Friday, July 3, 2015

The Ecclectic Me

I like lots of things. Sometimes I even have time to do the things I like. For instance, today I took the Glock out to play. It was frustrating and wonderful

The evil Dot Torture, right handed

Dot Torture, left handed
I did not do so well, but it was a great way to blow through 100 rounds of ammo and get some "me" time on the range.

Then I crashed my niece's birthday party. I hadn't really been invited, but Mom let it slip that she was going to have a faerie garden party and I wanted a faerie garden, so I called Nebalee and invited myself along.


Laying it out with rocks



I couldn't decide between a faerie forest or a faerie beach, so they got both.
I love Sand Beach Lake - it's one of my all-time favorite destinations, so I built the little faeries their own version of Sand Beach lake. It doesn't look quite this good after the car ride home, but it's still cute. Here's hoping Speed Racer doesn't find it and help himself to, well, everything.

Asset's garden turned out really cute - what a great idea to have a faerie garden party.

It was so much fun, I want a faerie garden party for my birthday too! I'm going to have to plan a "girls' day" very soon.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

In which I get all artsy-fartsy

I saw a post on Cowgirl Shepard a few weeks ago of a wine bottle holder made of old stirrups.  I *loved* the idea, but not for wine.  We keep sunscreen and bug spray right outside our front door, just thrown on a chair.  I loved the wine holder idea so much, I thought I'd try it with the sunscreen and bug spray.

I called Mom and Bill to see if they had any old, unused stirrups.  Mom has a whole shed of "someday" tack.  You know, the tack you don't want to get rid of because you might need it someday.  Turns out she didn't have a spare set of stirrups, but Bill did.  Weird, I didn't expect him to be the one with the spare stuff, but I wasn't going to question it.

I took the old stirrups and screwed them to the wall outside of our front door and voila! sunscreen and bug spray holders.  I love them and they make me smile every time I pull up to the house.

Aren't they the cutest?
Close up just in case you couldn't see them properly :)
Now we have what we need within easy reach.  We can step outside, grab what we need, spray up and be on our way.

With all of the work we're doing under the tree with the picnic table and stuff, I thought I'd find another set of stirrups to put on a post there so we could have easy access there, too.  I stuck it in the back of my mind to find a consignment store to pick up another pair of used stirrups cheap.

As with so many of my brilliant ideas, my second set of bug spray holders got changed when I bought new boots.  I'd been dreading buying new boots for a couple of reasons: 1) boots are expensive and 2) I loved my blue Justin Gypsies.  But those boots had finally worn out.  I threatened to get them re-soled, but the insides were falling apart, too.  It was just plain time to suck it up and buy new boots.

Don't get me wrong, I love my new boots.  I do.  Now that I bit the bullet and bought them, they're lovely.  Less obnoxious than my blue ones, but lovely.  When it was time to throw my old boots out, I just couldn't do it.  I physically could not put those boots I've had since before Jay and I met into the trash can.  Instead, I decided to make the bug spray and sunscreen holders out of them.

Well-loved boots

I was surprised at how easy it was to cut these apart.

Jay punched holes for me and I stitched the bottoms shut with leather lacing.

A couple of screws to hold them to the post.
I would be lying if I denied being pretty proud of my artsy-fartsy crafts.  I love this place and told our neighbor L.E. that we were "nesting" and that she wasn't going to get rid of us any time soon.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pallet Projects

Last year, when we moved in, we refinished what used to be the kitchen table and turned it into our picnic table.  It was quite the project and we planned to eventually make benches to go with the table. Eventually did not happen last yer, but thanks to Deejo it happened this year.

Deejo has been amazing about dropping off the world's greatest pallets for any projects I can think of.  He brought us the pallet collars for the garden and then dropped off some pallets of various sizes.  The large ones were supposed to be used as a backstop for a knife-throwing target I wanted to make, but when we leaned them up against the picnic table, we realized they were perfect for our benches.

Bad picture, due to the rain, but you can see how they're just the right length.
Jay put the benches together while I worked on the horse garden.

Admittedly, they're a bit on the clunky side, but they're sturdy and they each seat four.  Now, instead of everyone bringing their own butt spaces, eight people can now sit at the table, but anyone more than eight will have to bring a chair.

They still needed stained.

