Saturday, December 22, 2007

My favorite Christmas ornament and a new postcard

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament?

When the kids were small, we set out to find the perfect tree topper. We wanted an angel, but the only ones we found had blinky lights, or were just plain unsuitable. What we did find was a beautiful ballerina. Out comes the craft felt and some pearl beads and hot glue, and voila! An angel is born. (Can angels be born?) Our angel got her wings and lights upon our treetop each year thanks to twisty ties.

I had to "hang" her so I could get a picture, I'm w-a-y short!

When I was a little, my brother made a Santa that I just fell in love with. He used brown lunch bags stuffed with cotton. It's long gone now of course, but someday I'll get out a brown sack and try to replicate it.

There was ONE clear green bulb on our tree. As a child, I would lay just under the branches and gaze at that bulb. It was darn 'near a miracle, or so I thought. So clear and bright.

When looking out of our country house's window, 'bout the age of 4..I remember I could see a radio tower that had a blinking beacon. At Christmas, I was just SURE that was Santa and Rudolf. Ah, sweet innocence.

This is a postcard I did today to send to my in-laws. Hope they like it. Yeah, I know, it won't get there on time. I don't do perfection well.

Dh and I are planning to go to the Desert Museum and wander around on Christmas Day. Spend the day with each other, doing what we like to do best-just hang out together.

Please accept my dearest "Merry Christmas" wish, Happy New Year too!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Family is here!

We've begun the Christmas season with the visit from my dd#2. Unfortunately, I don't get days off from work so we try to make the best of our weekends and weekday evenings together. Next year I'll have seniority and will have vacation rights!

Sunday we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Who knew?! I *ahem* strongly dislike museums, I was prepared for the worst.

My goodness, it was WONDERFUL! Even old dogs CAN be taught new tricks. Don't prejudge for heavens sake.

Look at this big kitty. Hmmm, sorry, maybe a mountain lion? I don't think it's the ocelot, they aren't polka-dotty. They had a WHOLE ZOO. I was so pleasantly surprised.

And here is a photo taken from inside the Aviary. Look at the color of this hummingbird! These guys were buzzing ALL over, and dive-bombing to boot. I just have a cheap-o camera, so you know I was close!

Here's the official plaque, for those who are curious, lol.

We had a wonderful time, we'll definately go back. Loved it SO much we bought an annual membership. Yes, I do adapt well to change!

Please visit this museum if you're ever near Tucson, just a stone's throw from I-10.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

I'm a little slower than most in the sewing room...

I'm a little less-confident than many of my blog-sewing friends...

But I come skidding into the room with a Part 1 finish in Tonya's Winter Class!

I will make 3 or 4 of these "signs" and "mount" them on a green (maybe candy-striped) pole. I plan to piece the background free-style. I have two other signs to the flimsy-stage but it's slow-going considering the schedule I'm keeping of late.

Stay tuned, and don't give-up on me. I don't post too often, but I sure "think" about it!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting knee-deep AGAIN!

"Lazygal" Tonya is holding another class, her "Winter Class", and is willing to provide her quilting expertise, love, and advice(including lots of hand-holding), for free. WOO-HOO!
I've gotten a great idea using her tutorial for free-pieced letters, come on over and take a look!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

WIP & Completions!!!

I know you are tired of hearing about how many hours I work and how much I am not getting done. I decided to stop whining, aren't you glad? I gathered my recent finishes, to post on my blog, and realized that I HAVE been getting things accomplished.

I have 17 blocks of my "Realitively Neutral" quilt done. They are paper-pieced and I get about one done each weekend. This will be for my bed. MY BED, can you believe it? Of course I'll need to make a new dust ruffle and make ginormous to fit our CA King bed. Maybe by next "winter" it will be completed. I'm thinking seriously about quilting it with Baptist Fans, what do you think?
Next is the sweater I'm working on. My first attempt at a sweater, and my first attempt with circular needles. It's going ok, I'm just finishing my first skein of yarn, a worsted wool, Lion Brand, in the shade of "mushroom". I literally freeze at work so this will be appreciated. The circulars are a bit freaky, and one has come apart twice despite gluing with gorilla glue. Any other suggestions? I like the bamboo, it's more friendly on my aching hands!
I hadn't shown these before, I call these my "Arizona Socks". The color reminds me of our beautiful sunsets. They are SO comfy! The yarn is Blue Moon, sockweight.

The next pair was my first attempt at changing colors. Um, ok, probably won't do that again, lol. I MADE myself finish these last week before I could start on the sweater. I still have things to spruce up on them, ends to weave, etc., and they've not been washed or blocked. Wonder where I could get some of those sock forms, any ideas?

And for my attempt at humor..."Does this cabinet make my butt look big?" or "Can you see me now?" Mr. Lizard trying to hide today when the big humans disturbed his sun bath. If you click on the pictures you may see his lovely coloring. They don't hurt or bite..just look scarey!

Oh, and I'm sorry about the whining, you know how the kids are when they are tired? Doesn't change just cuz you get OLD.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

PIF Received!!

