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Category Archives: A day in the life

Have You Seen Me?

As I was able to share another milestone with my son over the weekend, it only makes my heart hurt more to realize that the Skelton brothers have been missing for seven years.

SEVEN YEARS.

That is seven years that their mother did not get to experience milestones with them. Times three.

Here is a link to an updated news article regarding their disappearance.

The link: http://www.wxyz.com/news/the-skelton-brothers-7-years-later-the-disappearance-mystery-and-heartbreak

The Skelton brothers have been missing for most of a decade. They could truly be anywhere by now. And their father who took them and is rotting away in jail sure isn’t talking. (Don’t worry, he will be out in a few years, boys or no boys.) So please, take a look at the most recent age progressions and report to authorities if anything seems familiar.

Skelton Brothers Missing Poster with Age Progressions

Thank you for your time. And hug your family a little tighter knowing they are safe under your roof.

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HT Make a Unique Lake for HO Scale Model Train Layout

My son was lucky enough to be given an HO scale model train layout on long-term loan. It has 10 switches, a bridge, and came with an assortment of buildings. But somehow, it was still a little plain.

There was a large open area that my son decided needed a lake. Now I will show you the process of how we created the lake. This is what I was up to while I was finishing Angry Macey and why I had no time to blog.

ECO ALERT: The great news about this project is we made it with almost entirely recycled materials!

First I begged my husband to retrieve a piece of scrap wood out of the rafters of the garage for me. Then I had to clean off said wood. Then I put it on the layout and did a rough estimate of where I needed to cut. Use the appropriate saw to make the job easier. (I did not.) Sand rough edges.

I present to you Guitar Lake, so named because, well, it looks like a guitar.

Guitar Lake

Then we painted it blue, darker in the deep spots. We painted it white where the current from the lake dumps in.

Guitar Lake painted

Next we decorated it to our liking. This is where you can have the real fun!

I insisted I would only help him with this project if I could put the Loch Ness Monster into the lake. Then I had to explain what the Loch Ness Monster was. I painted an outline of his body coming out of the dark depths of the lake. Then I glued down a small wooden peg. I cut the head off of a dollar store dinosaur for the head. The buoys are painted wooden stakes. Watch out for the electric eel and the shark. There is a pop can because my son said to be realistic, the lake needed litter.

We began adding painted and physical accessories. Beware the Loch Ness Monster who guards the sunken pirate ship and its treasure!

We coated the surface of the water with Mod Podge. (Beware, Mod Podge remains sticky to the touch and may attract dust. But, it is also pretty inexpensive for a project such as this.) We used more Mod Podge to glue sand for a beach, pebbles, and small rocks for the shore. I wish I had built up the beach a little more, because much of the sand fell off after the glue dried.

To be thrifty, we collected the sand and rocks from outside, then baked them in the oven to kill any bugs because, bugs–YUCK.

The lake laid in place with the river.

 

A view from the deep end, complete with Hot Wheels boat.

My husband said we needed a mermaid. I just happened to have one of those laying around the house.

A view from the beach. Swimmers beware the mermaid’s song.

And that completes the lake project.

But, in the meantime, we came in possession of two train cranes within 24 hours: one functional, one not. You know me, I had to find a use for the broken crane. Taking a cue from many other more sophisticated layouts we have seen, I decided to age the crane. I started with some graffiti. (I Googled graffiti generators until I found a design I liked.) I added rust and dirt with acrylic craft paint as well.

Damn hoodlums, vandalize everything in the whole damn railyard.

I glued on some moss to make it seem as if it had not moved in a very long while. Here is a side by side comparison of the good crane vs. the broken one.

New vs. Aged

Then my husband had a great idea to make a whole abandoned track.

Sad, abandoned track

It was so fun that my husband decided to age his own engine (not pictured here). I have no doubt we will be aging more non-functioning stock in the future.

And you might think that is the end of our railroad upgrades.

That is, until the ZOMBIES showed up…

Beware the impending zombie attack!

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

HALLOWEEN 2017: DIY Unicorn & The Terminator

This year for Halloween I really wanted to be Harley Quinn. (I did last year, too). But, I didn’t want to spend the money on the costume and I did not want to freeze during Trick or Treating. So, I ended up being a unicorn. Which, by the way, cost about half what the Harley Quinn costume would have cost me and I still froze during Trick or Treat, although not as badly.

To make the unicorn, I relied on this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/thnF6i3IDBY
And also this website: https://www.makeit-loveit.com/make-unicorn-hoodie-30-minutes/
And the rest I made up as I went along.

First get a hoodie to decorate in the desired color. At first I considered a bright pink one from Hobby Hobby that was zipperless. But I had already fallen in love with the grey hoodie on the makeit-loveit website. Plus, zipperless hoodies tend to pull on my neck and annoy me. I figured the added weight of the mane and the horn would only make that worse. I bought my plain grey hoodie in the men’s department at Walmart. I recommend a hoodie with drawstrings so you can tighten them if you need to. I actually tied scrap strips of fleece to my drawstrings. I could tighten the drawstrings and slide up the fleece to hold it in place, holding them without having to tie a silly bow.

