cookie tins

Creative Ways to Reuse a Holiday Cookie Tin

cookie tins

I was happily scrolling through Instagram, when my husband stuck a blue tin in my face and asked me if I wanted it.

“Nah, I don’t want any cookies, thanks.” I replied without looking.

He laughed, “Good! Because there aren’t any cookies in there!”

He earned that chuckle fair and square, I wasn’t paying attention. He had just finished off a tin of those Danish butter cookies that come out around Christmas time. Well, my grandma taught me that you never throw away cookie tins or popcorn tins or any other reuseable container (cigar boxes, butter tubs, etc.), so I told him I wanted the tin and promptly put it on my desk to be washed and recycled another day.

Cute Vintage Cookie Tin
See the birdie? There is a bunny on the other side!

I already have a really cool tin (from my Nana), that stores my circular knitting needles, so I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with this one. I set about Google and Pinterest to find some ideas.

I really, really like the clock idea. And I think the succulent/plant holder idea is cute, but what to do with the lid? Maybe use the base for the plants and the lid as a clock? I don’t know. #useeverypart right?

Here’s what I found on Google:

I pinned them to a special board on Pinterest, and then found more ideas there!

Do you reuse cookie tins? Do you alter them, or just keep them as is? I’d love to hear your ideas!

We now enter side effect land.

Last week the doctor FINALLY got back to me and called me in some medicine. I won’t name the names for fear of inviting the Sir Spam-a-lot Bots to blast my comments with offers; let’s just say I have two for anxiety and they work nicely.
One of them is one you take every day and they say it takes a month or longer to start working. Bull hockey. Maybe to take full effect but I’ve never had any med not have an effect right away. We’re not quite a week into this new process and while I feel better, my house looks better and my kids seem happier. I have also started feeling the side effects. History shows that if there is a bizarre side effect I will have it. It never fails. I am prepared this time. I did my research. I know what might be coming and I also know that if I hang in there it might pass.
I’m slower. Not slow, just slower. Mostly because I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off multitasking like a maniac and doing a crappy job over all. Now, I’m doing one thing at a time. Breathing. Making progress. Slowly.
I’m yawning. A LOT. If you’re visiting with me and I can’t stop yawning please don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.
I’m nauseous.  It’s not severe. A handful of sunflower seeds seem to help but it is annoying and appears to be worse if I go outside (in the heat). Not good for my social life with my neighbors.
Food? Who needs food? My appetite is down. I barely finished my dinner and didn’t snack at all afterwards!
It will all pass, or ease up, or I’ll get used to it. Because none of it is so bad that it would make me choose to go back to growling all day.
I have spent four days creating a school room, playing on the floor, rolling balls, dancing, laughing, tickling, reading, coloring, and loving. I missed it and I am blessed that I have friends who supported me in my effort to get help.
And, thank you God for sending Dr. M my way…. while we hit a little bump in our road together, he took HOURS to talk to me before prescribing something, and taking time to get it right.
 

Get out of my kitchen!!

I’ve been loafing a bit this morning. It was a late night for me since I stay up until hubby has to go to work. Then the kids woke me up a lot and I was up early with Lil Man. Three cups of coffee later, Mr. B woke up and we embarked on a two hour Deadliest Catch viewing before he wandered off to mow the grass. I had tweeted a bit, eaten a bit, and folded a load of laundry. The kids had eaten, found drinks, been sent outside, come inside, was sent outside, came inside, was sent back outside (you see a pattern here?).
I walked into the kitchen, listening to Lil Man beat on the front door because he wants to go outside with Daddy, and that is when my head exploded.
I don’t get it. I never ever ever ever would have dug through my momma’s cabinets looking for something without permission. I certainly would have never ever ever gone on a hunt for a different type of glass/mug/plate/etc. when there were already ones, at my level, that served the same purpose. But now, on top of the dishes to be washed and extra groceries that need to be put away I know have odd water bottles, coffee to go mugs, special glasses, and all my kitchen chairs are strewn around the floor. There is cereal everywhere, boxes left out and groceries scattered. If I had done this as a kid….wait, I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THIS….  EVER!
I feel like the only room with any hope of staying in one piece is the room I’m in at the time. I need a clone.
I need seven of them. Stat.
 

