Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hung this up in my Erie office this week.  I made it a few weeks ago, but hadn't gotten the hanger stuff on the back.  Then I got the screw eyes and left them in the camper, so I got it all in the same place finally and now it is hung.   I replaced a Titanic print that was up there...and there was another one further to the left on the same wall.  Think I'll paint something else to hang there...
This hangs by my desk, which is a less public space in the office here.  It could be an ice breaker.  You never know.  I don't preach at work, but I have been known to have some pretty deep conversations and do some praying with people.  I'm not a good rememberer these days.  It's just better if I pray right then.  It can be a little awkward sometimes, but it gets easier.  Praying on the phone works too.  And people are affected by God right there.  It is pretty cool, actually.
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And here is my new baby,  held by my mom.  We didn't do a 4 generation photo.  I didn't even pull out my real camera, just my phone.  It was a couple of hours of passing this sleeping sweetie back and forth.  And we just enjoyed that time.  In a couple of months, she'll be squirmier and it will be more of a challenge.  The new dad entertained us with a couple of baby poop stories, that you appreciate in different ways for different kids.  Hello, Grandma Mona !!

And just so you know I haven't been sitting around eating bon bons, here's a picture with one of my little friends as we are throwing color on folks at the color run.  We are a good team, because he gets the high places and I get the low ones..

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lol and have a great day

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Elliana Loren

I know I've been slacking

I know I claim I'm busy

I know you miss me incredibly

but I have to show you...

We got one of THESE~
It's not just a baby, it's a GRANDBABY !  And she is so sweet and I can't wait to see her again, and again..  She was born September 1st and we think we got a good deal.

Now we have to learn a new job - Grandma and Grandpa.  There must be a book on that...I should at least google, or start a new pinterest board.  I need to do a good job.  And now I am totally distracted.  So off I go.  I've been camping (in a camper) but I still have a week's worth of dirty laundry...  I have some sewing projects that I should work on, and just a little straightening in that room to find my way.  I think I even saw some buttons to sew on, and I can do that if I find some chocolate.  It's kind of a trade off.  I need to start a new book, cuz I finished my other one.  And it's breezy and I just think snuggling under a blanket  would be a good pastime.  I am working on that list of autumn/before snowfall type of jobs...and it keeps growing.  I have a place where the rainwater ALWAYS goes over the gutters and rushing, washing dirt down the hill under the deck and I need to find a solution to that, because I'm getting tired of all the dirt on my deck under my clothesline.  I need to build a dam at the top... I go...doubley distracted...


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I read this....

OH, and I still read as much as possible...  I just finished this...

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 and before that I read this

Days Go By..

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Each time I write a post lately, I feel the need to do the New Year's Resolution thing of promising to do better... but I don't.  So now, I'm just looking to post...take it as it is.

The summer has again flown by.  I don't know why I continue to be surprised by that year after year.  I guess I grew up believing that summer was the breather, giving you space and catch-up time before the school schedule kicks in with all its craziness.  Perhaps it was that way when I was a kid.  I can't even tell you that answer.  But I do know now, that it isn't less crazy.  With our last of 4 off to college last weekend, we are empty nesting again.  And a lot less controlled by that school calendar.  Sometimes I miss being a part of that school activity community, but many times, I'm sort of glad that I'm not trying to fit 4+ ballgames and all the other kid things, along with meals and laundry and a part time job or 3 into each week.  Sometimes it's sad to think of all that happened over the years, that you missed, or didn't really have the time to enjoy, because so much of life was just whipping by at break neck speed.  I was looking at a corner of the boys' room last night and picked up Dan's graduation gift of his scrapbook.  I was very much the picture taker and I get all weepy and nostalgic when I look back on those days gone by.  I often think, dang, what I'd give to go back to a day of each kid and just be able to savor the hours of stories.  Reading together was very much my thing.  I'm sure I've shared that many times in the past, but I read separate stories most times to all of the kids.  The oldest stopping only when he started freshman football and was too tired... or maybe just felt like he grew out of it.  But I truly savored and enjoyed those minutes each night when I'd snuggle up with each kid to read their chosen book, or the next chapter...and I could usually be convinced to stretch it to a second one.   I look forward to continuing that with grandchildren.  There were some tight time$ in our life, but $ spent on books was never wasted.  I picked them up at sales and bargain bins.  We had a Borders membership which gave us coupons and there was that reading area.  My kids loved going there to poke around and see if there was something new by their favorite authors.  We used the library a ton.  At one time, we were actively checking out books from 3 different libraries.  And it was worth it.  I'd do that again any day of the week.  I think we only permanently lost 1 book.  Not bad, considering that rate at which we were reading anc checking out books.

