Friday, December 13, 2013

A Lesson in Marriage and Humility.


I came into the office to find this old piece of desk or cubicle with a post it saying "Trash". My first thought was to grumble about why didn't he just leave it at the trash? What do we need this for? We have enough junk laying around already!





Oh, to kick this stupid habit of being thoughtlessly critical.

As I began to really look at and consider it, I realized why he brought it home. He brought it home because he is thoughtful, he is considerate, he loves me, and he is WAY too good for me. He brought it home because my legs are too short to reach the floor when I sit at the computer desk and need some sort of foot stool. I have been using this old bag of carefresh for who knows how long.



It sufficed.


Now, because of my loving husband, I have a proper foot stool. A FRUGAL, FREE, RE-PURPOSED, PERFECT foot stool.


And I am grateful; humbled.


I love you, Mikeness.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Of Course I Fail Now…

…that I am finished with the Pintester Movement. I’m so fail, I fail at failing when failing is the whole point! Okay, so I guess success is the point too, but failing at Pinterest is so much more fun!

The day after I participated and submitted my blog post for the Movement, I decided to try a new Pinterest recipe that I found repinned by my neighbor, Shannon. It was an apple oatmeal dump in the crockpot dish. The picture is so alluring, you can’t help but want to try it. See for yourself.

“Delicious” Apple Cinnamon Crock Pot Oatmeal

Do not be fooled by this picture. The recipe was totally fracked. Maybe it was because it was 6am and I was tired and ready for bed after a long night of photo editing and blogging. Maybe it was my ignorance in cooking oatmeal any where but the microwave with directions on the packet. I don’t know, but I followed the recipe to the letter and what I got was very bland apple oatmeal soup.

IMAG0119 Don’t let the picture fool you either. It was awful!

Mike tried to doctor it, he even ate a bowl of it. Gave me a taste that promptly made me make a face. I wasn’t sure it was worth salvaging. After the first (and only) bowl, I still need to scrub the crock pot.
Later as I was leaving the house, I asked Mike for the debit card. The conversation went like this:
Me: Can I have the card before I leave?
Mike: Why? You won't need it.
Me: But what if I get hungry?
Mike: Well go eat some of your apple crap before ya leave.
I looked it up on my favorite recipe site, The commenters suggest only adding 2 cups of water then towards the end of cook time, adding up to 2 cups of milk, depending on how much liquid it still needs. Also, add your cinnamon at that time too, about 30 minutes before you think it should be done. I will try this again soon and post an update on how it turned out.

Fall is, hands down, my favorite season. Getting into the dog days of summer always makes me long for fall, cooler weather, brightly colored leaves and baking. As soon as we had our first cool day, I looked up recipes for spice cake. Which of course led me to pumpkin spice cake. Which lit me up like a kid at a candy store. I would make this fabulous Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.

It would be so good, Mike would marry me all over again. It would be so good, Shannon would think I was a domestic goddess, it would be so good a line of people would form outside my kitchen door.


As Mike just put it, it was a “cake that try men's souls...”. It definitely tried mine. I mean it had so much potential! But, I am me and I make stupid mistakes. Especially when I multitask.

After baking it the required 50 minutes, I did the toothpick test and it came out clean. Which surprised me, since my oven doesn’t hold true and things have to cook a bit longer than instructed. I pulled it out anyway and set it on the stove eye to cool for about half an hour, then I would turn it out. I had been preparing dinner while it cooked, to be ready for the oven after the cake came out.  I also made some green beans and mashed potatoes; putting the two on the stove to warm and boil, respectively. I then joined Mike to watch some Sons of Anarchy while it all cooked for a bit. Mike and I noted that the cake really smelled good, like it was cooking still. I went to the kitchen to check on things and wouldn’t you know, I had turned on the eye I had set the cake on! It was only on the stove because I didn’t have a trivet handy. I yanked it up and turned out to prevent any more damage, and sure enough, it was a little burned. Okay, no loss, I can cut off the burnt part. I do this and discover, the cake isn’t thoroughly cooked. But it’s edible, not liquid. This was a dense cake it really was edible if a touch under done. Then I got the cream cheese icing and it felt rather light. Apparently at some point in the last year, we had opened and used it, I remember now, for red velvet cupcakes. Not only was it half empty, it was turning pink. Gross! I then scrounged up some white icing and Mike, who will try it if I made it, ate some and told me it wasn’t that bad. I tried it, it was so bland. All the spices were right, but I didn’t get enough salt into it. That was that. I had enough of this debacle. The cake now lovingly rests in my trash can. Gone were my delusions of cake mastery. Dashed were my hopes and dreams. Sad face.
IMAG0124Cake of Soul Crushing Disappointment

