Archive for ‘My Venomous Life’

March 5th, 2011

What’s Up With Your Weekend?

by Venomous Kate

I’m finding it very difficult to get motivated this weekend. The weather is much like a blond beauty queen: sunny and gorgeous, but frigid as all get out. So rather than preparing the veggie bed for spring planting I’m cooped up indoors. Sounds like a good time to tackle that guest bathroom redo, right?

That was the plan when I got up this morning, at any rate. Then I puttered around, fixed my daughter’s laptop, did some laundry and… whoa! When did it get to be 1:45 pm? Where did the day go? Now, it’s obviously too late to begin stripping the popcorn ceiling and, well, I can’t do it tomorrow because my daughter’s coming home from college to clean house. (That’s how she’s earning spending money this semester. I get a clean house, she gets pocket change. “Winning!” to quote Charlie Sheen.)

But 1:45 pm is too early to start drinking… so I’m making more cheese instead. Today’s batch: jalapeno cheddar. The best part about making cheese at home (besides eating it) is that I can look terribly busy when someone walks through the kitchen, then go back to surfing the internet as soon as they’re gone.

So what’s up with your weekend?

March 3rd, 2011

My Lovely Laundry Room

by Venomous Kate

It took quite a bit longer than anticipated, but my laundry room re-do is finally done!

As promised, here are the Before & After photos, which I trust will explain why redecorating my laundry room has taken precedence over blogging lately.

Oh, and did I mention that throughout this entire project the contents of my laundry room have been sitting in my kitchen? Let me just assure you: no one was killed in the performance of this redecorating project and that, my friends, is a miracle.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I despise popcorn ceilings. As a picky housekeeper, they disgust me. No matter how diligent I am, they collect spider webs which are a pain to get rid of. Popcorn ceilings irritate my allergies, too, since they gather dust and over time their decomposition produces dust as well.

So we’ve decided to rid our house of popcorn ceilings, starting with the laundry room. Spraying the popcorn with water and scraping it off was surprisingly simple. Washing off the remaining residue and sanding the ceiling smooth with a pole sander was another matter — we’re talking 4+ hours. But look at these photos. It was worth it! (And, hooray, only 2980 square feet more to go!)

Click any picture below to embiggen and launch the gallery viewer.

laundry-ceiling-before laundry-ceiling-after laundry-corner-before laundry-rack-after laundry-entry-before laundry-entry-after

Accent items can all be found via Amazon:

1.Laundry Drop Your Pants Here Sign
2. Mom’s Laundry Service Sign
3. “Laundry Room – Open 24 Hours” Floor Mat
4. Steel Frame 3-Bag Laundry Sorter (rollers removed)

Yes, the shelves still look more cluttered than I’d like, but everything that’s there needs to be there. So this weekend I plan to head to Tarjay to look for some pretty baskets that won’t break the bank. While I’m there I plan to check out a new light fixture for our guest bathroom, because that’s the next redecorating project I’ll be tackling.

February 16th, 2011

Everything Must Go! [My Laundry Room]

by Venomous Kate

A Cringe-Worthy Laundry RoomLast weekend I woke up determined that I wouldn’t live another month in this house with my laundry room looking like this.

Look, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not the type of woman who gets all weak in the knees over the color pink, or anything floral… which, by the way, that wallpaper is NOT. Those red things are strawberries connected, inexplicably, by ivy vines and punctuated by tiny daisies which I assume some idiot in the wallpaper company’s employ mistook for strawberry flowers. Clearly, there’s a lot of wallpaper glue-sniffing going on at that factory.

A note to anyone who might ever buy a house at any point in their life, which probably includes most of you (though maybe not the 30-something sofa-jockey reading this on the Web-TV in his parent’s basement): Do not ever, ever convince yourself to buy a house that strikes you as perfect with the exception of “a few little redecorating projects here and there” because they won’t get done. Period. Oh, as you’re sitting there writing the offer you’ll tell yourself you’ll get those rooms painted and the flooring redone before you move in.

