Author: Kim

Kim is a blogger, Etsy seller, and mom to both humans and doggies living in a tiny town in the south who loves music, tv, books, movies, food, travel, sweet tea and stormy weather.

Let the “Why-ning” Begin

(NaBloPoMo Day 7)

I’m home from work today for a doctor’s appointment in a bit – not for the nasty malady that I still have, but this would be the perfect day to get this nasty, heavy congestion knocked out for good. Therefore, I am still OJ-ing and Mucinex-ing and sleeping as much as I can. It’s a drag, but I don’t mind the extra sleep. I just hate that I’ll be paying for today (in time) with Saturday, which I normally have off.

So I’ve noticed something about my blog lately that has me scratching my head over how to fix it. I chose the Lato font for the global body (sidebar content, posts), and everything looks great in the customizer (self hosted wordpress). Then I hit publish, and the post content font looks different. The sidebar content is fine, but on the posts side of the page, the font is darker and heavier, and I can’t tell bold from the rest of it.

I have looked all over for where I might have accidentally not closed a bold tag, but that would have only affected from that tag down, it wouldn’t affect everything on that side of the page. I finally went back and chose another font that I don’t have that trouble with, so this is rather moot at this point. But it’s not my first choice, and it still bothers me a bit. And Lato doesn’t behave that way on my other site. WHY?? I may have found a solution, but the mastery of it still has me frustrated.

Another (totally unrelated) thing: the other day, I made myself some hot chocolate for my sore, scratchy throat. The water was scalding hot, and I stirred and stirred and stirred the contents of the instant hot chocolate powder packet. And stirred and stirred some more, but I still had clumps. I finally gave up and decided to just drink the liquid and eat the clumps, which is what I did. But when all the liquid and clumps were gone, there was still a good third of the packet in the form of sludge in the bottom of my cup. WHY?? Why doesn’t hot chocolate mix dissolve in hot water anymore? It hasn’t always been this way.

Does anything have YOU “why-ning” lately? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Music Monday for 11.11.2019

(NaBloPoMo Day 6)

November is National Native American Heritage Month, so the theme for this week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me is “Songs inspired by, performed by, or about Native Americans.”

Three songs about Native Americans; one quite well-known, one not as well-known (but my favorite of the three, as it’s by one of my favorite bands!), and one by a hair band who had a day in the sun in the late eighties, but has since been mostly tragically forgotten until the movie Hot Rod featured several of their songs in its soundtrack and musicians such as MATT and KIM, Laibach, and Chamillionaire sampled their songs:

Iron Maiden – “Run To The Hills”

The Cult – “American Horse”

Europe – “Cherokee”

And a song by a Native American – sort of. I’m foregoing Redbone and others here and choosing instead a song by Ozzy Osbourne in which Randy Castillo (Apache) had a part in writing and, of course, performing:

Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Babies”

Who are some of YOUR favorite Native American musicians and performers? Let’s see them in the comments!

Featured image courtesy Comfreak on Pixabay

Writer’s Workshop for 11.07.2019 on 11.08.2019

(NaBloPoMo Day 5)

It’s been a pretty hectic week. Felt bad on Monday, was sick on Tuesday, worked the double shift Wednesday, pretty much passed out after work because I was still sick, and now here I am. I’m bringing my Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop post to the table a day late, partly because I wanted to post about my son’s birthday yesterday, but mostly because I am unprepared and was too tired to pull anything together at the 11th hour Wednesday night.

The prompt I chose this week was “Create a list of activities you’d like to accomplish this fall.”