Fish burps, low rise toddler britches, and being okay with not being okay.

I hid most of the weekend. The yard sale was almost a disaster. Then we had unexpected guests. Then we had a cookout with the neighbors which inevitably led to overtired very dirty kids and jovial beer drinking men talking too loud about tools, trucks and fire works.

I woke up Sunday morning and decided that I was going to be okay. I was finding it very liberating to have a doctor tell me that I wasn’t just lazy, or tired, or the mother of a few too many kids. It wasn’t just depression, or stress, or my childhood, or some other disorder that they read off of my family history sheet.

I’m not bad, I’m just wired different. It’s okay. It’s not an excuse to behave badly but it does explain my bad behavior. Now that I know, I can seek out new ways to learn how to cope, how to function.

My options for medicinal assistance are slim because I’m still nursing. So I pulled out my Fish Oil capsules, went to the store for my Sunday coupons before I could forget, and set about intentionally focusing on spending time with my husband. He rarely gets my attention, and it’s never undivided.

It was a great day. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. We laughed. We had dinner at the table. It didn’t taste good, but no one complained. Even our non-eating Bubbagirl sat in her chair and tried a few raisins. He read them a bed time story and tucked them in, spending a few extra minutes since he knew he’d be gone most of the week.

Today, the girls willing helped to tidy things up before our Mommy Helper arrived. I tidied our bedroom, which like my husband rarely sees my attention. I helped tidy their bedroom. I gathered dirty laundry and tidied the living room. I vacuumed and moved the chairs to make room for the sofa bed; the girls reward for helping was getting to take out the sofa bed while Daddy was gone. I sewed. It was another day taking the Fish Oil and I’m starting to really believe the reports that is somehow helps with OCPD and ADHD. Things didn’t go my way, but I stayed calmer than usual. I finished tasks. I worked logically. I still became bummed when I repacked my “for sale” items I had made and set out at the yard sale. It will take more than Fish Oil for me to really think my stuff is worth selling to anyone. I did manage to refrain from shutting down my Artfire store, which was my plan when I started to get down about the whole thing.

Sewing Bubbagirl’s new pants upside down didn’t help any either…talk about feeling like a doofus!  I managed to laugh, focused on what I did successfully sew today and set it all down until tomorrow.

I’ve had my chocolate, the kids are asleep, and I think I’m going curl up on my hubby’s pillow and watch something on tv that he would probably watch. I’ll pretend he’s laying in bed behind me, watching with me and I’ll fall asleep dreaming of the days ahead as we start our journey together to get our family healthy.

