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So Not Zen

Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:31:33 +0000


Where DIY meets WTF...

Thu, 23 May 2013 17:40:00 +0000

Helllloooooooo? Is anyone out there? Is this thing on?  It's been a while.I'm dusting off the ole' blog to come at you with some craftiness. WHAT? I know!  As they say on Regretsy .... Where DIY meets WTF.  Yup. That's me. But my beautiful friend Keetha has faith in me, and with the inspiration of she and MayBelle, I hope to get the creative juices flowing once again by participating in a blogging/crafting project.Our first theme is "begin," and our first medium is "paper." Beyond those parameters, it is to each her own. I poured through the pages of Pinterest, when actually I probably belong on Pinterest, You are Drunk, but I digress...Carlie has been putting together very special gifts for very special birthday friends, and I thought, what could be better than making very special gift bags for these very special occasions, and since I have a huge stockpile of crafting supplies, including tons of scrapbooking paper and paraphernalia, I decided to give it a whirl. How hard can it be? Fold a piece of paper in half, decorate it, add a handle... hahahaha, oh, I laugh at my naïve self of the good old days, before I knew about gussets and reinforced handles and actually sewing paper with a sewing machine (because that's a thing, I swear it is).And so I present to you my very special gift bag, also known as EPIC CRAFTING FAIL. One would not deduce by looking at this that it actually took me quite a while to make, and included following directions and patterns... yet it did. Go figure.Meanwhile, in the realm of paper crafts, two of my daughters have taken to electronic scrapbooking, which is so awesome, and I thought I'd throw in a couple of photos of photobooks they've created. Maggy did an awesome book of her wedding photos, which I love so very much, and Carlie made a book for her dad all about their adventures in the wild, including "feeding the dear" and fishing at the camp. Carlie did not ask me to proofread her awesome photobook, and now evermore we will call the deer dear in her honor. So here you go... paper crafting in the digital age... DONE RIGHT:And in a totally unrelated effort to include my favorite photo of my favorite gal, I'll note that Maggy is also working on a photobook for me documenting Iris' prekindergarten graduation, which happened this week. Yes, I am a grandma. And yes, I am now a grandma of a school-ager as opposed to a baby/toddler/preschooler. Come at me, kindergarten[...]

Holidays, a Retrospective

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 07:15:00 +0000


Month between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Day after Christmas

New years eve


That pretty much sums it up. And you?


Things you should know

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 02:11:00 +0000

1. I was inappropriately and deeply saddened by the Rob/Kristen cheating scandal and subsequent breakup. I am equally thrilled beyond reason (for a woman of my age) with their reunion. What is wrong with me?


2. Carlie got a DSLR camera for an early Christmas gift. It is hers and I need to leave her alone with it, but I am helicopter parenting the shit out of that thing.


3. I have lost my running mojo, my writing mojo and my work mojo. I am rolling in eat-everything mojo though, so I've got that going for me. Bring on the Halloween candy.


4. I got an iPhone 5 The. Day. They. Were. Available. I love it and also am pretty sure my shit no longer stinks.

5. Time to start the holiday crafting. If I could get paid for pinning stuff on Pinterest, I'd be a millionaire.


6. Saw this a while ago and have been laughing about it ever since. Women are crazy.

Peace out.




Pimp my condo

Fri, 07 Sep 2012 19:52:00 +0000

So, I am totally fixated on this bedroom storage idea, because having more space to stow my shit is an infinitely better option than having to get rid of my shit. I've already downsized, so shut up. we are just cramped. for. space up in this condo.