A belated thanks to Leanne from The Stitching Post for her wonderful Pay It Forward "present". Look at this wonderful pin cushion and thread basket that she made for me! She even crocheted a nest to help the bird stay upright, it is SO cute.

I have pressed my gift into heavy service while making the latest Halloween costume, the bird holds the pins nice and upright, and the thread basket is very handy.

I'm very lucky to have received my PIF from Leanne, and am wondering, wondering WHAT I'll do for my folks! Mine will have to wait until after the holidays I'm guessing, the end of overtime and 10-hour days is nowhere in sight.

Have you all done yours? Got any left-over ideas? I'm in need, lol.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reliving a Childhood Memory

I l-o-v-e making my children's Halloween costumes. Still.

The photo above was marked 10/85 making my oldest 3-1/2 and my then youngest 10 mo. My youngest was sporting a panel that was to be a Trick-or-Treat bag. She's wearing her fuzzy-footed sleeper to keep warm during those cold Ohio Autumn nights.

My oldest was a Smurf, they were all the rage then. She adored Smurfs. Had many stuffed toys depicting Smurfs and collected the little rubber figures and carried them everywhere (including the bathtub!).

I didn't have a pattern but had taken Stretch-n-Sew classes. I used a pants pattern to create white fake-fur pants that continued to flaps which covered her shoes. I used a SnS pattern to make the blue turtleneck and made a white fur hat to boot. (Complete with a jingle bell because I just couldn't resist.)

Oh goodness. My oldest is now 25 and wants Momma to make another costume. Mind you, she lives in Orlando and doesn't own a tape measure. "How big?" "Dunno, I'm skinny." She doesn't buy alot of clothes and asking her what size is just silly. I phoned her 2 younger sisters to get opinions.

This is what we're going for this time...Papa Smurf!

Same thing, this time in red. WOW! It's bright to sew on! And can you say messy? I bought a flannel pants pattern and made the pants (complete with tail!) and hat...hope my kiddo likes it!

Yeah, I know. The tail is obscene. Please remember this is the BACK of the costume. OH! I hope they have a cold snap in Orlando, she's gonna roast in fake-fur, hahahahaha! I left the shirt to her this time, that and the beard. Dh will take it to the Post Office first thing in the morning, party is next Saturday night.
Gotta love it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

A rare look at moi, look fast, it won't last long, lol.

Today we celebrate our 3rd Anniversary.

Dh proposed before we met. Huh?

He was in CA and I was in Ohio, and we met BECAUSE of the internet. How's that for justification? We were involved with a high school alumni bulletin board, and were both "on staff".

We began instant messaging, then phoning, pretty soon we agreed to meet. It was love at "Hello."

We lived apart the first 6 months of our marriage while I settled things in the midwest. It was what we needed to do to make it work. And it did. And it was hard work.

I moved to CA and found a great job for a small community television station while he finished up working for a medical device company. We then moved to AZ to begin a home together of our own.

Be still my heart. Looking at him still gives me butterflies.

Life is good. Love is better. I am truely happy.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Exploring...Like Columbus?

In "honor" of Columbus, we went exploring. Well, sort of. (all photos "clickable")

We have a State Park pass this year, and want to explore the various campgrounds - but time is scarce as hen's teeth. Tomorrow, we observe Columbus Day, which allowed us to take a mini-vacation to Picacho Peak State Park. It's just a stone's throw away from home.

We are accustomed to camping in dense redwood forests back in California, or woods with lakes back in Ohio. Here at Picacho, the largest things are the Saguaro Cacti with a small Palo Verde tree stuck here and there. Luckily, many sites have small structures over the picnic table where we chased the shade with our lawn chairs.

So the pic above was our campsite, our humble abode in the center. The weather was AWESOME, in the 80's. Cool nights made me wishing I had more than my thin hooded sweatshirt. Next week it will be back in the 90's for sure, but the break was appreciated, and well-timed.

I am "cacti crazy". My dd#3 said she was too, "But then she got over it." I am fascinated by the repetition and form, color, size...all so yummy. Gimme TEXTURE! Oh, and it's a definate, "Look-but-don't touch" activity. This photo is definately worth clicking on!

This is what happens when they get old and tired. It takes anywhere from 75 to 100 years for a saguaro to grow an arm. They often live 150 years, and are our state's symbol of sort, if not even officially! Even in death, there is life, look above this old tired one..and you see a new baby.
Here is another, that's been sitting longer than the one above. In the one above, the outer coating is still there. Here, it's reedy skeleton remains. You can see termite "glue" at the break, it's feeding yet another sector of our world's population!

Just how long can garbage survive? Figure pop-top cans became popular in the 60's, probably dominating the industry by the 70's. If I wasn't so scared of what would have been IN this can I would have taken it back to the garbage myself. You've got to be really careful out here because of scorpions, tarantulas, etc.
Thanks for coming along on my exploration, what did you do this weekend?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Flashback - Happy Birthday Wish(es)

Happy Birthday to 2 important people in my life. My *ahem* younger sister turns 43 today. Happy Birthday baby sister, love you.

