For the Everyday Ordinary...

"Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all in the world, for your return." ~ Mary Jean Iron

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thin-Armor Days

Sorrow-Full...full of sorrow.

I am having one of those days.  They slip in sometimes.  Lately more often than I like.  Maybe it is winter...
too many snowy days...

cold temperatures...

not enough sunshine...

too many dark and quiet corners of my house that used to be filled with laughter and chaos and joyful noise...

They are often the harbinger of questionable choices, crying jags, depression - not the things I typically share here on Joyfully Donna.

These are the days my armor feels thin.  

I try to stay focused on the positive and the joyful...

but sometimes, the sorrow goes too deep and just can't be filled or touched - no matter how many kitties come to snuggle...

...or how many pots of soup I fix myself...

I fall into the arms of my faith and pray.

Remember when we were kids and we were boy-crazy?

Well, maybe you were never boy-crazy, but I sure was.

I was always falling in love with some boy who would not love me back, so I was always nursing a broken heart.  I'd run to my dad and he would put his arms around me and pat me on the back and say things like "you will find someone so much better" and "there are other fish in this big blue sea".

And while it did not make the hurt and sorrow go away, there was comfort in knowing he was there, patting me on the back and being on my side.

So, while my sorrow doesn't leave me, there is comfort in knowing Christ is with me and Mary knows my hurts.  I am not alone in this.

So I try to create something from it and gather my tools...

my supplies...


...my notes and ideas...

and get to work, trying to create something positive from it all.

But really, all I want to do is go take a nap because my head hurts from crying and there are wads of tissues everywhere.  I really just want to curl up in blankets, build a pillow fortress, and go someplace I can't be found like deep inside the pages of a really good book or into a dream.

Do you ever have those thin-armor, sorrow-full days?  What do you do to feel better and get through them?

Joyfully (or not-so-much-today), Donna

Friday, February 20, 2015

Raw Batter, Barfing Gnomes, Multi-Bears and Flaming Cakes


I wonder what it says about me that I prefer raw batter and dough to the cooked stuff...for instance, raw cake batter or raw sugar cookie dough...?  I know what they say about not eating raw dough because of raw eggs...blah, blah, blah...but I've never had an issues from a raw egg.  

Oh, but how I love raw batter and raw dough...

I baked a cake.

I licked the spoon and the beaters when I was done and it was delicious.  The cake, when it was done and we ate it, was delicious as well, but not as delicious as the batter.

My youngest son just turned 22 so we celebrated.  I LOVE celebrations and look for any excuse to celebrate anything.

It is Wednesday - let's celebrate!  I dusted the family room - this calls for a celebration!  It is someone's birthday - well, that is cause not only for celebration but for a PARTAY!

(yeah, I just said that)

So, my youngest son just turned 22 and now I feel old and sad.  Well, not old, but a little sad.  

He got us hooked on Gravity Falls.  It is a cartoon that rolls the X-files and whimsy and hilarity all into one show.  If you've never seen it, it is on Disney XD and you should check it out - but go back and watch it all from the beginning because it is just so darn cute, you'll be glad you did!

To celebrate his 22nd birthday, I decided to do a Gravity Falls theme.  Only nobody sells Gravity Falls themed stuff, so I had to make my own - which is just WAY more fun anyway!  So I made a trip to the Dollar Tree and Party City and Walmart and then posted a big sign on my art room door telling all 22 year olds to STAY OUT and I got busy!

I decided to take moments and bits and pieces from many of our favorite episodes and represent them, so I glued needlefelted antlers to a chocolate scented bunny (yes - it really was!  My artroom smelled divine!)


I just had to include the rainbow-barfing gnome (because who doesn't like rainbow-barfing gnomes??)


...and "Loser Candy" from the "Summerween" episode, as well as the eyeballs that are for sale in the Mystery "S"Hack (I made them out of ping pong balls, hole reinforcement labels and permanent markers):


The candy was for-real loser candy - it was dollar store icky candy and I tasted one and it tasted just like soap - it really, really did.

Then I also made "Multi-bear" cookies:


(just a basic sugar cookie recipe with about 1/4 cup of baking cocoa added to the mix and almond slivers as the "claws")

There was also an episode where Mabel eats some candy called Smile Dip from an abandoned convenience store with caution tape all over the display saying "DO NOT SELL" because apparently it has hallucinogenic properties... so of course I made sure we had some of THAT!


(It is just some Hello Kitty lick-a-stick candy wrapped in a printed copy of the show's Smile Dip pack.  I made the display out of cardboard and used plain white washi tape and a permanent marker for the caution tape)


I just found images online and printed them out, cut around them and glued toothpicks to them to mount them on the cake.  I added a few quote bubbles to the characters.  The little black sticks behind the characters are candles...which I will tell you about later...HINT: it was not pretty....


The dino head hanging behind everything I found at Dollar Tree.  Grunkle Stan has a giant dino skull next to his easy chair that he uses as his end table, so of course, I had to include the dino.


Next I used crayons (really bad ones) to make Pitt Cola wraps for the cans of soda


And these are Lepricorn horns... 


This was just a print off I stuck to a T-shirt - you have to see the episode to understand it's significance...


I found the cute little pig at the Dollar Tree as well - there is the cutest pig that is Mabel's best pal called Waddles, so of course I had to include him!  The Fez is worn by Grunkle Stan.  I made a ton of them and wanted to make one for each of us, but by the time I finally got it right I had only one really good one, so that was for my son to wear.  The only other good one, I put on the table as a prop.


Again, the Sock Opera episode is one you have to see to get the significance, but it is one of our favorites:


I just made the banner by printing out postcard-sized shots of the show and stringing them on twine.  It turned out cute and the 22 Year Old was very happy with it!


The very BEST part of the whole night, though, was when we lit the candles.  

But first, I have to share that my family SUCKS at singing "Happy Birthday"!  Seriously.  They sound like Zombies.  It is pathetic.  They don't mind me saying that because they know and admit that this is true.

No matter how hard I try to speed up the tempo, or how loud I try to get them to sing - they sound like the walking dead at a birthday party.  It is just awful.  So this time I decided we would play the theme to Gravity Falls on kazoos.

Only, when I pulled out the kazoos, they did not work because they were just tubes of plastic and not really kazoos at all.

So, I thought we'd just find the song on Spotify (which I did) and play it before 22 year old blew out the candles.

However, we actually found someone on Youtube that played the theme to Gravity Falls ON THE KAZOO!!!

It never ceases to amaze me the amazing (and sometimes disturbing) things you can find on the internet!

So, we cued it up on the Smart Tv, I lit the 22 little candles and as the kazoos began playing...

the Mystery Shack and woods went up in flames.

I tried blowing it out, but that just made it worse.

I said a bad word.

I ran for the sink, turned on the faucet and doused that cake!

Yes, I did.

All while the Gravity Falls theme was playing.  Seriously, it could have been a scene from the show itself.  We were laughing so hard we could barely stand!  

All was not lost - in fact, there were still a few candles burning, so in the last few notes of the song, my son ran over and blew out the remaining candles.

Come to find out, I had iced that baby so well that the cake was still dry!





(Birthday Boy - the tall one - and his brother)

Have you burned down anything recently?  Do share!

Joyfully, Donna