about this. My kids didn't know...I'm sure they assumed it was the same for every child who entered that room. This was a CHURCH...a lady that I thought to be a "good christian lady" and as unjust as it may seem, I lost all respect for that lady that night. I have never looked at her the same and I believe I never will. This is a small town and I do see her out and about occassionally and I remember that night every single time.

Please, it's just candy and we ALL like, if an older CHILD comes to your door trick or, give them candy and wish them a Happy Halloween! Let them hang onto this childhood tradition just a little bit longer :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mobile home remodeling and decor updates

 It's been a minute since my last post, oops...sorry! Just life, life and more life happening the last few months. Nothing too exciting on the remodeling front but I do have some updated decor photos I want to share. 
We did recently update the light fixture in the dining area. I think we also updated the blinds since my last home update post. I *love* my blinds but they are a headache to keep clean and dust free.

Just as a reminder to anybody who's not familiar with our home, we live in a 1997 16x80 singlewide manufactured home. We've been here almost 10 years now and our home has gone through several transformations along the way. It's probably not AS noticeable to outsiders but for me I see every tiny improvement as being one step closer to my perfect little home. Fancy it isn't but it IS paid for and I find tremendous comfort in that.
I love coming in my front door and having that feeling of "home" and I hope that no matter the shape and size of your own homes that every single person reading this feels the same when they open their front door.

These photos are in no particular order and I've left out photos of my scrapbook room, the master bath and also my son's bedroom (although I'll be sharing photos of his room very soon as we're about to do some updates in there!)

When you walk in the front door and look right this is your view.
The bathroom is there at the very end of the hallway. The first
bedroom on the left is my son's room and the 2nd bedroom
on the left is what is my scrapbook room. 

This is our dining area

I love this floral arrangement <3 I painted and glittered the
jars myself and added the jute twine. I got the flowers
from Hobby Lobby--I chose pink because 1. I love pink and 2. I
wanted the flowers to look as real as possible considering they aren't. And
3. I was looking for a good pop of color
The tray I picked up at Ross or TJ Maxx.

This is our laundry room...nothing too spectacular
but I like it :) 

This is the living room from near the front door--my
gallery wall is a work in progress...a slow process, lol. 

kitchen/dining area from the middle of the living room

One side of the living room from the middle of the kitchen

the back hallway taken from the doorway of the master

The dresser in the master bedroom just as you walk in the door

Haha...yes, that's a pile of shoes (and my purse) in the corner...I'm
really bad about just tossing my shoes to the corner when
I take them off. I should get a nice shoe rack and put it to
use but, if I'm being honest, that's probably not gonna happen, lol. 

This looks horrible I know but I've just not gotten around to
painting that wall when we got our new bed a couple months ago.
Yeah, I suck like that sometimes, lol. 

hallway bathroom...the only thing that's changed in
here since my last bathroom update is the mirror and
a bathroom decor sign I got from Hobby Lobby that you
can't see in this photo

This is the wall on the other side of the living room...
right behind the front door. 
This is the cube shelf I just recently added to the
end of the hallway outside the bathroom and
directly across from my scrapbook room. These cube
shelves are my new favorite thing for storage, hands down!

This is the view from outside the hallway bathroom door.
You can see the door to my son's room on the right.

I know there's been nothing exciting in this post and I apologize but I really just wanted to get these photos posted.
You guys should have figured out by now that there's always another project in the back of my mind so be sure you stay tuned ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gold glitter monogram

As I was on the school bus this morning driving my morning route I found myself feeling like I needed to constantly be rubbing at my nose and it occurred to me that to a bystander I probably looked like a crack head, lol. When, actually, I just had glitter in my nose.
While waiting for my son to get ready for school this morning before the bus route I was working on a gold glittered monogram for my scrapbook/craft room and that fine, powdery glitter just gets everywhere...including your nose, lol!
Kind of a random post, right? Oh was in my head so there ya go :) Carry on...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Crystiles peel and stick wall tiles--our kitchen backsplash makeover

