Wednesday, April 22, 2015

happy birthday to smithshack71!!! we're three on earth day!

SmithShack71 is three years old today, guys. THREE. !!!

It's been interesting, laughable, awkward. It's been sad and great.

Busy and slow. Good vibes and bad and excellent. 

It's been a blast. 

It's also Earth Day, which I've mentioned before that I didn't realize that when I started this blog, but I think it's the coolest thing, since... you know... Tree Hugger over here. 

So... Cheers to the Earth and Happy Birthday to the SS71! 

Love you all. 
Send mocha. 
Plant a tree. 

And check out the first post here. It's teeny since it's a newborn. 

Thanks for hangin' for the experience. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

more on than off

I'm sitting here writing a novel that I've been writing off and on, way more off, and I have little faith in the whole deal, but the thought of not keeping on writing it makes my brain hate itself and break out in a knife fight. 

Right now, I'm writing pretty horrible things about a church that I don't think I've ever been in, but you know, it's the imagination, and it's dark, and it's why I took a big OFF from writing it, because I'm going to go somewhere in my brain that I don't even know what's there yet. 

And then this little nightmare-fucker comes crawling up my screen. Oh, hello. I'm going to set you on fire as soon as I take your photograph. And it's perfect. It's just so fucking perfect. And it's shit like this that proves that I have to get more on than off. 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

boy child and ringneck snake

ringneck snake

ringneck snake

Tyler came home to find Pickle jumping around and playing with a little ringneck snake. It's what cats do, and I strongly dislike it. If they would only get the mice - that would be great. If they would leave the snakes, lizards, birds and frogs alone - that would be so great. We rescue these things when we can. 

Tyler brought him inside, checked him out and decided he was in pretty good shape, so he let him go back out in the woods in the back yard. It's really cool that my kids share the same love as I do for all this stuff, because it just is. It's also cool, because it lets me get pics of my boy child. Double win. 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

life on the porch - tips and stuff

Hey Homies! Let's talk about all things porch. I love it out here. This is where I live now. This porch. Eat, drink, read, and sometimes sleep, so yes, I'm a porch dweller. Dude, you can not blame me. 

I'm sitting in that chair right now as I write this up. I'm Sheldon Cooper. That's my spot. I'm going to tell you what makes this porch what it is. As far as everything that's in here - it's all been thrifted. Years worth of gathering thrift. Hand-me-downs and love. 

Wicker and old wood and soft cushions and light and color and art and words and I would say music, and a lot of times there is music, classic rock to motown to Jimmy Buffett as of right this second. A lot of times, though, it's only the sound of nature. The sound of life. It's the porch.

Things don't have to match to go together. I somehow manage to gather things I like, toss 'em in the blender, and it turns out delicious. Only have things you love. Toss out the stems. 

Paint a knob yellow. Purple. Razzin' Razzamatazz. Just do it, I dare ya. One knob. It's fun. 

Patterned rugs take your eyes down and mirrors bounce them back up and around. Mirrors also bounce light around, so if you're in a darker place, hang a mirror on the opposite side of where you've got good light. It makes more light and a mirror can make a space appear larger. 

One pillow, two pillow, three pillow, blue. Do what you like. Like a bunch of pillows? Load up, Buttercup. Like one? Do that. If you're going to be spending your time in your space, then make it yours. Make it what you love. The Home Decor deal at Shutterfly has some pillows and blankets and all things photos that you may find for your own spaces. 

Chipped paint don't care. I sanded and painted and wood-glued these chairs back to life a few years ago. They're still hanging on. A piece of material is tucked all in and around one of them. Not even stitched together anymore. The other has a flat bed sheet draped top to bottom of its cushions, and tied loose in the back. The paint chips away again some, but we don't care. We sit. We're best friends. 

Mocha isn't paying me jack for this post. But hey, Mocha People, I'm here and I talk about you all the time if you're interested in giving me a lifetime supply or sumpin. I am really just saying. 

Anyway. Mochas and books. Now there's a relationship. Have books in your space. It's the ultimate getaway. You know I ain't lyin'. And more chippy paint. And the church said... Right on. 

I've got two paintings on canvas, one from each kid, hanging out here. I love these things. Get a kid to paint you something. They're imaginations are awesome. They're delightful. 

Bring in the living things. Cut a whole branch off of something, even if it's just leafy green, stick it in an old bottle. I don't know what it is about this stuff. I mean, I do, it's cellular to the core, but just basically - It's happy atmosphere, yo.

Mom painted a compass on a table. More love. Big love in all directions. Thanks, mom!

Put a couple of people in your space. Friends are awesome. Make time. I know life is busy and we say we're going to do this and we're going to do that, and then a lot of times we don't. Laugh, drink, eat and all that jazz. It's a good deal. 

I speak the truth. Do you see any people in these photos? No. No, you don't. Make time. 
I will if you will. 
Deal? Deal. 

Swag some lights around. Low enough that they swag, and high enough that they don't clothes-line your tall people and kill their swag. The light is good. Good is the light. 

Hook, line and sinker, my words are true. Make your spot what you love. 


Monday, April 6, 2015

golden eggs. i win.