So, I'll count this toward the start of my August posts and look forward to being on Staycation next week.  Well, sort of.  I am going to be in my camper, but not too far away.  Just not needing to work or answer the phone.  A blessing and a curse when you own your own business.  Hope your week is going well, and that we talk again real soon.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mac & Cheese & Corn Hole & God

Last night, we had our parking lot event at church.  This marks the 3rd year that we have done such a thing.  It is an attempt to reach outside our walls, outside our doors, and into the community to fellowship and just have strings attached. 
  The first year, we had a Mac and Cheese cookout, along with having our praise band set up in the parking lot.  It was a great event and we shared a lot of food with our neighbors.  The second year, it was a bit later.  We put 3 firepits in the parking lot and circled up around them.  We had our pastor playing guitar and a couple of folks telling their favorite parables.  Hot dogs and smores roasted in the fires and just a general, casual, good time of fellowship. 
   This year, our younger team members wanted to bring back Mac & Cheese, add the hot dogs, and especially for the new twist, do a corn hole tournament.  The 2 young girls handled all the corn hole details, ran a great event, and had a good time.  We sure appreciate Lauren and Kate and their spirit.

 But, after we prayed and started tasting mac & cheese and doctoring up our hot dogs, the throwing started.  A lot of the practiced throwers teamed up with younger ones to make it a fun event.  No entrance fee, no charge for food, no problem.  But before we were very far into the first round, the clouds came...
So, we waited it out, and we ate some hot dogs and we ate some mac & cheese and some chips and cookies, then we dumped the water out of the boards, and loaded them up and headed to the school gym to restart the games and continue on this fun time.
We had winners and we had losers, but everyone had a good time and it is something we will probably try another time.  Just between friends....

 So thanks Kate, and Lauren, for all your hard work, for the idea, for encouraging people to enter, for walking around the neighborhood with me to hand out invites... You two are a big help on our team..

Until next time....Good Night.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The problem with SOCIAL MEDIA and ME

I'm thinking about stepping back a lot more from this whole Social Media thing.  I was visiting with a group of 4 young moms who were talking about cutting it out all together.  I have noticed all 4 are on it again. SJ does home parties, and this is the biggest invitation/advertising/teaser method that the company uses.  She was off completely for awhile before this.  KB actually unactivated her account.  Now she is back.  JW and CN never gave it up.  They share a lot of family interaction by this method.  Sometimes when you live away, that keeps you in touch.

The pre-election time was kind of the beginning of my prickly feeling.  Things were just nasty.  And they continue to be politically nasty.  I have unfollowed some, and unfriended some other.  And then you get into the part, where email went for awhile, where there is just an excessive amount of sharing. Send me every joke that made you laugh today, and funny pictures and video links and before I know it, I am watching too much stuff.  I become a victim of email pollution.

 Perhaps this is where I like PINTEREST and use that probably too much, also.  I have secret boards.  Ideas to craft.  Away from the eyes of others.  I'm not looking to make myself look good.  I'm looking for something totally useful, and if I share that with others, it's not to say "Hey look how awesome I am."  It's more if I can do it, maybe you can do it... and get that saw in a place that is more handy...or put all that wine in one place...yes, it is pretty crooked.  But no wine has fallen off it yet!  And I've made other things from here.  And I'm always looking to get ideas...more ideas that I will ever be able to do, but it's good to have options.

Part of my point, is, in the right mood, seeing everyone else's perfect life is a little hard to take.  I've read a ton of blog posts over the years, and the ones that I have kept reading, are the ones that are honest - the good and the bad.  The ones that are all rosy are the ones that make your own not-perfect life a little harder to bear.