I’m all about lists, so let’s have at it:

  • Get my aunt’s home sold. This blog is just basically about me getting my aunt’s estate settled now. What am I going to write about once that’s all done?
  • Return to Memphis when the moon is full, and go take more pics at The Lookout at the Pyramid. But first, maybe I ought to share all my photos from my first trip to the Pyramid.
  • Start my kitchen-to-eat-in-kitchen and dining-room-to-office/workroom transformations. But Oh. Em. GEEEEEEE, there’s so much cleaning and purging to do! Cleaning off my desk/work table. Relocating it to the dining room. Relocating the dining table to the kitchen. Cleaning out and relocating the vintage desk, which currently serves as a kitchen island of sorts. Moving other furniture around. And that’s just to get the projects started.
  • Publish an updated thrift list. I like to make lists of the items I want/need from thrift stores, yard sales, etc., since I really don’t like mainstream home shopping too much.
  • Make the rest of my homemade cleaners. Remember when I posted my cleaning vinegar recipe, and how I used a repurposed liquor bottle to store it? Well, I’m making more cleaners, planning on posting more recipes for them, and using more repurposed liquor bottles and other vintage containers to hold them, and have what I think is a pretty neat display idea to put together once I’ve amassed a few different ones. I’m keeping the idea hush-hush for now. It’s not ground-breaking or anything, but I still don’t want to give it away before its time.
  • Keep to my NaBloPoMo goal. I only committed to weekdays, and I’m trying my best.
  • Finishing AT LEAST one book and reviewing it. I love to read, but tend to only read when trying to fall asleep at night. As a result, it takes me a while to get anything read. However, I love book blogging, so I am reading books for review here on the blog and over at GoodReads.
  • A few hikes with the family before the weather gets too cold. Because even though I am in the south and the winters are quite mild, it’s still too cold for me most of the fall/winter.
  • Keep purging the things I no longer need/want! This one is so, so important. I’m bringing family heirlooms home from my aunt’s as well as some projects to put together. I need to get rid of stuff ASAP, so I am getting things ready to donate, and if I’m lucky, re-opening my Etsy Shop and selling off some of my treasures.

But if we’re being completely honest? I’ll be so happy just to get all my various email accounts marked as “all read” and my downloads folder cleared out.

Which activities do YOU hope to accomplish this fall?

Featured image courtesy Olichel on Pixabay

Taking my small victories where I can

(NaBloPoMo Day 3)

On Monday, I felt queasy and gross and “off” all day long. Tuesday morning I woke up with a headache, swollen throat, fever, and a slightly bloody nose. I don’t know what was going on. It could have been viral, or it could have been a side effect of getting used to the cooler temperatures and having heat on in the house. But seeing as Wednesday is my double shift, and I can NOT call out for my double shifts, I called out Tuesday in the hopes of beating this illness back with rest, OTC meds, orange juice, and the book I’ve been trying to finish for a while now.

As it turns out, that is a good time to reflect on all the good things – the small victories – I’ve been fortunate enough to have here lately:

  • I am inching ever closer to the date I can let my aunt’s house go.
  • My water-drinking game is still on point. I never thought I’d see the day when I preferred water to all else, but here I am! And I hope those days are here to stay.
  • I’ve found two new shows I love: See and The Morning Show. I know the latter has been getting some pretty brutal reviews, but obviously I love it.
  • I have FINALLY – after fifteen years of living here – decided how to best utilize my home’s layout! I can’t wait to get to work to make it all come together, as this really has seemed a lot like a temporary residence for most of these fifteen years. That’s all a story for another post, though….and that post may have to help me meet my NaBloPoMo goal at some point.
  • My credit score is still holding steady – and should be set to improve here soon, as I’m about to make my third on-time car payment. I will never take good credit for granted again.
  • I was waiting in line at CVS the other day to have my Advair prescription refilled, when they told me that there is now a generic for Advair (Wixela), and my insurance covered it 100%. I have been waiting a dozen years for a generic alternative to Advair!
  • Aristotle, our 70 pound pit bull, decided he did not like the neighbor’s dogs barking at him, and ran so hard he snapped out of his collar to meet them at their fence. It took me a while, but I was finally able to wrestle him back to our porch. In work clothes and on a full bladder, natch! And the strain of it surprisingly didn’t cause me empty it. Not even a little bit, y’all! And my work clothes remained clean. If that’s not a win, then I don’t know what is!

It’s too easy to get overwhelmed by the stressful things in life, so yes, I do think I’ll take my small victories when and wherever they happen.

What small victories are YOU thankful for these days?

