Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the Road

After over a month of dedicated blogging, I realize I took a sudden hiatus! The reason is simple - at least to me!

Last Thursday, we went to Cheyenne for a night. It was our first time there and we enjoyed it (more than going to Salt Lake). It is an hour further, but much smaller and easier to get around, while still having all the stores we like to go to. Friday, we watched my Uncle be commissioned by the Supreme Court of Wyoming as a Wyoming Highway Patrolman (or "Trooper").

We returned to spend Saturday unpacking from Cheyenne and then repacking for new trips. On Sunday, Tom flew out to Ohio (for training for work... and yes, he's off of Worker's Comp). After dropping him off, the boys and I headed South. We spent yesterday in Vernal, Utah with my sister (waiting out a storm) and today found us back on the road. Tonight we are in Panguitch, Utah.

Tomorrow, we shall arrive at my Aunt's in Pine, where we will spend a few days before heading down to The Valley of The Sun for some visiting there.

Now, you know where I've been and why you're not likely to "see me" online again for a bit. :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm Wanted!

Basically, lately, wherever I go and whatever I do, people want me or are advising me of what I “should” do… in a good way. It seems every time I turn around, people are telling me “you’re great at…” or “you’re really good at…” and then they follow it up with how I could profit from my skills. This is very flattering and exciting.

Most exciting is that I’m being propositioned by the owners and managers of Quilt Shops to teach, design, and generally work for them.

It’s so intriguing to me. I’ve been working with The Law of Attraction since January 2007. I understand the principles, but putting them into action and then seeing them work is still… well… it puts me at a loss for words.

Right now, I’ve talked with the owners of two quilt shops. With the second one, I ask about whether they expected their teachers to “be exclusive” to their shop. (They do.) I’m not sure how I feel about that… what is the “standard” out there? When you teach at one shop, how far away must you travel before it’s “acceptable” to teach at another? Also… what’s the norm for pay? Do you get paid a standard rate? Is the rate per class, per hour, per student or some combination? Do you simply collect the class fee from the students and the shop sells merchandise?

This is all very exciting to me. It’s always pleasant to be approached and ask for you your ideas. I just have to choose what is going to continue to brings me the most joy. I really want to keep working on my goal of publishing my own designs… perhaps teaching will help propel me towards that, by giving me goals to have patterns completed for and students to teach too.

If you’ve “been there”, I’d love to hear your input! In the meantime, I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow at the dentist and lube shop and ice rink, then, Thursday we’re going to take a little mini-vacation to Cheyenne to support my Uncle as he is commissioned into the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Life in Wyoming - Kohl's Oddity

I was just researching Cheyenne because we are taking a trip there this week (Thursday through Friday). I was pleased to discover they have a Kohl's. I was puzzled to review their hours... take a look... I mean, I've heard of businesses being closed on Sunday or even Monday, but have you ever heard of it on Thursday? Just plain weird if you ask me!

Anyway, they open at 4 AM on Friday, so, I should still be able to visit them (if I want) while we are there).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tom Update – Staples Out, Healing Continues


Tom's staples were removed on Thursday, February 7th. Since then, we’ve seen a rapid (almost immediate) decrease in prescription pain killers. The past few days Tom has had many hours “pain-free”. He’s still in his boot (which means he can wash, stretch, and scratch his ankle at will, but protect it too). This week he should be able to start putting weight on the foot again… although I’ve seen him doing it for the past few days.

Worker’s Comp and Pay

Tom’s company pays for their own private Worker’s Comp Insurance, and they were processing him just fine, until the State of Wyoming , came and took the file. This was last on February 4th. They didn’t call him or anything, so, when he called the private company on the 7th, that’s when he learned that ANY work related injury happening in Wyoming MUST be processed by the state. It’s “the only state in the Union” that requires State Worker’s Comp to be used. Luckily I’d ask Tom to make sure we’d have a paycheck (mid-month) and he called and found out about the change well before payday. He was able to work something out... his work generously paid him another full paycheck, even though he’s been out the whole time… it was their mistake to not file the paperwork properly, so, they paid him… very nice!