Easter morning came, and instead of a couple of baskets filled with the good stuff and heavy with chocolate sitting on the table where the Rabbit usually leaves them, there was a handwritten letter wrapped in a baby-chick yellow envelope. 

I'm going to tell you how things are so good and how bad it can suck. I'm going to tell you how holidays aren't about the stuff stuff, they're about the for-real-deal stuff. 

I know I'm lucky. I walk around a little scared of how good things can be and that something really bad is going to happen and be like, Whoa, Angie, just a minute. Just slow your roll. It can't be that good. Here, let's knock you down one more time for even thinking about things getting better. And I'm going to tell you, again, a story about being a poor single momma, and how it sucks, but also of how freaking lucky I am.

After about a three or four day stomach bug, I slept off and on. Weird dreams confused the hours on the clock. Jolie brought me a cold, wet towel and tip-toed around. Tyler drove to town for medicine and a few groceries. I couldn't get up. By Saturday it felt like rubber-bands had replaced my legs, and I still felt like shit, but I was feeling better. A little better than shit is still better. 

By Saturday night, Easter was the next morning. All money had been used for food, with a few extra dollars for a gas tank. It just happens. It's embarrassing and the struggle can be soul crushing, but it really just is what it just is. Usually it doesn't happen that I'm completely empty handed for my kids on holidays, but this time it did. And I don't care about how old they are. I don't care about what they know. They're mine and they live here, so yes, that Rabbit hits this house every year. 

Jolie woke first. 

"What's that?" She saw the envelope. 

"A letter."

She quickly looked around, forgetting for a second and then remembering again what day it was. 

"Where's the baskets?!" 

"It's a letter..." I repeated. I waited and watched her. 

She looked bummed. 

I was bummed. 

She read the letter and when she finished a smile broke across her face. 

I smiled, too. 

Then she fast forwarded to, "Where's Cumber and Pickle? I have to tell them Happy Birthday!" 

Cumber and Pickle were born a year ago early on Easter morning, and like the chicken and the egg, we don't know for sure which came first. It's a tie. 

Tyler was still asleep. Before Jolie and I headed to Gammy's house to help with the Easter lunch, I woke him enough to tell him he had a letter on the counter and that we would see him later. 

Later I got a text from him. 

I'm lucky, right? I mean, I have not one dollar in my pocket and I'm so freaking lucky. I was sick, and they helped. They got nothing and they laughed. I win. 
It still sucks, but it's good. 


Friday, April 3, 2015

piling of the things

For the last few days I've been going through and making room for stuff that's been packed away for a couple of years. Stuff I didn't know I was missing until I found it again. I celebrated a little with each box I opened. 

When moving a lifetime of things, it's easy to get into the have-to-have things and let the other boxes go untouched standing in a corner somewhere for a while. It's easy to forget that some of who you are has been locked away collecting dust. 

I've enjoyed the empty corners and the plain white walls, but still, even without all of the knick-knack-paddy-wacks, things pile up. Laundry, dishes, emotions, stress, life. You take those things along with some half unpacked boxes and it's a recipe for throwing in the towel. It's too much. It's overwhelming. I quit. Things pile higher. To the sky. About to crash down and destroy earth as we know it. 

But there are a couple of deadlines looming, so the cleaning gets done and pieces get put in their places and the emotions get swept under the rug. Hidden behind a mask, perhaps. But what a great mask, right?

Anyway... deadlines. Dusting them off. 

I probably shouldn't state things until they happen, but I kind of figure if I say it here and now then I won't slack off. Two of the deadlines have something to do with Shutterfly and Compass. (Cool, right? Also? Intimidating. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Also? Very exciting.) I'm going to say Sunday night is the finish line for these. Maybe Monday morning. OK, no later than Tuesday. TUESDAY!! 

The timeline for this has been wide open, but, you know, the PILING OF THE THINGS. Hopefully, I will not run out of energy, there will be the good light, the photos will be taken, the words will be written and everything will go beautifully. 


Monday, March 30, 2015

don't worry be happy

Rolling down the highway listening to Don't Worry Be Happy when Jolie spotted a 5 in the sky. It totally is, I said. The sky is high-fiving us! She took a picture. We kept singing. Kept rolling.

...Ain't got no place to lay your head. Somebody came and took your bed...

...Don't worry ~ Be happy...

Hey, here comes some blue lights. 

We were meeting a car on the two lane highway, on a hill, when two Sheriff SUV's came flying up behind the car that we were meeting. I started to slow down and let these guys get to where they needed to get. 

On the hill. Meeting the car. On the two lane road. 

...When you worry your face will frown... that will bring everybody down... 

...Don't worry ~ Be happy...

With nowhere to pull over, the one SUV started to go around the car I was meeting. Head on to me.


I hit the brakes harder. 

It scared me. A dog might bite when it's scared. I might cuss. 

You Fuuuucccckkkk...

The SUV swerved back in behind the car. 

Everybody got passed. Everybody kept rolling. 

We just got high-fived by the sky. We're singing don't worry be happy. And you're cussing! Said Jolie. 

I know. You're right. It scared me. Scared them, too, I think. 

...Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don't Worry
Be happy
Don't worry, be happy now...


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