As tradition will have it, I will call her and sing Happy Birthday. Just something silly we all do for(or is that "to") each other. I would imagine it's rather grueling to sit and listen to my warbling on the other end of the line, lol.

The second birthday is of my childhood friend Lee. Lee and I attended "Junior High" (as it was called back-in-the-day!) together, 7-9th grade. I've moved 20 or so times since then (and 4 times before then!), but we managed to stay in touch, albeit briefly, over the years. Christmas cards almost every year and I "almost" never fail to send her a birthday card. Does she need to know that since it's my baby sister's same b'day that it's impossible for me to forget? lol

Lee was a voracious reader in school. She read all those big, fat books. I read the smaller ones, and nearly not as many. Lee always sat behind me in classes, alphabetically, her name was always right behind mine. I was the Ba, she the Bu. No comment. She was fond of a tweed jumper, a navy blouse, navy opaques and hushpuppy tie-ups. She had a very wonderful family, and parents I adored, I'd stop on the way to school to pick her up, as we continued to walk the 2 blocks to school. Her father loved to tease, and I always knew that's what father's were supposed to be like. Her huge family ate at a long table, and always had laughter and love just briming. I was struggling with family issues at that time, and her place just gave me a huge sense of normalcy. We were in band together, hung around with the same few friends and chose the same pattern for our Spring Formal dress (by mistake!). We would sing in the hallway at school and had chosen Winnie The Pooh nicknames for our close group. I have no idea who was who, sorry. We were in the Flint Junior Symphony together. We'd skate on her frozen back yard ice rink...w0nderful memories.

My mouth got me in trouble more than once, can you imagine I got in trouble for talking? Humpf! Once while chatting to Lee, Mr. Mobley grabbed me and my desk (in one piece) and slid me out into the hall so he could conduct his class. I cried. I was mortified. I likely ever uttered a word in his class again. That's my style.

She's still my best friend, in my mind. She must be a wonderful mother and wife. I could imagine myself sharing many a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, if we were neighbors.

Love you Lee, wherever you are. Thanks for being a HUGE part of my life.

Aren't flashbacks fun? *sigh*

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"I Love The Web"

Ok. So I've been busy. Hrmmmm. Sorry about not blogging.

Drifting...Oh yeah, it's Happy Halloween month! It's hard for a body to think about Fall when it's still pretty darned hot here in the desert. My kids are telling me that the leaves are falling at their home and the weather is "perfect". Beauty in the eye of the beholder babe. I'm lovin' it here! We went out to eat Sushi al fresco last night in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Breathtaking view and great eats. (No, I don't do r-a-w. Are you kidding? I used to be in the Seafood business!)

Focus...It's taken me 3 weeks to assemble this little goody. I usually only work on it for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons, I'm still on 10-hour days at work. My spider got a little bored when I was machine quilting and the web arches got a little flat. Whatever. I love it. It's for my cubicle at work. Something for ME.ME.ME. finally.

I also should have some socks to show soon, I am a "bus knitter". Yes, I knit in public. You should hear some of the comments. "Do you have 3 heads?" No, they didn't ask that, but they act equally as mystified, "Are you knitting a SOCK?" Another guy said, "Wow, that's a cool thing to do!" Just cracks me up. I knit to keep my hands busy. If I didn't knit, I'd fall asleep on the 25 minute ride home, and I snore like no other. Most folks are really fastinated, and love to watch, makes me a bit nervous! Anyway, this is my third pair, and NOT my last. I do have a sweater planned for my next project, and I've never tried that either. I promised myself I would not start it until I finished this sock. I often wish I wasn't so stubborned.

That's all from me here. I've been keeping up with everyone else's blogs and commenting when the mood strikes. I love all that you're working on, so forge ahead!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yes, YOU make me smile!

From the author of the award:The thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading his/her blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell and I am grateful every day for each person whom I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement.

I've been nominated by Atet for the "You Make Me Smile" Award.

Most of the time I wince when I see these awards floating around, yet blissful in my anonymity, and not required to further nominate others.

This was totally different. This was something I could get my head around. Thank you Atet.

I was once described by my boss to his friend (who can never keep a secret!) that I was a "simple girl and hard worker." Um yeah, that pretty much says it all. I don't go for fancy or complicated, and I love to work hard. My family is the most important thing to me, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't talk (or text) (or blog message) one of my grown-up kids who live thousands of miles from me. And btw, my dh IS my life, my shining star, my *sigh*.

I am pleased to be awarded, and I've got the perfect choice for the person I wish to nominate in turn. Have you ever read Dorothy's blog? Does she know you read her blog? Have you left her a comment? I know she'd be pleased if you left her a little luv. Does she know I read her blog at 4:30am in the morning? Does she know she is the first blog I read every morning? Tongue-in-cheek humor, and boy does she get cheeky sometimes, lol. Does she know I followed her from and was tickled as punch to be able to read her blog?

Dorothy makes me smile. and smile some more. Thank you Dorothy. Go forth and pass the smile, I hereby award you the "You Make Me Smile" Award.

