"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to BLOOM…This is the Element of Freedom"

-Alicia Keys

30 June 2010

One of Those Weeks- Part 2

This is Part 2 of my story.

We thought that we had a major bug problem in our house because we thought that we had FLEAS. Not the bass-playin'-naked-assed Flea from the Chili Peppers {I wish!}, but the creepy, invasive, pain-in-the-ass fleas that hitch a free ride on your pet, come into your house & then stay a while.

 Not this kind of Flea:

{Flea- from The Red Hot Chili Peppers playin' bass in the buff}

But THIS kind of Flea:



{Obviously this bug is not to scale. If that was the case, I would have had a nervous breakdown}

I KNOW, right?!?  While the bugs themselves didn't totally creep me out, the process of getting rid of them did. We read  horror stories online of people who couldn't get rid of them no matter what they tried. That is what freaked me out.

This is how it went down:  On Tuesday, we had another guy come out from Alpha Ecological to just do a follow-up treatment & so we asked him what they were and he said that he thought they *might* be fleas.  Now, no offense to the guy that came over that day, but *might be fleas* is not what you tell people.  They are either  fleas or they are not.  He sprayed the offending area and then left.  Later that night, we started to wonder what to do because whatever these bugs were, they were still alive & well & jumping in our house, still mostly on the south side.  We googled fleas and started to vacuum our house. like.every.square.inch of it.  They literally kept popping up in the craziest places and we started to think that we were overrun with FLEAS.  We put our poor cat, Jazmine in quarantine in the bathroom, thinking that she was the one who had brought them in the house.  She is an indoor cat, but she had gotten out a couple of times when the back door hadn't been shut tight.

So, if you have been reading this blog or you know me, you know that I am quite serious when it comes to using natural products instead of the conventional chemical ones.  I am passionate about making sure that what I choose to purchase protects the health of my family & most insecticides, pesticides, fungicides do not do that. 

{This isn't what we used, but you get the idea}

 My husband wanted to set off a flea bomb in our house to rid it of the fleas.  I did not want a flea bomb going off in our house.  I was faced with a dilemma.  Do I put my foot down and say no to the bomb and then face a worse problem in a couple of months?  Or, do I suck it up & say yes, flea bomb the house and deal with the aftermath?

Against my better judgement, I said yes to the flea bomb.  My husband taped & sealed all of our kitchen cabinets, took out our food, put plastic on the counters & our table.  He did a really good job of taking all of the necessary precautions, but I was still worried.  He set the bomb off and left our house.  I came home about 3 hours later and opened all of the windows to air everything out.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Jumping bugs still jumping and climbing all over the inside & the outside of our windows on the south side of the house.


After all that???

I left the house & met Josh & Reese for dinner, wondering WTF are we going to do now?  We took Reese to my parents to stay the night, away from the flea bomb aftermath & went home to clean up. When we got home, we found the bugs again and started to do some more research.  Finally, after googling "Tiny Grey Jumping Bugs," we figured out that we didn't have fleas. 

Instead, we had Springtails, or collembola.  A TOTALLY HARMLESS {annoying, yes.  Dangerous, no} BUG.  According to Jack DeAngelis, PhD (OSU Ext. Entomologist), "Collembola, also called springtails, are tiny arthropods that can be very abundant in damp, organic soils where they feed on dead plant material and fungi, occasionally damaging tender plant roots. Following heavy rains they may wash out of soil and collect in large "blooms" where rainwater flows, and can even enter houses at these times."

{Hope you enjoy the creepy bug drawings.  No way in hell would I be posting photos of the actual bugs. sick!}

Guess who had a small pile of leaves and twigs outside when they took out the bushes on the side of their house?  That happened to sit there while it rained for 3 days?

We did.

Prime conditions for the harmless Springtail.  Contrary to what you will read on the Internet, these bugs do not cause problems in humans. They are gone about as quickly as they come.

Guess what did NOT rid our house of the Springtail?


I will wrap up the rest of this story tomorrow.

P.S. I have to send some love to my dear friend Andrea & her family...Welcome to the world, Sweet Carly...You are loved!