So here is what I did last week, after discussing this in a bible study group.  I got out my smart phone and removed the facebook app from the front page to another page, then I actually tucked it inside of something else, so in passing, I don't even see it.  I shut off notifications, so it doesn't call out to me to look.  I also have a group or 2 that sends a ton of notifications and I turned them off.  Halfway there.  Then I started on my Kindle that night, and brought up the friends list.  Who do I really not talk with if they are in the same room, not that I'm snobby, just we don't gravitate toward the same topics...and also, who is posting things that make me feel prickly.  I understand it is hot.  And I'm in a different place in my life that some of these people.  But who is posting things that make me feel like I'm failing at life.  And who is sharing more than I need to see.  I went through the list and didn't see the option of unfollowing.  So I made some choices here to unfriend them.  I don't HATE them, or wish them ill.  I'm just uncluttering my brain and sometimes, my heart.  There were people and names on there I couldn't remember ever hearing anything from in years.  And then there were some I waffled on.  I poked around a bit and found the place to unfollow.  We are still friends and whatever that is good for, if I have committees and messages to a group, those people are still available that way.

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I've already found this small gesture is an improvement in my attitude.  I'm still on Facebook.  I even post on Instagram, but not many followers there to clutter my thoughts.  Each has their purpose.  I just needed a break.  So if one or 2 people are reading this, thank you.  I'm giving it to your straight.  I'm doing a study called Lord, Change My Attitude, Before It's Too Late by James MacDonald and 2 weeks in, it's already making an impression.

Thanks for listening.  Feel free to comment...or unfollow...whatever is best for you.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Books - Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

So, I was thinking perhaps at least if I post when I finish a book, I'd post a little more frequently...


Just finished this book after being handed it at a graduation party.  You see, Jocie knows that I like the Gilmore Girls and also Parenthood and a common link is Lauren Graham.  She is fast talking and edgy and maybe a little like what we imagined single motherhood could be if it was cool and fun.  It is often NOT so fun and cool.  But this is a bit of her story as an actress and especially hits on some of the highpoints of the Gilmore Girls years and also the new Year In The Life set of 4 shows on Netflix.

I was a fan of Gilmore Girls for years, but a few years back picked up season 1, then season 2 on DVD.  And I would catch it in several seasons on different places on the TV.  Used to fold the clothes from 11am til noon, so I could watch an hour there.  Then one year my hubby found a little suitcase with all 7 seasons on it.  And I was so happy.  And it sat there.  And I didn't watch it.  And then I went for a veggacation...hey.  Perhaps I just made a new word.  It's when you take time off to just veg.  No tours and dates and chasing around.  So, we were doing a veggacation in the mountains of Virginia and we started at the beginning and watched on Netflix a marathon of Gilmores... then did it again another time.  No one but us and we could do it and sew or knit or pinterest and it was relaxing.  And then we heard about the upcoming YEAR event, so we kicked it up a notch and started binge watching at home on our own.  She finished way before me.  But I got to sewing and watching it on my computer in my sewing spot and finished the series, then watch the 4 episodes - Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.  And I am ready to go back and do it again.  But I'm more ready to go to Stars Hollow for a while and do my vegging there.  Maybe grab a bite at Luke's - sorry no coffee for me.  Give a wave to Miss Patty and Babette.  And it made me think about where I live and what a story here would look like.  Who would be the stars?  Who would be Kirk?  or Sookie?  Who would these people be in a story I'm living today?  And do I appreciate them enough every day?

So - I finished the book, and I enjoyed it.  Now I need a meet-up with Jocie to get this back to her.  I have a sewing project I'm considering, but it involves some thinking and better done in my own space, not hauled around.  And this is bible school week here, which means CrAzY!  But I've printed something out.. and I'm thinking about it.  Maybe you'll want to grab this book and learn more about the life around Lorlei Gilmore.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Makin' Stuff

First I had a graduation party for the daughter of a former babysitter.  Hard to believe that she has a grad, but she was valedictorian, so it must be true... They are pretty into Harry, so I found this very cool alphabet to use for her name.  And her thing is volleyball - she's going to play in her new college.  So included is a volleyball and her uni.  Went onto a pillow and gift #1 was done...
  That's what I've been doing.  It's kind of my thing to make grad gifts for special friends.  This year, it was a pillow year.  So the daughter of friends got this one.  She likes brown and turquoise. I think this one hit it on the mark.  She has also helped us this busy season with some spreadsheet stuff.  She is on her way to California now, for FLBA nationals with her skills.  Wishing you well, Becca!