Then you’ll blink and it’ll be closing day, and just as your Realtor hands you the keys it’ll strike you as absolutely stupid to continue paying the mortgage/rent on the place you’re currently living when you’ve got this nice, shiny new house you could move into right now. You’ll convince yourself you can move in and still redecorate, that you’ll confine your living to primarily the rooms that don’t need a little work, that you’ll knock out those projects in a weekend or two and everything will be perfect thereafter.

So you’ll carry the first moving box into your new house, open it and — BOOM! — your crap will be strewn all over every room throughout the house. After that you’ll be busy cleaning, and when you’re not cleaning your free time and increasingly scarce money will be spent on repairs, both big and small, that you probably should have foreseen the need for but had ignored because all you could think about was getting rid of those hideous roosters in the kitchen.

Anyway. Where was I?

Oh, yes. I’m not ignoring you, my Venomites, I’m working on my laundry room. And since it’s taken over a week thus far, as soon as the room’s done I’ll be working on a mountain of laundry as well. And after I reach the bottom of that bottle of laundry? Well, something tells me I’ll be working my way toward the bottom of a bottle of vodka.

February 1st, 2011

The Bright Side of SnOMG!

by Venomous Kate

The great Midwestern blizzard of 2011 is winding down here, although folks to our north and east are in for a rough night. Seriously, the only thing that’s more frightening to hear in your weather forecast than “blizzard” is “blizzard” combined with “thundersnow.”

That’s some scary stuff, folks. If you ever experience the bang (from the thunder) and the flash (from the lightning) that are reflected both audibly and visually off the snow, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the disorientation soldiers experience under fire. Except, you know, it’s cold and chances are no one’s shooting at you (unless you’re stupid enough to set foot in my back yard).

As you can see on the right side of my blog page (courtesy of VH’s new wireless weather station), it’s 14F right now. While that might not sound too horrible, add in the 37 mph gusts, and you’ve got a wind chill of -5. So imagine how cold it’ll feel outdoors when we hit tonight’s low of -8F!

Folks, even with the weatherproofing I did back in November, our heater just can’t keep up! Not that I mind. No, I don’t mind at all! See, here’s the bright side of living through a blizzard: for once, my hot flashes are proving useful!

So, if your area’s going through Snowmageddon, too, and you see a middle-aged woman running around in the backyard wearing little more than a pair of yoga pants and a light t-shirt, don’t just assume she’s insane. (Though she might be, a little.) Chances are she’s just enjoying the first night in memory where she hasn’t found herself tugging at the neckline of her blouse and complaining “It’s TOO HOT in here!”

January 22nd, 2011

Just Another Day At The Venomous Homestead

by Venomous Kate


It’s Saturday, and as usual that means I’m tinkering in the kitchen. This Saturday, thanks to some weather-related damage, tinkering in my kitchen requires stepping around a contractor hired to stop the 14-foot tall mirrors over my fireplace from peeling away from the wall and crashing down on us. (Let me just tell you, it was terrifying to see those mirrors start shaking the other day!)

Today’s cooking started with making baked donuts for breakfast, because VH and the Big-Eyed Boy are crazy about them. The contractor liked them, too. Up next: homemade cheddar crackers followed by whole wheat sandwich bread for next week’s boxed lunches, then whole wheat fettuccine (using my new CucinaPro 150 Imperia Pasta Machine which I’m absolutely crazy about!) for tonight’s chicken alfredo, and some whole wheat bagels to go with the cream cheese I made yesterday. Oh, and while all that’s going I’m also making brie.

That’s right: I’m making brie.

See, for Christmas, VH bought me a book on making homemade cheese. It goes nicely with my latest foray into making homemade sausage and, well, what else does one serve on top of homemade crackers, right?

