Someone asked recently if I was nesting from all of the prep work I have been doing for the arrival of Isabella. I can just shake my head. This isn’t nesting, that sweet, beautiful, heartfelt work that’s done to lovingly welcome your bundle of joy into their new home.

Oh no, this is warfare. I am on a Rambo style mission, guns blazing to rid my house of all of the crap that I have accumulated over the past 34 years, including the junk from my family, the junk from my exes and anyone else who made a pit stop long enough to leave something here on their way through.

Yes folks, hand me the cammo paint, and the holster, cause this means war.

I am currently in the living room, surrounded my boxes, bags, and piles of random crap. All of which is part of my master plan to gut my house. My living room looks like a hoarder-y bomb went off, and I am pretty sure it’s all going to go:
1. In the trash
2. In the recycle bin and
3. To goodwill

After cleaning and organizing for weeks on end, I am tired of organizing things into smaller piles to be sorted and filed away, going gently through each old card, letter and random thing. I think I just need to cut my ties and get rid of it all. Thank goodness the whole weekend is ahead of me and I can just plow through it all!

What’s your tip for getting rid of things you’ve held on to for far too long?


Today was a mixed bag day. I found out the mother of two men I have known for close to 20 years passed away suddenly. In speaking with one of them, he was lost, unsure of what to do. I remembered that feeling so clearly. It was after all, less than 4 months ago that I lost my own parent suddenly.

It’s that paralyzing moment when you realize nothing else will ever be the same, but you don’t know quite what to do. So you sit.

I did the best thing I could think to do, which was to send my love and offer a home cooked meal when he was ready for it. I let his friends know, so they could help. The core group of guys I used to hang out with are all over the country these days. It was nice to catch up, especially with those I don’t text or talk to very often. It was nice to hear how they are, and how life is better for them since moving away.

It was also a reminder of how much happier and at peace I am than I have been in years. There’s no pushing, no hoping, no waiting. Just being. Sometimes that paralyzing moment when something happens, good or bad, gives you pause and makes you re-evaluate your priorities. You don’t know what to do, or how to react, so you just stop. And you sit.

And eventually it gets easier, and your path to happiness becomes much more clear.

I hope that path is a fast one for my friends.

I am also reminded how lucky I am to have my little Isabella Grace. There was a day when it was like a switch went off. I was no longer angry at my past, the failed relationships; the hurt didn’t matter, being happy with my new life was all that I cared about. I didn’t know why, until a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I have been really lucky to have her-through the passing of my own parent, the loss of a beloved pet. She’s been my saving grace through this, hence the middle name, Grace.

Today, I miss my father, feel sorrow for my friends, and am so appreciative of the life I have now. Here’s to you, and chasing your bliss, comforting those who are hurting, and for all the good that life has to offer, no matter how hard it is to find.


I Hate Contact Paper

I like to think that I am pretty handy. Given the right amount of instruction, the right tools, and a fair amount of time, I can fix/install/build things as well as any guy. Now, given the wrong tools, no direction and a few glasses of wine, I can still get things done. I just may need a little more time. You can read more about my awesome handimanliness here. Oh yes.  But today…Today, I reached new lows…Contact Paper kicked my ass. I’d like to blame pregnancy hormones, or lack of food, but I don’t think that is enough to explain the epic fail that I had.

First, let’s make sure you know what this EVIL (yet lovely) product is:  Its the sticky backed paper stuff that you put in drawers or in cupboards to make them look pretty. At first glance, it’s pretty innocent looking. When I first opened the roll, I saw a ton of directions, and I thought “who the hell needs all these directions???

Isn’t it just measure, cut, stick?  Apparently not (and no I didn’t read the directions)…

I got as far as measure and cut, but the only sticking happening was me to the paper, and the paper to itself. So after running out of hands, and making grunting noises, I hear from the front room, “Baby… um…do you need help?”  It’s contact paper, I am pretty sure I’ve got this!  So I holler back that I’m good, and try to lay the sheet into the drawer.

And fail again. At this point, I am grumpy that contact paper is kicking my ass, and it’s stuck to itself and I’m out of hands. So, I do the next best thing – I use my mouth to hold one corner while I pull the other areas apart. This is all sorts of brilliant, until I go to remove the paper from my lip.

At which point, my skin goes with the paper. Sigh.

It’s right around this time that Nick comes around the corner to see me covered in contact paper, bleeding from the mouth, with eyes wide open in awe – as I mumble with a drippy lip, “Contact paper kicked my ass!!”. He holds back his giggles reminds me about setting myself up for success (again, see the blog above), and gets me tissue, which promptly soaks through and he sets to work lining the drawer.   Sigh. Apparently, lining drawers is a two person job, and having a box cutter for trim work makes the job run smoothly.

I now have three nicely drawers, a fat, tingly lip and a guy who held back laughing too hard at me as I tried to talk with a wad of tissue stuck to my face.

So lesson learned? Read the directions, and don’t underestimate the power of paper to whoop on you something fierce. Oh and don’t use your mouth when sticky paper is involved.

What projects (good or otherwise), have you been up to?

Raina “I’m definitively not Bob Villa”