Author Archives: tinazombina



Succinctly, my husband and I enjoy the occasional intimate oil massage. And like normal people we use towels to control the mess. My towels are now smelling like rancid oil towels.  Like omg gag me with a spoon! Rancid. We have washed, bleached, sun dried, vinegar washed and I am  as we speak washing and soaking alternately in  Dawn detergent.  I am desperate! If you have an oil in the towel get it out solution, please comment! 
I was at a massage spa on Mothers day and noted their towels smelled similar.  Had I not understood how many times I have washed my towels to have the same smell… I might have walked out unsure of their cleaning practice. It’s a thing  I know… please help. 
Oh yea, it’s a grapeseed and sandalwood oil. Wonderful freshly massage… rancid on towels. HELP, PLEASE!!!

Let it go. let it go… On this proverbial alter….


I privately posted this years ago. Today I take the wrapping off and expose where I am. May 31, 2017. 11:04 AM. 
We’ve had some recent local tragedies that do not at all involve my family, but have involved acquaintances. People you see almost on a day to day, no relationship leaning towards friends, just see this person around and about. This person I refer too had a terrible terrible accident, shooting himself in the head with a .22 pistol, when he was told it was empty. First, I think it’s stupid to ever put a gun to your head in play or otherwise, but this was an accident. I know the guy well enough to know that much. Anyway, this tragic circumstance triggered me, I became sad and depressed about … loss. I decided I am putting this all down here so I can stop holding onto it emotionally, the mental switch of knowing I can go back to it and reflect on it when I want, but not hold onto it all so that I am impacted and nearly paralyzed. So this is my entrance to what’s next.

I have lost all my immediate family, in terms of my childhood family, brother, mom and then my dad. In that order. I lost my baby brother in August of 2004. It’s a day I will never forget. Things I say may go all over the place, some things bounce back to childhood and then back to adulthood, they’re all tied as it happens with family. I helped raise my brother. If my parents were alive to defend themselves they would contest this. However, I lived the other side of crazy and I helped my brother and I grow up. I kept him protected and took a lot of heavy on his dumb boy ways. My dad for a good portion of our younger years was a long haul truck driver, and I recall my mom being sick a lot. I don’t know what she was sick with, lonely? Depressed? Pissed? I don’t know, she just seemed to be disconnected. Of course as a kid, I didn’t know or how to acknowledge what was going on, it was just what it was. My brother and I were very close growing up, school age I was still his protector against the world of kids. I watched out for him at home, he watched out for me as much as he could.


Bounce forward, August 23rd 2004. I can’t say I remember the exact TIME, time stopped existing for me for a long time after this. This day started normally. Sort of. My brother called me that morning and we talked watched A&E’s “First 48” together over the phone, kind of joked about things on the show and stuff. He stayed home sick that day, he thought he had the flu, felt nauseous and stayed home until he felt better. His wife went on to work and so we took to the phone to burn some time. After the call I had to go to a doctors appointment for some blood work. I guess this was about 11:30am. I lived about 15 miles from my doctor, I had to drive through the town my brother lived in and while driving there I was praying, I am a pray-er. The holy spirit directed me to my brothers house, I felt it was urgent so I went, I knocked, there was no answer, the car was gone, I knocked again, no answer. I turned and left, but again the holy spirit warned me to go back to Tim. I convinced myself that I was just there and he wasn’t home, he decided to go on to work after all. I didn’t go back to Tim. I went on to my doc appointment and went on home after.

The kids and I went through our day, it was summer, no school. I was working from home as a web designer and had been on the computer working when I get a call from my brothers number. When I answered it it was my dad. He told me that I needed to get to my brothers house right away that my brother is gone. I asked “what do you mean gone?” He tried to tell me that my brother was dead. My initial reaction, and there is reason why, was to laugh and tell my dad to stop playin. You see, my parents thought it was a hoot to call in a dead panic, get themselves all worked up and sounding legit about one or the other dying or committing suicide or something tragic so my brother and I would frantically come to them, they thought it proved our undying dedication to them or something sick. It was stupid and I hated that they did that to us. SO I naturally assumed this day was another dumb ass attempt at getting me to comply against what I could do reasonably, which is drop everything for them.  When I finally called my dad a liar that this isn’t funny, the officer took the phone from my dad and changed my life forever. I don’t remember the next 45 or so minutes. I remember trying to speak and tell the kids I had to go but all that came out was screaming. I screamed and screamed. I feel to my knees and screamed.