And if you would also like to accept this award, please do so unselfishly. You deserve it! Oh come on, at least 9 of you!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Fare

Does your Sunday include family and friends? Mine usually does. Yet, not a family member lives within 300 miles and friends exist "at work".

So how do we "do it"? Online baby!

Above is pictured the Yahoo game of Literati(almost exactly like Scrabble), being played by dd#2 and I this morning. Her day on EST is well underway, my day in PST is just beginning. We chat and play, sometimes more than one game..but still a way to communicate. Another friend "way up there in Canada", played 3 games last night. Sometimes if we're lucky, the 3 of us play together. Imagine being lucky enough to gather AZ, OH and Canada at one table! OH! And the price is right - FREE.

So while we play, I got some knitting done, dh worked on a computer at the other end of the sofa (he's building some computer's software on a 3rd laptop..dunno) and next in line is some sewing I do believe!

Have a wonderful day, and figure out how to reach out and gather those family members way or another!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beep Beep ! !

Sometimes I'm just boring! So I've left out the boring days...but it's never boring around this house! While I was away at work yesterday, dh was having a visit with a Road Runner.

Yes, this is the same creature they have portrayed for the Road Runner cartoon. Dh said he was about as big as a chicken. I guess the bucket is about 16" high.

Then this morning, most of the neighborhood was awakened(?) by a HUGE coyote in the wash, barking his fool head off. He sounded so comical with a howl at the end of each barking spaz. Don't know what he was fussing about, maybe he was alerting his pack that, "Denny's was open 24 hours, come and get it!" Even more comical tho were the half dressed, mussed hair folks who were popping their head up over their concrete wall (that edges the wash). I felt like I wanted to play "Wack-a-mole". OK, I was still in my nightie and dh in his sleeping shorts, lol...I was just as bad.

We are still having mostly 100F (38C) degree days but the nights are cooling into the mid-70'sF (22C). I am SO looking foward to some cooler weather. I'm headed out today to find some wool/acryllic blend yarn to begin my first sweater. By the time I finish (don't put money on it) cooler weather will be here. I'm the eternal optimist. I'm almost finished with my third pair of socks and I PROMISE not to start the sweater until the socks are finished. PROMISE.

Dh scored a treasure trove of bamboo knitting needles on ebay last week for me. He found complete sets of both 24" and 16" circulars and complete sets of both 6" and 5" dpns for the price of just a few pair. With one pair ranging around $9, I got them all for about $2. Nice score and a patient dh, he was in 4 separate auctions that all had those rapid flurries at the end. I don't have the patience for them, nor do I "get it".

I've been working 10 hour days again on a special project. It's almost 1/2 done but I think the boss has some more "ideas". I'm anxious to have a quiet weekend at home, how about you?

I've also been squeezing some Sunday afternoon sewing, more on that later, when it actually looks like something!


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Kate & Friends by Christine Thresh

These are two of Kate's closest friends. Charming couple, eh? It's hubby and I! I was lucky enough to be a "Pattern Tester" for Christine Thresh. I completed mine first, goodness...and I that boring? It's pretty true to form tho, I'm just a simple gal.

Hubby picked out his clothing fabrics, ever the style guy. His clothing always matches and his shoes match his belt *sigh*.

Christine's pattern was SO accurate, it went straight from testing to publication. You can find her pattern order page here , I've ordered effortlessly from her before using PayPal.

I loved doll dressing as a kid, was it McCall's Magazine? Anywho, check out her page, you can see the endless possiblities for this pattern.

I plan to make our blocks into a wall-hanging to celebrate our third anniversary!

I loved being a pattern tester, if you ever have the chance, GO FOR IT! I hope I get another opportunity.
Have a wonderful weekend, celebrate like it's a holiday, even it's not where you live! I've been thrown back into the Lion's Den and have been tapped to do a "special project" which includes another month of overtime. Geez Louis, lol.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good Thoughts - a request

My dd#2 had a very scarey day yesterday.

Please click on the link and go over to Erika's page, she's posted a request. She and Aidan need a little love today.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Look at what I won!

In June, I won these lovely Quilt Hangers with my entry to Niki's Blog:

Sadly, I have NO quilt to hang with them, but they are waiting in the wings. I have a large area over my fireplace in the great room...the pattern all picked out...and a quilt in the fabric gathering stage! WOO-HOO!

I didn't post this timely, and I apologize to Niki. We all know what happened to my June/July year-end close and new job, WHEW, I'm glad that won't happen for another few months (although, like a true nerd, I loved the excitement!)

Please take a moment to stop by her blog and give her a "Howdy". She is a great detective and finds lots of free pattern sites, and posts lots of goodies! She's also has lots of nice things to offer in her "shop" too, the link is on the sidebar of her blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Passing on the "Creative Gene"

I mentioned in a previous post that my middle daughter had been bitten by the "Postcard Bug" and had created a card for her college friend. Below are her #2 and #3 cards. The one on the left was for the family she babysits for and the one on the right is for another friend's birthday.

