Friday, October 28, 2011

A Very KB Christmas

"Gifts must affect the receiver to the point of shock." 
-- Walter Benjamin

As November comes running at me, I'm starting to work on my Christmas list. While I'm not sure if this is the year I make all of my gifts (#7 on the bucket list), I'm leaning in that direction. The problem is that I'm not particularly crafty. I don't sew or knit, I can't paint or draw. Heck, I can't even manage a straight line. Check out the job I did reserving parking spots for Trunk-or-Treat at the Fall Festival at my church (look in the shadows).

Duct tape on a flat service . . . with a helper (Thanks Linda!)

Being thus handicapped in the artsy-craftsy department, I face a challenge in finding awesome gift ideas I can make for my favorite people in the world this holiday season.

Let's see . . . in the past, I have managed to make fairly spectacular-smelling salt scrubs for feet and sugar scrubs for the face. I've even managed to make not-awful soap, but I don't think I'm confident enough to make the soap for someone else.

I made pennants for the kids' teachers last year. They were cute, but not everyone would enjoy one.

Of course, I could do something in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking, but I worry that a homemade food item screams "cheap" under the tree. I toast pecans. It's kind of my thing. And they're awesome, but let's be real: I'm not going to give my mother a jar of pecans for Christmas.

I saw a recipe for homemade marshmallows online. That has potential, I guess. Especially if I include some Hershey bars and graham crackers with them for a little s'mores gift set. I'll let you know when I try to make the marshmallows. I'd like to make the first batch when the kids aren't home. They love to help in the kitchen (which is usually great), but I think this project could get pretty sticky even without 20 extra little fingers in the mix.

I'm spending a lot of time on Pinterest. You can find all kinds of cool ideas on there. (You have to ask for an invitation, but they send them out within a day or so. My username is kbroddey.) I've added a couple of ideas to my DIY Gifts folder that have potential. Courtney at A Little Glass Box took a Sharpie and wrote a letter to her son on a plain lampshade. So cute!

Pinterest also gave me some cute ornament ideas and a few others. I plan to add to my Pinterest board in the coming weeks. But if you have any awesome ideas I could borrow, I'd love to hear them!

Oh, and I'm going to be adding some items to my bucket list in the near future. Stay tuned!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Simple Things

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." 
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

Not my usual type of blog post, but maybe it should be. 
It's simple moments like this one that fill my bucket most often.

What a joy!
A little aside: The "which" in the quote above should be "that." There. I feel better. 
Proper grammar also fills my bucket.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Boob Chronicles

"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." --Jessica Rabbit

Of all the intriguing items on my bucket list, the one that has gotten the most attention, by far, is #8, "Get a boob reduction." (And all of the comments were sent via email or shared face to face. Not one posted a comment on the blog. I found that interesting.) 

Really, yall?

No thoughts on the Trans-Siberian Railway? No questions about why I want to paint my ceiling sky blue? No ideas about how I might overcome my bird phobia? As you wish. I will address the topic of my pending boob reduction. [Consider this a public apology to my sister, who thinks I'm a little insane and is probably mortified that I feel the need to address this on the In-ter-nets.]

Without exception, upon reading my bucket list, all males expressed utter disbelief (udder disbelief? Sorry. That was bad.) that anyone would want to do such a thing, and all the women have essentially rolled their eyes and said sarcastically, "Oh, waaaah. Poor thing. Must be nice . . . ."

It's not like I want to have surgery. Going under the knife is not my idea of a great time. But the cons of having big boobs are starting to outweigh the pros. So, in this installment of A Drop in the Bucket, I will give you some of the reasons I want to minimize these bad boys.

1. They get in the way. 
Sometimes I need to wear a belt, and in order to see the buckle, I have to contort in uncomfortable ways. I also occasionally enjoy yoga, and some positions call for lying flat on the floor on your tummy. If I lie on my stomach, my boobs get pressed into the floor and I am essentially giving myself a mammogram. It hurts.

2. They are a threat to public safety. 
Any shirt that buttons up the front presents a hazard to the general population. Once I get the girls locked and loaded in there, that third button from the top could fire across the room at any moment, endangering anyone within 15 feet in front of me. Years ago, I anchored a live newscast every afternoon, and everyday I would cram these suckers into blouses and jackets. My biggest fear was that one of those buttons would pop off during the newscast and either break the camera lens or take out a camera operator's eye. Safety goggles, anyone?

