We Bought A Box

We gave the box to Sammy and she’s built herself quite the little fort. Only it’s not so little because said fort can hold all three of my children with room to spare.

Said box fort happened to come with a brand new washing machine (first brand new one we’ve ever had in 16 years of marriage) and the washing machine came with a drier friend.

And actually my parents bought them. Even though I have a new job and our finances are improving, we just could not afford new appliances when, once again, we found ourselves in dire need. My mom, who has been adding in the procuring of used sets every few years over the last 16 is apparently sick of the process and decided that at this point, we really do need brand new with warranty. Luckily my dad was happy to chip in. So with their combined budget in mind, they shopped around and bought us they could find in their budget. It was a decent budget and they bought amazing, beautiful, high capacity machines. And yes, they bought the extended warranties.

Because even though these machines are brand new and have no history of abuse, the simple fact that they will be doing laundry for 5, and soon enough 6, means we will wear them out faster than most machines have to worry about. They will be well-loved and cared for, but they will be used. Oh, will they be used.

I am super excited about my new appliances. However, I’m also super excited that we (it was actually 100% Pat in the best daddy move he’s made this year) talked the delivery guys into leaving a box (the company gets paid to recycle them) because the box they left makes quite the fort. It’s so big it doesn’t even fit in Sammy’s room. She immediately took the new art kit that my friend Marissa bought her for her birthday to the walls and is having a blast decorating it. I just can’t get over how small Sammy is compared to that box. In reality, she’s getting so big, but that box dwarfs her.

Lip Treatment

So on a whim this past winter, I made a lip scrub out of ingredients you can find in any grocery store. Not just all natural, because nightshade is natural, but a lip scrub you could literally safely eat because sometimes that happens.

I used a little half cup Rubbermaid container and filled it about halfway with honey. Then I poured in half as much sugar, and then a couple of tablespoons worth of oil. I used grapeseed oil, but you really could use any food grade oil that they stock at the store. I just think grapeseed is the one I’m less grumpy about accidentally ingesting because you will get some in your mouth as you apply it liberally to your lips.

The whole thing is shelf stable so I keep my container of this right in my shower and use it about once a week, or as needed.

The sugar helps scrub off that dead layer of skin that builds up and peels. If you are like me, you chew it off the best you can, but stop doing that because it only causes more damage! This scrub will get rid of it and keep it gone! Then the honey and oil moisturize your lips keeping them happy and healthy.

Also, you know how in the dead of winter, or year round if you’re like me, your elbows get really dry and scaly? This stuff will scrub off the dead skin and moisturize there too. I use it as a face scrub roughly once a month. Not all the time, because there is oil involved, but it hydrates my skin wherever I apply it.

I’m telling you, this stuff is wonderful. You need to pair it with chapstick, but it goes beyond what just chapstick can do!

Lucas always gets lips so chapped that his entire mouth area turns red. I used this stuff on him (and Sammy) at the first sign of trouble, and it worked. It saved the kid so much pain! Because severely chapped lips hurt like hell!

Anyway, I could go on and on about how great this stuff is. Just a little sugar, honey, and food grade oil. You can buy everything you need for like 15$ and have enough to make a dozen containers. I made one from my mom for her birthday. She swears by it too!

So consider yourself encouraged to pamper your lips! Winter may be over, but it’s great year-round at least to some degree.


When I was much younger, about 8 years old, my grandmother, who could crochet anything, started teaching me the craft.  But as we were short on time, we didn’t get any further than the beginning chain.  The plan became for me to spend a couple of weeks with her that summer, and she would have me taught the rest of the way in no time at all.

She died that spring.

So here I was 25 years later, unable to crochet more than the beginning chain.  That is until I met my friend Savi, who can, just like my grandma, crochet just about anything.  Now Savi isn’t local but she worked as a catalyst towards me wanting to master this skill once and for all.  So I asked her for her advice on what YouTube videos might be the best to teach me.  She sent me this link.  With my tax return I bought a bunch of yarn, a set of crochet hooks, and a couple of beginners pattern books and away I stumbled.

As we speak I’m taking a break from a Barbie blanket I’m working on.  Nothing too exciting.  It’s solid white, and isn’t following a pattern.  It was a means of me remastering a chain, and learning the first stitch.  My next project will be a second Barbie blanket where I master the second stitch.  And so on.  It’s good practice.

My stitch work is uneven and I have a lot to learn.  However, I’m getting there and I’m determined.  I will do this.  So help me.

Besides, it is calming.  I mean not now.  Right now it’s frustrating.  But once I have my stitch down and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, it’ll be calming.  I know this as fact.  It’s a great tool for the depressed and anxious.  So I’m learning and mastering.