Until next time,
I love y’all.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pintester Movement Project

Some of you may know that I have suddenly become addicted to Pinterest and blogging and reading blogs. My cousin-in-law Cassandre shares my addiction and may or may not have been completely responsible for the Pinterest aspect. She is also the one who shared the wonders of The Pintester. I clicked the link, read, laughed my arse off and now, in it’s 3rd installment, I am participating in The Pintester Movement. What the frack is that? Well, you can read about it here:


Browsing Pinterest, looking for some idea of what I might want to test out for the movement, I came across this Pin:


I loved it instantly and looking over the tutorial, I felt very confident I could do this one with success. (Completely missing the point, no doubt.) I set about gathering up my supplies, which seemed to grow the more I worked on the project. Which is my own fault for not following directions to a T and taking my own initiative. Isn’t initiative illegal these days? I digress.


The supplies you will need to make this journal the way I made it, are as follows:
- 4 paper bags
- Scissors
- Iron that steams or sprays and if not, a spray bottle of water
- Fat Quarter of fabric
- Spray adhesive
- Frozen pizza box
- Decorative craft paper in complimentary colors to your Fat Quarter, or not, what do I care if you color coordinate?
- Ruler or measuring device
- Small pin nail
- Hammer
- Needle
- Waxed thread (I used embroidery thread, but waxed would just be easier to work with.)
Tutorials are rather boring, don’t judge me too harshly if you start yawning.

The first thing you do is acquire your paper bags. Which for me, entailed going to the grocery store and asking for some. Which isn’t the point of this journal, as it was intended to recycle your old, used paper bags. I didn’t have any, because Mike used them as kindling for the BBQ. Whoops.

Next, dismantle the bags and cut off the strips with glue on them. Then measure your bag and cut them into three or four pieces, depending on the size you wish your journal to be. I cut my bags in thirds and my journal ended up being 9”x11”.


Fill a bucket or your kitchen sink with water and dunk each piece in, gently manhandling each one to get them wet, then squeeze out the water and hang up to dry. I let mine hang over night, but a few hours would have them completely dry. 


Once dry, iron each piece to make it lay relatively flat. You will need water for this. My iron steams and spray water, so this task went, um, smoothly*.

*No brown paper bags were “harmed” in the production of this book… we swears.

After ironing, I folded the papers in half and made my final measurements and cuts. (Measure once, cut twice… swear three times.)


It was at this point in the game, that I decided I wanted a cup of coffee hard cover for the journal instead of a soft one. So I improvised. Taking from things I already had, I used a Fat Quarter of fabric, some decorative paper, and a frozen pizza box. I cut two 9'”x11” pieces from the pizza box, two 9”x11” pieces of the paper, and two 10”x12” pieces from the fabric. I took it all and some spray adhesive and went OUTSIDE. I first glued the fabric to the unprinted side of the pizza box, so the print wouldn’t show through my fabric. Then I flipped it over and glued the overlapping fabric to the printed side. Then I glued the paper to that same printed side, covering the extra fabric. Repeat for the second cover.

Now it was time to go to the interwebs and learn how to do a Coptic Stitch. You Tube is our friend in all things and gave me this video to teach me how. I strongly recommend watching the entire video before starting your binding, or you will be cursing and pulling it out for a redo, as I did. Twice. It’s not that it’s difficult, because it really easy, it’s just very fiddly. And I don’t get along very well with fiddly. Fuddly, maybe, but not fiddly. I don’t like that guy. Where was I? Oh yes, the binding. I used embroidery thread, which works just fine and if you can’t lay your hands on the waxed thread, it’s cool. But if you can find waxed thread, use it. You’ll thank me.

Before I could start sewing my book together, I had to make evenly spaced holes in all the things and make sure they lined up. To do this, I got out my handy dandy ruler and a scrap piece of pizza box and made a template. I did 4 sections of 3 holes each. Marked the template and used the template to mark my covers and the papers. I then took a small pin nail and a hammer to pound the holes. This took awhile, but I assure you, it was good.

This is the original:

This is mine:

Waddaya think? Nifty huh?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Can’t Sleep, Too Much Cow Bell.