I don’t encourage driving while emotionally cuckoo. I lost all sanity in those initial moments. I finally composed enough to drive but I don’t know how I got there to be truthful. Fogged in the head for sure. Once there, it was true. My baby brother, my best friend, my confidant, my everything was truly dead. It wasn’t a sick joke, yet, I wanted it to be now. A time later it was time for his funeral and we got through that, managed to not drop dead myself from pure pain of loss. It’s over. Time to go home. Time to live differently forever.

I never got over my brothers death. I don’t know how you do. I don’t know if I have missed some crucial step that makes it easier. For me, I only go a period of time before the pain surfaces and slaps me around. I didn’t go back the second time even though I know the holy spirit was directing. I convinced myself I already tried and he wasn’t there. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I went back. Would he have lived? Would he died with someone that loves him holding him? Why was I supposed to be there? Why didn’t I listen? It’s hard to not feel in some small distant way that I killed my brother. Just try living with that shit every day. There I’ve said it, I feel like my disobedience to the nudge to go back from the holy spirit resulted in my brothers death. I don’t think forgiveness for self is in my future for that.

So that’s the start of the great shut down for me. I don’t know how to process the grief from there. I should point out that the relationship I had with my parents at this time was fairly damaged. I spent years trying to appease and play devils advocate on their behalf. It reaches a point when you can’t do that anymore. Our relationship was truly very broken.  I am laying all this baggage out. I don’t want to hold it anymore. Though I don’t want it forgotten either.

My parents, wow… ok so again in early childhood, my dad was a long haul driver. I get it, money has to get made. My dads way to do that for a time was diving truck. There is more to that that isn’t pertinent for gen pop to know, it all leads to the same place, just know that.  Money was tight, I remember my mom washing clothes for people for money, I remember helping her hang the clothes out.  I also remember my mom never running out of cigarettes, she managed to always have those. My brother and I, heh, we would be reduced to milk bone brand dog biscuits for meals. It’s all we had after the pop corn burritos ran out. After the beans were gone. Milk bones. Good old fashioned dog biscuits.  I suppose the lack of help my mother was getting from family while my dad was gone was hard to bare. I suppose it was why she always appeared sick.

I don’t know time frames through some of my life, it just sort of plays out in film now as I reflect. First grade ish time we moved to another city, my dad was home, he was working as a diesel mechanic. We weren’t at this location very long.  I didn’t fare very well at this location. I was about 6 and got into my first fight ever and learned then how my dad was. I lost the fight, I got my ass kicked by a 12 year old girl when I was 6 because my 3 year brother accidentally wet her with the hose. I guess I was the target to wail on for that. Suffice it to say, I got beat up. My parents who probably should have stepped in and stopped the fight, only encouraged me to fight back when I didn’t know how. To add insult to injury I got spanked by my dad for losing the fight.

When we moved again it was for the last time until I was 18, but by then I was married… I’ll cover that as I go along. New town, new school, new house, new new new. I started second grade and had a bang up year, learned how to read, began understanding numbers. Right around the end of May, beginning of June I had to have tonsil surgery to remove them and my adenoids.  What happened to me during my recovery changed me forever. It changed how I react when I am touched. My dad had a business associate that he was friends with. His kids and my brother and I played a few times. Dirty ass people so it wasn’t often we seen them. Anyway this “friend” comes to see my folks and decides to pay me a get well visit. In the room next to where my parents sit and wait for him to return from visiting me he let’s his fingers do the walking in and out of my vagina, hurting me and scaring me, because you know… there was an exchange of words to reflect his seriousness that I not talk about this. I didn’t want anyone hurt after all, right? I never spoke of that to my parents. I never uttered a word to them. This dude wasn’t a constant or even a regular so I pushed it out and just did things different to keep myself safe.