Oh, the poor children

*snicker*
So, I just had my doctor’s appointment. The one where I was supposed to go and ask for a referral for a full evaluation to determine why I have such difficulty with… well… life. With a history of Adult ADHD and Recurrent Situational Depression and OCD I have good reason to wonder if maybe I’m not really that much of a slacker after all. May-be-there is is a logical source for my difficulties.
Duh.
That’s pretty much what he said. The doctor.
He said… duh. Sort of.
I think the very fact that I knew my anxiety level would be so high, and my mom knew it would be high, that she took the time to type up some of the “venting” I had shared with her recently so I wouldn’t get all lost in the “oh crap I have to meet a NEW doctor and I hate doctors and he’s a dude and I hate dude doctors but I hate girl ones too” anxiety and forget impressed him. I think it pointed out just how serious my anxiety is, how serious my frustrations are and how much it is effecting various areas of my life. My husband’s note at the bottom read “She expects too much out of everyone INCLUDING herself.” and “If you swap items on her “schedule” for the day  you might as well just go to bed and start over. She shuts down”
He didn’t question my concerns at all. Of course I have engrained short circuits and chemical issues. The wires are wired differently by inherited traits. I have had two recent pregnancies fairly close together and never came back to my “base line” between them so I’m taking an extra long time finding “base” now.
That’s where we need to start he said. Get me back to base. Base isn’t happy. Base is a place where I am capable of using coping skills.
He also said I had a head start because I have GREAT coping skills, when I’m capable of using them.  Right now, my subconscious has started to just blow chemicals left and right trying to compensate and what I’m feeling is utter chaos in my brain.  My cycling up and down, never quite becoming depressed and never quite becoming full on manic, is shallow but fast. The days of OCD behaviors where I sew anything that will fit under my machine are wonderful but quickly followed by days where I do good to sit in my chair and post sewing ideas on Pinterest. Interruptions to either of my swings is met with anger, harsh tones, or tears.
So, I wait. For him to talk to the psychiatrist. Seems the most commonly used medications to help slow the roll of my … roll are either in a family of medications that I have had issues with before or they can’t be taken while nursing. Effexor, one of the more commonly offered options, creates a slew of side effects in me that go beyond the ones in their reference books. My feet turn purple y’all. I can’t go there.
I wait for the call that he has called something in, something to try, somewhere to start. Then I make the call to schedule counseling because I promised him I would.
We get back to base. We slow the roll so I can pull out my basket of coping skills and start again.
Hubby is getting help now too. He has his own laundry list of issues.He saw the same doctor two days ago.
When Dr. M realized that he was with me he just laughed…. “oh your poor kids” and chuckled a little. Then made me promise to believe them when they say “it’s hard momma”, “I can’t, I don’t understand”, and to take the time to teach them my skills, to show them a better way and to see help and guidance from professionals who can help. Because the genetics didn’t stop with me, or with the Mister. We have four beautiful children, who will have beautiful lives, that will be full and functional because when their parents stopped and acknowledged that there was something “not right” they bit the bullet and asked for help. Even when it was hard, and scary, and they had been told before that it was in their imagination.
Getting leveled out will not fix all that is wrong. It will help me to take the time to learn the skills I’ll need to function more productively, and maybe …..maybe… with a softer tone and bigger smile.
 
**Oh, I almost fell out of my chair when he said my OCD would get worse on the meds before things got better. I mean… I don’t have OCD. People with that wash their hands a bajillion times or open and close the doors right? ummm, He was very kind when he chuckled and then pointed out all the examples I had given him in the previous 15 minutes of me exhibiting OCD behavior. It’s not always about repetition. Sometimes it’s about days on end where the only task I can do is to sew, or clean, or cook, or write, or read… just one thing, non stop, as if my life depended on it. Because sometimes it does feel that way. Sew or die. Write or die. Clean or die. Who knew? **

10 Ways to know you were camping…with kids.

1. You finally get a hot shower and realize that your entire family smells like a campfire.
2. You have sunburn stripes down the side of your thigh, because the toddler fell asleep on your lap while you sat at the water’s edge making sand castles and she blocked the sun from the rest of your leg.
3. When asking your kids what they want for dinner they respond “anything but hot dogs”.
4. You have a renewed appreciation for coffee without coffee grounds floating in the cup.
5. You unpack your Kindle and realize you didn’t read one word of anything that wasn’t printed on a sign.
6. Everything you read in the past week included a bear warning.
7. The answer to “Mom, where is…” is “in one of the tubs”.
8. The toddler believes marsh mellows are a food group.
9. There is more sand in my house than in the neighbors sandbox.
10. Everything your family consumed for the past five days came from a can, bag or snack pack cup. Need veggies stat.

It was a great vacation. Even with the bugs and the sunburn and the fish. I walked to the potty in the dark alone at 2 am with nothing but a lantern. That is HUGE since I’m terrified of the woods at night. I even started getting the lake a few times. Another HUGE step since I’m afraid of the fish. No, I don’t think they will bite me, I just don’t want them touching me…at all.
I apologized 1000 times for my totally unsocialized *giggle* homeschooled kids who insisted on saying hello to everyone and asking them how they were doing and where they were from and did they want to ride bikes with us or walk with us or come join our campfire for marsh mellows.
I took a little too much enjoyment out of getting my girls to do work by telling them that it was “what a Girl Scout would do”. We fell asleep by counting how many times the whippoorwill called and woke up to the sounds of Doodlebug announcing that the sun was finally up.
The big girls learned to snorkel. Bubbagirl learned to use the brakes on her big girl bike and we learned that Lil Man isn’t afraid to go underwater.
We are tired and dirty and itchy and tanned.
We are also very glad we came home a day early and were safe inside when the bad, bad storm came through.

