Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘learning from mistakes’

A sticky situation

The last few posts have been about DIY projects and this is not a DIY website, I promise! If you can bare with me through one more post, I will get back on track soon! I guess this one could be seen as an adventure…nah!

My insomnia was still an ever-growing issue and my late-night compulsive googling was filling my mind with all these crafty little ideas. I knew I was not a crafty person and it had actually resulted in many personal injuries but for some reason I thought one day I would get at least one project right! Besides, I assumed there must be at least one project out  there on Pinterest that was accurately detailed enough that I could follow foolproof instructions. Late one night, when the world was asleep, I found an amazing product online: Mod Podge

Mod Podge

Mod Podge

I found women everywhere (and a few guys) that proclaimed the wonder and amazement of this fabulous product. It was hailed as the greatest crafting invention ever and had accumulated several million loyal customers, followers, and advocates. It was so infamous that there were knock off products on the market to mimic it and people freely share “recipes” for cooking up your own batch at home to save money. With so many rave reviews and obsessed consumers, I decided I had to find out what this incredible product was and give it a whirl.

In my searches, I found that this life-changing product comes in multiple formulas!

Mod Podge

Mod Podge

How exciting…I thought. I ran out the next day to a local craft store and purchased the biggest bottle they had. Oh glory! I had the coveted product of all products that millions of people raved about. Once I brought it home, I realized I didn’t know what to do with it 😦 The googling resumed. After locating some projects online, I decided on a photo transfer project.

I followed the directions I found online and the project wasn’t too bad…I thought.

Us - Mod Podged onto a piece of wood

Us – Mod Podged a piece of wood

You see, it was simple. I printed off a color photo to use with our printer. I selected a piece of wood – Cut the photo to fit – Slathered a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the wood – Layed the photo face down on the wood – Trimmed off the edges – smoothed out air bubble pockets and allowed it to dry.    See? Simple! The entire process took maybe 20 minutes (as a beginner) and was not difficult at all.

This Mod Podge product has a glue consistency and reminded me of elementary school. It said on the label that even though it goes on white, it dries clear AND it cleans up easily with basic soap and water. The dry time is about 24 hours though, so some patience would be required.

I was excited! I was going to accomplish a craft with no personal injuries and it was going to turn out nicely!! Yay me…for an hour…

After cleaning up my work area and washing my hands, I came back to the office, took off my shoes and began working on some paperwork. I happily made my way through a lot of internet work and then moved to filing within 25 minutes or so. When I stood up, a customer invoice was stuck to my elbow. Not thinking much of it, I pulled it off and moved to the filing cabinet and put away some files. As I moved away from the filing cabinet, my foot stuck on the wood floor. I stumbled, almost tripped, and regained my composure. I can be so clumsy sometimes. So, I put my shoes back on.

In the restroom, the toilet paper stuck to my hand. At this point, I realized something wasn’t right. On the way back to the office area, I picked up a dryer sheet from the laundry room…on the bottom of my shoe. As I leaned down to peel it off, I lost my balance and leaned back against the wall for support. My shirt peeled off the wall as I attempted to reach down and remove the dryer sheet. My mistake was lazily leaning back up against the wall when I had the dryer sheet in my hand. That’s when my hair stuck to the wall…

I was loosing patience with myself and my surroundings. I didn’t feel sticky, so why was everything sticking to me?  MOD PODGE!

Oh NO, that wonderfully fabulous, incredible invention that went on white and dried clear was all over me!! It’s glue. How do you not know that you have glue on you? Well, I’ll tell you… this thoughtfully incredulous material goes on smooth, thin, and sleek. It is only during the seemingly forever drying process that the tackiness appears. I went to the place where I had placed my photo transfer project to dry (on the dryer in the laundry room) to check it also. The cat was stuck to it 😦 There he stood shaking it as roughly as he could to get it off his back paw. When he saw me, he bolted off the dryer, down the hallway and into the living room dragging my project with him! He was not happy. I was not happy. My house was slowly becoming covered in glue.