Through out the years in this location my parents did some questionably dumb crap. I always heard that when I grow up I will realize how smart and wise my parents really were. I guess in some ways this is true. In others, my parents were dumb. Children themselves in how they did things. It was common place in my house to run drills. Peeping Tom drills were the most awesome. My dad or mom would sneak out of the house and plant themselves at my window, making noises, being kind of creepy, trying to break in. They wanted to see what I would do. If I didn’t get it done the way they wanted, well the lectures, hair pullings as I am being dragged to the window in question and spankings commenced. Drills, yay. Not a good old fashioned fire drill, here’s the exits and safety stuff. No earthquake drills. We had peeping tom drills. Creepy window scratchy drills, Breaking into windows for fear effect drills. Yay me. Can we say torment?

Things went averagely abusive until I was 12. By that I mean, it was a normal amount of dysfunction going on where it was a familiar level. My parents fought a lot. My mother had this habit of packing the entire house up and moving it out while my dad was at work. She played it so my brother and I were so involved it was horrible. She’d leave him the TV that he so preferred and everything else gone. We did this about 4 times as kids. She’d throw fits about tv being more important, she’d pack us up and leave, he’d chase us down and drag us back and then it was weeks of listening to them have sex as they “mended” the problem. It never mended, my mother was still pulling that same crap far after my brother and I grew and moved out. Pack it all up and leave my dad. When he stopped chasing her, she’d crawl back. Pathetic.  The last time I was present to leave my dad like that, my mother asked the same guy that shoved his fingers in me to help us move. She packed up the car leaving enough room for my bother and her to sit in the car and go. I was forced and I really do mean forced to go with this man, I begged and cried to go with my mom. Nope, no room at the inn for this girl. So there I go, in the front seat on a one seater truck, smack dab next to this fat sick old man, shoved and held in place by more crap my mom put in the seat, trapping me there. I had a wonderful trip. 30 miles of finger banging fear, pissed off I’m leaving home, pissed off I am with this moron, pissed off my mom ignored the begging cries to be with her. FUCK! His name was Claude. That’s all I remember. Claude. Bleck.

I grew up hearing all about my moms sexual adventures all through her high school years and some breaching beyond what I should have heard about even as an adult.  My mom loved doling out punishments like, butchering my hair, I didn’t want short boy hair, but just piss her off one time and you’re forced to sit still while she pulls all your hair to the top of your head in a rubber band and then cuts at the band. I looked stupid so many times with that punishment. She’d whip me with empty coat hangers she pulled from my closet. If I had a drawer of clothes that wasn’t properly folded and put away, my room would be tossed and I had to put it back together again. If I withdrew and spent to much time reading in my room (where I could get away in imaginary safety) my mom thought the best way to force me out was to remove my door and take my privacy away. She was thinner than I was and it was always such a boost to her ego to force me to put on her clothes that wouldn’t fit me. She would laugh and laugh at how they fit me and then she felt better about her body.  She was selfish and her insecurities about her life caused her to be toxic in mine. She favored my brother, he could do no wrong. By this time however I think Tim and I developed an unspoken contract that I’d just quietly accept what was coming. I was more pissed when my brother was being hit than when I was taking the hit for something he did anyway.

Dating years were stupid for me. I couldn’t go on a date with my steady boyfriend without my mom, before my boyfriend had even left to go home, would drag me in her bedroom, while my boyfriend sat with my dad, my mother would force me naked and check me for having had sex. EVERY time for months. We stopped going out on dates without my brother for a long time. My husband now, didn’t know why I would take my brother with us on our dates. Why he had to date both of us to be with me. Well that’s why. If my brother was with us, I wasn’t being what felt was a lot like rape, being forced to strip down and show myself to my mom. Dating my brother too was so much simpler. I was married at 16 and actually still married to that same gentleman. 26 years later and a few melts downs from me, we’re still rocking wedded… life.

I could go on about things that impacted me from childhood. It’s pointless, you get the gist of some of it. Adulthood with my folks were just as bad.  It took me a long time to realize how much control my parents had, just how much force they could provide to make you do what they wanted. As I grew up and determined I wanted different for my family, I began exercising boundaries. That’s when the games began. That’s when I truly realized how stunted my parents were on a mature emotional level,  it’s where I began to be just fine with the relationship not existing.

