Tuesday, July 15, 2014

make new friends but keep the old

Today I have been thinking about friendship.

Partly because some friends of mine and I were talking about things that have happened in our lives and how we could write a book about it.  It got me thinking about all of those things and how we have been there for each other in so many different circumstances.

Partly because I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Melissa's friend from her younger days, Amber, confronted Melissa about not contacting her when she had "the cancer".  I quote "the cancer" because that's what she actually said.  I shall now refer to cancer as "the cancer".  Anyway, Melissa and Amber were friends and Amber was in Melissa's wedding and then they grew apart & didn't see each other for many years.  Amber had "the cancer" and was upset that her old friend did not reach out to her.

And then the kicker was Wendy Williams.  (Yes, I watch trash TV.  Sue me.)  Wendy mentioned that she wasn't friends with the people who were in her wedding many years ago.

All of this got me to thinking.....true friendships are very special.  I don't have a ton of friends, but I do have a few true friends.  And I'm so happy to say that all of the girls who were in my wedding almost 20 years ago are still part of my life.  They wore the worst bridesmaids dresses EVER and they are still my friends - that's gotta say something.

Superfrykid modeling the bridesmaid dress my sister wore in my wedding.
Note the shiny satin, puffy sleeves, giant bow,
and the fake pearls hanging in the tasteful back cut out.
We bought them from the JCPenney catalog and had dyed to match shoes from Payless.
Needless to say, there was no Pinterest back in the day.
And nobody said a WORD about the dresses being ugly.  That's true friendship.


The one who saved my life with a breast pump
The one who was part of the infamous lawn mower incident
The one who square danced at Waffle House at 2 am



Me & Superfrydad with the girls.
Note his Home Improvement sweatshirt....so 90's!

Stirrup pants!

Since I posted those horrible photos of my friends, it's only fair to post this picture of Superfrydad & me.  This was taken at our rehearsal dinner.  I wore jean  shorts and a Tshirt with animals all over it.  And it was at Hoss's.  If anyone from TLC or any other TV network is watching, I could use a do-over....someone surely has a series called "My Super Tacky Wedding" where people who have a horribly tacky wedding and stay married for 20 years get a free do-over wedding.  If you or someone you know has a show like this, call me.







Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dollar Tree VBS Decor - Weird Animals

This year our church's VBS theme is Weird Animals.

Weird Animals VBS from Group Publishing


I've done a couple different jobs in the past, but this year, I am on the decorating crew.
Which is awesome, because I don't have to deal with kids or parents
I can use my creative side to make a magical wonderland that kids will love
I am super awesome at drawing and painting and building things
well, it's awesome because the theme is very broad and I think as long as it's colorful and contains lots of animals and jungle themed flora, the kids will like it.

I thought I would post some of the things I've made because they are easy and cheap.  Some of the things I've seen on Pinterest are quite complicated and out of my league in terms of time, money, and ability.  If you have stumbled upon this post looking for decorating ideas, I feel your pain  hope this is helpful.

I have made approximately 14 trips to Dollar Tree and spent several hours on Pinterest looking for ideas that I think I can actually pull off.

So here's what I've come up with:

Plunger wrapped in duct tape, bottom covered in tissue paper, tissue paper flower on top.

Vines made out of pool noodles.  Cut in spirals, can be used for coral or vines.  $1 for one pool noodle, makes about 2 vines.  Group says it can make 3, but with the dollar tree noodles, I found that making 3 out of 1 made them too thin & flimsy.  There is a tutorial video on Group's website that shows how to make these.  Basically, you cut a swirly line and then another swirly line and then pull apart the pieces.   


Giant Flower from Dollar Tree Kickboards, Pool Noodle & Balloon
$6 - only made one...too expensive to make more & hard to stand up because of weight.  Shown here with a balloon center, but the balloon popped so we ended up using a tissue paper flower.

Tissue Paper Flower
$.50 each.  20 sheets of tissue paper per pack at Dollar Tree. 10 sheets per flower.
I googled how to make them....you can do it, it's easy.