My photo was a little blurry, please don't attempt to adjust your set. Interestingly, she did all her work on the background and then fused it together. I go about it the other way, fuse the layers together and keep adding. How about you? She had beads on the candle flames and sequins and beads as the cake decorations, they all travelled well thru the mail and were received in great shape. Good job daughter! (I've made ONE, lol.)

Now the next photo requires a bit of a story. When my youngest daughter was coming to our Sister's Gathering at the beginning of the month, she was flying on stand-by. She got hung-up in Dallas and had to search out the USO for assistance. They put all soldiers up in the terminal, occupying a bit of one gate area, with cots and overnight packets. My daughter was so thankful, as soon as she arrived she was rooting around in my sewing studio and came up with a UFO. (Imagine that!) These blocks and medallion were from 1999 when our "guild" called "Serial Quilters" gathered 40 quilters together, for the weekend, for "Ohio '99" in a hotel meeting room. The 40 quilters gifted the organizers with medallions and coordinating blocks according to our tastes. daughter zipped them together into a top and completed it in a matter of 3 days, layer, sandwiched and bound. huh!
Daughter delivered it to the Dallas USO on her way home, along with 4 covered pillow forms that she made slips for.
My youngest stayed after Sister's for four days. The night before she left I went to bed at 9pm and I left her reading. When I awoke the next morning and that crazy kid had put together a small lap quilt for herself from a charm pack she had gone shopping for while visiting. Um..pieced, layered, quilted, bound. She had stayed up until 3am. Ok, so it takes me years to finish something. Can I be 20 again?
Obviously you have to be 20 to look this good when you get woken up at 6am for a good-bye kiss!
Loves my girls!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Names Changed to Protect the Innocent

Sisters 2007

Each year our family gets together as a Family Preservation thing. We live all across the USA, 2500 miles apart at some points. Ohio, California, Arizona and Texas were represented this year.

This year it was my turn to host our gathering here in the western desert. Not everyone is present, my oldest daughter was busy with work, my niece's kid's were busy and a couple of husbands were otherwise occupied. Nephew and family were away on a golf outing.

It was my idea to get everyone together for an old timey picture, a glimpse of what it could have been like back in the day. Ladies had a choice of "Saloon Gal" or "Prairie Gal" and the guys were all gun slingers.

The 3 "original Sisters" are in positions 2, 6 & 9 if you count left to right. Yeah, I'm #2 and in the middle of the birth order, lol. My handsome husband is on my right. My youngest is #3, my middle daughter is #7. The 3 kids belong to my younger sister, the rifle toting Mama in the middle. My oldest sister's daughter is in position #5. (I wonder why both of my single daughters have guns!?)

After our photo shoot we ate at the cowboy restaurant that is part of the western town theme. The kids had neck-ties which were supposed to cut off by the bad guys in the restaurant because it's not your fancy-eatin' kind of place. Instead the bad guys had them each write on their ties, "I'm with Stupid" and an arrow pointing at each other.

We had a great weekend, the kids swam in the pool and hiked in the washes, the adults sat around and played "Catch Phrase" and the dice game called "Right, Left, Center". Hubby came out $45 to the good, I broke even.

Overtime is officially OVER, company is gone...and I'm happily anticipating some good sewing time. I have news to post about my 2 girls and their sewing, they put their mother to shame! Blog fodder for the next few days.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My daughter's first Fabric Postcard!!!

My dd#2 is visiting for 10 days from Ohio. We haven't seen each other in a YEAR! Yes, I know that's hard to believe, but hardly a day goes by without speaking by phone or playing a game of Literati together online.

Since I'm on heavy overtime (YEAH...the end is in site, next Friday is our done-date), dd has been entertaining herself sufficiently. Dh has really stepped up too (as a new stepfather), taking her to the driving range, and to visit the Sahauro National Park.

I made my first fabric postcard about a month ago, and dd#2 saw it. SHE'S HOOKED. She spent literally ALL day in my sewing studio, creating! OMG, I'm in awe. She made an apron in 7th grade, but that was the only time she ever has sewn. (edit: #3 made the apron, #2 made a Smiley Faced pillow, lol-oops!). ANYWAY, She only asked a few questions, and I'm totally impressed. Please go take a look and leave a note of encouragement if you have a moment, Erika's blog.

dd#3 arrives next Thursday, we have our annual Sister's Reunion next weekend. I hear she's interested in purchasing a sewing machine, could I possibly be lucky enough to have cultured TWO artists? One can only hope!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cacti Crazy

Only logged 8.75 hours of overtime last week, THAT'S a good sign. Next week we're scheduled to work both Saturday and I am hoping last week's scheduled 13.5 turning into 8.75 was a good sign for the future. That makes sense, right? August 3 at 5pm is our drop-dead date/time so I may be insentia until then. I do get my reading in during the early hours howsomever.

I passed out yesterday afternoon after work, didn't even hear the phone when it rang at 6pm. That's tired.