Back to Work

After he gets back on his feet, but if he’s not able to drive yet, Tom’s going to talk to his boss about going to Ohio for some corporate training. Even when he was there for three weeks at a time, he never had a rental car, they just shuttled the students between the hotel and the training facility each day. So, he has some classes he’s been needing to take and this might be an “acceptable” way to get him pack on the payroll. So. There’s the update on what’s happening with Tom’s healing.

How I’m Handling It

I’m getting along much better with Tom being hurt and home. Actually, last week he finished doing the illustrations for the quilt pattern I’ve designed… now to get some extra time to publish it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mommy's Martini

I was just reading some old posts on the Mommy's Martini Blog. This one about Green Cleaners caught my eye, while this one with illustrated baby pointers had me laughing harder and longer than I remember laughing in a long time. Enjoy!

Update on Casey’s New Life

So, this evening, I saw and talked with the Mom from the family that took Casey. She’s been there exactly one week, and SHE’S LOVIN’ IT!!! She’s playful with everyone (including the big, family dog). She "talks" a lot. She’s out and about in their home. She sleeps on Nicole’s pillow at night, curled up to her head, and wakes her up licking her nose. The way she sleeps on her and cleans her sounds just like what she use to do with and to her kitten, Zoom Zoom.

Zoom Zoom has gone around “looking” for her Momma a few times, but all-in-all, she’s doing well too.

It was good to hear that Casey has settled in so well and so quickly… even with a dog! I guess she plays with the dog’s tail (I think the dog is like 15 years old, and Casey’s only 18 months, so, that could explain a lot!)

Just wanted to share that we made a good choice with placing Casey there… oh yeah, Nicole was going to call her “Pancakes” but has decided "it didn't fit" and to name her “Isabella”… which oddly enough, was a top contender “girl’s name” when we were pregnant with Jack.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It’s Been A Great Day!

I’ve had a great day today. I’ve visited. Crossed 4 out of 5 things off my list. Had a tasty and super-simple homemade meal. Relaxed. Finished some projects. And now, for some reason, I’m just wiped out and can barely keep my eyes open or focused. And so. I’ll tell you about my super-simple dinner and then I’m “over and out!”

A few days ago, I made The Best Ever Lasagna from The Pioneer Woman. I made one modification to the recipe… I made fresh pasta, which made it AMAZING! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had homemade pasta in lasagna before… it was very interesting. You didn’t really “notice” the pasta while you were chewing (like, it wasn’t all rubbery and chewy). Also, the denser, fresh pasta seemed to “hold” the whole thing together. As in, when you put a piece on your plate, it all stayed together (instead of sliding apart into separate pieces). Using fresh pasta also allowed me to fit the pieces just right into my dishes (including an Oval Shaped Pampered Chef Stone). I cooked one pan immediately and froze another (which is why my dinner was so easy tonight, just heat (for 90 minutes) and eat! ) The ONLY thing we would have changed, was the sodium… between the pasta, the sauce, and the cheese, the lasagna had THREE TEASPOONS of SALT… a bit much for our tastes (although we didn’t notice it so much on the reheats). By the way, this lasagna was equally good fresh, leftover, or frozen… all of which were cooked in stoneware in the oven or toaster oven. We will MOST DEFINITLEY be making this again and again!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I’m A Winner! (Happy Heart Day to Me)

Teresa of Moonvalley Quilter told me it “Looks like this is your lucky day!” She was right! Today I “won” at least FIVE THINGS!

1. FOUR HOURS extra sleep (compliments of my hubby and boys).

2. One World – One Heart Giveaway from Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist

3. Warm Fuzzy Heart from Trisha of easily amused, hard to offend

4. Miraculously Avoided an Automobile Accident

5. One World – One Heart Giveaway from Teresa of Moonvalley Quilter

Today I received a “Oh-so-sweet” envelope in the mail… that I thought at first was junk mail, because, who else sends out dark colored envelopes with white writing? Trisha, that’s who! She HAND STAMPED and used a white-gel-pen to write me a note and envelope that we’re just darling. Inside was my first choice from her “warm fuzzy hearts”.

I am so tickled with it! It actually arrived yesterday, but I forgot to get my mail, so, when I went down this morning, there it was to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I wore it around all day, and truly enjoyed it! THANK YOU TRISHA!!!