Dollar Tree Plunger, Pool Noodle & Tissue Paper Flower
$2.50
Set for front of stage. $7.50
$2.50 for tall flower
$2 for 2 pieces of green posterboard
$2 for 2 pieces of pink posterboard
$1 for pool noodle vine/mini tissue flowers
Mounted to free cardboard apple boxes

Dollar Tree insects hung above steps with fishing line.
Pool noodle "weird" grass along steps.

Tissue paper flowers
Green door toppers from Dollar Tree

Dollar tree monkeys hanging from Dollar Tree Leis (6 for $1) on the chandeliers in the foyer.
Flower spiral hanging thing from Dollar Tree

Palm tree made from carpet tube (free), posterboard, and paper bags.
Flower made from Dollar Tree foam kick boards with tissue paper flower center.
Hard to see, but Dollar Tree snakes are wrapped around trunk.
Cardboard Baobab tree from group.  Butterfly leftover from Sky VBS, originally purchased at Ross.

Covered Bulletin Boards/Hallway with Dollar Tree Tablecloths, Dollar Tree Poster Pack, and Dollar Tree Animal Cut-Outs.

Giant Posters from Group taped to foam board.

Hallway with hanging squishy "weird animals" 

Hallway covered in Dollar Tree Tablecloths with blow up Dollar Tree Sea Creatures.

Dollar Tree Grass Skirts with Dollar Tree Monkeys & Leis - used command hooks to attach.  This looked way cuter in person.  I'm a terrible photographer plus these were taken with my phone.

Main stage using fabric backdrop from Group.
Added tissue paper flowers & painted foam trees with poster board leaves.

Superfrykid at VBS



Saturday, April 5, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

Confession: I secretly want to be a crunchy hippy who makes her own soap, weaves, raises chickens, and lives off the land for less than $10,000 a year.

But I still want to eat at McDonald's and I like Tupperware.  And I want to go to Disney World tomorrow.

So I decided to just take a baby step and make my own laundry detergent.

I kept seeing it on Pinterest and finally I decided I'd just break down and try it.

I have an HE washing machine.  I hate it, so secretly there is a part of me that hopes this will ruin it so I can get a new one. I used to always use liquid detergent, but recently I've been using the little packets.  I don't use a certain brand, just whatever is on sale or what I have a coupon for.

Disclaimer:  I do not know if this will work for you.  It may ruin your clothes.  It may ruin your washing machine.  It may ruin your microwave.  It may burn your skin.  It may cause headaches, vomiting, bowel leakage, and in some cases, even death may occur.  Ketchup with the Frys is not responsible for any negative outcomes that may occur from any reader who tries this at home.

First, I researched many different recipes.   Most call for Fels Naptha soap, Borax, & Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda).  I found one that also included regular baking soda, OxiClean, and Downy Unstoppables.  Unstoppables are just for smell, but the ones I got are turquoise and make it look cute in a clear jar.  My only beef with Downy Unstoppables is that "unstoppable" sounds too much like  "uncrustable", which makes me think of food and they also kind of look like mini chocolate chips so it makes me want to just try one.  But I try to curb my pica cravings.  That's about the only diet I can follow.   Not eating soap.

I like to use liquid soap, but most of those require cooking on a stove top.  If I am making my own laundry detergent, I don't want to have to think about cooking at the same time.  One domestic art at at time is all I can tackle.  Also, the liquid DIY detergent looks like snot.  So that was out.

There were lots of other dry recipes but most of them required 4 pound boxes of ingredients and made enough for an entire year.  I didn't want to commit to making that much in case this doesn't pan out.  Finally, I found one with smaller measurements that looked pretty good.

Here's the recipe I used:
1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 C Borax
1 C Washing Soda
1 C OxiClean
1/2 C Baking Soda
3 caps of Downy Unstoppable



Grate the Fels Naptha.  I found some online tips that recommended putting it into the microwave first, so I did. Chop it up in to some chunks and microwave for a minute or two.   They recommend allowing it to cool before handling.  I would recommend that also.  Do as I say, not as I do.