Now, the contractor, having polished off four of my baked donuts followed by a handful of freshly made crackers, was just floored when he learned I’m making cheese from scratch. A divorced guy who shares a house with two other divorced guys, his kitchen skills apparently run the gamut from pressing buttons on a microwave to pressing buttons on a phone. From what he said of his ex-wife, she was similarly skilled in the kitchen. That someone makes cheese (or donuts or crackers or bagels or bread) from scratch was, to him, nothing short of mind-boggling.

All of which is to say that the mirrors above my fireplace are now stable, the cracks they’d made in my wall have been beautifully repaired, the bill was less than half of what we expected AND he’s offered to come back next week to help VH pull up the cracked porcelain tile floor in the kitchen that I’ve been complaining about for the past, oh, 5 years. Of course, he’ll be coming Saturday afternoon because, as he put it, there’s no sense interrupting next week’s cooking session.

Somehow, I suspect he’s going to show up with an empty Tupperware container or two.

January 4th, 2011

2011: Off To A Slow Start

by Venomous Kate

My son’s Christmas vacation is finally over. Odd how I’d so looked forward to having him home only to find myself climbing the walls the day after Christmas. I blame the lack of snow in these parts: it never quite felt like the holidays. Without sledding or making snow angels, snowmen or snowballs there just wasn’t much to draw him out of the house and, hence, out of earshot. So I’ve spent the past two weeks and four days cooped up with a hyperactive kid bent on improving his drum skills.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nervous wreck.

This morning while we sat at the breakfast table I fantasized about all of the quiet domestic activities I’d once again have time for. There are six bananas growing black on my kitchen counter which I planned to make into whole wheat banana bread this morning. We’re almost out of breakfast cereal, too, so I thought about whipping up some vanilla-scented granola. Of course, there’s also plenty of laundry to be done and, after my husband and son have been home so much lately, the whole house could use a good cleaning, too.

But I did none of that.

It’s not that I didn’t think about it. I most certainly did. But for the first time in sixteen days I was able to actually hear the morning news (now drum-free!), so I watched it. Then I noticed my magazine pile had grown considerably over the past couple of weeks, and I sat down to read them. By the time I’d finished the last one I decided to take a shower — not a “mommy shower” (which involves scrubbing, sudsing and rinsing in the two minutes it takes for a child to notice Mom’s not in the room) but a real shower. One which included deep conditioning, an opportunity to get reacquainted with my razor, and some serious sloughing. The rest of the day? Well, it mostly involved puttering around accomplishing very little while soaking up the peace and quiet.

This morning my son jumped out of the car almost before it had stopped outside his school. “In a hurry?” I asked him. “Yeah, I’m sick of being home with nothing to do,” he’d explained before he ran off.

Funny. That’s precisely what I’d been looking forward to these past sixteen days. So, okay, I have nothing major to show for my day. No mounds of freshly laundered clothes or yummy granola or moist and delicious banana bread. The house isn’t any cleaner than it was yesterday. My magazines, although read, are still sitting in a pile for whenever I get around to clipping out recipes.

About the only thing I can claim to have accomplished thus far in 2011? I shaved my legs. But if you knew how long it had been since I had a chance to do that, you’d realize that my year is actually off to a very good start.

September 29th, 2010

The Best Passive-Aggressive “Compliment” I’ve Ever Heard

by Venomous Kate

Earlier today I found myself entering the grocery store behind two thirty-something women whose hairstyles and clothing were eerily similar.

You can always tell ‘frenemies’, though: one of them will have nailed the ensemble dead cold, and the other will look like her Sam’s Club counterpart. It was the latter woman who got in the real zinger.

Just as they were walking into the store she said to her better-dressed, better-coiffed friend:

“I’ve never met anyone with your self-confidence and, for the life of me, I just can’t understand it!”

I’m sure she meant it in the nicest way. Not.