Featured image courtesy Shad0wfall on Pixabay

It’s Day Two of NaBloPoMo

(NaBloPoMo Day 2)

…for me, anyway, as I only committed to weekdays. And can you believe I already feel like tapping out? I bet you can.

This one’s going to be short and sweet, as I don’t have much to say at this moment. I felt queasy most of the day, then came home and made homemade dog food, which I forgot to photograph for a post. I looked for one from before so that I could share the recipe, but came up empty-handed.

I’ll remember next time – I’ll be making more homemade dog food this weekend, and will be sure to photograph it then.

In the meantime? Behold this small collection of really rad postcards I got from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center a few years ago to send out with my Etsy orders:

Music Monday for 11.04.2019 – Some Firsts

(NaBloPoMo Day 1)

Howdy!

It’s the first Music Monday of November, my first NaBloPoMo post (see my post about NaBloPoMo here.), and since this is a freebie week for Monday’s Music Moves Me, I thought I’d post a small playlist of first songs released by some bands I love. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily their first commercially successful singles, though.

R.E.M. – “Gardening At Night”

Thirty Seconds To Mars – “Capricorn (A Brand New Name)”

The Black Crowes – “Jealous Again”

Nine Inch Nails – “Down In It”

Alice In Chains – “We Die Young”

What are YOU listening to this first weekend in November?

Featured image courtesy ponce_photography on Pixabay

Hello, NaBloPoMo 2019!

Here is my obligatory first post for NaBloPoMo 2019, where I tell you once again that I’m going to try really hard to do all thirty days, but am only committing to weekdays and in 2018 I bailed before even accomplishing that. I may also throw some posts up on weekends, too, but let me not get ahead of myself here.

I’ve been doing this a few years with various blogs of mine, and it has always been a struggle. Last year (I think) I decided to only commit to weekdays. I did bail last year, but I feel like committing to weekdays is still a good goal. I do have more to say this year, and I will probably also may re-issue some of my posts from past blogs (especially The ReInVintaged Life) in order to get posts I don’t want gone forever on this blog.

Can I do it? Will I do it? Who knows? But I’d like to try. For the first time in several years, I find my thoughts and words coming more freely. They may not always be funny, entertaining, informational, or significant, but they will always be authentic.

This post from ashadornfest.com pretty much sums up why I’m hoping more people will start blogging again, and she made this really cool graphic to promote posts:

Are YOU participating in NaBloPoMo this year?

If you are, grab the graphic from Asha’s site, leave your link, read and comment on the other participants’s posts, and spread your own on social media with hashtag #NaBloPoMo2019! Also, I am thinking about compiling a list of participants – if you want your blog shared here and on the Storms and Stardust FB Page, leave your link and a short description of your blog or your niche, or whatever you’d want readers to know about it, and I will share!

Happy NaBloPoMo-ing! #NaBloPoMo2019

Writer’s Workshop for 10.31.2019

Happy Halloween, folks! With warm-ish temps, overcast skies, and rainy, windy weather, the end of October has not let me down. My nerves have needed calming for a while now, so I am very thankful to have some of “my” weather. The above photo was taken today in the parking lot at work – wet pavement, an oil slick, and fallen leaves.

The prompt I chose for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop is “Write about something you’re looking forward to.” I wanted to write about all of the prompts, honestly, and I could probably have contained each one to a paragraph, but…nah…I’ll come back to those topics another time, maybe. I chose this one because there is something I’m really, really looking forward to in particular.

Wednesdays are usually my double shift at work, and I thought I’d be working open to close tonight. But the schedule got changed and I didn’t notice, so I ended up with the nice surprise of being able to come home unexpectedly at 3. My double is now tomorrow, so the torture of contacting more people about my aunt’s estate that I was putting off until tomorrow had to be done today. I’m four hours away in another state, so the errands were all phone errands, but still, I hate it. I don’t hear well, so I have a hard time understanding people. And today I had to talk to people about her quarterly homeowner’s insurance, and her property taxes. After about 30 minutes on the phone altogether, which seemed like much, much longer, I now have resolution to those issues. Thank goodness.

