Rats, Bats and Vultures, Oh No!

I have a cousin who shall remain nameless. She loves Halloween and throws a costume party every year. Next weekend is the big event and I thought I’d share some pics of what or who her guests will party with.

Entering the house into the kitchen, I am greeted by a not overly icky Fall mantle. She apparently likes rats. Yes, little white mice are cute…in a cage…in a laboratory.  She doesn’t agree and thinks they should reside on the mantle.

Through the doorway on the left you enter the dining room.  Ya’ know…where people dine.

All will be greeted by the Rodent Eating Vulture and more little white rodents. Oh! And snakes & dog bone candle holders. Yes, that is certainly how I’d like to see my Four Star restaurant table set up! “Would you like the Catch of the day, Little White Rat a la Stewart? We also have one special for $22.95, Slimy Black Snake, if you prefer.” Yes…I can’t wait to order.

Gazing across the room trying to avoid staring down the Rodent Eating Vulture & its prey, my eyes rest on the sideboard. Okay, the hat is cute and it dances & sings! My eyes move up and side to side! Just when things were going good! Corpse-like hands holding candles. I don’t want them touching my food! Eyes quickly dart up seeking rest only to find The Shelf of Skulls. One can only wonder if they were previous patrons.

Changing chairs, I hope for a view of fall leaves and pumpkins. But no! The hostess thought a
Jailed Skull with bright blood red eyes would bring my appetite to the fore.  Yes, I have an completely crazy optimistic hostess. Apparently her restaurant’s ambiance isn’t geared toward those with red blood still running.

With a bit of despair, I move my eyes to the last wall. Whew! Birds on a branch, lights, ignore teeny black bats and…stink! Another skull with eyes alight for crying out loud.   Does the hostess really think that skulls make the living want to eat?

Alas, it’s time to visit the Ladies Room and make sure that I still look normal…like having eyeballs in my  eye sockets and that my skin isn’t green or gray. Close the door and turn around! SHE. DID. IT. AGAIN. A spider straight from the movie “Aliens” and Sigourney Weaver is not.at.the.party. Should’ve asked DIY Diva, Kit Stanley, along. She would turn them into grease spots on the floor.

Okay. I will just check my eyeballs and skin tone in the mirror and get out.  But, NO! The Alien Spider is getting ready to have dinner and has it’s eye on a ROACH! Roaches turn my stomach. No entree for me thank you very much. Wash hands. Turn for towel.

And who do we meet face to face? Simon the Skeleton. “Let me assist you, dear.” What? This is a Four Star Ladies Room with a servant now? And is he smiling? Yeah, you can’t trust skeletons. He probably wants a tip, too.  They’re always smiling…always. Zombies are their predecessors…just saying.

I think it’s about time to leave this establishment.  I really would like dessert at least. I wonder if there is some small confection I could slip out with.

Fingers?  There are FINGERS for dessert?

I have a pot of homemade sauce and meatballs at home.  I don’t have skulls, cockroaches, rodents, spiders or vultures. I have bittersweet vine and pressed Fall leaves. Okay…I have a spider here and there, but they die upon sight AND…

I have chocolate…in squares…not fingers. I may snag the bottle of Dracu-wine on the way out. I need it for my sauce. I’ll leave the cape.

Oh! Be grateful I didn’t show you the outdoor pictures.  Yep…be grateful.

Those of you who know me, know I don’t celebrate Halloween nor do I judge those who innocently do so. However, I do like finding the humor in things and the centerpiece is a work of art as is the spider & bat laden chandelier above it. May you all enjoy the bounty of Fall, the Harvest Season…with or without rats, bats & vultures!



How often do I think how well “I” did something… how well “I” (add most anything). 
The truth is, I’ve had many mentors in life that encompass many aspects of my life…those people who came alongside me to encourage and guide me and, in the name of honesty, there were moments a 2×4 was called for up side of my skull (figuratively speaking, of course)…or a palm laid firmly across my backside (not so figuratively speaking). By the way, parents of a very stubborn, strong-willed child have very strong palms.  I digress.

We all have mentors…people who encourage us, inspire us to kick it up a notch, challenge us to take leaps of faith, guide and teach us.  We have them for all areas of our lives.  Parents, siblings, God, pastors, friends. If we ever feel like God’s left us on our own, we only need to look for those He placed in our lives to move us forward…upward. Sometimes they stretch out a hand to pull us up…sometimes they fall in step beside us…sometimes they jog backward in front of us saying, “Oh, yes you can!”

Here are three women who’ve mentored me, encouraged me beyond measure and helped me come to a place where I actually believe I can turn my home and property into beauty without breaking the bank.  Surprisingly, we have never met and have never talked or communicated personally though we are “in touch” daily via their DIY blogs. They don’t even know the impact they’ve had on me. There are many DIY blogs I follow, but these three made me believe I could DIY.

Big Boy Room

It all started when I stumbled across a DIY blog by Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick, a couple of years or so ago. Located in the Mid-West, this woman didn’t fear power tools or pounding nails into already beautiful walls (uhmmm…I’m not there yet about the pounding nails into walls – I start to twitch thinking about it.  Yeah, I’m fearless like that). She could take a mudpie and turn it into a work of art if you gave her one. She inspires me to look outside of my “box” and see things with an imagination that is slowly coming back to life. She is truly thrifty, not someone who sends you out to purchase stuff out of budget, but shows you how to substitute less expensive products for high-end, lasting projects. Molding?  This girl knows her stuff and makes it look easy! And if Sarah does recommend a particular item or brand, I don’t have to second guess if it’s great or not…it is. Even though she may stage her home for pictures of her projects, she is equally honest that her house is not always in perfect condition. Sarah even has those “fail” projects and is humble enough to let us readers know what didn’t work and why. If you’re looking to refresh or update your interior, please drop in and visit her.

Ana’s Plans

Now that the door had been opened to a whole new world, I started checking out others.  The next one I ran across was Ana White (Ana-White). This was like a little kid’s perfect Christmas morning! Sarah was helping me decide how to update and make my mark on my home inside; Ana was about to teach me how to build furniture (and more) for both inside and out! No more drooling over really expensive outdoor dining sets or bed frames! Ana and her husband built their home in interior Alaska from the ground up while living with a newborn in the garage area. Ana wanted nice furniture to complement her home and threw her fear of power tools to the wind and started to make furniture out of leftover wood from the build. She posts detailed, yet simple to understand, plans. People who use her plans also post their “version” on her blog. Currently, Ana and Ram (that’s how we know her husband) are currently building “The Momplex” – an incredible duplex so each of their moms will have a really warm, safe and secure home to live out their lives for many, many years. If you are looking for a less expensive way to have incredible furniture or how to make a great raised garden bed or whatever your heart fancies, visit Ana. Oh! And while you’re there, view the incredible majesty of interior Alaska through Ana’s photography.

The Liberty House

I next “met” Kit (DIY Diva) who is also somewhere in the Mid-West. Seriously,  I couldn’t resist her tag line: Bridging the Gap Between Woman and Power Tool Wielding Badass One Project At A Time. I have to wonder if she was a stubborn, strong-willed child.  This woman just bought an old 1800’s classic, brick farmhouse on acres of land that has 2 or 3 barns as well and is now busy crossing the bank’s “to do” items off the list to get her money out of escrow (stinking appraiser).  As of the most recent post, she spent some time asleep in the middle of the master bedroom floor while being abducted by aliens painting due to exhaustion (she also holds down a full time job in addition to revamping The Liberty House) and then a couple of hours hanging out on top of the future miniature donkey barn (yes, I did say “miniature donkey barn”) convincing herself that she needed roof jacks before tackling a new roof on the barn (stinking appraiser). Kit has previously renovated/built two other houses and wields power tools like I wield cooking utensils! About a year ago she got her contractor’s license….because she could. Her sense of humor is priceless. Her ability to do … well, it seems about anything, is infectious (she’s even ready for a zombie attack). I would have to say that Kit is responsible for fully reigniting the “I can do anything” streak in me.  Her fault, my friends…and you thought I’d mellowed out. Take it out on her and no, I do not plan to build a barn…maybe a good sized shed. I can trust Kit’s judgement about tools, no questions, no doubt. (I also trusted her about winter boots…now I’m good to about 40-60 below.) If you want to install anything, this is the girl to visit. If you need to replace just about anything (windows, doors, floors, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.), this is the girl to visit…if you want to do it yourself.  Kit’s also very honest about when to call a professional in like when all else fails. Now, it’s time to check out that sliding compound miter saw she convinced me was a must have.  Yep…her fault.

So go visiting. They’d love to have you! You won’t leave them without new ideas, inspiration and dreams. And dreams are a necessity!