Today I reintroduced myself to my lovely Janome. Oh Janome, my name is Fitzy, don't you remember me? After a briefing, we were in good stead.

I have family visiting August 3-6 and I am a nervous Nelly. I have an inferiority complex I guess, I never feel like I can measure up to their expectations.

So we needed new kitchen towels. We priced them at Bed, Bath & Beyond, the decorated ones were hugely expensive, but I WANTED decorated ones, what's a gal gonna do? Make what you want.

Ok, they aren't great, but they're kitchen towels for goodness sake. They depict what I love about Arizona. They'll get dirty and stained, and cost me $2 each. And I love them. That's all that matters!

The alarm rings at 4:00am, better start thinking now about what to pack for lunch, I'm not exactly at the top of my game at that hour.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The dinner that almost was

June 30th was our fiscal year close at the County Offices. I hired into the Finance Department on June 19, WHAT WAS I THINKING?? lol The HR person enticed me by telling me that all county employees hired by the 24th were getting a 5% raise, so I caved and started right away.

The month of July is our forgiveness period while we get all invoices loaded into the system to be paid, and mandatory overtime. This last week I started 45 minutes before normal time and stayed 2 hours after quitting time, and worked 6.5 on Saturday. It was a l-o-n-g week, to get progressively longer as the days go by.

I ride the express bus to and from work. Since I am a county employee, I get a break of a $10 monthly pass. Can't buy 1/2 a tank of gas for one WEEK at that rate. I actually love it. It's a great way to relax if you ask me. Unfortunately, the last bus leaves downtown at 5:40pm, and I need to work until 7.

I had arranged to ride most of the way home with a co-worker, when working late, and did so Monday. Tuesday when we tried to leave, her car wouldn't start and we had to wait for more than an hour for the tow.

My dh came to town and rescued the two of us and we dropped her off at a family member's house. Needless to say, dh is worried about the reliability of my friend's car and is more than happy to pick me up in the evenings now.

Anywho, Tuesday, we were starving by the time the tow arrived and stopped on the way home for fast food at 8pm (Ugh!). We ate at the restaurant. We got home about 8:30 and this is what I find:

Dinner completely prepared, table set with all the newly unpacked Blue Willow and Fostoria Crystal that I've inherited, silverware was polished, crystal candle holders filled and napkins cleverly arranged.

He uttered not one word while we scarfed our burgers. He never complained one iota. I cried.

It's wonderful to be loved and appreciated and SURPRISED.

Oh yeah, he's a keeper.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My 5 things MeMe

Gee thanks NORMA, lol.

My 5 things MeMe:

5 things to do before I die
Get down to a healthy weight AND STAY THERE
Have self-confidence
Make a quilt for MYSELF
Not be a burden to my childeren
Keep travelling and exploring

5 things I can do
Be a good person
Give you my advice
Enjoy the rest of my life with my dear husband
Read books like no other
Do whatever it takes to get whatever it is DONE

5 things I cannot do (and refuse to for the most part!)
Discuss politics
Discuss religion
Tell a joke
Remember a plot
Understand T accounting

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex
Sincere smile
Good grooming
Smiling eyes

5 celeb crushes
Kurt Russell
Tom SelleckUm…dunno who else, I'm so over the "crush" age, lol.

I still owe Tonya a Meme, and I owe Niki a post of the awesome quilt hangers I won on her blog. I owe Erika a post about a gift I received from her, and I can't wait to show you my surprise my dh had for me Tuesday evening. Gosh, working overtime is getting my a** in a sling!

Oh and Erika, I tag YOU!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Pass It Forward (Part Two)

OK, I was desperate to be gifted by Dorothy, lol. So I'm opening it up to the next three.

So, from Dorothy's blog...

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Post a comment, and if you're shameless too, post this on YOUR blog!

Just call me crazy! (It's really no surprise!)

WHO wants to play???

Pass It Forward

This what I found on Leanne's blog, I'm playing, will you?

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So....comment already, this is as close to a contest as I'll ever get, lol. Then put that lil blurb on yours and play along. (When you do, send me your snail mail address!)

I'm so excited!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Flashback - A little bit o' me

1960 - Pleasant Lake, Michigan - 3 yrs.

My oldest sister was probably closer to being my mother than I'll ever fully understand. She always "says" that I was "her baby". She was 10 when I was born and I guess her mothering instincts kicked in early. I am sure it is she who took the picture, and made the swing stayed in motion. If you'll look closely, you'll see my brother in the background playing catch with himself, lol, and a favorite tabby passing by.

In my memories, this is my "favorite" house. Maybe just because it was my first memory. Painted a Williamsburg Blue color, a cinder driveway, with great red barn and out-buildings. Just a rental, as all childhood houses I lived in.

My sister would bike us to the lake, riding me, for a mile or so, in the wire basket on the front. Wonder if her teenage friends thought it was odd she was stuck with her kid sister. She begged to take me along tho, it was just natural for her.

Guess it's not surprising that when my parents divorced that I lived with her during my 3 years of high school. I was a bigger baby by then, but still "her baby".