If you click here to the blog post on Young House Love, you'll see that what's behind those curtains on each side of the bed are Ikea wardrobes. I think the look is nice, and the extra storage is exactly what I need. Neeeeeeeeed. I'll still stick with my funky vintage decor (though this posh look does speak to me) but the main idea here is getting that storage space and having it look nice and finished, versus haphazard (which is exactly my style).

bedside bedroom storage at Young House Love
my bedroom, storageless

another shot, to show how ridiculously awesome that ceiling angle is
So my question to you, oh creative folks, is how can I pull this off given the ridiculous (yet awesome) crazy ceiling in my bedroom? The space on each side of the bed is the perfect size for nice tall storage units, but what about the top? What can I do with that? My brain is empty. I've already got spots mapped out to reuse my fabulous 1950's night stands and 1930's lamps. My big problem is how to "finish" the top of the storage units for a built in ish look, given the ceiling weirdness.

PSA: Not every idea on Pinterest is a good idea

Thu, 06 Sep 2012 16:22:00 +0000

Welcome to my blog, where today we will learn many valuable lessons, such as (a) I should totally go back to school and get a master's in photojournalism, because I've got this shit nailed (b) not everyone who posts shit on Pinterest actually test drives their "pins" before posting them, and (c) if you are hungry, and delicious food is only two blocks away, for the love of all that is holy just get off your ass and walk the two fucking blocks. BONUS LESSON (d) I have not blogged in so long, I don't know how to make this text left aligned versus centered, so (e) use it or lose it.Our story begins...This is a delicious bialy, available at the coffee shop two blocks from my house.This is my toaster.This is a *genius* idea on Pinterest, wherein *genius* = don't need to walk two blocks because I have a bag of stale bagels and some cheese and carmelized onions #winningThis is my ex-toaster/new bialy maker.This is why I should not be allowed on Pinterest. Or in the kitchen.Also... next time you need to start a fire, stale bagels make excellent kindling.[...]


Wed, 22 Aug 2012 02:34:00 +0000

Is this thing on?


The Definition of Over Involved

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 15:29:00 +0000

Tim bought himself a pair of socks, and I noticed. Because? He has not bought himself a clothing item in 15 years. I buy all of his clothes, including socks.

But really? This is what my life has become? That I have the ability to notice a foreign sock in my husband's wardrobe? My first thought was, he must be having an affair, because I cannot even imagine that he went shopping on his own.

That was really my first thought. Even though I have no fear that my husband is cheating. But an affair with a sock-buying slut is more likely than Tim going shopping. Seriously.

While divvying up the laundry, I held up the offending socks, black wool Wigwam-brand hiking socks to be exact, and said, "Where did these come from?"

"I bought them at a garage sale."


I'd kind of prefer that they were a gift from a sock-buying slut, if we're being totally honest here.

She Gets The House

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 05:40:00 +0000

FLASH FICTION EXERCISE (via LitReactor) Using this photo for inspiration, write a flash fiction piece, 250 words max, any genre. Put your entry in the comments section, or post it on your blog and link.
"Well, I guess this is it," he said.


"Yeah, I guess so," she replied. "Do you have everything you wanted?"


He looked over his shoulder into the back of his jeep at the pile of crap - an old quilt, a set of dull knives, a birdhouse painted to look like a general store. There was nothing there that he needed or wanted, but he had been led to believe that divvying up the accumulated rubbish was the expected thing to do at the time of a break up, so he had obliged. Another rite of passage checked off the list.


She stood on the porch of the cabin, her arms wrapped around her waist, hugging herself as of she were chilled even though the heat was sweltering.


"So, okay," she said, "I guess..."


"Yeah," he said, "I'd better get going."


She looked relieved to hear it, and raised a hand in a half-hearted wave.


He backed out of the driveway and turned the jeep around, taking one last look at the cabin that he'd once planned to retire too.


He took a deep last drag of his cigarette and headed down the road, flicking the butt out of the window, into the dry brown grass.


Holy Crap

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 01:03:00 +0000

I just registered for an online writing course one month starts June 18.


I need to go throw up now.

Awesome. Not awesome.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 06:36:00 +0000

SO AWESOME: I took this gorgeous screen shot on my iPad and wrote this post with Siri.