Stained and in use!  They're beautimous.
After we had a gathering to try them out, we decided that the plates and plasticware took up far too much real estate at the end of the table.  It's no use being able to finally seat eight (ten when we make benches for the ends of the table) if we can't use the whole table.

The very next day, Jay used a small pallet and whipped up a side table specifically for the plates and plasticware.

It's functional, but not quite as finished as Jay wants it to be.
Jay's going to add some 1"x3" slats across the bottom supports to make a shelf.  We can put the plasticware containers on the shelf like drawers and put food up on top.  We have a dumpster less than twenty feet from the picnic table, but we'll probably add a trash receptacle to make it a bit easier for everyone.

Our goal is to have a yard where we can have impromptu gatherings with our family and friends.  I think we're well on our way.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our Own Garden!

I swear, I blinked and it's June.  How does that happen?  It's frustrating the heck out of me, that's for sure.

Jay and I haven't been idle, though.  As soon as the depressing rain let up (seriously, something like 6" of rain in May), we got started on our outdoor projects.

I was chomping at the bit to get our very own garden in.  The last two years, we've shared a garden with his parents, but having to drive 40 minutes to harvest anything out of it wasn't ideal.  Deejo has been amazing with supplying all of the wood I need for my "projects".  We were going to build boxes for the garden and were talking to him about it, and he said, "just use some pallet collars".  I had no idea what a pallet collar was, but agreed that if he could get me some, I'd use them.  Let me tell you, they are the bestest things in the world!  We didn't have to do any construction, really.  We just unfolded them and stuck them down into the ground (after Jay leveled a bit and laid out some weed barrier).

The folded up things are the pallet collars

We planted mosquito-repellant plants

A couple of weeks after it went in; there's some baby lettuce peeking up on the right.

To make it a little prettier, we laid some sand and gravel down between the boxes.  We also moved the round planters off of the table and put them "temporarily" between the boxes, but liked them so much they're going to live there.

I got so excited about the lettuce and the possibility of not having to buy my salad mix from the store, that I cut some to use on a five-layer dip.  The next day, I went back out to the garden and the rabbits (I didn't even know we had rabbits!) had eaten it down.  I stomped around for a bit and then headed to Home Depot to remedy the situation.

No more critters eating my lettuce!

The garden is doing okay, with the exception of my carrots.  I bought fancy carrots because they made me giggle, and planted two rows of them, but only three have come up.  I'm really sad about that, not because I love to eat carrots, but because I wanted to see if they really grew the colors the package said they would.  But now I'll probably never know because only three damn seeds sprouted, and I think it's too late to plant more, but I might just because.

Wouldn't these be cool?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's a Double Duty Day!

Mother's Day AND Jay's Birthday.

I'm at a loss as to what to get the Bionic Cowgirl, so I'll just have to share one of my favorite most recent pictures of her. (I did figure out a gift for her for Mother's Day ... eventually.)

Skeeter does love her Grandma.

Mom was introducing Skeeter to the joys of massage.  She learning bits here and there from Compass and Skeeter is a willing practice subject.  Mom's also teaching Skeets to allow her to use her body for stability as Mom climbs up and down of the black tub.

Skeeter pretty quickly figured out that if she helped Grandma up onto the black tub, she'd get a nice back rub out of the deal.  Could be a handy tool in the future.

Jay's birthday falls on Mother's Day this year, so he'll get a joint Mother's Day/birthday celebration on Monday.  I wanted to get him a Justin Dunn sidepull bridle, but the one he (we) want hasn't been released by Weaver Leather yet.  It was supposed to hit the stores in April, but we're still waiting.  I panicked about his birthday present - I had made up my mind that I was going to get him that bridle, so when May rolled around and it still hadn't been released, I had to go back to the drawing board.

I found the second-best birthday present ever and ordered it.  Unfortunately, it won't arrive until June 23 according to the shipping record.  It says it shipped on May 5, but won't arrive until the end of June?  It must be on a slow boat from China or something.

It is a pretty cool gift, if I do say so myself. I have no idea where we're going to put this present, but I know it will make him smile.
Millennium Falcon lamp

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pure Decadence

Once in a while, I run across something that I just have to try.  Nuance Chocolate is one of those places.  When I first read about the small batch, bean-to-bar shop, I was intrigued.  I mean, how cool would it be to have an actual chocolate factory in Northern Colorado?  I filed the information about the shop away in the back of my little mind for a future date.