Good morning!
Today, I thought I'd share with you all our new kitchen back splash. I had originally intended to use actual tiles but, just to be completely honest, I was looking for a simpler (ok, EASIER) alternative because I knew that I'd be waiting until heaven knows when if I kept waiting for my husband to agree to such a time consuming and back breaking project. I try to be fair to him and to remember that he works 6 days per week and just like everyone else, he likes to have some down time when he's off. I understand that and I respect that. SOOOO....a couple weeks ago I came across the concept of peel and stick dimensional "faux tiles" and I was quite intrigued.  I pretty much watched every video I could find on YouTube and for the most part, people loved them and they looked really good.
I finally coaxed the hubs on board and off we went to Lowe's in search of the tiles or something similar. Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck with Lowe's. They did have some similar tiles but not in any of the colors I was looking for. However, being there and seeing the tiles themselves in person and holding them and touching them and comparing the way they looked to the actual glass tiles was enlightening. I was convinced that the average person would never look at these and realize that they aren't "real tile".
So, with that in mind I was ready to get my hands on them and get them into my kitchen ASAP.
I had seen a YouTube video by a YouTuber named Laci Jane and I'll try to add the link. Her tile looked so amazing and I thought the colors would look great in my kitchen so I followed her link and headed over to Amazon to place my order.

Laci Jane's tile video

I was so excited when my package guys just don't even know, lol.
As you can see from the photo, the box was not very large. The tiles are thin and very very light. The sheets are 10 in. X 10 in.  and we needed 42 sheets for our kitchen. They come 6 sheets per package. I actually ordered an extra package and I'm glad I did because we used it!

Here's the link to the tile I purchased. If that link doesn't work, somebody please let me know!


I'm going to start by showing you a few pictures of our kitchen before we started just to give you an idea.

 Just giving you all the different angles so you will be able to truly appreciate the dramatic change that the tiles made.

We began by prepping the walls...basically removing the strips that are ever present in manufactured homes. Don't we all despise those strips? I understand the need for them but that doesn't mean I hate them any less.

Once the walls were prepped it was time to measure and make sure the lines were level.

 And NOW...the "AFTER"

As you can see from the photos it truly is quite a dramatic transformation...I  do think it enhanced our home and I don't think the average person will realize that it's not real tile.

However, it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies... and there ARE some issues that we had that are worth mentioning.

1. It wasn't quite as easy to apply as we'd hoped. The sheets are thin and you             have to place them precisely.
2. Your surface (wall) needs to be completely smooth or you WILL see the                imperfections once finished and can even cause bubbling.
3. If you don't get it lined up perfectly and need to reposition it then it WILL pull     up the paint from your wall and possibly even damage the wall. This stuff is         STICKY!
4. Be certain of the color before you purchase it and put it on your walls. It's
    cheaper than actual tile but that doesn't necessarily mean it's "cheap"...and you
    want to love what's on your wall.

All said and done, I'm happy with how it turned out and the change is quite dramatic.
I would definitely recommend the peel and stick tiles if you're looking for a cheaper and less labor intensive alternative to real tile. Just be sure your walls are ready and take it slow and steady. Read the instructions and get to work :)

One final picture for you :)
This is a side by side of our kitchen the first day it was set up (this is how it looked when we bought it) and after with the tile.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I made the final mortgage payment

On April 4,2017 I sat down at my desk, took out my payment sheet and checkbook and wrote the check for our final mortgage payment. I had looked forward to the day I'd write that final check for so long that when that day came it was almost a surreal feeling. My hand was actually a little shaky and I felt kind of nervous--how crazy is that?? I actually wrote 2 for the April payment and the actual final (May) payment which was only $75.  But, still, I didn't feel completely FREE until the check cleared the bank. When I got the text notification from the bank that the check had cleared...well, THAT'S when I got excited. I looked around at the tralace and embraced the idea that it was ours, free and clear.
I know to some, probably most, it's not much...but this little acre of land and the tralace are home.  And, when I walk through the door and look around I'm happy.

I don't know if the time will ever come that we need to refinance for some unforeseen reason but for right now, for this space of time, we own our home outright and it's a great feeling!

A photo because no blog post is complete without at least
one photo, right?
I just had to share the happy news :)

I wish you all a wonderful day!