Fels Naptha BEFORE
Note:  You need to cut it into 4 or 5 chunks before microwaving.
No, my plate is not stolen from TGIFridays.

After microwaving.  They kind of look like Grands Biscuits.
I tried two methods of crumbling, because I wanted to get a really fine end result without using my food processor.

Fels Naptha Method #1:  Microwave, then grate by hand.  Since I did not wait for it to cool, I stabbed it with a fork and tried grating it on the fine part of my grater.  It worked okay, but I thought my method #2 worked better.



Fels Naptha Method #2:  Microwave, then grate in Pampered Chef Hand Grater.  This worked really well and it didn't matter that the Fels Naptha was hot because I didn't have to touch it.  I did use the fine grater part and I ran it through twice to make it super fine.  

Fels Naptha after grating
Mix it all together in a giant bowl.  I put mine into quart size mason jars because that's what I had.  Most online recipes show this in a really cute giant glass jar with a chalkboard label.  I am going to try to recycle some kind of plastic container because my washer shakes and I don't want it to fall off and break.
This is how much the recipe above made.  I used a wide mouth canning funnel and just poured into quart jars.
I am going to use the scoop that came with the OxyClean to scoop it out.
I am washing my first load as I am typing.  I'll let you know how it works out.  Even if it doesn't work, I feel pretty good about myself for being sort of homemakery.  No, homemakery is not a real word.  Yes, it's underlined in red.  Yes, I am ignoring it.  I'm a renegade who makes her own laundry detergent, do you think I'm going to allow a machine to tell me how to spell?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter will be here soon.

I like Easter.

If I compare the holidays, Easter comes out on top.  It's not as stressful as Christmas, but better than Thanksgiving, because you get to dye eggs and buy chocolate.

Here's how I came up with that, rating each on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest score.  I was going to include other holidays like MLK Day, Valentine's Day, and 4th of July, but I think we can all agree that Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the biggies.  Of course, if you have another favorite, that's cool with me.  But you're wrong, because Easter is the best.  But we can agree that you can be wrong.

Spiritual Significance
Easter
5...Jesus died and rose from the dead.  That's the best news ever!

Thanksgiving
3...We really should be thankful every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving, right?

Christmas
4.9...God sent His Son.  Good news, second only to His death and resurrection.

Pinterest Craft Potential
Easter
4...Not only can you dye eggs, you can etch them, wrap them in twine, temporary tattoo them, ombre color them, dye them with kool-aid, dye them with natural dyes like organic blueberry, and probably many many more things.  Easter basket creative potential also abounds with tips for baskets for toddlers, manly Easter baskets, and grown your own jute and weave your own organic basket to fill with homemade gluten-free granola.  And let's not forget the classic paper plate Easter bunny.

Thanksgiving
3.4...Turkeys galore!  Pine cone turkeys, hand print turkeys, potato stamped turkeys. Cornucopias made from ice cream cones, cornucopias filled with glittery gourds. Pilgrim hats and Indian headdresses made from homegrown corn stalks that are pesticide free and hand crafted while waiting on yoga class to begin.

Christmas
4.9...Hand print ornaments, popcorn garlands with cranberries harvested from your backyard bog, baby Jesus whittled from an acorn.  The Christmas craft potential on Pinterest is almost endless.  But not a perfect score here because of Elf on the Shelf, which I find creepy and annoying.  But what you do in your own house is fine.  I can judge from afar.

Food
Easter
5.0...For me, Cadbury Mini Eggs (not the gross snot filled ones) could be the sole reason Easter sweeps this category.  However, for the rest of you, I still think Easter rates the highest in this category because not only do you get the big family meal, but you get lots of chocolate.  And biting off a hollow Easter bunny's ears is quite satisfying.
On a side note, I happened to be eating these like popcorn while laying in bed and one of them fell off into the bed, unbeknownst to me.  The next morning, the bed was streaked with brown and there was a lump of brown that can only be described as turd-like in the bed.  But don't let that ruin this candy for you.  It truly is the best candy ever.