[Postscript: Sorry for the fuzzy picture - you try taking a picture of your own chest and see how it comes out!!! :P]

It really is my lucky day! As you know, I am new to living in the snow. I’d been getting pretty confident about driving in the inclement weather, but today I was a little shook up. It was probably because I nearly wiped someone out, as I slid (out of control) down a 25' hill out of a parking lot (leaving the grocery store) into moving traffic. I watched a SUV drive right.in.front of my van (which also had my two young sons and my hubby with a broken leg in it) and somehow, miraculously, all that happened was I was shook up for an hour. The guy RIGHT BEFORE ME, slid down the same hill... so, I was going REALLY slow, just creeping with my foot on and off the break pedal, and then WOOSH! Down I went! Right after that, I saw two other people who had just slid off the road. After that, I kept loosing (and seeing people loose) traction all over town. I don't know how I avoided hitting the SUV... it was right in front of me! Such a miracle!!!

About my success with The Prizes today. I posted about the OWOH Giveaway last week, but until (bedtime) last night, I hadn’t entered any. I spent about an hour randomly opening links and entering only for the prizes I liked (about 20). I won two of them! Pretty good odds, I think. Thank you, Trisha, Vanessa, and Teresa (notice all the “a’s” at the end of these names? I notice things like that, thank you very much!) for your generous gifts via the One World – One Heart Giveaway! I look forward to playing with my new goodies; you are too kind!

As a bonus, I’ve had four SIX ladies email me that they plan to come to the “Mom’s Time Playgroup” I host every Friday morning. It’s been just me and another lady for about a month now, and I just found that she has to move within the next two weeks. I’m very sad to see her go (even though we’ve only known each other a few months), but I’m VERY HAPPY that so many other ladies are coming to visit while their kiddos play!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Life in Wyoming - Windy Winter Drives

Not long after the fluffy white flakes fall to the ground, the wind starts. Soon, all the moisture has been blown out of the flakes and all that’s left are small pellets of ice. With no moisture to hold them down, one soon starts to experience “blowing snow”. It moves across the roads like a fog or mist, only fast and eerie.

This is so difficult to describe… Tom says “it looks like the concrete is boiling” because it resembles steam. It’s shifting and moving, and wild!

While driving with the wind head-on or coming from a side, the moving ice particles are tolerable, but when I’m driving with a tail-wind, I have trouble keeping my bearings about me. It’s just plain weird to have this sheet of shifting while stuff coming out from under your vehicle, and it’s moving faster than you too.

On the way home last week, I was driving from lane to lane to avoid the snow-drifts building up in the road. At one major intersection, when I turned, I nearly got stuck and actually fish-tailed a little driving through the drift.

It’s weird though. The drifts build on one side of the road and not the other. We’ve noticed, when driving through neighborhoods, that one side of the street will have about six inches in their front yard, while the other side of the street has two feet!

I saw a boulder last week with snow two feet high around it, but RIGHT NEXT to it, you could see the bare ground. There was like a nine-inch channel that the wind was whipping around in.

The micro-climates are intriguing, to say the least.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fishing for Your Love – Fish Valentines

Today the boys and I made these Valentine’s and while I’d love to take credit for the cute little things, I got the idea from Family Fun. I like to go there when I need a quick and simple idea to do with the kids… especially an Arts and Craft idea. They have lots of them! Anyway… we made this pile of fish…

On the back I wrote all sorts of cute and clever sayings (from the craft idea on Family Fun)...
  • You’re my Fish in the Sea! (Frank’s personal Favorite)
  • Best Fishes this Valentine’s Day!
  • May your Fishes come true this Valentine’s Day!
  • You’re Oceans of Fun!

And Tom’s contribution to the Fishy Sayings:

  • Fishing for Your Love

I just had to show you how excited the boys were by the end of it!

They actually had fun making them, but wouldn’t hold still (or allow the table to be still) while I wrote names on them and put them in envelopes.

You really shouldn’t be surprised about these pictures… take a look at just about any picture with them together… Jack just won’t hold still, and while Frank does well with holding a charming look alone, he tends to get tired of me trying to get Jack where he “belongs” for a group shot. Oh well. They were having fun, anyway.