Before my brother died, God rest his soul, my brother the mamas boy spent a lot of time with them. It made sense for him, they weren’t malicious to him or his wife. In fact they were rather helpful to them. If they got sick they took them meds and food. If there was a medical emergency my mom would go care for them and clean their house, laundry, help them. So he was inclined to stick around my parents. While I was pregnant with my last baby, I had difficult pregnancies prior, so this one I was really diligent to do it all right so I could have a relaxed pregnancy, I am visiting my folks who smoked inside one right after the other, the both of them. It’s a lot to deal with not knocked up, but I was feeling sick from it and decided to stand outside the door during a portion of the visit so I could breath. My dad was so offended by me going outside, I explained I didn’t want to be in the smoke, if they would smoke outside we would all be comfortable, he told me how disrespectful I was, he went on to tell me that he “went to viet nam to kill mother fuckers like you” referring to me, and that I am a tyrant for asking him to smoke outside at his own house. That was the last time I went there until just before my brother died.

I had a rough emergency hysterectomy on my 30th birthday and a one year old baby, 2 school age children and I needed help. Not one flippin time did my parents, which for my dad, I expected this, he promised to never darken my door again, but my mom didn’t even drive to come visit me let alone lift a finger to help me manage my surgery and house responsibilities. Not even one bloody visit from her, I expected it from my dad, but my mom? NOOOO, In fact I expected my mom to come see me, tell me it would be alright, pat my brow with a cool rag, hold my hand as I went through this. After all, my mom had a hysterectomy years prior, she certainly knows how challenging this is emotionally, then heap on the physical pain. My mom was needed to just be there, she wasn’t required to hold a stage light for an old blood stink hole vagina because it needs a heat lamp to heal, like I did for her.

Nooo, I just really just needed my mom. No stage lighting, no special time of anything but good old fashion nurturing from mom.  I healed without her, it taught me how little I needed her. I went through it like a boss. 2 weeks post op on a huge surgery and unable to even stand erect yet, I was out buying school clothes for my kids. My mom was to busy to help, her medication kept her to busy *wink wink* . My husband so desperate to see me well, but also going through his own healing on a recent back surgery. We had to help each other heal when what we needed was just a small time frame to do it unimpeded. Nope.

The relationship between my parents changed forever 3 weeks after my brother died. I know my parents were hurt. I know it was devastating to them. especially when they lost the one kid who no matter how dumb they were, was going to be there and goofy happy for them. It wasn’t like he didn’t know they were stupid, in fact he understood why I wasn’t in it to win and supported that for me. He was just able to look past it and deal. They helped him, they took from me. So 3 weeks post death I get a call from my mom and we had a great chat. It wasn’t about painful stuff. We talked like 2 people that missed each other and I felt so good about it. So later when I got another call from my mom I didn’t hesitate answering. Boy was that dumb, I was promptly told that I as such a disappointing piece of shit that they are changing their will to leave everything to my brothers wife and unborn child, they don’t want me to benefit from any of it. They back and forthed the phone so each of them could give me the details on how they feel about me, I’m going to hell for not knowing Jesus’ last name, Which isn’t Christ, lol so that you know. It’s Bar Joseph. Jesus Bar Joseph, translation, Jesus of or From Joseph. That was their assessment, I am going to hell for not knowing that, I falsely teach biblical principals because I didn’t know that. And then my mother ended things like this “I just wish it was you that died and not your brother”. Wow, well so do I old woman, so do I. That’s the ultimate in awesome.