The kids would be home from school in under an hour and then my husband would be home. I had to get the house cleaned up! My problem was that I had no way to see what I was cleaning! This miracle product of the ages turns clear as it dries, not after it is completely dry. I grabbed my shoes and cleaned them. Then I started cleaning the house. I cleaned the floors, door knobs, washing machine top, dryer, and anything that I thought I may have touched. I thought I did rather well covering up my goof.  🙂

After supper, everyone usually retires to their rooms or does their own thing. I showed my husband the nice little picture on wood thing I had created and he thought it was awesome 🙂 I was happy once more.   Then, my youngest son yells “ouch” from the livingroom as he tried to get up from the recliner. His arm and his head had stuck to the recliner as he tried to move. “Mom!” he called out to complain. “Oh you kids,” I said embarrassingly, “Y’all clearly need to eat in the kitchen. I bet there’s something sticky on it. Just wipe it down.”

I got away with it… or at least I did until they read this 😉

Do’s & Don’ts of Cooking

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fabulous cook. I have never claimed to be. I try though and somehow the boys all seem to be very healthy. Once upon a blue moon, my favorite hang out place was the kitchen. I stayed in there practically all day. If I wasn’t cooking, I was cleaning, or sitting at the table reading or paying bills.

Over the years, I have had some serious fiascos in the kitchen.  In the past, I would deny my bloopers, but the more I think about them – I think hey why not share? After all, I may not be the only under-achieving cook out there.

Do: Make sure you have all the ingredients before you begin cooking.
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Don’t: neglect this small yet very important 1st step, you may be running out to a close by local small store to buy important items like (cheese, milk, bread, the main ingredient)

Do: Announce to everyone in the house that you need the kitchen all to yourself if you have a small space.

Don’t: Attempt to do the tango with a blazing hot cast iron skillet, a cat underfoot, and kids ducking & weaving in and out of the kitchen. Someone, probably you, will get burnt.

Do: Mix all dry ingredients first

Don’t: Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix on high-speed. (Egg is difficult to remove from the ceiling and dries quickly.)

Do: Clean as you go. Wash your cookware and utensils as you dirty them up.

Don’t: Hope the kids will appreciate the meal so much that they will help with the dishes afterwards. Instead they will have a cut on their hand and therefore be disabled for the evening, have a belly too full to help, start their nap early at the kitchen table, have a game that has been on “pause” too long and just have to go, need an hour-long shower, or some other random excuse.
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Do: Only make portions small enough to fit into your left-over storage containers.

Don’t: Cook a 25lb turkey or ham without enough storage space for left overs!! You’ll end up with the left over meat in every type of container in the refrigerator – Ex: Tupperware, Ziploc bags, Rubbermaid containers, left over butter bowls, Jelly containers, cheese cellophane, Drinking cups with lids, plastic shoe boxes (cleaned of course), sour cream containers, and anything else that has a lid!!  The day after said feast will result in frustration as you cannot find the REAL butter, jelly, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.

Do: Wear an apron or keep a hand towel handy.

Don’t: Forget you are cooking and wipe your hands on your pants.  If you do, you may stick to your chair when you attempt to stand at the end of the meal.

Do: Ensure that any frozen ingredient is not freezer burnt before using.
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Don’t: Attempt to convince the kids that it’s suppose to taste that way!

Do: Check all dates on canned or dry goods that you bought on sale and found in the very back of  your cabinet before using.
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Don’t: Try to convince the kids it’s suppose to taste that way.  (If they’ve fallen for this once, they will be wise to you the 2nd time around!)

Do: Dispose of food packaging in a safe way.

Don’t: Leave a can lid standing erect on a can after opening. Gently push the lid down inside the can. Those things will cut you as you take out the trash.

Do: Remove all decorative stove burner (eye) covers before turning the stove on.

