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Holiday Amnesia

Of course the holidays were more fun when I was a child and could just sit back and enjoy them with none of the work. I have gotten a little less enjoyment each year in scheduling when we can possibly get a tree and how we will find some extra Jacksons to pay for it and ultimately slogging out the same decorations to adorn it.

I know I sound terrible. And the tree is my FAVORITE PART OF CHRISTMAS!

But I have reached a new low this year…

This year, I can’t even remember it.

That’s right. I can’t remember what happened.

It was a blur of buying gifts, wrapping gifts, buying ingredients for cookies, going to holiday events which seemed to be happening not only every weekend, but then every night of the week. I remember the holiday party at work, and how much I was looking forward to it. That night, we saw a listing for a dog online who would turn out to be part of the litter we would ultimately adopt our new pup from.

Then, there is a blur.

Puppy arrives

I know a dog started living with us between Christmas and New Year’s. We went to my sister-in-law’s New Year’s Eve party. We took the dog. I think. My husband and I had birthdays too, but I only remember coming out of a sickness fog to return to work.

Did this really happen?

I am finding items around the house that I don’t remember. They all turn out to be my son’s Christmas presents he received. I know when we got the puppy there was a mad rush to remove items from her path that she may destroy or eat. But having them out of site also put them out of my mind.

Maybe I am just out of my mind.

Has anyone else ever experienced this, or is it just me?

Maybe the 24 hour stomach flu that went through our house had a coma effect? Except, well, I am the only one experiencing this problem.

Oh well. I have always said that Christmas should be like the Olympics—we should take a break in between them. Even Christmas every other year would be more palpable.

Maybe the Jennifer’s Holiday Amnesia Episode of 2017 is Santa’s way of granting that wish. He managed to grant all my other wishes this year.

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
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I Got Lost

You may have noticed that I have been on a little break from posting on my blog and from other social media. After the publication of Angry Macey, it was my intention to keep up my blog even as I took a little writing break before aggressively starting a new project. But other factors intervened. Then I felt as though I should announce my break. But by then it seemed like it had been too long and it was obvious.

My Seasonal Affective Disorder always kicks in with a vengeance in October. That has really brought down my energy level, my drive to get anything done, my will to live.

The holidays slowed me down as well.

I follow the case of the missing Skelton brothers from nearby Morenci, Michigan. The anniversary of their disappearance every year is a reminder that they are still gone. A recent news story where bones were discovered in Montana sparked new media interest. Initial testing showed that the bones were from three children, roughly the same ages as the missing boys. We still await results form further testing. Here is a link to the news story.

http://www.13abc.com/content/news/Michigan-State-Police-looking-for-clues-on-missing-Morenci-boys-in-Montana-464246273.html

And then shortly after Christmas, we got a new addition to our household. This little girl.

Bailey Boo, roughly 13 weeks old in this pic.

Here name is Bailey. She is a super cute shepherd mix, but 100% puppy and she keeps us on our toes. I am still not over my former dog Dave that I lost last September, and probably never will be. But our house felt very empty with no dog in it. Bailey fills that hole.

So, just stick with me while I decide what the next project is I should put my attention toward.

I have zero author events scheduled for 2018. So if you want to see my face, you should invite me to your event or local library, etc.

Please, please send along any house-breaking tips if you have them. They would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

You are special in your own way. Never forget that.
#LoveYourself

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
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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.

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
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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!

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