SO NOT AWESOME: Look at our weather. What the frack?

Check me out

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 16:08:00 +0000

This is an experiment to see if I can post from my iPad using Siri. So far, so good. And luck! It even let me insert the photo that I wanted to put in the last five posts but was unable to figure out. That should say "look "instead of "luck quotes. And the word "five"and the word "quotes" should not be here. Other than that, not too shabby.

Thank God this has never happened to any of us...

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 00:15:00 +0000

Have you ever had one of those days where you're at work, sitting in a conference room with great big windows facing the hallway, and you see another court reporter who you know and haven't seen in a really long time walk down the hallway, and she looks in and sees you and smiles and waves, and you smile and wave, and you think, wow, so cool, haven't seen her in forever and today we both have jobs in the same office! I hope we go to lunch at the same time, I would love to catch up with her! And then you realize that your job doesn't start for another 20 minutes, so you go out in the hallway in search of that friend, thinking you'll say hi. But you can't find her anywhere, so you go back to your conference room and wait for your deposition to start. And as you're sitting in your spot, waiting for the deposition to start, your friend comes back down the hallway towards the room that you're in. And you think, yay, she found me, I guess her job's not starting yet either. And so you get up from your chair, and walk to the door with a big giant welcoming smile on your face, and you embrace your long lost friend who you haven't seen in forever, and give her a huge bearhug, and you hug and you hug and you gush and say oh, my gosh, it's so great to see you! And your friend hugs you back, stiffly and awkwardly, and she says in kind of a weird way, um, yeah, hi, nice to see you again too. And you release your friend from your giant bearhug, and back up a step, and realize that she's not your friend after all, and you realize she's actually the out-of-town corporate representative for the company being sued that has been sitting in on all the depositions, and, OH SHIT, that's why she looks so familiar! And you return to your seat at the table, and she takes her seat at the table, and you have to spend the next eight hours in a deposition with a woman you just kind of accidentally assaulted. No? Really? That's never happened to you before? Oh good. Me neither. Thank God.

I'm writing a book to celebrate my anniversary

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:18:00 +0000

(image) Tim and Shana, April 2012

As Tim and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary today, I am working on an outline for a self help guide to having a successful marriage. Chapters include:
Chapter 1: Choose Wisely: Avoid Marrying a Pretentious Douche (see Appendix A)

Chapter 2: Laugh together. A LOT.

Chapter 3: Good sex can help make up for a myriad of small offenses (see Appendix B)

Chapter 4: Compromise, Motherfucker.

Chapter 5: Get on the same page with regards to finances and child rearing (see Chapter 4)

Chapter 6: Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so GET A LIFE, MAKE SOME FRIENDS and DO YOUR OWN THING on a regular basis

Chapter 7: Dance together. OFTEN.

Chapter 8: Never go to bed angry. Seriously, hash that shit out until 3 a.m. You have a much better chance of winning the fight making your point if your opponent spouse is loopy from exhaustion.

Appendix A: Signs of pretentious douchery include ironic mustaches, pipe smoking, and skateboarding as primary mode of transportation after age 30. NOTE: indicators of douchery may vary regionally.

Appendix B: Small offenses include leaving the toilet seat up, not putting the new roll of toilet paper onto the roll holder, putting the new roll on the roll holder but BACKWARDS, and a host of other toilet related offenses.

DISCLOSURE: This is my second marriage, so I have had some practice. I know from good. And I've got it good.

A very old list of funny shit

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 18:56:00 +0000

I found this unpublished draft in my box from 2009 or 2010. Great quotes that struck me as noteworthy at the time, but never made it to the "publish" button...

The character Jason Stackhouse on True Blood: "Any woman with a purse that big is bound to have something in it I don't want to know about."

Dooce, on accepting the fact that her daughter loved her move than ever on Halloween when she was allowed to eat candy.  "There is a reason you give boxes of chocolate to your loved ones on Valentine's Day and not, say, a picture of vaginal stitches next to a thought bubble that says, "I love you THIS much."