A few months later, one of the local blogs I follow did a review of Nuance, and I remembered reading about it.  It jumped to the top of my list of places to try.  One day.  You know how that works, you get really excited to try something and then life happens?

It just so happened that two weeks ago, Jay had a Friday off which coincided with the Foodie Walk in Downtown Fort Collins, so we decided to go.  I was absolutely thrilled to see that some new places had been added to the walk and one of them was Nuance Chocolate.

The store is beautiful and we were treated to a mini-lesson on how the chocolates are made.  We got to see the beans and saw samples of each stage of the chocolate-making process before we received a sample.

I'm fairly certain my eyes rolled to the back of my head when that lovely piece of chocolate hit my palate.  I don't consider myself a chocolate snob by any means.  I love me a Hershey's bar and consider the gold-wrapped happiness of a Godiva bar blissful.

But this chocolate?


Pure Decadence.


It's that good.  The people who work at Nuance are passionate about what they do and talking to them reminds me of speaking with the sommelier at a small vineyard in Tuscany we had the pleasure of meeting.  They speak about their chocolates like a wine-maker speaks of his grapes.

I've been back twice since the Foodie Walk and haven't been disappointed yet.  So far, I think my favorite is the Sea Salt, but I've got a few more flavors to taste (I haven't even started in on the truffles yet).

Nuance Chocolate is definitely worth your time and money when you need to just treat yourself (or, if you're the generous type, treat someone else).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Just A Little Rant

Once Upon A Time, some people pissed GunDiva off ...

At the beginning of the year, I posted about the 28 day FAST Metabolism Diet.  Y'all know I *hate* numbers, right?  So I'm still refusing to engage with them.  After our first round with the diet and the numbers (I did lose some inches, BTW), I decided I still hated the numbers and if I was going to repeat the 28 days I was going to do it because it is good for me, not because of some numbers on a scale.

People at work have noticed my drastic change in diet - I haven't tried to hide it - and I'm a lot better about not joining in on the impromptu "let's go to lunch" stuff. 

One of my well-meaning, but probably orthorexic, colleagues told me a few weeks ago, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."  I call bullshit.  I've been skinny.  You know what it feels like?  Guilt.  It feels like fucking guilt.  Every missed work out, every bite of "forbidden" food equals Guilt.  That is no way to live a life.

I've been skinny and I've been fat, and I'll tell you what: I'm much happier living my life now than when I was skinny.  Did I look better on the outside?  Yep.  Did I like the way I looked in pictures?  Yep.  Was it worth it?  Even just a couple of years ago when I was working out like a beast with The Little Bastard?  Maybe, at the time I thought it was worth it.  Now?  No way. 

Just last week, as I was shoveling down my salad, I mentioned that I was being really good with my diet because I had a cheat day planned.  A different co-worker piped up and said, "how on earth to plan on losing any weight if you schedule cheat days?".

Um, excuse me, but just because I'm fat, do NOT assume that I'm trying to lose weight.  I'm eating cleaner because it makes me feel better.  I could not give a flying fuck what the scale says.  I lived my life by the scale for far too long and I'm not going to chain myself to it any longer.

And yet another co-worker, when he noticed me eating my salad and drinking my ONE Coke for the day, told me he'd rather see me eating the greasy cheeseburger and fries that my other co-workers were eating instead of drinking that "poison".  The one thing I refuse to give up, and I've said it for years, is my Coke.  It's not going to happen so people need to back the fuck off about it.  I have very few vices, other than my foul mouth and my love for Coke.  I don't smoke, rarely drink, and don't do drugs. Look, dude, I know you're a personal trainer, but you're not *my* personal trainer and unless I'm getting drunk or shooting up at work, what I put into my body is none of your business. 

What I would really love is for the people at work to stop assuming I'm eating healthier to lose weight.  And I really wish they'd keep their damned opinions and comments to themselves.  God forbid I do something like work out - I can only imagine the "help" I'd get then.  I do plan on being more active as the weather continues to warm up, though I won't call it "working out".  My whole goal is to be healthy enough to do what I want to do.  If I want to go for a hike, by God I'm going to go for a hike.  If I want to take Skeeter for a walk, I'm going to take Skeeter for a walk.  But I don't need my armchair quarterback co-workers being "helpful".  I need them to shut the fuck up and mind their own business.

The End.