This Quilt’s A Mystery

I went to a local quilt shop tonight and saw this hanging up.

They no longer remember where it came from. I’m especially curious about the detailed blocks in the upper right and lower left corners.

It intrigues me to look at it and try to figure out how to piece it. I haven’t figured it out yet! Does anyone recognize the pattern and or block name?

Monday, February 11, 2008


Recently, I'd been struggling and struggling with behavior with my boys. I realized Frank wasn't able to go to sleep when we were putting him to bed (at the same time as Jack). We've just implemented (the first week of February) letting Frank stay up later, for some quiet learning time, and his behavior all around has improved!

It was such a simple thing, but it took us a while to clue into what he needed... less time in bed and also some special "privilege" time. This wasn't related to his "schooling", but is making a big impact on that, since we have him doing worksheets during his "staying up late" time of day. This is also impacting Jack’s behavior, since Frank is acting better and Jack mimics brother so much.

Tonight was the first night since we started this that we had Frank go to bed at his old bedtime and with Jack. We told him about it around lunchtime though. He was just plain worn out and emotional today. Also, by bedtime, his eyes were actually starting to get bloodshot. He tried a little “Mom, I really want to stay up.” But I told him this was not up for discussion, and then he went to bed.

As I tucked them in, they did play around a bit under the covers. As ever, Frank is great with the camera…

…and Jack refuses to hold still for the camera, unless it’s with this goofy grin and tightly-closed eyes!

Frank now seems to need about 10 hours of sleep and Jack about 11. They are 5 and 3. Both nap only on rare occasions. What are the sleep schedules like for your little ones?

Now, it’s MY bedtime. Yes, I know that it's very early, but I think I'm still recovering or just getting use to the extra work that having an injured husband entails. I'm taking all the sleep I can get!!! :D

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It All Worked Out for the Best

Last year in January, I decided I wanted to have cats again. For about ten years I’d been using “allergies” as an excuse not to have them. Well, by April, I was ready for a cat. There happened to be a man with my local Freecycle group who needed immediate homes for several cats… one of whom was pregnant. I took her (and the papa) in. Four days later, she popped! We had four kittens. The very next morning, we got the job offer to move to Wyoming.

We wound up keeping the Momma cat and one kitten. Momma had come from a crazy home life to begin with, then, we moved her around all Spring and Summer. She spent much of that time, in isolation with her kitten.

Fast-forward. We have two cats, Casey (18 months) and Zoom Zoom (10 months).

Zoomers is great with the kids! Today, Frank stumbled over her, landing on her tail, and she just sat there. Never moved. Zoomers comes when she’s called. She’s affectionate, but not pesky. Playful, but not destructive. She sleeps at the foot of Frank’s bed… delightful, since she’s “his” cat.

And then there’s Casey. Most of the time, she’s in hiding… under a table, in a corner, or under a bed. Lately, Casey has been having “behavioral” problems (ie: excreting materials in inappropriate places.) Casey comes and shows affection only when she hasn’t been fed. Otherwise, not a chance you can touch her! This isn’t the cat that we saw when we first decided to keep her, back before all the moving and isolation spells. She was kind, gentle, affectionate, and one of the softest cats I’d felt!

Together, these cats are VERY playful, affectionate, and just fun to watch.

So. What to do? Casey is miserable, except when she’s with her kitten, Zoom Zoom. But with the humans, miserable. Just before Tom’s injury, Casey was showing affection, jumping on my lap whenever I sat down (like what, twice a day!?!) Anyway, lately, she’s been having trouble, perhaps just like the rest of us?

Frankly, I’d become fed up. Somewhere between last night and this morning, I decided to write up something about Casey and start looking for a new home for her. I thought this the fairest thing to do, even though Zoom Zoom would surely miss her, for her to be happy and friendly once more.

This afternoon, on our way into our apartments, the people down the hall were moving out. Tom commented "do you want a cat?" and they did! I remembered that this lady was going to go to the pound next month and get her daughter a cat for her 16th B-day. The Mom came in and spent about 10 minutes trying to get Casey to come to her... no good. Then, the daughter comes in and Casey comes right out and climbs in her lap. She would try to get Casey off and Casey insisted on staying. In ten months, I've never seen this cat do that - with anyone! Ever! She’s NEVER just walked up and curled in a person’s lap… not even Tom or mine… upon first contact!