Pearl,Will Farrell's "Landlord."  "Give me my money, bitch," and "I want to get my drink on."

June, ala Bye Bye, Pie! This one is not verbatim because I can't find the exact quote on her blog, but she is talking about how she lost 10 pounds before her wedding by doing step aerobics in a Parks & Rec trailer.  "I'm sure this is how Jackie O. got ready for her wedding too."  


Sun, 01 Apr 2012 05:21:00 +0000


I have this *awesome* new thing that I do where I frantically search my house for something that I can never find, and then mid search forget what I'm looking for and just stand in the living room/kitchen/bedroom BAFFLED, wondering what the fuck I am doing in the living room/kitchen/bedroom, because I have NO CLUE what I was searching for.

Wherein *awesome* = sarcasm. THIS IS NOT AWESOME AT ALL.

Booze helps.


Tue, 27 Mar 2012 14:38:00 +0000

A *screenshot* of my Facebook status yesterday, wherein *screenshot* = yes, I just took an actual picture of my screen with my camera and emailed it to myself. What? That's how you do it.
6:30 this morning... CRASH! SHATTER! WHAT THE...
(image) One-third of a collection of beautiful vintage Pyrex turned into rubble and dust. And shards. There is glass everywhere. Glass. Every. Where. The destruction is so massive I was unable to adequately document it on film.
Apparently Lola checks my Facebook status.
Touche, Lola. Touche.

Playing Dollhouse

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 23:38:00 +0000

Howdy, all. I am looking for some input on furniture arrangement, because what I have got going on right now is not working for me. I have moved and removed and rearranged and realigned my living/dining room furniture 200 times in the last month and, ick, not feeling the love.Our condo has a long'ish living/dining combo room. On one end is the kitchen, on the other is the door to the balcony and a lovely river view. Between those two points we've got a fireplace, living space and dining space.Blech. Boring.We just had new tenants move into our old house, and they were not able to use some of the furniture pieces that we had left there, so a few of our old things have now moved into the condo, and the result is TOO MUCH STUFF IN TOO SMALL A SPACE. I think.So, send me your genius ideas for a room makeover. Really! Do it! I neeeeed help. Here's a little visual tour.Right side of the dining room. This mirror used to look nice hanging above the couch when the couch was on the wall. Now it looks dumb. So the mirror is coming down. Outside of that door and window is our balcony.Left side of the living room. The TV above the fireplace is coming down. It's already claimed, just waiting for a pick up. The violin and music stand can also be put away since Carlie has not touched it since, um, December. See the thermostat and light switch? Well, if you were to keep walking past those you would go down the stairs to the front door, just for a little perspective.Right side of the dining room. The only thing that is really "fixed" in this space is the lights above the table are where they are, therefore the table always has to be centered beneath the lights. Everything else is up for moving. The mirror leaning against the wall belongs upstairs, so that'll be moving.Left side of the dining room. Here's my problem spot No. 1. The antique buffet just came "home" from the old house last week. It's too big. I love it, but it's too big. Not sure what to do with it. Also, the piano really has no place else to live. On the plus side, it's pretty unobtrusive.The whole space from the kitchen looking toward the balcony.And the whole space from the back door looking toward the kitchen. Of note: I HATE the couch. The first thing that will be replaced when we are buying furniture will be the couch. It's really the only "big" thing that needs replacing. So image the bulky overstuffed beast replaced with something low profile on peg legs.And a close up of the buffet. Because it really is lovely. But should it stay or should it go?Share your decor saavy with me in the comments. Please. I beg of you.[...]

Party Like a Rock Star

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 03:22:00 +0000

You know you are a mom when...