29 June 2010

One of those weeks- Part 1

I have some explaining to do....{This post is a play on my friend Maria's post on her wonderful blog, Little Things are Big, One of those days...or was it?} I have to say that it has been One Of Those Weeks! I have been doing laundry like a mad woman {and we all know how much Laundry & I love each other} and cleaning our house from top to bottom, leaving little time for being on the computer.  Why you ask?  It all started last week, but let me fill you in on some details first:

We have a house that is 53 years old.  It was built by the builder of our neighborhood in 1957 for his family.  In 1958, a new family bought the house and they lived there until about 2 years ago.  Because our neighborhood is older and we have older trees and shrubs, we tend to have more bugs.  Our house sat empty for about a year before we moved in last fall {3 weeks before our wedding!}, which gave bugs a nice quiet place to live for a while.  After we moved in, I noticed quite a few multi-legged guests coming & going through our house at all hours of the day or night.  I used to be someone who would ALWAYS capture a bug and gently let it outside to freedom.  It didn't take long to convert me to a bug smasher.  Now, before you gasp in horror, let me tell you that I do not smash butterflies, caterpillars, honeybees, ladybugs or roli-polies. {or worms, Maria!}However, I have no love for spiders who come inside of my house, especially those who lurk around my bedroom or my kid's room.  I also have no love for earwigs (skin crawling as we speak), the hornets that magically appear in our bathroom, or any other creepy-crawly insects that like to hang out in our house.  But, I do love my family and our mother earth and future generations (this is a whole different post!), so when we decided that we needed to do something about our pest problem, I put down my foot when it came to calling the Orkin Man.  I have serious chemical phobia issues and would probably suffer a nervous breakdown if he came and sprayed poisons around my house, where we live & breathe.  So, we called an eco-friendly pest control company called Alpha Ecological.  They came out & sprayed their natural-based bug spray.  There was no scent of anything and we noticed a decrease in bugs right away.  Then came winter and spring & still no bugs.  We had Alpha Ecological come out about a month ago to spray for the summer & we have had no problems with too many bugs around.  I know that bugs are important & I don't mind them in small doses, but inside my house?  really?  No thank you!

Then we had rain for about 3 days in a row a couple of weeks ago.  Last week, we noticed that we had some weird jumping bugs in our bathroom, in Reese's room & in my craft room.  All of these rooms are on the south side of our house.  Outside on the south side of our house, we had taken out some bushes (we took them out because we were worried that they would be a haven for bugs).  We thought that we may have disturbed a nest of some kind because they were everywhere.  They were tiny, jumping bugs.

What could they be?

To be continued...

24 June 2010

Yellow is Lovely

I'm still here.  Life is happening, you know?  Nothing bad, something {sort of!} funny, going to bed later because it is summer and that is what you do...

Skipped a couple of posts...but it is all good.

Have I mentioned that I love yellow? {especially paired with grey-my wedding colors} So,

{Today I googled Yellow Chair...}

   {I found this Ghost Chair}
{Loving this one, fo' sho'...}

      {Yellow is sweet, isn't it?}

The weekend is almost here, lovelies...it is the last weekend in the beautiful month of June.  enjoy it...summer is magical, no matter where you live. and it is gone before you know it.  So, have fun.  eat dinner outside tonight!

21 June 2010

I {Heart} Summer

Summer in Colorado!

20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day!

{Happy Father's Day to the one who raised me, to the one who raised him & to all three of them who love me and our daughter. We have been blessed.  We love you Dave, Rich & Josh!}

Elizabeth & Reese

  {The Two Loves of My Life}

Happy Father's Day to my Poppy & Reese's Great Poppy.  We love & miss you!  
(the picture above was taken near where they live in Wisconsin)

18 June 2010

it's payday, yo!

Yesterday was my sister's birthday.  We are having dinner with her tonight, so on my lunch break, I did a little shopping.  I went to a local store called Fancy Tiger Crafts.  {It is close to where I once lived and it is in an area of Denver that has really evolved into an eclectic shopping district, full of great shops, bars & restaurants. It is one of my favorite areas of Denver.}  Anyway, my sister likes to knit, so I thought that I would go there & see what I could find. 

Not a problem.  I found a neat knitting project book for my sister, a little sewing project for kids 6-12 for Reese that I saw on their blog & once I saw it in the store, I knew Reese would dig it, too.  It is definitely the one in the middle.  Reese is pretty particular about things she thinks should be for a boy!

I have been working on a project on and off for a while and while I was there, I found some great fabric for it.  It is exactly what I have been looking for...so happy!

It was fun to leave my office & get out of there for an hour.  Especially because I was able spend some time alone, looking at things {fabrics, books, crafty things}that make me happy.  What a difference in visual surroundings...my office & a small store filled with beautiful things.  What a difference in the energy in both places!  One filled with the little energy we have left on a Friday afternoon and the other, full of creative energy as people pick out things to help them create something or learn how to do something new.  It was exactly what I needed on a Friday afternoon...and you know, it is payday!

I will show you some before & after shots when I finally finish the project I mentioned above.  Hopefully that is soon.  Have a great weekend!