I didn’t see them again for about 2 years when they both fell into infirmity. My mother broke 2 legs falling in one of her medicated stupers and my dad paralyzed with a spur that destroyed his spinal cord. Yay me, so I daily drove about 25 miles to come here, clean for them, shop, laundry, bath them, feed them, set up for the evening, I took care of everything. Until, they decided I was there to be abused and talked shit about me while I am doing for them, everything. My dad looses it on me randomly one afternoon and told me to “get the fuck out of my house you bitch.” I did just that…. I did go back because I was all they had, but the daily abuse of that was a lot. My mom healed and I was released from the personal hell for a bit, my dad went into the hospital rehab to relearn some basic things with his paralysis, the day my dad is coming home from the rehab, I find my mom dead. I go to take her to get him and she’s dead. On the sofa. BAM. I get to go tell me dad his wife died and then take care of a giant dick of a man baby. Consequently, my dad learned who I was that period of time. I took less crap from him than ever and stood up for myself more. I would have if he could walk or not. I was grown and he had his part in where I ended up, I took a stand and didn’t allow his abuse anymore. Only by then his abuse died and he then needed a nurturer. I was his nurturer. Just as things started to warm up and the frost between us looking thinner, he died. My whole life treated like crap, my whole life misunderstood and talked to badly, ignored, screwed with, tortured, when I finally get my dad seeing the real me. Seeing things he never took time to see in me, he was dead.


I have a hard time dealing with loss. I ignore it as long as I can. I get over involved in things that keep me busy and going, I don’t allow to much thinking time, thinking leads to feeling, feeling leads to hurting, hurting leads no where good. So I ignore it. This is my attempt of letting it go. I can come back and reflect of the portions I cared to share here, and close it to resume a healthy dealing with my fear of loss. I don’t know if this will work right away, but I do feel like I don’t have to grip this as tightly in the now. So thanks for letting me cry baby boohoo my life sucked. It did, it has, I am mended with some extra baggage that I now have in storage. THANK YOU! I hope that maybe some one out here will find that putting it down and not holding on to it, even in a place like this where in theory it wont get lost is beneficial to some mental weight being lifted. God knows I deserve a break from my own torture. Again, Thanks! ❤

Re-used beer carrier!



Beer bottle carrier cardboard is perfect for most glass ball ornaments. I have bad luck keeping the manufacture boxes in great condition, over time they break. This is a solution so that and they sit nicely in your Christmas decoration boxes/totes neatly. Win win! Recycle, re-use! Happy holiday clean up!

Toilet Paper Tube Icicle Tutorial

Toilet Paper Tube Icicle Tutorial





Master Recycler = Me. I try to reuse as many things as I can in secret hidden you don’t know it’s trash ways. Here is another one them!


Toilet paper tube (as many as you want)


large metal knitting needle (easier to clean) *Optional*


brush for gluing

glitter of your choice in a ziplock style bag

1. Cut your tube following the natural line around the tube.



2. This is how it flattens to look.  If it looks like this, you’ve done it right so far!




3. Cut it along the center. Now you have 2 strips.


4. Cut the 2 you have in the center again and it multiplies to 4. You can cut smaller but remember when you glue them and reform them they are thinner and may be weaker.



5. I didn’t get pictures of the gluing and glitter as I needed more hands than I had! However I will try to explain in detail. I glued both sides of the tube strips and tossed them in the ziplock to shake the glitter onto them. I let them dry a short time, still damp but not fresh, I took a knitting needle, the metal kind and used it to shape the icicle, twirling it around the needle in the natural direction it wanted to go and formed it. Let it dry, there you have it. Toilet paper tube icicles. I hole punched one end to wire them.  Below is what they looked like with my choice of glitter… this time. ;p

Note the icicle there….toilet paper tube hidden secrets of love!








DIY? Yes you can!! Share and Show it!


I have had a great response from my tutorial and some of you even chose to brave the tutorial and create your own brown paper bag flooring and even walls! For those that share your photos with me, this is where you will find them! Thanks for your responses and I look forward to another year of sharing, caring and coming off the shelf with you all! Feel free to share!

Thank you Victoria and Tina for sharing your projects!


Time flies!!


It’s been almost 2 years since we put our brown paper back floor in our own unique flare in our bathroom and here is an update. Our critique if you will.

This is regarding my original post about the floor:

1) There has been no lifting or bubbling on our bathroom floor. There is no tears or breaches in it’s form.

2) The shine has not been changed and so far I’ve only mopped it. You can apply mop ‘n glo or a similar product to re-shine if you need, but it’s 2 years and I have not yet needed to.