Don’t: Turn on the wrong stove burner element before you remove decorative covers. Those things are totally flammable!

Do: Keep tongs in the kitchen at all times. They prove to be most handy to remove burning element (eye) covers if you should forget to remove them.

Don’t: Make microwavable macaroni and cheese without adding water. It is flammable without water.

Do: Watch boiling noodles on stove top and stir regularly.

Don’t: Walk away from boiling noodles on stove top. Again, those noodles are totally flammable!

Do:  Stay in the kitchen when you cook.

Don’t:  Lay on the couch to take a nap when cooking.

These are just a few helpful do’s and don’ts that may help someone new to cooking. You’d think all these things are common sense, but they aren’t. Some of these were my mistakes when I was very young and others have been made by my kids.

We have a great deal more of these I could share. Let me know if you want to read more 🙂

Odd items on the Bucket List

The meaning of a bucket list is personal and means something different to everyone. I added some things to my list that’s some people may think is crazy. But, that’s the point, it’s personal and unique.

Item #23 on my list was: to pet a rabbit for an hour.

I crossed item #23 off my list in Feb 2011. A friend of mine has a few rabbits and he allowed me to hold, pet, and love one of his cute little rabbits for an hour! It was so calming, soothing, and awesome!!

Item #38 on my list was an experience for sure! My home was in need of multiple minor repairs that had been left untouched for a while. So, I decided #38 on my Bucket List would be to learn plumbing.

In Jan 2010, I discovered a leak in the bathroom under the double sinks, a leak in the kitchen under the double sink, and a leak in the shower.

I enlisted the help of a friend that had worked with CPVC and went out to buy supplies, tools, and parts needed.

We tackled the kitchen sink first. The drain was a maze of mix matched curved pipes comprised of various sizes, the trap was full of gunk, and the faucet leaked. We spent most of a day under the sink, in the tiny cabinet, disconnecting pipes, pieces, couplings, and randomly forced pipe pieces of gunk that made up this crazy maze of plumbing. After disconnecting that mess, we pretty much rebuilt it from scratch. I followed my friends directions as I disconnected & connected the CPVC.

I learned what not to do, after I released some nasty watery gunk onto my friend while he was under the sink. Oops…that stain never came out… I felt terrible!

By the end if that day I felt I was king of the hill. I felt like I was wiser in many ways, yet still didn’t know enough. The next morning, I tuned the water on and watershed rushed all over my socks from the cabinet under the sink. I freaked a little and called my friend to COME HELP!! AHHHHHHH.

When he got to my house & looked at it, I felt kinda dumb. As I had squeezed out of the cabinet the night before, I’d knocked something sideways or loose. My assumed disaster was fixed in no time with little effort. Donk! I felt so silly.

In march 2010, tackling the bathroom sink was nothing compared to the kitchen sink, but I had my friend here in case I had oopsed. That went pretty smoothly though (he got under the sink) and pretty much did it himself with me being the ever present observer.

A month passed & in April 2010, I decided to do the shower head on my own. No one helping or overseeing. After beings sprayed in the face and thoroughly soaking the ceiling twice, I figured it out & learned another valuable lesson. If there are extra parts after an install (especially rubber gaskets) something wasn’t done just right. I fixed it in the end all on my own.

Two days later the supply line to the toilet tank began to leak and the toilet overflowed!! Eek….I went to the local hardware store bought the toilet innards and the supply line. I had more confidence with this project. I changed out the supply line, shut off the supply and removed the old tank fixtures & replaced them without any issue….until I turned the water supply back on. The tank and toilet bowl quickly over filled. I fixed the gauge, replaced the unit & was happily satisfied in the end.

I’m now the proud owner of a great deal of plumbing experiences both good and bad, but wonderfully happy about the whole thing!

Plumbing was a great addition to my bucket list for me! Next, I’ll be replacing the pressure release valve on my hot water heater!!

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