Originally, Mom had ask me to keep Casey until the birthday on March 8th... which I was fine with. But, when her 15 year old was crying because she liked Casey so much, the fiancee was called, and they wound up leaving with Casey.

I hope Zoom Zoom does well. Right after they left, Zoomers was walking around crying for her Momma, but she's settled down. We want two cats, but we want them to get along and be happy in our home. So, we'll probably take one of my sisters kittens (she has a cat that I wanted last year, anyway, the cat is ready to pop, so, in about two - 2 1/2 months, we'll bring a kitten home for Zoom Zoom to have company, and since it will grow up with us, hopefully it will be as tolerant of the boys and well adjusted as Zoomers.

In the meantime, I feel excited and relieved. I think Nicole and Casey are going to get along great! She’s actually already been renamed (“Pancakes”).

Although, this morning I was talking with Frank and Tom said "Casey's not happy, what do you think we should do?" Frank said "find her a new home", but, he was in tears twice in the first hour and 20 minutes since she left. :*( I feel for him, but, Casey will be much happier with Nicole.

It's hard to make a decision when so many are involved. In the end, I hope I "chose wisely".

What do you do when a pet is unhappy in your home? Do you try to “work it out” or do you acknowledge that not all situations were “meant to be” and find a more suitable home for your pet?

POSTSCRIPT: Humorously enough, when Frank started crying right after Casey had left, I ask what was wrong and he said "I miss Casey!" and started bawling! Immediately, Jack said the same thing and started screaming while they both climbed into my lap. Jack was TOTALLY mimicking what he saw and heard Frank doing, even though he could have cared less about the situation!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Little Test

I took this little test today because I continue to be intrigued by something...

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

15% Upper Midwestern

10% Yankee

5% Dixie

0% Midwestern

Apparently, even though I've never lived in the Midwest, the fact that my Grandparents came from Indiana and Michigan has effected the way I speak. I did notice though that there was no "Southwestern" or "Californian" dialect, and since I lived in Arizona for 23 years, and California for 8, I do suspect I speak more of those languages than mid-west.

Just interesting how where your family comes from affects your words. Does anyone else "red up the table"? What about musk-mellon? Is it the same for you as a cantalop? Those are two terms I've always used that have people going "huh?!" Especially the "redding up" thing... anyone know what that means (or at least, do you know what I'm referring to when I say it?

One other thing... how come my Linguistic Profile doesn't add up to 100%? Am I missing something???

Friday, February 08, 2008

Computers and The Internet

Do you ever think about The Internet? I do. I remember the first PC in my household (1983/4)... I also remember being told about The Internet (1995) and choosing to "stay away" from it as long as possible.

I knew that having all that knowledge at my fingertips would be a time drain. It is. I really have to start limiting my computer usage. I find it's easiest if I turn ALL the computers in the house off (which hubby doesn't like), but if I can just turn on a monitor and "check something out", I find time sucked away.

Of course, I remember my introduction to email and The Internet too (1998).

I marvel at what I've seen in my "short" life and wonder what jobs my grandchildren/great grandkids will have that I can't even imagine, simply because the technology doesn't yet exist. This then gets me thinking about my "elders" and what they've seen. Then, I think "I should spend more time talking with them about their "early" years."

What about you? Do you think much about technology?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

One World ~ One Heart ~ Warm & Fuzzy

Yesterday I found these adorable Warm-Fuzzy, Wool-Felted Hearts

made by Trisha of Easily Amused, Hard to Offend.

Today, Trisha has joined the One World - One Heart Giveaway.

I thought you might like to peek at them. There are all sorts of fun give-aways through February 13th. Good luck!

To Microwave or Not?

Yesterday my microwave smelt like burning electronics. Today. It turns on, it spins around, it makes noise, but, it doesn't heat.

I cleared the counter quick as could be, happy to have some more space (even if for a little while). Now though, I'm wondering if it's worth buying a new one. The only three things I can think that I use it for are:
  1. heating milk for hot cocoa (can do on stove)
  2. POPCORN! (can do on stove, in air popper (currently don't own one), or down at the apartment club-house)
  3. reheat dinner plates (rarely, I usually find they taste better when heated on stove or in toaster oven)
That's it. I actually have a friend that got rid of their microwave a couple of years ago... said it wasn't healthy to use it, etc. I wonder if she (Gabby?) is still microwave-free.

This microwave was a Freecycle item... and perfect for us, like new, clean, white, and a little thing (more counter space.) I've put out a request to Freecycle, but I'm not sure if I even want a free one.

What do you think? To Microwave or Not? This is the question.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Third Birthday Memories

So. Last week. Jack turns three. I’m feeling “guilty” for not giving him a “good party”. We’re in a strange new town (strange in more ways than one), with very few friends, all of them new. The mountain passes are full of snow and ice, so, even if our family was well (several recent hospitalizations) enough to brave them, the drive is dangerous.

Add to all that, “Dad” has a broken leg, and is still in a lot of pain from the surgery. So, we spend the day just “us”. It’s the first time since Frank was born that there hasn’t been at least family and a few close friends getting together for birthdays. Of course, everyone lived close (one to forty miles.)

I’m actually in the frozen food aisle the day before the birthday, on the phone with my Mom, trying to decide if I should buy a “store-bought” cake. I’ve NEVER done that for a family party before… except maybe two ice-cream cakes, which are kinda tough to make (for me), so, I justified them… but just a regular, plain-Jane cake from the bakery? Never! Anyway, I’m trying to decide this, with my Mom, on the phone, at the store, frozen food aisle, and I spontaneously start crying. I’m tired. Actually, I'm exhausted. And now I’m feeling guilty because Frank’s third birthday party (probably the one I’m most proud of putting together) was TOTALLY COOL… and right up a three-year-old’s alley.

Elmo’s World: Bubbles

That was the theme for the party. The invites and gift bags were handmade (by Frank and I). There were LOTS of bubbles – soap bubbles, balloon bubbles, packaging bubbles (for shipping / stomping on), bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! This thing was planned out! Ever seen “Elmo’s World” on Seasame Street? We EVEN had an appearances by an expert, "The Bubble Lady" (a school-teacher friend talking about bubbles when we wash our hands) and our own “Mr. Noodle” (aka Dad, dressed in the garb and acting goofy out the back sliding glass door “window”, where the kids were all sitting and could watch. Oh yeah, there was even face-painting.

Let me just say this… I had an agenda and time-line for the party! Who does that? For a party? For a three-year old? Me! That’s who! And given the chance, I would have done it again for Jack this year.

You may wonder why I’m telling you all this? All that time. All that effort. It was ONLY two years ago, so, I just ask Frank “do you remember you’re third birthday party?


What?!?! He has to remember, just HAS TO!

I prompt him… “you know, Elmo’s World?

He gets a goofy grin and nods.


What do you remember?

“Opening presents!”

Hmmpfh! All that time and planning and just two years later, all he can remember is presents? After the event, I was so proud because he said his favorite part of the day was “spending time with my friends and family”. What happened to that? What happened to our Elmo theme? Nothing. All he remembers is presents. :P

What do YOU remember about your third birthday?

Have you done a party for a child that you were especially proud of? Do they still remember it?

What do you think children remember about birthdays? What makes for good holiday celebrations? Traditions? Right now I’m thinking about Birthday’s. What are some of your favorite traditions from when you were young? Do you plan to or have you continued them with your kids?

I want to know. Tell me all about those special birthday celebrations. Let me hear it!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Long-Lost Friends

I’ve been looking up long-lost friends lately. So far, I’ve made contact with one (and she’d been thinking of me too); found the phone number for a second; and spoke to the sister of a third. One lady on my list, I hadn’t started looking for yet, just thinking about. Well, today, I received a letter from her!

Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I told you one of my “pure joys” was hearing from an old friend?
Such a treat!

I sat right down and wrote her a note, put some pictures of the boys in, and put the envelope by the door. It's nice too because she moved to Salt Lake City about two years ago, and in her letter, she invited us to stay in her guest room... which will make the overnight trips for shopping (we're three hours away - in good weather) a lot more affordable!

I guess this “Law of Attraction” stuff, there’s something to it!

Running Out of Carrots

What happens when you run out of food, a three year old is serving, and he likes the food?

How about, he gets all of the said food, sparing just one piece per other person, in this case, raw carrots. :D

And yes, those are HOMEMADE NOODLES on the plates, thank-you-very-much! And the pork chops that went alongside of them, and the gravy, and … mmmmmm, it was delicious!!! Even though I burned the original veggies (which is why we switched to raw carrots) while I was making the gravy and pasta and all of it.

Postscript: when I logged on to post this, I realized I forgot to post yesterday. It’s the first time in about three weeks I haven’t made a post. I.just.plain.forgot. I don’t even know what happened to make me forget. Guess it’s one of “those things”, we'll just know!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Grandmother’s Flower Gardens and Other Such Quilts

The first quilt I remember is the one my Grandmother made for me… yellow sashing and borders around 12 appliquéd zoo-animal blocks, two of each animal. My baby quilt.

The second quilt I remember is Grandmother’s Flower Garden that my Aunt’s had on the guest bed (which was located in the living room (they lived in the family room off the kitchen). I don’t remember anything else that was in the living room, just the bed in the corner with this quilt on it. Flowers with white borders and green paths. I use to trace my finger round and round the green paths, pretending to go in my gardens and tend my flowers. I spent a lot of time looking at the fabrics that made up each unique flower. I was maybe seven or eight.

By the time I was old enough to think to ask for the quilt, it was long gone. Unfortunately, lost over time and or use.

Fast forward a few years… actually, to more than a few, but we won’t go there! Last Christmas, this same Aunt sent me $50 cash to “spend on something (I) want”. I’ve been keeping it in an old salsa jar on my sewing work-station.

Last week, while I’m looking for a side-table for my hubby, I go into an Antique store. Turns out the owner is trying to clear out her stock in preparation for a truck of new merchandise. What’s more, there’s an antique quilt that could have been the one from my Aunt’s house… and she wants just $25 for it! SOLD!

I also left with these two quilt tops, which I think came from the same bag of scraps (same fabrics can be found throughout).

They were $15 each! Whoo-hoo! You know I love finding a great deal!

These two tops are both full size right now. If I add some borders, they’ll be even bigger. I plan to practice on the long-arm with them… the Rail Fence for Jack and the Four-Patches on Point for Frank.

(Postscript: All of these quilts are pictured on my Queen Size "guest" bed (another steal, once upon a time, the headboard and footboard cost me just $25!) The quilt-tops are just to the far-edge of the mattress (there is none hanging over the top or far side). The finished GM Flower Garden quilt is centered on the bed (the drop covers both sides and the foot of the bed). )

(Another Postscript: Notice all the quilts piled on the quilt rack by my side of the bed? We use them! Most of them are baby / lap quilts, so, I'm working on some bigger bed sized quilts to help keep us (and our guests) warm.)

So, thank you Auntie Lou for the lovely quilts! You're $50 gift went a long way!!! It is so fitting that I was able to purchase the replacement GM Flower Garden quilt with money from you. :D


Saturday, February 02, 2008

My First Sixth Anniversary

Today is my first sixth anniversary. I’ve been married twice before; once for five and a half years and the second time for three and a half years. If you’re wondering, yes, Thomas was a little concerned about the year and a half mark! ;)

They say “the third times’ a charm” and for me it definitely was!

There was a time when being married and divorced made me feel bad and like something of a failure. I remember “not wanting to be a statistic” but then realizing that whether I was married or divorced, I was still a part of a statistic, it just depended on which side of the fence you were looking at. Now, I think back on my first two marriages and I appreciate what I learned from them. I also know that Tom and my marriage wouldn’t be as good as it is if not for all my growth and learning from the first two.

I have dated four men in my life. I’ve married three of them. This is not what I feel to have been a healthy dating life. But now, finally, I seem to have “lucked out” in that I have a husband who treats me like a Queen. We get along very well, in good times and bad. We support each other when we are stressed out and also when we’re happy. Certainly we have issues, but I’ve come to realize that every healthy relationship has times that are rough… these help us to become a stronger couple and to understand things better – ourselves and each other.