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September 17th, 2010

This Is Not The Bitch You Are Looking For

by Venomous Kate

Earlier this afternoon I realized I’d been on the computer far longer than planned, which meant I’d yet to accomplish several of the things I’d intended to do this morning. One of those things happened to have involved taking a shower. Another was filling up my gas tank because the empty light came on yesterday but I have, as you may have noticed, a habit of putting off certain necessary tasks.

A half-hour before I’m supposed to pick my son up from school I realized that if I didn’t get gas before getting my kid the chances were pretty high we’d get stranded on the way home and, well, that would totally undo the hours I’ve spent nagging him to take care of his responsibilities.

So, after a quick change out of my pajamas (see, I put off getting dressed, too) and a couple swipes of pit stick, I threw on my biggest black sunglasses and dashed off to the gas station. According to the clock I had plenty of time to fill up before a visit to the drive-thru liquor store (an errand I never, ever forget to take care of). As I stood there pumping gas, a rather wild-haired, angry-looking and tall woman thundered up to me.

Y’all, I am not a small person, horizontally speaking, but I am short. As in, one of the reasons I don’t go to amusement parks is because it’s always iffy whether I’ll be tall enough to get on any rides outside of the children’s area. I kid you not.

Anyway, this unmistakably angry female giant stomped her size 14 shoes until she was all of three inches from my face — or would if her face wasn’t actually a good foot higher than mine. Really, what she did was walk up until we were maybe a hand’s width apart and curled her snarling, blood-reddened face down until it hovered uncomfortably near mine.

I, meanwhile, am doing my best Jedi Knight mind work as I first try to make myself invisible or, failing that, to make her think I’m just as scary as she is. In case you’re curious, these things apparently cancel each other out. And, as anyone who knows my temper can tell you, that’s right about the point where I go into small-dog mode and start acting a bit scary myself. I do NOT like taller people thinking they can walk all over me, proverbially or otherwise.

Just as I’m peeling myself from the side of the van I’d been trying to melt into just a fraction of a second before, she began ranting. It was a bit hard to hear her over the thundering in my temples, but it went something like this:

YOU NO GOOD, MAN-GRABBING HUSSY! (I pretty certain I’m cleaning her language up here.) BAD ENOUGH I CAN’T KEEP MY JACKASS OF A HUSBAND OUT OF BARS, MUCH LESS SOBER ON A SUNDAY, BUT FINDING OUT HE WAS DOWN THERE TO SWILL BOOZE AND PLAY PATSY FINGERS WITH YOU? I’M GONNA SLAP YOU SILLY, YOU BITCH!”

Remember what I said about how I seldom procrastinate when it comes to the drive-thru liquor store? Yeah, that’s because I stopped meeting friends at bars twice a week for drinks. I mean, weekday mornings are hard enough. Throw a hangover into the works and, well, I’m too old for that shit. My alcohol consumption now mirrors my sex life: once a week, and only if it works out with my husband’s schedule. Also, I don’t play patsy fingers with anyone but my husband. (See previous comment about if it works out with his schedule.)

I was just about to explain this very fact, but the woman’s spit was splattered all over my big, black sunglasses. So, forgetting how very crappy I looked, I slid them up onto my forehead and opened my mouth to tell the tall, scary woman off. (It’s that whole small-dog syndrome and I’m kind of crazy like that. Just ask my formerly favorite bartender.)

But the tall, scary woman opened her mouth first.

“YOU AIN’T ANGELA!” she said, backing away from me faster than I thought a woman her size could actually move. “OH, MY GOD. I’M SO SORRY!” She promptly turned on her heel, hurried off to her crappy car, and sped away while I stood there with my mouth hanging open.

So a word of warning, to Angela in Leavenworth, whoever you are: keep your eyes peeled, because there’s a very tall, wild-haired, angry woman who is hunting you down, and it sounds very much like you deserve it. Also, a short, horizontally-challenged woman who nearly took an undeserved ass-whipping for you is on the lookout for you down now, too, and I assure you that you don’t have the Jedi Knight mind skills to handle either of us.