And a shiny new phone and Facebook. Facebook leads you to many weird and wonderful places. One of them being the over grown thicket of my past. Man I was stupid when I was young. I made a lot of mistakes and poor judgment calls. It wasn’t all bad, but there are regrets. My life is so peaceful and beautiful now, that it is difficult to look on the road that brought me here and call any of it regretful. But there are some true regrets in there. Mostly how I handled and lost friendships. Ever the avoider of confrontation, I just slipped away out of people’s lives rather than deal with the issues head on. Thanks to my wonderful Mike, I am changing that behavior. (I must also give kudos to my friend, neighbor, and off the books therapist, Shannon for this. She is every snarky girls dream friend.)

At any rate, I can only hope I am at least forgiven and have had fond memories retained, as I do in my heart, retain every good thing.

Now, to lift the mood a little bit, here are some pictures from the lighter activities Mike and I have partook in the two weekends since we got hitched.

Mike, some friends, and myself decided to go to the Renaissance Faire here in Des Moines. As usual, we forgot to take very many pictures. Aside from these two pictures, the only others we have are of our friend, who got pulled into the Bawdy Buccaneers show for audience participation. The picture’s we have are of him donning a long blonde wig and a mop in with which he was made to “swab the deck”. Were I to post is here, we would be one less a friend. Darn. He looked pretty good up there umm, swabbing the deck.
Anyhoo, the day was so hot I thought the Devil himself had come to the Faire for a weekend getaway and while I enjoyed what I could, I wilted after while. Mike and I tried to take it easy while my friend Jenna and her hubs went off to get fitted for some new garb. When they finally returned, she was wearing a beautiful purple bodice with a black skirt. I must say I was a bit jealous.
Upon said return, Jenna suggested we go to the First Aid room to sit in the air conditioning. Once I finally arrived, I was accosted by a very friendly EMT who was very much in favor of putting cold wet cloths on my neck and chest. Now those of you who know me well, know I am not at all na├»ve, so when I tell you I was very perplexed at the goofy grins on the faces of Mike and Jenna’s hubby upon my return, I am sayin’ it was the heat. Because I didn’t get it. I could not fathom why in the world they were looking at me like that. Let me explain as delicately as I can. Take note of the garb I am wearing. Put a wet cloth near that garb for any length of time, then remove it and any hot blooded straight man will get goofy looks. For all my love of naughty innuendo, leave it to me to NOT put that one together! All I can say, is thank goodness I was wearing a hat!

TShirtFunThis weekend was fairly low key. I did some running around with Stephanie and up graded my phone. As much fun as lovely new shiney’s are, I was not really looking forward to this. I am quite tightly wound about money at the moment, new car and all, and I didn’t really think I’d go for a new phone. My old one has been driving me nuts for months now, running slowly, load screens all the time and crashing for no apparent reason. But I found a good phone for a decent deal and took the plunge.

On Sunday, Mike and I went to Wal-Mart for a couple items and found some fun things while browsing. We found these shirts in the kids department and they were so appropriate, we had to take pictures with them. Mike found a Mardi Gras mask, which I had to have a picture of. One of the pirate skits we saw at the Ren Faire was the tale of the kissing bandit. A cute an kind of stupid skit, with twin dudes in black masks, running around kissing girls. With this picture, how could I resist the reference?

 Ain’t he adorable?

Until next time! More cow bell!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Not So Long Ago,

In a hospital not far far away…
Samantha Lynn Howard was born!

She came into this world at 12:07am, September 15, 2013.

Mother (Rachel, Mike’s sister) and daughter are doing beautifully fine!
Daddy (Stephen, Mike’s best friend) shows off his lil princess.

I am so proud and happy for them. This is dreams coming true, prayers beautifully answered.

*Look out world, a Goedken-Howard has just been unleashed! Lock up your sons and don your bullet proof vests!*

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hey Y’all


I think I may have mentioned Untypically Jia when I started the How To Be A Fat Bitch ecourse, but in case I didn’t, I wanted to give her some love. Check out her blog, she is a cool chick with hot pink hair and a good read. I read her blog every time she posts and enjoy it thoroughly. She dropped by today and gave me some blog love, so do the same for her.

And to you guys that read my blog, because Mike, check our her husband Matt’s blog at The Amazing Spider Matt. It promises to be full of all the things us nerds, gamers and the like, love.