I don’t think I can express how much I am looking forward to having all this estate business done. As far as I can tell, I have mostly everything done that needs to be done. I don’t expect much will be left of her estate funds by the time all these expenses are paid up and sorted, but at this point I don’t care. I just need it done. And barring hearing back from her life insurance company (where either I will be determined the beneficiary of the policy or the Estate – also me, as the only surviving legal relative of hers) and getting the house in my name so I can sell it, I think we are in the home stretch.

Oh, who am I kidding? We still have a house full of stuff to have the Salvation Army come pick up, and we were going to try to have a yard sale, but with my sister’s schedule and mine, I’m not sure we can actually pull that off. (She and I both work retail, and our busiest season is now upon us, so getting together on a weekend is going to be tricky). Still, if you could see where we started and how massively much has been done…I guess we really are close to being done.

But I have a buyer lined up for the house, with whom I am extremely happy, and that is a huge relief. I am also looking forward to what will hopefully be a restful, peaceful winter.

What are YOU looking forward to?

Music Monday and #RMF2019 for 10.28.2019 – The Halloween Edition

This weekend has been just what my soul needed. It cooled off a bit, and it was rainy and so windy. Perfect October weather! I had originally planned to do a huge Halloween playlist (or at least dig one from the past up, dust it off, and pass it off as new!) for Music Monday, but like plans of mine often do, they never came to pass. Mostly because I spent the weekend enjoying my favorite weather, catching up on reading for a book review, making some more household cleaners, and getting boatloads of post drafts made for my (triumphant?) return to Battle of the Bands one of these days.

What I have for you instead, is a collection of ten scary songs – some are Halloween-related, some spooky, some outright disturbing, most are rock (this is still #RocktoberMusicFest, after all), and I tried to pick a few that don’t usually end up on Halloween playlists.

First up…

Johnny Cash – “Ghost Riders In The Sky”
A herd of cattle with steel heels, red eyes, black horns, and horses snorting fire thundering through the sky? Paints quite a picture.

Gerard McMann – “Cry Little Sister”
From The Lost Boys soundtrack, this spooky, moody song was easily one of my favorites of my Senior year in high school.

The Cure – “Burn”
This is another one from The Crow soundtrack (I shared Nine Inch Nails’ cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” here). The lyrics seem *to me* to deal more with devastating loss than being spooky. But it’s pain, and pain is scary.

Warren Zevon – “Excitable Boy”
You can find a wealth of information on Warren Zevon from his Wikipedia page. He has worked with an astounding number of top-notch musicians, and in my humble opinion, is in that category himself. I know everyone is already familiar with “Werewolves of London” – also fitting for a Halloween/Spooky playlist – but Zevon’s vividly compelling songwriting combined with his deep, smooth voice make all of his music sound pretty spooky to me. And if the lyrics to “Excitable Boy” aren’t scary and disturbing, then I don’t know what is!

Jane’s Addiction – “Sympathy For The Devil”
I know this is a cover, and the reason I’m using it instead of the Rolling Stones original is because a) it sounds spookier than the original, and b) I actually like it better than the original. I put this up as a contender for a Battle of the Bands face-off against another band (can’t think of who right now) at one of my other blogs, and I seem to remember this one winning by a landslide. This song was also featured in Sons of Anarchy.

Type O Negative – “Black No. 1”
One of the funnier selections for this list! I couldn’t leave out Type O Negative. They always toured around Halloween, and their shows were part of my Halloween and autumn celebrations.

Donovan – “Season of the Witch”
I don’t really have anything to say about this one, just that I love the whole vibe!

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
This was some really ground-breaking performance art for the 50s, and this is a show I would love to see even today.

Led Zeppelin – “Battle of Evermore”
This one always makes it onto the scariest/spookiest song lists, and I can see (and hear) why.

And last but not least…what would Halloween be without The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – “The Time Warp”

BONUS:

Ministry – “Every Day Is Halloween”

…and that’s it for me till next Halloween! What is on YOUR Halloween playlist?

Featured image courtesy OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay