Archive for the ‘a room of one’s own’ Category

You might have noticed a bit of silence around here the last few days… that’s because I’ve moved this here bloggy, and I forgot to tell you.

Oopsie. I’m giving away a necklace over at the new place, will that make it up to you? Please come over and say hello!

(And put www.wranglerdani.com/blog in your readers. Plzthx.)


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I’m forcing myself to talk about my right now, since lately it’s felt like a terrifying blend of too big, too scary, too much and too boring all at once. I’m sorry for the vaguery, but the Stuff that is all over my brain is not fit for public consumption. (You really are glad that I have some self-control and am not vomiting my Stuff all over the Internet. Trust me.)

Right now I’m defrosting chicken breasts and planning an evening hike with my hubby. I’m reeling from compliments at this morning’s writer’s group and praying for courage to pursue an unpopular road. I’m craving chocolate and drinking Diet Coke, hoping for sunshine and noting the misty gray skies still lingering, wishing that I had an answer to questions that are pounding at my door, seeping through the cracks in my walls, tugging on my shirt-tails and whispering in my ear.

I’m learning to be gracious and generous. I’m learning to listen to my husband and let him lead. I’m learning to say “thank you” when someone says nice things about me and my work, to brush it off when they don’t agree or get offended. I’m learning to not worry about tomorrow, to be grateful in the moment, to fix my eyes on the Author and Finisher.

Right now is a hard time. Right now is an in-between time. Right now is a beautiful time.

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Hello, Internetz.

Ok, since I know you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering how on my Earth my contagious self is faring, let me tell you a couple of things that I learned today.

Thing #1: Going to the doctor is preferable to staying up all night in pain. Adam suggested that we head on over to the medical practitioners yesterday, an idea which I bah-humbugged, citing my earnest belief in my immune system and the power of OJ. I then stayed up all night against my will and made Adam very sad by moaning/crying in pain until we could get into Urgent Care this morning. It was great.

Thing #2: I have never had a sinus infection before. When I heard of other people having sinus infections, I would usually sigh sympathetically and think “oh, yeah, how terrible, that’s like a stuffy nose with extra stuffy, right?” WRONG, Dani of the past. It is a horrific phenomenon in which your entire face falls off and you can’t sleep and you can’t eat and you think you might just die if your temples throb one more time. I now have had a sinus infection. To anyone who’s ever told me of theirs and gotten a vaguely sympathetic nod in return, I’M SO SORRY.

Also, it really sucks to be the sole owner and work-doer of your business and be sick and woefully unable to string sentences together, when writing is kinda how you make your living. I feel terrible for letting people down, even when my face is falling off.

One last update, and then you can go about your healthy lives. I’m going to blame this decision on lack of sleep and too much DayQuil, but today I was feeling terrible, and on strict orders to remain in a mostly prostrate position and NOT sweep the floor even though it is getting way gross around here. So, I thought, “Hey! Time for a mid-day movie. I know! I feel awful and depressed, so let’s watch one about sweet little kids dying of cancer. That’s the ticket.”

my sisters keeperSERIOUSLY, Dani? I can’t even look at the poster without feeling sniffly. Well, at least some of the Kleenex thrown out today were used for a nobler cause than simply catching my germs, right?

(PS – I have to give a shout-out to the Hubs, who not only listened to me moan but drove me to the Doctor and held my hand and bought me breakfast. What a guy I’ve got.)

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Well, well. Once again, you have asked, and I have answered, with what might be the most fun request yet. I had a little too much fun looking at lamps, actually, and decided that I had to narrow it down to desk lamps only, lest my faithful readers fall asleep half-way through a 20 -page post on the prettiest/cutest/awesomest lamps ever. (But still. 20 pages would have been a bit much, even if they were the BEST EVER.)

So, my dears, without further ado… let’s get lit!

desk lamp designer tipsI love color, especially greens and blues that look like the ocean. Also, this gorgeous number from ZGallerie would go PERFECTLY in my office, so of course I loves it. SO shapely! So classy! So over $100! No matter. It’s pretty.

You know what else would go great in our beach house? This Tiki Mermaid Lamp from Lamps Plus:

mermaid tiki lamp beach house decorIt’s so funky and fun! I can totally see this in a summer house bedroom or on the wall at a local coffee joint just moments from the beach. It makes me want to leave this land of IP addresses and computer screens behind and go get me a tan. Who wants a Mai Tai?

Sticking with my theme of seaside bliss (nevermind that it’s currently 50 degrees and I’m chattering about the house in a sweatshirt, let me have my dreams of summer, dangit) I love this from PBTeen:

beach themed lampsIt looks like sea-glass! I actually saw something similar to this, made with upcycled bottlecaps at a local boutique and that was fab, too. It looks like mermaid hair, or clean, cartoon seaweed. Love.