3. They're bad for my back. 
Have you ever carried a baby in a front-load baby carrier? It is torture on the back to have that extra weight up front. Now imagine having to lug that weight around 24 hours a day. And let's not forget that I suffer daily from fibromyalgia, which causes chronic flu-like aches and joint pain. Anything that adds to that discomfort is a buzz kill.

4. Nothing cute fits.
If a shirt fits up top, it's too big in the waist. And if it fits in the waist, my boobs just laugh. And let's not even discuss swimsuits. Or bras. Even turtlenecks are iffy when you're packing heat up top. You'd think that if you're covered in cloth from head to toe, you don't have to worry what size your boobs are. Not so fast, my friend. I throw on a turtleneck, and all of a sudden I have, in the words of a large-chested partner in crime, a "what-not shelf." Throughout the day, I find anything from food crumbs to bits of makeup sponge to surprisingly large quantities of eraser dust perched atop my bosom. It's just gross.

5. Looks can be deceiving. 
I know people shouldn't judge a book by its cover -- or a broad by her boobs -- but we all know that everyone does it. I'd love to wear a cute sundress or sweet summer top with spaghetti straps. (I live in Columbia, SC, for Pete's sake. You've heard the saying: The only think separating Columbia from hell is a screen door. Translation: It gets really hot here.) Not happening! Even if I choose what would be, on another woman, a very conservative V-neck t-shirt or sweater, I put it on, and all of a sudden, I'm Jessica Rabbit.

Poor, misunderstood Jessica
While that look may have a place, I assure you it is not here. I'm a conservative, quirky, kinda-nerdy chick who lives in South Carolina. But I put on a shirt, the girls peek out a bit, and people get the wrong idea. I don't have the personality to pull off the buxom, mysterious, pouty-lipped look that makes the men swoon and the women get catty. Who would even want to? I've got a man. And I'm a mom. I don't have the energy for that kind of thing. I just want to get a shower and get everything covered before I run to the grocery store. And that would be much easier to do without all these breasteseseses getting in the way.

Don't get me wrong. I know that there are a million problems worse than having big yabos. But why not do it if it will make me more comfortable and confident? You've heard my reasons. Now convince me otherwise. I'm all boobs -- I mean, ears.

If you have a few minutes and want a giggle, go to Twitter
 and do a search for #NicknamesForBreasts. 
My favorite? License and Registration. Hahaha!! ~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Location

"These boots were made for walking." --Nancy Sinatra

A Drop in the Bucket goes on location!!

Yeah . . . Sounds exciting, but it's not really. I'm chillin' at the hospital tonight with Grandmama. Yep, the same one who just got out of the same hospital mere weeks ago.

This time, she took a tumble and bumped her head, so we're having a little pajama party while they keep an eye on her tonight.

Despite the unfortunate turn of events, I was still able to add a couple drops of pure joy to my bucket today.


There's just something about a pair of new boots. And it gets even better. They were regularly priced at $59, and I nabbed them for the low, low price of — pause for dramatic effect — $18.18!!

I know! I did the happy dance to Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" all the way to the car.

I realize they'll probably fall apart the third time I wear them, but for $18, I'll just dance my way back to the store for another pair.

Thank you, new boots, for adding two drops of faux-leather awesomeness to my bucket.

P.S. I realize the formatting is off on this post, but I'm writing it on my cell phone and nurses keep coming in to check Grandma's vitals. So there. 'Night 'night!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Items #16 and #24 . . . Not So Much

"To be prepared is half the victory." --Miguel de Cervantes

Yesterday held lots of promise in the bucket list department.

I was out and about and saw an area that was blocked off. It was white and shiny and just screamed of wet cement. I gracefully pounced over the barricade tape like a cat. (Alright, not really, but it's my blog, so I can say that I was graceful even if I got my foot wrapped in the barricade tape and almost landed face-first in the cement.) I chose a spot in the corner of the square of fresh cement and pressed my left hand down. It was cold, sticky . . . and still just wet enough that my hand got covered in the stuff but left not even a dent in it.