Wow! I’ve gotten quite philosophical. I just wanted to let you know it is my anniversary and that it is special (though unusual) at six years. The only way to understand why it’s a milestone is to know a bit about my past. Now you do.

Something else about Tom and my marriage… we didn’t make a big deal about it. Actually, we eloped, just before sunrise, outdoors in the Sonoran Desert. After we eloped, Thomas went to breakfast with his Dad, and I went to my first day “on stage” at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. That night, I slept in a RV Trailer in the desert (behind the Renaissance Festival) with my brother, and Thomas slept at home, alone. Talk about red-neck! :P Life just “went on”.

Even though I had weddings for my first two marriages, I never had professional photographer at any of them. I did dig up a few pictures of Tom and I during the first Spring of our marriage, I thought you might enjoy seeing them:

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
May 2002

Lord and Lady Vader
Spring 2002

Oh. And I just stumbled on this picture of Tom without his helmet or sunglasses.

Vader Revealed
15 January 2006



100th Post! --- My 100 Pure Joys

Quite a while ago, a friend gave me a challenge to write a list of my 100 Pure Joys. Thinking it would be tough to do, I've been putting it off and dragging my feet.

A few weeks ago, I realized I was approaching my 100th Blog Post. I wanted to do something special for the 100th post, so, I quickly decided to list My 100 Pure Joys. I wrote the first half of the list very quickly, then added about 25 more. The last 25, I wrote up today. It was actually easy and FUN to do (thanks Viv!) Here then, is my list:

My 100 Pure Joys

1. bubbles

2. rainbows

3. Crayola – anything!

4. Painting a watercolor

5. baking

6. kneading bread

7. Jack’s giggle

8. Frank’s sparkling eyes

9. Tom’s gentle touch

10. Arizona

11. saguaros

12. California Poppies

13. quilts to snuggle under

14. designing a new project

15. warm feet

16. heated leather seats (in my van)

17. Grandad

18. Auntie

19. Mommy

20. Friends Calling Just when you need it.

21. Balloons

22. A surprise flower arrangement

23. a happy surprise “anything”

24. cards and letters in the mail

25. confetti

26. fairy dust

27. angels

28. fairies

29. butterflies

30. turtles

31. America

32. The Star Spangled Banner

33. I’m Proud to be An American – sung by Lee Greenwood

34. stained glass

35. organizing a party

36. writing a “to-do” list

37. checking everything off my list

38. writing

39. receiving a compliment

40. helping a stranger

41. helping anyone

42. finding a great “deal”

43. photography – analyzing great photos

44. photography – taking great photos

45. portraits

46. making my own books

47. finishing a quilt

48. sewing

49. quilting the quilt

50. art projects made with my kids

51. playing a game (card, board, etc)

52. The Internet

53. The Library

54. Cell Phones

55. eMail

56. blogs

57. warm sweaters

58. Live performances

59. Theater

60. Renaissance Festivals

61. Thesauruses

62. The smell of paper in an old book.

63. A crackling, warm fire.

64. Writing

65. A new blank journal.

66. Quilt Shows

67. Riding A Horse

68. Listening to “our song” with my hubby.

69. Giving a homemade gift.


71. Receiving a homemade gift.

72. Superman ;D

73. Strawberry Shortcake

74. The feel of fabric in my hands, especially as I feed it through a sewing machine.

75. Accomplishing a goal

76. glitter

77. fresh flowers

78. African Daisys

79. desert cacti blooms

80. designing a quilt

81. wearing a little “sparkle”

82. creating something out of my imagination

83. Quilting on a Long-Arm Machine

84. soft dirt in a garden

85. finding an earthworm in the dirt

86. amazing sunrises and sunsets

87. yoga

88. getting a phone call from someone I haven’t heard from in a while

89. being the recipient of a massage

90. pedicures

91. motivating a group to do something

92. publishing / formatting / creating a document / form / newsletter

93. setting up a party

94. pictures on display

95. sharing knowledge / teaching

96. mastering a new skill

97. discovering a continuity error (in a movie / TV program / book)

98. alphabetizing, anything

99. singing “High Hopes”

100. saying “Sfupercalifragilisticexpialidocious”

So, perhaps you have learned a little something about my silly-ol' nature from this list.