Thanksgiving
4.9...I love Thanksgiving food, but I have to knock off just a teeny bit because I hate pumpkin flavored things.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin roll, pumpkin soup, pumpkin a la king....the list never ends and pumpkin tastes yucky and the texture is odd.

Christmas
4.8...Christmas rates just under Thanksgiving for me because not only does pumpkin make a reappearance, but things like fruitcake and mincemeat come out and declare themselves festive.  Also, there are really only probably less than 10 cookies that are actually good Christmas cookies.  The rest are just tray fillers that nobody wants to eat.

Music
Easter
4.8...While not as many choices as Christmas, Easter offers some of my favorite hymns.  Particularly, He Arose.  I like the version below the best.

Thanksgiving
3...Thanksgiving isn't really known for its music, but I do like For the Beauty of the Earth and the Doxology.  I'm sure there are more that I just can't think of.

Christmas
4.9...Gotta give it up to Christmas for the best music.  However, I did have to subtract a little because of songs like The Christmas Shoes.  Here's an old post about Christmas songs if you're in the mood.

Photos
Easter
5...Everyone is looking their best on Easter Sunday.  Dresses and cute little vests for the kids, dresses for moms instead of yoga pants, and even a suit for dads. Superfrydad wears a suit for 2 occasions.  Easter and funerals.  Weddings if he must.  Also, hopefully the trees and flowers are blooming and you can catch a cute picture of your little one in front of a weeping cherry or some daffodils.
Superfrykid circa 2011 in front of my grandmother's (aka "The Don") tulip tree

Thanksgiving
1...Thanksgiving is one holiday that I always forget to take a picture of.  Everyone knows we will take one  at Christmas in a few weeks, so nobody really cares.  We just want to go home so we can put on our sweatpants and eat leftovers.

Christmas
4...Picking the right picture for your Christmas card is stressful. Trying to coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy.  Trying to choose a color pallet that is modern, yet classic.  Trying to get your husband and children to actually smile and not look like beavers.  It's just too much.  Actual Christmas Day pictures are usually in pajamas, therefore not the ones I'd like to put in frames to display in my living room.  Mostly because my pajamas are old yoga pants with holes and an old tee.

Stress
Easter
5...Easter is really a no-stress holiday.  Make some food, dye some eggs, and buy some candy.  No Easter Eve to worry about and a week of Spring Break to get ready for summer.

Thanksgiving
3...Thanksgiving isn't really stressful in and of itself.  However, it heralds the Christmas season, which can be stressful.  And don't even get me started on Black Friday.

Christmas
2...I know that Christmas is not supposed to be stressful, but let's face it.  It is.  Shopping and cooking and parties and decorating and trying to celebrate the real meaning while everyone around you is singing Rudolph....it's a bit much.

So Easter is the winner.  I hereby declare it.  Enjoy it and celebrate it.  And send me some Cadbury mini eggs.  Not the snot-filled kind.  And I will make sure not to drop any in my bed.  Not that that would bother you.  Because I'm the one who has to wash the sheets and ward off the accusing questions like "did you crap the bed?"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

everything does not happen for a reason

You know what my least favorite platitude is?
For those who do not know what a platitude is....hint:  it's not the attitude of Perry the Platypus.  I know, I watch way too much Phineas and Ferb.

plat·i·tude
ˈplatiˌt(y)o͞od/
noun
  1. 1.
    a remark or statement, esp. one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.


Everything happens for a reason.

I hate this phrase.

Actually, after reading the definition of platitude, maybe "everything happens for a reason" doesn't qualify as a platitude.  It's really more of a stupid thing to say.  Let me explain.

Lots of people say this and mean well, but it really gets my goat.