17 June 2010

Always on a Mission: Part 2

I recently wrote a post about always being on a mission to find an organizational system that will help me to finally be organized. Without it being such a difficult thing for me to grasp.  I am starting to understand that I need to stop trying so hard.  It is hard for me to figure out how to do that, but I am finally beginning to realize that I really am organized.  I may not be a "place for everything & everything in its place" kind of person, but I am slowly becoming organized in my own way. I have also started to realize that I like what I see when I finish working on a project, because Honey, I know it looks good! organizing with a bit of style...now we're talking.

However....My continual issue with paper is a large part of my issues with organization, paired with the "apparently-the-ability-to-plan-and-organize-gene-skipped-my-ass-entirely" lack of planning skills is seriously the area in my life that needs my time.  I need to take the time to sit down.  at a desk. away from the computer. Alone. with good music on. and think about the things that I need to do, the dreams & goals that I have for myself & for my family. Most importantly, figure out a way to let go of the things that are holding me back and move forward.  I know that I need to pick one thing that works for me & STICK WITH IT...even when it sucks. Or it is confusing. Or I don't understand what the hell I am doing. Or when I just don't want to.

Maybe this IS the place to challenge myself to do this one simple thing:  Pick one system. start it.

and STICK TO IT. Don't give up. Don't quit.

I am going to start with one thing: Pick one system, plan, whatever.  I have done some research and found some really good advice on a website called Yvette Writes.  I think that what caught my attention is that she has had to learn how to be organized and she has had to work at keeping her good habits.  She has a really good sense of humor, too.

I also found the Simple Mom blog.  She has several different things that you can download to help you stay organized.  All of you Stay-At-Home-Mommas {this is for you Andrea!}:  Scroll down a bit to the Grocery List.  This is where you will find what she uses to help her to stay on track when it comes to Meal Planning. I like that she uses del.icio.us to keep track of the recipes that she uses...I love Del.icio.us! I really like the Daily Docket and the Weekly Checklist.  I have created something similar to the Daily Docket, but for some reason it was hard to implement for me.  I like that she is realistic about how many things you will actually get done in one day.  I always think that I will get a ton done...and I usually don't.  But that is okay.

Whatever it is that I choose to use to help me with this monkey on my back, will be something that I will stick with for 30 days.  I will want to procrastinate or stop using it at least 20 times during those 30 days, but I am making a promise here, on my blog, not to quit.  I will let you know when I start...keeping this blogging everyday for 30 days has been a little bit of a challenge, but it has been really fun.   Now is the time to get better with the paper issue...I will let you know what I have decided to use and when the first day will be.  Anyone have something that they know that they need to start/stop doing to help make life a little better?  Want to join me?


So, on a completely unrelated note.  I can't blog without posting a picture.  The picture below is from Amy Butler {an amazing textile designer, among other talents}.  I bought this pattern a long time ago, but I think this will be something fun to PLAN to make this summer.  Aren't they so fun??

{These are just what my living room needs...but only one or two of them!}

16 June 2010


I have 3 posts, unfinished & sitting in my drafts, 2 of which I started tonight.

I can't seem to say what I want to say, the way that I want to say it, you know what I'm saying?

I have a friend who used to write me notes in high school and he would always say "Yomsayn?" 

He is still funny like that.

I'm tired. So i'm going to bed.


15 June 2010

Short & Sweet

I was unable to finish the Always on a Mission: Part 2 post today & now it is late.  I have been over at my parent's house, organizing a ton of kids clothing & toys...some to keep for the future & most to donate to the awesome midwife clinic that I went to went I was pregnant with Reese.  You know what?  I did a fabulous job, if I do say so myself.  I think that if helped that my awesome husband took care of Reese so that I could get some work done...

So, I am going to keep it short & sweet today and leave you with this wonderful little saying.  I printed it out and taped it up next to my desk at work.  When I am feeling discouraged, I read it and it helps to remind me to dream & plan:

I found this on Gussy: has a lot to say {and sew}.  I love her blog, I love the lovely things that she sews and she just quit her day job to sew full-time...she is awesome!

Good Night!

14 June 2010

Always on a Mission: Part 1

I am always on a mission to find something that will hold the magic key to organization.  If I find or create the perfect (there is that evil word again!) system, then *Poof!* I will be wicked organized and live happily ever after.  So far, I have found no such key.  But I have started and created numerous organizational systems.  Color-Coded file systems, accordian files that I painstakingly labeled (and even made inspirational labels to motivate me to keep using the system), bulletin boards with different sections for all of my To Do Lists: Bills to Pay, People to call, Dreams & Goals, ect.  I joined the Fly Lady website (she is really lovely and I did learn some kind & gentle ways to teach yourself how to get organized.)  I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People & tried to use the Time Management Quadrants, which included me making more file folders and labels.  No wonder I am frustrated! Have you ever seen the the Quadrants (also known as time management matrix)?  Now add in the ADHD factor, with one of the hallmarks being the inability to prioritize...When everything seems important, how do you decide what to do first?  Even just looking at this quadrant below sort of gives me anxiety.  It is so black & white and quite frankly, it is so boring that I know now that there is no way in hell I will ever use something like this.