3) The products we used on this floor have all performed as we had hoped and we would recommend using them if you intend to give this floor a go!

I want to express to you how much this room gets used and for various things, this is my heaviest crafting room many times. the floor has been easy to clean glitter from when using it for crafts, it’s been sturdy through the growth and abuse of our gigantic dog. I dye and process fiber in there, it’s the place with the largest tub of water to work in. This room is used in the most unconventional ways along with the intended use! The floor has stood up.

2014 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It has been interesting to see how the blog did over the course of this year! Thanks to all who visit!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Brown Paper Bags Revisited

Brown Paper Bags Revisited

The beginning of this year I put a blog tutorial on my brown paper bag flooring technique. I’ve had some great responses to this and have had people send pictures of their completed projects using my technique. This is so exciting. It blows my mind in such a major way. I ponder it all the time. Thank you for the responses and amazing shares from your projects, I appreciate the feed back so much. It’s in part why I took the time to share. I love finding things that inspire me, and so that if I can inspire people, it’s just all good! Ok, so in May I completed the largest art project I have ever done. It truly was the largest art floor to date! 1,300 square feet church sanctuary. The floor was in horrible shape, and because it’s an historical building there was not much we could do to level it. The church had left it bare concrete with hideous cut back from a previous flooring.

As soon as we started going to the church as parishioners I knew we had to do something about the floor! Acoustics were terrible, the “coolness” of the decor was lost with the bad floor. So I approached the staff and all agreed. They gave me creative license, lol oh boy! Here is what was come up with as the option to hide a buckled, heaved and uneven floor.

When you look at the flooring now, you don’t see the issues. I created an optical illusion with lines that draw away from structure issues. The worst part of the floor is exactly where most look at, it’s where the podium sits. Knowing that would have to be hidden, I put the church logo in a embossed raised lettering and gold leafed it. I essentially put a lampshade on the elephant in the room and it blended in. So here is the biggest art floor I’ve ever done, I am pretty impressed. Gradient light to dark or dark to light depending on how you view it. Colors pulled from the walls of the church throughout. The end result is very warm and inviting. I am however glad to be done, it was a HUGE project! ❤

To check out my flooring tutorial click here:

Christmas tree skirt… out of plastic bags? Mmhmm

Christmas tree skirt… out of plastic bags? Mmhmm


tree skirt tree skirt close up

This is going to be a short tutorial on how to make a Christmas tree skirt out of plastic bags. The plastic bags you get from shopping. So don’t throw them out.

Items needed:

Plastic bags, think ahead and plan so you’re getting the colors you want and saving them.

Wax paper




a design in mind

You want to set your iron at the 3rd heat setting. Be careful not to let it sit in one place to long.

1. Cut the logo from the bags and set aside to use later if you need part of the logo.

2. Cut the design components out.

3. Lay a folded sheet or something you can use to iron on.

4. Line the folded sheet with a layer of wax paper large enough to hold the plastic.

5. Layer the background of the plastic, in my case it was white, I had about 5 layers of the background plastic.

6. Lay another layer of wax paper on top of plastic layers now. (Note: make sure the wax part of face up and face down on the plastic respectively, this insures it peels away properly from the finished plastic sheet)

7. Run the iron over the entire thing briefly, you want the layers to be together enough to proceed with the next steps. You don’t want to iron as though you’re finishing yet.

8. Carefully peel one side of the wax paper off, this will be the side you apply your design components too.

9. Flip the piece over and on the side that still has the wax paper, draw a circle the size you need it, in my case I used a cardboard disc from a paper mill as my guide, the disc is HUGE. Anyway, mark and cut the circle the size you need.

10. Now that it’s cut into the circle, keep that wax on the bottom, flip the piece over again and start placing the design pieces. Once you’re done placing the design, put the wax paper you carefully took off back over the plastic, carefully, the whoosh of the wax paper going down may move your plastic pieces.

11. Iron over the entire piece again, this time you will make sure it’s all stuck in place and solid.  Turn the piece over and iron the other side also.

12. Allow to cool then peel the wax paper off and VOILA! Christmas Tree Skirt. Cut your slit and your stalk hole and it’s the coolest!


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