My sisters don't read blogs, and barely use the computer, but I need to figure out how to tell my sister thank you for her unselfish unconditional love and care. She turns 60 this year, can you help me think of a way? (Yes, she already has a quilt!)

And btw, start doing these Friday Flashbacks! It's a great way to revive (and record) a few dusty old memories.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"But it's a dry heat!"

The 4th of July here certainly has the ! HOT ! part, lol. It was predicted to get to 115F, but thankfully it always seems to fall short a few degrees. No, I'm not complaining, Norma, Leah, Niki, etc., probably had higher temps(?).

We went for an early swim and did as much yard work as the temps allowed then kicked back with a second pot of coffee. Coffee and english muffins with fresh pineapple poolside for breakfast and an early lunch at IHOP. Boy, we have an exciting life, no?

I'm trying to kick back and relax, I have a busy month of July with my new job. Hiring into the Finance Dept. of our County was a brave move, but I'm questioning my sanity because we're at year-end...ouch. Except this Saturday, I work each Saturday this month, and even a Sunday too for good measure. I will be one tuckered gal by month-end.

I'm up to 14 blocks on my neutral log cabin blocks. I know it's going slow, but that's to be expected, I have NO life right now!

We'll skip the fireworks tonight, I have to be up at 4:00 each morning, so my bedtime is right about BOOM time! Hope you're enjoying your holiday, I sure have!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Flashback - What was he thinking?

Have you ever had the neighbor from Hell?

Did you let him get your goat?

ba-ba-bad neighbor.

In 2005 I moved from the midwest to CA after marrying my high school sweetie. Well sorta. (Another story, another day maybe.) We actually married in 2004 but I had to recondition and sell my condo and a daughter needed to graduate before moving. Very hysterically complicated, but all worked out ok, but it wasn't so fun being married and living 2500 miles apart for the first 6 mo., lol.

Anyway, back to the silly picture. When it became obvious to my neighbor that I was moving, he began to display some VERY strange behavior. I don't know if alzheimer's begins to display this way or not, but he was very odd with his actions.

His sitting room (a bedroom he used for television and reading, etc.) windows faced the parking lot, and was directly in front of where I would park. That room was along side the long wall that connected with my condo. (His 2 sitting windows on the left, my 2 kitchen windows on the right behind the tree). He had mini-blinds on those 2 windows and in the evening he would turn on a bright stand-up lamp, place it on the far side of the room, and proceed to sit on the sofa in his white cotton undershirt and boxers. Oh..did I forget to mention his outfit included the lampshade, ON HIS HEAD, the entire evening as he sat to watch TV (which was also blaring because his hearing was poor). It would be very dark outside, his miniblinds drawn at 45-degree angles (opposite of course) by pulling only one string of the system, and sit in all his glory for friends, visitors and prospective buyers to see. He left the blinds like this all day while I had it for sale. Now go back and click on that last pictures to get a load of those blinds, you can't see it if you don't click, lol.

Normally, Silly Billy, was a fastidious guy. His flowers were the talk, his unit was stunning. He'd redone the entire place, and it was gorgeous.

What could possibly have been his motivation?

1) He maybe thought the next neighbor could be worse than I was?

2) He wanted to pull his property value down? Hadn't he recently tried to sell?

3) He really didn't want me to move? Before he got goofy I had made applesauce from the apples from his tree for him...baked him cookies...shared veggies from my garden.

I had to contact the HOA who sent him a stern letter about "being a good neighbor" and most of the silliness stopped for a bit.

This picture was taken as my movers were packing the moving van, and the last day we day we saw Bill.

Poor Silly Billy, I wish him all the luck, he was so sick. You have to pity a man who tries to make the world as grumpy-at-heart, just to make himself feel better.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mentalpause & the Trainwreck of Emotions

My dh and I went to Cracker Barrel this Sunday morning when we discovered we were out of milk. (Like we need an excuse to go out?)

My "baby" used to work at Cracker Barrel and donned her cute little 3 star apron (maybe 4?) and off she'd scamper to serve the weary and hungry travellers. Don't roll your eyes, she was cute. Even if her freshly laundered shirt still smelled like the restaurant, lol. She is a workhorse, and has made everyone proud with her work ethic.

This is a picture of my youngest last fall just after completing Army Basic Training. (She posts her pic on My I shouldn't get fussed at...right?) I may have shared it before, it's one of my favorites.

Today at Cracker Barrel, a boatload of Reservists piled into a table that were in clear view. Another customer got out of his seat and patted the shoulder of one of the soldiers and said, "Good job." I had to change seats with dh, my goodness, I miss my kidlets. Something about seeing those guys in uniform just tugs at my heart. I know she's a Reservist, I know she wears the uniform proudly and is willing to serve at a moment's notice. I've yet to see her in this uniform tho, and seeing these guys just makes it so much more profound for me. I tear up every dang time I see them. Airports are bad too, lol.

So I changed seats, and wouldn't you know it, another table was seated in my view, lol. I sucked it up, our table only had so many sides!