Squashing the genius within

It would have never crossed my mind to go gather “supplies” from around my house and get creative with them. I never stole momma’s yarn, screwdriver, clothespins and t.p. rolls and ran off into the back yard to act like MacGyver. I don’t really know what would have happened but I’m pretty certain it would have been a bad bad thing. For the longest time my mom and I had separate crayon boxes and coloring books. I wouldn’t dare touch her stuff. I still won’t. Not without explicit permission and sometimes supervision.

As I got older, I started noticing how the kids in school getting awards and accolades were raised in environments that allowed for creative inventing and experimenting. Testing, trying, pushing, creating, risking, succeeding and failing. I was jealous. There was and still is a part of me that thinks of how much “more” I could have been if I had been allowed to explore my world that way.  I know now that there is more to a person’s creativity and success than just living in a more free environment. There are people all over that had nothing to explore or creating with and they still grew to be amazing people.

It is a misconception in my head. Mix it with my regret over all the things I could have done had I been more this or more that and you end up with a mom heck bent on making sure her kids feel free to be, to explore, to create, to test and to dream.

It’s killing me.

They sneak “supplies” out of the house and it gets broken or lost. I can’t tell their clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they dump the hampers to make boats or pulleys or offices. Clotheslines with knots in them strung up in dangerous fashion. Furniture being pulled together, concoctions of various shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, collections of trash to be recycled into some new contraption and towers of dishes (that come crashing down) from emptying the dishwasher because putting them away just wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t balance the coffee mugs 5 high in a leaning tower while walking across a kitchen chair bridge to the cabinet.

I’m tired. They don’t put anything back and they have no concept or concern for respecting other people’s property.

**I made an effort to teach the ‘everything is God’s’ lesson but sadly, it just made their argument stronger…. I can’t say you took MY stuff if it’s all God’s. As an adult I get it, but when arguing with my little geniuses my head wanted to explode**

I don’t want to squash their ideas or hinder their natural learning process but most of this is just wasteful messes. They are illogical and while I should be able to turn it into a lesson I seem to be completely incapable of explaining to them WHY it was a bad idea.

Do you let your kids experiment and explore independently? Do you let them have access to tools and rope and craft supplies and such or do you specify when and how things will get used?

I have spent two days undoing the damage they have done when I could have been, and should have been doing my regular chores. Now it’s all backed up again. Doodlebug just informed me their clothes were put away.

Except for Taderbug’s. Hers were in a pile on the floor where her basket is supposed to be because she’s using her basket as a desk.

After a tear or two

I’m not the best house keeper. I love to organize but struggle at staying organized. Hubby has suffered through numerous do-overs in our home. We’ve even swapped entire rooms before (kids room and our room, school room and craft room and kitchen). So when I asked him this weekend to take me to Lowe’s for a little pegboard project I had in mind he didn’t respond very kindly.

What started out as me just being disappointed turned into me being mad as fire.

**quick explanation: He had told me 6 weeks ago while standing in Lowes that if I wanted a peg board I could have one. This weekend he said he never told me I could have one. So either I was a liar or I was hearing voices in my head, either way it’s not something you want to accuse me of.**

I sewed until I calmed down a bit and then we talked. I showed him pictures online of non manly garage style pegboard set ups. Then he took me to Lowes.

This is what I made:

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Grocery bag holder, Four Dishtowels (Osnaburg), KitchenAid Mixer Cover, Curtains, Three Potholders in Green and Michael Miller’s Fifties Kitchen print!

This is what he made:

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And the supervisor, George.