Ok, now we’re going to switch gears. As much as I love the ocean, I also love travel and reading the works of Dead White Men and arguing about politics and being a cowgirl, so obviously I need a desk lamp that says all of those things about me, because that’s what lamps are for. Or, perhaps, I’ll just return to my childhood:

bankers lampA lamp very similar to this one sat on my mom and dad’s desk for very nearly my entire life, and I LOVE IT. It’s apparently called a “Banker’s Lamp” which explains why my parents had it, since my dad has a degree in Economics. “Here you are, son, your diploma and a lamp that tells everyone you understand money. Welcome to the adult world!” I’m pretty sure that’s how it wound up in our house, but not in yours, because nowadays you don’t get a degree unless you finance your unborn children and then you have to go buy your own light source. Inflation, suckers!


Where was I? Oh yes. Light. Well, if you want light, but maybe more for mood-creating than actual work-doing, this might be the solution for you.

fake candle lightThis might also be good if you want to burn candles but are afraid of falling asleep and burning your house down or exploding said candle because of poor container choices. Both of those have either happened or almost happened to me, so I might be wise to take a field trip to Home Depot today.

Also, in the mood-lighting section, check out this beauty from czechpub on Etsy:

paris desk lampI don’t have anything else to say. It’s just LOVELY.

What was the other thing I mentioned about myself? Oh yes, politics and Dead White Guys. Well, this says just about everything on both subjects, does it not? (From lampshadestudio on Etsy)

pretty lampshadeI also love this Mission-style lamp from Carolina Rustica. I think some truly inspired prose could flow from under it’s warm glow, don’t you think?

desk lamp mission styleAnd finally, I had to find a lamp that spoke to my reverence for the Second Amendment and my love of cowpokes. Behold:

cowboy lampFrom Crow’s Nest Trading, sold for a paltry $390. BUT IT COMES WITH SPURS, my loves. I’m entranced, of course.

Hope this list was helpful, Hannah… if not, ask again and I will toil to find yet another selection of lamps, next time perhaps I can focus less onmy own narcissism and more on YOU. Ciao, dear ones! Be well lit and studious!

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Why, getting moss all over the house, of course. (My roommates are groaning. They remember the days of Dani’s art projects.)

When I talked to you last, I announced my intention to write a book. It’s going quite well, thank you, and I’ve been doing a lot of artsy things, I mean, tanning, I mean, really, a lot of writing. Honestly. One of the artsy things that I definitely did not do instead of write was get moss all over the house whilst making this:

ocean seashell wreath

WELCOME, dear ones.

You need more detail don’t you. Don’t you worry.

Oh, you want to see more of my glue-gun prowess! Well, luckily for you, my husband has a camera and I know how to point it at things.

Ok, just one more. If you insist.

This was one of the most fun Saturday mornings I’ve ever had (of course, nothing can compare with a Wednesday Wee Hours Moss-Gluing Session which got my college roommates’ everything covered in green moss for weeks). Maybe someday I’ll set up an Etsy site and sell these babies. Everybody’s writing career needs a distraction, right?

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Back when I moved in to our humble abode, we longed for a patio table. Alas and alack, they are all far too much money for a newly-married couple whose Wifely character has embarked on a financially futile venture like teaching horsey lessons and writing miscellaneous observations for a living. So we got by with a friend”s old dining room table, a couple of very decrepit chairs, replaced by some new, free chairs from a kind-hearted volunteer at said Wifey’s non-lucrative employment, and a very ginormous hammock, bequeathed to us by Wifey’s folks, who were also very relieved to not have to deal with said behemoth.

Behold before:

Please note the decrepit chairs on the right-hand side. Note also the ADORABLE yellow cushions which just happen to be my new favorite things. Adam would also like to note that the grill is uncovered, proof-positive that he cooks regularly.

So, anyhoodle. Our patio might be the best part of our house, despite being desperately ramshackle, our poor little ex-dining room table having a sad slouch from all the water that ran off of it this year. But, as Providence would have it, I was sunning myself with Miss Mandy last weekend when she noticed that a friend from church was selling their patio furniture on Facebook. BEAUTIFUL, BIG furniture for $150! I called Adam. She called dibs for us too, just to be sure.