I'll get to see 2 of my 3 girls in late July. My 2 sisters and I gather together every summer to regain our touch of family. My sister's daughter and my daughters join us whenever possible. I make a point to involve all family members for a family reunion when it's my turn to host. I get to see the extended family children so seldom this is my golden opportunity.

My 3 girls live 2000+ miles from me. Work and money keep us apart far too long. We communicate often and share, "I love you" on the phone...but my goodness, it's been WAY long this time!

Hey girls, "COME ON DOWN".

I'm this girl's "Mamma Llama", I have no idea how I got this name, but I kinda like it! *vbg* I'll just presume it's 'cuz I'm warm and fuzzy, and leave it at that, lol.

Oh, and #2? She'll be next in the spotlight. 8^)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I survived!!!

No, it really wasn't that bad. I actually had a good day...I think, lol.

My job is in the AP Section of the Finance & Risk Department of our County. I have never worked for the government, so this is "an experience". I have "my own" cubicle and a fairly quiet office of 5 others. The end of fiscal is this month, and I was told pre-employment that if chosen, I would be working all Saturdays of July (but I do get overtime!). I bit off a big nut, huh! Might as well see how ugly it gets, then enjoy the quieter time.

I was able to "be green" and take the Express bus to town, I get a pass for the entire month for $10. It's about 15 miles one way and you do have to pay for parking, so this is a win-win situation I dare say! The bluework goes with me in the morning for sure. I missed it at lunchtime, the first day of work lunch is always terribly akward.

Thank you for all your well wishes. My mouth is healing, I stayed pretty much "on" my ibuprophen which worked like a charm. Good thing they didn't do a specimin test, I have ALOT of drugs in my system, lol. Just a little jaw pain left, that's to be expected. What a crazy few days I've had.

Have a great "rest of the week", I'll be checking in really early in the AM, and again just before bed each day to make sure y'all are behaving!

Oh, and I strongly recommend you find out what Nadine's up to, she's got something up her sleeve!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Join me on my pity pot please

Just when I get too big for my britches...
...the sinus infection that I had been treating for antibiotics...

...turned into an emergency root canal today. My dental appointment was 1:00pm, my endodontist at 3:15pm, I just got home at 6:30pm.

...I start my new job tomorrow.

Please hug chipmunk cheeks gently today.

(I did get some stitching done while waiting and another neutral log cabin done today tho, lol..ouch, t'ain't much fun to smile)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Flashback & I GOT A JOB!

WOO-HOO...Somebody WANTS me!!!

Now if I could just figure out how this interview went any different! I've been interviewing since late April and prospective employers would say, "We'll get back with you in a FEW WEEKS." Didn't they need someone NOW? I just don't get the mentality here, but that's because I cut my big girl teeth in the Silicon Valley where you seriously have to hold your own!

I went on the "winning" interview Thursday at 3:20pm, finished by 3:45pm, pulled into my driveway at 4:30 and they were on the phone with an offer. Additionally, if I could start by the 24th, I could enjoy a 4.6% increase as of July 1. Um, yeah?!

To my benefit, all I can say is this was a jury of my peers type interview. We seemed to be *ahem* all in the same station of life, and I am excited to have some prospective friends and co-workers. My last couple of jobs were in small locations with few employees.

So now that you're all hepped up, how about a flashback into "Old Jobs". OMG, mine are SO varied. And look at those notes, WHY did I put up with this??? lol

Dental Assistant - 2 yr in high school; 1 yr in college - pre-glove era; pre-AIDS

Chevrolet Assembly Line Worker - 3 mo. while in college on an assignment. What an education, and what a fun job! I kid you not!

Nutrition Aide in Senior's Home - 2 weeks - served toast

Data Entry clerk - 3 yrs - Sprinkler system design - worked in unheated warehouse in MI

Data Entry clerk - 2 yrs - office made in retired bathroom lounge

Mortgage collections servicing clerk - 3 yrs - loved working near home

Secretary to Comptroller @ another mortgage co. - 1 yr. - WAY out of my element

Clerk at same mortgage co. auditing mortgage packages - 2 yrs. - b-o-r-i-n-g

Home child care - 11 years while 3 girls were young - was like getting paid to stay home. We had a blast...all of us!
Shipping store manager - 6 years - I can still pack the snot into/out of anything or design anything out of cardboard.
Retail fish monger - 6 mo. - Kids would ask me to go to the laundry room to peel off my clothes before I socialized with the family

Shrimp Importing Secretary - 6 years - I.loved.this.job. Got to organize every bit of this company into a well-oiled machine. Every thing from choosing the software to designing the entire UPC system. Nothing better than working from which you created.

Community Television Admin. Asst. - 1 yr - I.loved.this.job. Had to leave some very dear friends and associates behind when dh's job shifted. I was chief-cook-and-bottle washer, learned how to film television programs and do live shoots. A great creative outlet.

I start Tuesday, I'll probably not catch up with myself until next weekend, this will be an adjustment after almost 3 months of sleeping in until 5:15 (OK, so I'm an early riser!) and doing our "own thang".

Wish me luck!