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Taking the leap..again

If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time you have probably noticed that I jump around, a lot.
I can be extremely gung ho about homeschool revamps one day then be all about cleaning my house the next.
I will admit I am easily distracted by shiny things, flashy lights, sale signs and kids with high pitched squeals or baby fat. I’ve been this way most of my life just not to this extreme. So far, I’ve blamed the kids. The more I have – the more easily distracted I become. Maybe it’s sleep deprivation. Maybe it is something else entirely.
My mom has recently had her ADHD diagnosis reconfirmed. She wanted an unbiased doctor that specialized in evaluations for ALL things (not just ADHD) to do the testing. Smart woman, as he carefully explained in the end how she had been misdiagnosed on a couple of other things! **Totally irks me that doctors would treat her for years for something she didn’t have just because a doctor who specializes in ONE disorder couldn’t step back and see anything other than the one or two symptoms of THAT ONE disorder, ignoring the signs that said “that’s not it”**
Treatment underway, she is now doing great and feeling much better!
I have always been torn between did I inherit it and did I just copy her behavior. This is not the first time I have felt this stressed and desperate about it. Six years ago, I asked for an evaluation. I received my referral and made my appointment. Two weeks before my appointment, Mr. and I had the most horrible moment in our marriage. Words were said that crushed me and it took a LONG time for me to let them go and forgive him. What made it even harder, was walking out of the “results” appointment being told- “There is nothing wrong with you. People would KILL for a profile like yours. You just need to get up off your butt and do what you need to do.”
Yes folks, I paid $300 for that.
The “ADHD” test that was given to me was c.r.a.p.
It was paired with an IQ test.
There was no sit down conversation or question answer session.
No one asked my family to fill out a questionnaire.
My mom has been asking me to get reevaluated. I hate doctors. I hate that I have to find a new doctor (I don’t have one in this town yet), I have to pay $25 to go see him – explain my story- and get a referral, then go pay $50 to MEET another one. I hate that IF they find anything at all I may have to choose between nursing Peanut and being medicated. I hate that IF there is something that could have been helped sooner that I would have wasted all this time struggling and all the impact it has had on my kids.
I hate that they could tell me, once again, that I am just fine. Perfect mental profile. You just need to get off your butt.
On Tuesday, I took our daughter to get a referral because in my gut I just know something is not right. I just instinctively feel that her life right now is more difficult and stressful to her than it needs to be; all I need are the tools to help her.
I bet that’s how my mom feels. She just knows in her gut something is not right and if someone would take the time to listen that it could get better for me.
After Peanut’s first birthday I have an appointment to see the local family doc. Seems the one my husband goes to, the one that I saw one time for a really bad cold, is retiring. I get to meet someone completely new. I will be grateful for health insurance and that all I have to pay is the $25. I will pray for his wisdom and kindness. I will try to imagine that God took Dr. Wolfe away so that I could meet Dr. Martinez because Dr. Martinez is going to be awesome and I will LOVE him (as a doctor!). I will pray that should there be something that needs treatment in the form of medication that Peanut, who loves his cup and eating off of my plate, will decide that he’s a big boy that doesn’t need mommy’s milk anymore – all by himself – so I don’t have to choose.
I’m going to try, one more time, for answers.

What if it was just all gone…

imageI have absolutely no right to be whining right now. I have friends having completely crappy days at this very moment and yet I’m sitting on my couch, eating cheese and crackers, in near tears over this picture.
Honest to goodness, this was JUST taken. This is the better side of the room. Most of it could be tidied up in minutes. No major filth, just clutter. Every where.
I’ve been in three different rooms today trying to organize and switch from winter things to summer things.
I try to get going and then I just stop and wonder …
 
What if it all just went away? What if I didn’t question it and just tossed it? What if I took anything I haven’t worn in a year and put it in a bag? What would happen if all those craft supplies that I NEVER use or make anything with were donated, freecycled, TODAY?
Would my world come to an end?
Would I fail to ever craft again because I had to plan for it and go buy supplies AS NEEDED?
Would my kids become suddenly uneducated because I eliminated the Kindergarten workbook they never used?
I realize I have tubs of tubs for organizing and piles of stuff not in tubs. It is insanity.
It needs to stop.
Today.
Because nothing bad is going to happen if some of this stuff just goes away.