You are extremely excited to spend the night alone in a motel, even a crappy one that smells like nachos and feet

You are in your granny night gown flipping channels at 7 pm

You are thrilled to be in control of the remote even though the TV only has, like, six crappy channels

You go to the bar for dinner and enjoy wine, happy hour snacks, and a library book, alone, in the most well lit corner of the bar

The fun activity you brought with you, just for kicks, is individual false eyelashes and eyelash glue. And a library book

Adventures in dumpster diving

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 15:12:00 +0000

When we decided to downsize to a condo from a larger home in 2009, we weighed the pros and the cons. Less space but smaller utility bills. No yard, yet no yard work. Losing vintage charm, but gaining modern convenience. In other words, we thought this shit out.Once of the pro/con items that didn't seem significant was the garbage situation. In our old house, we had curbside pickup for garbage and recycling, one day per week. In the condo, we have a dumpster for garbage, plus dumpsters for recycling, that we can use any/every day of the week. We have to walk a skosh farther than the curb, but all in all, not a big deal.Something that I did not anticipate was my husband's transformation into a dumpster diver. There's a little area adjacent to the dumpsters, just empty space, where people put "things" that seem a little too "good" for the dumpster, and apparently other people take them. Kind of like a sharing table. I've seen a nice-looking highchair sitting there, big empty rubbermaid bins, even a computer monitor, just sitting there, discarded, next to the dumpster, but nothing that has ever tickled my fancy.What I'd never seen was a plant. Which is okay, because I've never met a house plant that I can't kill. But the other day, apparently a plant appeared at the dumpster, and by the end of that day, the plant was in my house, courtesy of Tim, who apparently forgot that bringing a plant into our house is the kiss of death. Also, for some reason, this is all my fault? I'm the plant killer? I don't understand how he brings a plant in and now it's "my" plant, but that's another post...Anyway, here's the plant. A palm of some kind. A perfectly nice plant, I'm sure. Whatever.The plant needed something beneath it to catch water, and apparently my husband has no idea how much a Demarle fluted mold costs, because that's where I found my pan.I noticed that our "special" kitty, Buffy the Mouse Slayer, was very interested in the plant. She's the biggest pain in the ass cat in the history of cats, fyi, but she is quite pretty. And we all know that pretty girls get away with pain in the ass shit that us regular girls just can't pull off. Again, a story for another post... And now we know why house plants cannot survive in our home environment. Apparently they are being molested by Buffy. And hopefully palms are not poisonous. And by "hopefully," I mean that if they are poisonous they are fast-acting and do not induce pre-death barfing. JUST KIDDING. Pretty much. Not really.And thus ends Tim's foray into the world of dumpster diving. And thus ends the notion that it's me who kills the house plants. The end.[...]

I am so controversial...

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:19:00 +0000

I received an email about a complaint about my blog, and a link to click to view it, and blah blah blah, SPAM, so I deleted it. Because I? Am no fool. I do not clink links in ridiculous emails.Then today I logged on to take a peek at my blog for the first time in, oh, a while, and lo and behold, a big, bold message greeted me: We have received a DMCA complaint for your blog, So Not Zen. An email with the details of the complaint was sent to you on 11-Jan-2012 , and we reset the post status to "Draft"; you can edit it here. You may republish the post with the offending content and/or link(s) removed. If you believe that you have the rights to post this content,you can file a counter-claim with us. For more on our DMCA policy, please click here. Thank you for your prompt attention.Wowza. Who did I piss off? I went to the deleted post, and it was a picture (from Google images) of a French bulldog with the title "Christmas Wish List No. 6" and that's pretty much it.I had no idea frenchies were so controversial.In other non-threatening news, today is January 12 and I have yet to break my January resolution, which is NO BIG BOX STORES. I'd love to make this a lifestyle choice, but even given our differences, the Tar-jay still calls to me on occasion. But not this month. We'll see what February holds.I have continued my January tradition of dieting my way back down to my post-holiday level of overweight, which is my baseline overweightedness. It's hard to feel celebratory about the fact that, yay, I am dieting my ass off and now I only need to lose 15 pounds. But in comparison to the oh, hell no, reality of gaining six or seven ADDITIONAL POUNDS during the course of the holidays, I guess it's the better position to be in. Hopefully I'll be back to my normal weight by March (15 pounds by March, that's doable, right?) when I start my running training program up again. This year I am running two half-marathons, one in May and one in June. I've got no good excuse for not running these days because our weather has been brilliant and non-wintery to the extreme, yet I haven't run since I did a 5k on Dec. 4, so six weeks ago, not one little jog. I have, however, been dancing with Tim, three hours of classes per week. We're doing West Coast swing, East Coast swing and Cha Cha. I could live without the cha cha, personally, but the swing classes are a lot of fun.So, here I am, back to the blog, again, hoping to make it a semi-regular occurrence. I'll try not to stir up too much controversy with my cute dog posts. Peace out.[...]