And not as in, totes magotes.

Love this commercial.
Don't really love goats but this is funny too.
Anyway, back to the whole "everything happens for a reason".

I am guilty of saying this, too.  I've said it to other people and I've said it to myself.

It's a lie.

Sometimes things happen for no reason.  Sometimes there is no sense to be made out of things that happen in our lives.  To be sure, some things happen because they are direct results of our own actions.  Those things would be called consequences, which many people choose to call something that is "happening to me".  That's not what I'm talking about.

They're called consequences.

What I'm talking about are those things in life which are inexplicable, like losing a child or infertility or illnesses or things of that nature.  While I believe that God can and sometimes does certainly bring good out of bad, it doesn't cancel out the bad like it never happened.  Like in the story of Joseph.  What his brothers meant for evil, God used for good.  But the thing is, I'm not Joseph.  And I'm glad, by the way, because I'm pretty sure being sold as a slave by your own brothers ranks in the top 10 of sucky things that can happen to you in life.

I would like to encourage everyone to NEVER say "everything happens for a reason" again.

It's kind of like a slap in the face, no matter how well meaning you may be.

So unless you want to be slapped in the face, don't say "everything happens for a reason".  Ok?  Thanks.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

life is not fair

Life is not fair.

You know this.

I know this.

Superfrykid does not seem to realize it yet.

I tell her all the time, but she just doesn't "get it" yet.

In her world, most things are fair.

But we all know that when you grow up, life happens.

And life is not fair.

I know of a woman who recently gave birth to a stillborn child at just over 22 weeks gestation, enduring 2 days of labor only to go home with empty arms.

Life is not fair.

I'm going to try not to tell Superfrykid "life is not fair" so much anymore.  She'll learn soon enough.  For now, I'm grateful she still expects it to be so for everyone.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

my neighbor on the street of gold

Sometimes I think about what heaven might be like.

People talk about having a mansion in heaven.  And I hear the streets are made of gold.

Which made me think of the song, "When We All Get to Heaven".  Which always makes me want to say...not.  Because I don't know who's going to be there, but I'm pretty sure it's not all of us.  So I googled the song and found this little gem.  The people on the intro look like they could be on SNL.  Its a mixture of scary and good. And the lady playing the bass looks a little bit crazy.  But good crazy.  Also?  When searching for this song, I found versions by Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley.  Who knew?



Anyway, as long as I am in heaven, I don't really care what my mansion looks like.

But I would like to make a reservation on who lives next to me.  Or on my street.

I definitely want Superfrydad and Superfrykid as my next door neighbors.  There is no marriage in heaven. (Did I just hear some of you say Hallelujah?) But Superfrydad and I have made it this long, so we may as well keep it up for eternity.  And if my heavenly toilet overflows, maybe he will come over and fix it for me.

I would prefer not to have some people on my same street.  I'm looking at you, King David from the Old Testament.  I know, I know.  He's a man after God's own heart. But he is my least favorite Biblical person.  I'm not saying he can't be in heaven. Maybe God would put him on the same street as say........Mr. Rogers.  Mr. Rogers likes everybody.

I guess if I could pick someone from the Bible to be on my street, I would choose Deborah.  She seems like she would be pretty cool.  Or Rahab.  I really want to know if she was an innkeeper or a harlot.  Because my childhood Sunday School teacher said she was an innkeeper.  But the Bible calls her a harlot.  I'm gonna go with the Bible.  Guess who else probably won't be my neighbor?  My lying Sunday School teacher.  (Please note:  this is all written tongue in cheek.  Don't get your panties in a bunch if you happen to be a Sunday School teacher.  I have nothing but love and appreciation for the many Sunday School teachers I had as a kid.)

That lady playing the bass in that video might be a good neighbor to have too.  She looks like she makes a mean casserole.  And probably pie crust with lard.  There are no calories in heaven.  So I hope.

So the question for you is, who would you like to have on your street in heaven and who would you like to be a few blocks over?