I didn't have anything adequate with which to wipe the sticky goo off my hands . . . except a Justice catalog that Mo had left in the backseat. Therefore, I arrived home with then-dry cement and little bits of Justice catalog all over my hand.

On a related note, Fast Orange is a miracle product, and while I don't work for the company, I do know that it will take cement off of one's hands lickety-split. K-Bye.

Then, I went to get groceries and was prepared to spend at least a couple hundred dollars since a quick glance in our pantry would have revealed peanut butter, reduced fat peanut butter and a bottle of mustard.

As I'm walking the aisles of not-my-usual grocery store, I notice a gentleman. He's thin, in a wheelchair that he guides awkwardly with his free hand. He holds a grocery basket on his lap with the other hand. We're doing that uncomfortable thing that happens at the grocery store, when you keep passing the same person on each aisle. Each time I speak to him, he looks up shyly at me and continues to maneuver his cart around the in-aisle displays. I offer to help him but he politely declines.

I gather the last few items on my list and head to the checkout. He is also getting close to the checkout. His basket is full of individual TV dinners and the cheap cuts of meat.

My total rings up at just over $100, a miracle when I look back on all I had to get. I tell the cashier that I would also like to pay for the gentleman's groceries but I don't want him to know it was me. I'm into that whole mysterious stranger bit. I don't have any cash on me (I rarely do), so I'm paying with a credit card, and he is not yet ready to check out.

I wait a while for him, thinking I'll just leave my card with the cashier and take a stroll through the produce department while he checks out. But he doesn't come and doesn't come, and I have to leave to get the kids. I even go back into the store to return my cart, hoping that he'll be at the checkout and I can slip my card to the cashier. No luck . . .  so I have to leave.

I felt awful. I had prayed that God would reveal someone to me that truly needed help, a gesture that someone cared. This guy seemed to be that person, and I was unprepared to help him.

As I discussed the matter with my friend afterward, she suggested that I could have bought a store gift card and had the cashier give it to him when he checked out. <Palm to forehead> Now why didn't I think of that?! I'll be returning to the same not-my-usual grocery store on Wednesdays in the hopes of spotting that man again.

And next time, I'll be prepared.

Have you ever wanted to do good but were completely unprepared? Share your story.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back to the Bucket

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."  --Twyla Tharp

Talk about things not working out like you'd planned . . . . Between Jack getting strep and Grandmama breaking her hip, I feel like I've gotten very little accomplished in the past two weeks.

I did manage to get Jack's birthday presents in time for his big day Friday, and he had a swim team friend spend the night last night for the occasion, so maybe we're getting back on track.

An awesome pool cake for my little swimmer,
courtesy of Nana & Papa and Chocolate Wonderland.

My initial thought was to tackle the bucket list in order, but let's be serious: I'm not going to skydive before I get my house organized. That would be poor planning in the off chance the jump doesn't end well. So we're going to skip #2 for now.

The third item on my list, putting up only local art, is an ongoing project for me. I have a deep appreciation for the arts. I am into the dramatic arts, and I love music and visual arts, but I have no talent for the latter. Even my stick figures look mangled, and my singing makes the cat cry. For the record, though, my kids think I sing beautifully. Sadly, I think that means they're tone deaf.

Even if I can't create masterpieces of my own, I can support those in my area who can. I have art in my home now by the likes of Charleston artist Jim Booth, the one and only Ernest Lee (a.k.a. "The Chicken Man") and, of course,Gatewood Roddey Kistler, Stephen's late aunt. When Gatewood died, all of her nieces and nephews went to clean out her home and found tons and tons of her art -- watercolors, mixed media, oil paintings, pencil sketches, and on and on. We were able to get as many as we wanted, and they are certainly helping to fill my walls with local art. Other pieces include family portraits, silhouettes of my youngsters, cross-stitched pictures by my mom, and prints that just made me smile (see Matilda Witherspoon below).

A pair of chickens by Ernest Lee. I also have two palm trees by him.

Cross-stitched by my mom for Mo's room

My favorite one from Gatewood.
The one in the back is a print of my church.

Captain Roddey in the dining room

Matilda Witherspoon. Love her!

Those are some of the highlights, but I still have a huge wall in the living room that I need to fill.

Who are some fabulous local artists I need to know about?