Deck The Halls.,,,

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 01:06:00 +0000


... with $1 loofahs from Walmart.

This idea? All Carlie. This photo? My new iPhone. Fa la la la la

Send help, STAT

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 23:50:00 +0000


Singing the new car blues

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 20:26:00 +0000


This is my Montero. I love this car. I know how to parallel park it like a boss downtown. I know which parking garages I am going to scrape the roof of. I know that the tires can take curbs without damage. I've driven it for ten years now. And while I love the thought of shopping and of new, I hate the idea of a learning curb.

I've needed as new car for a year now, for mechanical reasons. Repair costs at this point are more than the value of my car. But that's okay. I've lived with the rattles and chirps and occasional spazzy jerking motions when accelerating from a dead stop.

Now I have a giant crack across the windowshield. And I resigned myself to live with it, because even putting a new $350 windshield on the car at this point seems silly. That's okay. I'll drive it anyway. Last week, the interior overhead light started coming on at random times. Hit a bump, light comes on. Round a corner, light comes on. Weird. But I can live with that.

I've also been overlooking a leak on the front passenger side, and now a leak in the back door. I've learned to overlook the seatbelt problems and the fact that I get 15 mpg at best.

But this weekend, the speakers have started to die. And I am finally ready to car shop. Because I'm not driving around without a radio.

What I want in a new vehicle: small SUV, big tires, big side mirrors, headlights that turn themselves off automatically, roof rack, third row seating is a bonus but not necessity. 20 mpg or better required. Comes in red is a plus.

Tim is pushing me toward a Honda CRV. I have two friends with Subaru Foresters that they love. And my sister has a Ford Escape Hybrid which is awesome. My personal taste is running toward the Nissan Rogue or the Chevy Equinox.

What do you drive? How do you like it? Help me! I am suffering from a severe case of decision-itis, aka choice-o-phobia.


Fri, 11 Nov 2011 05:43:00 +0000

Carlie and I are campaigning hard for a dog. Specifically, a shih poo. Because my dollhouse sized condo is not already crowded enough and covered in cat hair.

I may have finally lost my mind, for real this time.

But look at that face. Oy.

And now we're broke. The end.

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 04:50:00 +0000

Since I decided to participate in the NaNoDooDah thingy, I've been trying my best to post every night, which generally means posting from my iPhone or iPad, because I am too lazy to get out of my bed and sit at the computer by the time I remember that I was going to post something, and my laptop has somehow mysteriously gone to live in Carlie's room since I got my iPad. Anyway, I just looked back at recent posts and see how riddled with typos they are. Whoopsie.

Yeah, I know, first world problems.

Speaking of first world problems... this is Carlie at 9:40 this morning.

And this is Carlie at 11:30 this morning. Notice anything different? In her toothal region, to be specific. And yeah, toothal is not a word. I know.


Now here's me at 9:40 this morning...
(image) And here's me at 11:30 this morning...
Let's celebrate in haiku, shall we? This week's theme: Fleeting. How appropriate.

Money comes and goes

I won't always be broke, right?

The smile is worth it