Recently, I was at a local bookstore, The Tattered Cover {a wonderful independent bookstore here in the Denver area} and I came across this book: Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation.  I didn't end up buying it that day, but it is on my list of books to read.  I flipped through it and loved the layout of the book, the way that the author writes is totally up my alley {I spotted a couple of F*bombs, and any book on organization that uses colorful language is a book that I want to read!}

On the same shelf as the book above, was this book: One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good.

I opened this book & almost had an anxiety attack right there.  I literally shuddered in the bookstore.  Now, let me preface this:  I know that I committed a crime here.  I judged a book, not by the cover {I mean who doesn't like rubber duckies?} but by its interior layout and writing style.  Both of which were quite boring.  If I am going to read another book about organizing, please let it be funny, teach something & swear like a sailor.

I have learned / am learning a few things about: Organization: When it doesn't come to you naturally}:

  •  Don't beat yourself up about it.  Don't let anyone make you feel inferior because you haven't figured out how to get all of the laundry washed, folded, hung up & put away or you know that piece of paper is "in that stack somewhere."  You know what?  IT IS OKAY. You have other gifts to share with the world.  Life is too short to worry about things like this, but I totally get how hard it is to feel good about things when there is a massive pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded, hung up & put away or you can't find a bill that needs to be paid because it wasn't in that stack somewhere.  I totally get it.  The most important thing that you can do is to brush yourself off & spend some time finding out what system will work best for you.

  • Find a system & STICK WITH IT.  This is where I really struggle.  I will find a new planner or notebook or whatever, and try it for a couple of weeks.  It is usually too much work or too confusing {see Time Management Quadrant Matrix above}.  I have found 2 websites that I really like and they are both run by women, who are both mothers.  Let's face it.  Life is complicated and it is just more complicated when you add little people and all of their laundry, diapers, food, toys, ect. to your life.  These women have come up with some great ideas to help manage all of these things.

  • I would be lying if I said that I have one system and I have stuck with it.  The truth is, I haven't.  I must have committment issues with organizational systems.  I have been burned one too many times, damn it!
So, here is the first of  two sites that I have found to be helpful.  Today we will talk about Hannah Keeley and her website.  She has a variety of pages that you can download for free here.  She wrote a post about "Trudging through Mud" and I commented and she actually commented on my comment!  Seriously, this woman is the mother to 7 children!  What I like the most about her site is that she is funny, she gets it and she doesn't pretend to be perfect.  The H.E.L.P downloads that she created are really easy to use.  I especially like the chore chart sheet.  She kept the spaces small so that you aren't tempted to fill them in with things that you won't possibly get to.  Check out the rest of her site for ideas and recipes and inspiration.

Damn.  This is one long post.  That happens when you write about something that means something to you.  I will keep it a little shorter tomorrow.  Thank you for reading!

13 June 2010

Ooops, I missed a post!

I went to a party yesterday afternoon, with the intent to come home in the evening & write my post of the day.

Things didn't happen the way that I had planned.

This got in the way:

I wish I had looked as lovely as this lady does while drinking beer:

But, I had such a great time...I was able to spend time with some of my very favorite people that I don't see nearly enough.  I have a wonderful group of friends that have been so good to me over the years...My life has been blessed by our friendship.  It was fun to drink beer and talk and laugh in the garage while it rained outside and I really needed exactly that.

But I felt kind of like shit today though.  Ooops. Reminds me why I don't drink very often anymore!

11 June 2010

{Anthropologie Eye Candy Friday}: I always find something at Anthropologie that I like (afford it? that is another situation entirely). I didn't find a lot today in the way of clothing, but I did find some things that I just like for one reason or another. I like unique things and I think that if you like something, especially when it comes to something for your home, it should be something that you love, not something that you feel ho-hum about. I have things that just make me happy and inspire me.

{Terrarium & Sugar Bowl}

{Lamp Shade & Drawer Pull}

{Amazing Chair & A bench- more on this later}

{This is the bed that I want to get for Reese someday & a cool chair}

{Me likey}

{A cute makeup bag/clutch & I'm loving this bathing suit}

{I love these wedges}

{Clothes. Obviously}

Happy Friday!

I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you for all of your awesome comments on my blog this week. I definitely felt the love & I definitely needed some love.

Related Posts with Thumbnails