Then I gathered different colored scraps of fleece from my own collected and the scrap bin at JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby. I only needed a little, so they were relatively inexpensive. I found the silver material for the horn there too.

Mane sewed on, but not yet cut into strands

My horn is maybe 7 inches tall here. I wrapped it with gold ribbon. A gold horn with silver ribbon would work just as well. The way I made my ears, they didn’t stand up so well, so feel free to improve on the design.

The full horn and ears.

Once I got the horn sewed on, I realized it was just way too long. I removed it, cut off about 2 inches, and sewed it back on again. If you want to be able to wear your horn in the car, you could take off even more.

I was feeling horny! This is the too long horn.

I had cut off the leading (trailing?) edge of the fleece. I was just going to discard it, but it turned out they made for a great tail. I attached it with a large safety pin. I layered more fleece on the inside so that the pin wouldn’t rip the jacket if it got pulled on on accident.

Finished mane and tail

Here is a picture of my finished costume. Please realize that I am not that fat. Well, not quite. I had on five layers, including a raincoat as a windbreaker which was a total lifesaver that night.

My son went as the Terminator. All he needed was the right sunglasses, a $3 thrift store leather jacket, and a $1 gun from a yard sale. He wanted me to be Sarah Conner. But that would just be the same costume as when I was Jennifer to his Marty McFly–my old 80s clothes. And no one would know who I was. For more on the Marty McFly costume, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/10/27/crafting-a-cardboard-delorean/

Finished costumes

Have fun making your own unicorn costume!

For more on how The Terminator is actually a love story, click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/07/16/the-movie-terminator-is-actually-a-love-story/

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

ANGRY MACEY RELEASE DAY!!!

It is RELEASE DAY!!! I am so hopping excited to release this book into the stratosphere! Not because Angry Macey is a happy book, because it is not, by any means. And it is NOT a romance, although there is a little romance sprinkled in. It is a story and feelings that have been crying out to be set free since 2014. Now it can stop polluting my mind and pollute all yours with anxiety and depression instead!

Were you bullied in school? Were you the bully? Either way, you should read this book.

Available Now!

Of all the books I’ve written, Angry Macey is closest to my heart. It is YA teen angst (But not that genre! This is General Fiction.) that has been left to fester until it erupts into a mid-life crisis. Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.

Did you read my book Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom? Ginny is a victim of bullying. She is put upon, until she learns she does have the power to fight back.

Macey is also subject to bullying, more verbal than physical. Macey knows she wants to fight back, but is misdirected & lost, she doesn’t know how to go about it. She has anger, but no goal to strive for. Angry Macey is her journey to move through that.

Angry Macey is really two books in one. So, if you are in the first half and it is too dark and you want to give up, know that there is light coming for Macey. And possibly palm trees.

Don’t forget about my mission that is still seeking direction “Love Yourself”. Check out the page here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/love-yourself/

Everyone feels like they are guided at some point in their lives. But what if you were guided to do something terrible? What if you were too blinded by anger to even care about the carnage you were about to inflict?

Meet Macey.
Mid-life crisis. Mental breakdown. Payback. Revenge.

I was the woman who did everything right. I had always followed my head rather than my heart. And where had it gotten me? Unemployed, depressed, and soon-to-be homeless. I couldn’t help but try to find the source of where it had all gone wrong. With my twentieth high school reunion coming up, it wasn’t hard to imagine the time period of my life that my thoughts returned to. I want them to pay. There are only two people who could possibly stop me, and one of them died yesterday. The other will probably not even remember my name…

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

My Trip to Strangerville

I had the honor of being interviewed by It Just Gets Stranger‘s Eli McCann about one of my most favorite subjects in the universe: Punky Brewster!

He tried to keep the topic on only the refrigerator episode, but as I harbor deep-seated resentment toward that episode (see link to his post below), I kept trying to steer the conversation to Punky Brewster in general. (He edited that out, and rightfully so).

The whole time I was crazy nervous on this phone interview with him and his cohort Meg, I wondered why we were going to all this trouble for a blog post.

Turns out the interview was actually for his Strangerville podcast. That is right, America. I am now in a podcast.

And it is good I didn’t know it was for a podcast, as I would have been more crazy nervous.

If there is anyone else out there that would like to interview me about Punky Brewster or Growing Pains or my love of Matthew Perry, please just contact me at: jennifer_friess@mrugly-manentertainment.com

Here is the link to Eli’s website and the podcast: http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2017/10/the-world-of-spooks.html

Don’t be scared by the title. It isn’t that spooky. I appear in segment titled “Refrigerator Death.” Has a cheery ring to it, huh?

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
Available for $.99 Pre-Order

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