But you know how Facebook can be warm and lovely and full of Birthday wishes for people whom you’ve said Hi to once in the last 5 years? You know also how it can be a passive/aggressive hive of scum and villainy where political opinions rage and you realize you didn’t get invited to something that Everybody Else did? Well. Imagine the latter in a bidding war over a really nice and underpriced patio set. And GUESS WHO WON. *does happy dance*

So, I bring you the homeward flight of our hard-won purchase:

Beverly Hillbillies, patio style.Beverly Hillbillies, y’all. I actually really thought that we would never make it home in our TWO CARS, one of which is, actually, a truck. It was rather monstrous.

We actually had to stop halfway to adjust flapping chair legs against Rocky's cab. Adam seemed unconcerned. I laughed and took pictures with my terrible camera-phone.We had to stop halfway and adjust for flappage of one of the chairs against Rocky’s cab. Adam, luckily, is adept with tie-downs. I was no help, but just laughed an took pictures with my terrible camera-phone.

Self-Portrait. I’m mostly excited that I have OTTOMANS in my ride. OTTOMANS! FOR OUTSIDE USE! This is getting extravagant, people.

Just in case you needed a close-up of the tie-down work.

Adam’s Dad and Grandad were in the moving business… can you tell? This kind of talent isn’t taught, my friends.


So… I couldn’t help carry up the table. I’m a girl, you know, and not as strong as my Hubs thinks I am. I convinced him to call Rick, who in return for helping us I promised a delectable sandwich. I’m either a great cook or Adam sounds very threatening on the phone, because he agreed.

After making the fellas huff and puff up the stairs, we realized we had to take the table apart to get it through our house. Rick is thrilled.

“No reward is worth this!”

I was pretty sure that we’d have to give up about here. But my Hubs loves a good challenge!

Rick, however, saw himself and the table making our downstairs neighbor’s aquaintance.

When a horse gets worked up or going too fast, you say, “eeeasy” all slow and calm-like. I totally said that to the boys as I took this pic. Multi-tasking, you know.

Rick still has to work for his sandwich.

TA-DA!!!!!!!! This was taken on a cloudy day, but you get the picture. (Ba-dum-ching!) It’s GLORIOUS, is it not?

(As a side-note, I would like to observe that we spent more on this set than an ANY OTHER article of furniture in our house. Told you our patio was awesome.)

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Freedom Jumping the Pacific Ocean!

(Valerie’s right. I should hate it here, and sometimes I kinda do. But mostly I love living in the O.C., and since I would rather focus on love than hate, here goes – a list of love.)

  1. The Pacific Ocean. (Duh.) When I first moved here and lived with my Grandma, I lived within a few miles of the beach. Then I moved to Dana Point, where I could see a tiny sliver of ocean from my deck, but it was still quite a ways to walk. Now, Adam and I live a block from our very own slice of sand. I can only guess that our next house will be a boat.
  2. Depth. I moved to the O.C. straight out of college and spent my first year crying about how much I missed college, my roommates and everything about everywhere else I’d ever lived. I kindof hate that time in my life when I look back on it, but I grew up SO much. College was a huge growing expereince, and then learning to give college up was even bigger.
  3. Community. A large part of the reason that I spent so much time bawling about missing college was because I honestly did not believe that I could make good friends again. Luckily, I was wrong. We have an incredible group of friends, who make living here when I’m mad at smog and traffic still worth it.
  4. Awesome jobs. Adam loves his job, and of course it fell right into his lap as soon as he moved here, because Jesus loves him better. (JK God!) I have been “professionally challenged” (see: crying, job angst) but finally landed at the job of all jobs – teaching horsey lessons in the middle of a suburban wasteland. My friend Holli pointed out the other day that my job is so unlikely that I can never say that God doesn’t care about my happiness. Ouch. Yes. I’m blessed beyond belief. (Also, freelance writing is starting to actually pay out these days. Dream come true!)
  5. Kayaking! Camping! Outdoor recreation of all kinds! ‘Nuff said.
  6. Speaking of recreation, it’s a great place to come visit, and many people use us for our location, which is actually quite fun. Consider this your open invite to beach it up at the Nichols Family Beach House, as long as you’re willing to put up with our insistence that you try the fish tacos.
  7. Fambly. Adam’s cousins and various relations are close by, as is my Grandma and Aunts and Uncles. My Uncle Dud is especially awesome to have in one’s corner in a pinch, since he knows EVERYBODY under the sun and is always willing to use Pratt Family Good Vibes to get his favorite neice a tax guy/truck repair/cold beer/freshly killed meat/Best Tacos Ever.
  8. Last but not least – I met the Love of my Life here. Who knows what would have happened if I’d given up in those dark days and gone back to Texas or Oregon? I would’ve missed on Hunky McHunkerson, that’s what. So thanks, O.C. Way to make magic happen.

San Clemente Pier. (Photo courtesy of Rick Wells.)

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