Lauren - this one is for another grad from our church...  She is pretty special too, and her dad and my hubby throw corn hole, or horseshoes, or play cards most Monday nights.  They used to be on a bowling team, but they decided that they would rather be outside as much as possible instead of inside the bowling alley.  So they have their Shoes Crew.  If you can make it, fine.  If you can't, you don't have to worry about a sub.  They very rarely miss this guy time, and I'm glad for it.
and this is for another grad, who is related to my kids.  And I wasn't sure what to put on it.  So I put 3 hearts... one for her love of for her love of friends...and the other for her love of God.  The back is the same fabric as the name and year.  And I was happy with the way it turned out.  Some years these gifts are pretty focused on the sports they played.  But as I started, I found a lack of pieces that were all the right colors, so I backed up and punted and I think it turned out OK.

and then my friend at the chiropractor's office posted this sign on her facebook page with a LOVE.  I commented that I thought that was a doable thing.  So I did a little cutting, screwed some parts together, stained, painted, printed and fit the text, found carbon paper at STAPLES, traced it off and then painted the words.  I really like how it turned out.  And she has seen a picture and is excited to get I am holding it hostage.  I just really haven't been back since it was finished. It feels so good to have something FINISHED.  I'm very much a starter, but not so much a finisher.  So this post makes me smile for all the Finished Projects.

and now - how is YOUR project list looking?  Share it now... I'll encourage you all I can.  Now get at it !

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I was really going to try... be a better poster again.  But I keep waiting for life to slow down, and it doesn't.  So this morning I spread a bunch of stuff out on the island.  And decided it was time for some LEMON GINGER TEA-TOX.  Tasted might yummy.  Not sure what it'll do for me.  I'd better read up on the stuff.  I could be WONDER WOMAN tomorrow when I wake up!  But I grabbed one of my extra special mugs to drink it in.  And I drank and made a bit of list...but I was struggling with some can't-sit-stillness.  So my tea was hot, then some was warm, and part of it was cold.  But I liked the taste, all the same.  So while I was getting set down and set up, I sent a text to my friend, Lefty.  At his farm they bring him stuff on pallets every week... and they have I asked if I could get 4 of them for my project, and he texted back real quick that there were 4 leaning up against the garage by the we put 'em in the truck and brought them home...
And I went to work screwing them together to build myself a new compost box.  Kind of airy and open, but a place to put stuff ...and I still need to hook the 4th side to it.  But I think I want to hinge it, so I can swing it open.  I cut it apart, thinking I would make it like a Dutch door, but now I'm not sure I even want to hook the top part on.  It will make it a but shorter, and easier to dump into without swinging the door open.  Probably I'm not that good of a composted, but it feels like I'm doing something when I compost, and it seems a lot of times, my garbage bags gets full and oozy from peels and skins and scraps.  So I'm one step closer to doing what I did for a while and being happy about it....and that makes life a little bit better...and then this....

This is what a good plant MAMA's plants look like after the rain.  Happy, healthy and green!
and then there is this plant.  The one that was tucked around the corner and forgotten.  Dang!  I liked this plant.  And I think it's gone past the point of no return.  Into the compost bin it goes!!  I'll have to find a replacement one.

And I'm having another happy feeling, as I read books and finish them!  I still have a stack of leftover magazines that I haven't gotten to, but I sort of like to take them camping, cuz I can read them without concentrating.  I like to sit by myself with a book.  And sometimes that doesn't work out well with a group.  They feel they need to include you and don't want you to feel left out and if you, like me, spend a lot of your week with other people, then sometimes escaping with a book is the best kind of relaxation.  And I know it is often misunderstood as being snooty, or anti-social, but sometimes, you just need it.  So, this week I finished The Summer House, and now I'm ready to read the book that Jocie loaned me when I went to her place for her daughter's graduation party.  She knows I like the Gilmore Girls, and Parenthood, too.  So she thought I might want to read this.  I believe this might be book #5 since April and I count that as a major accomplishment.  My little sister reads a book or 3 a week, but I'm not in a place right now to do that and I have some crafting to do, too.  Have you read either of these?  Sometimes its hard to share books with well-meaning folks whose taste in books is very different from your own.  But I think this one will get read.  I'll be needing to line up another one or two on the nightstand...just for incentive...

Just wondering what you all are reading now... do you read more in the winter or summer, or a lot or a little??  That was one of the things we did in the summer as kids, was go to the library and check out books and read under a tree.  Maybe this weekend I'll have to find a tree.  Well, I have a couple of grad parties to go to, and a couple of grad gifts to stuff...but then, it just might happen.  Need the motivation for some healthier eating.  Got a bag of lettuce in the fridge getting icky cuz I'm feeling a bit lazy, but that's gotta stop and I have a hankering for some veggies...just veggies...cooked with some butter... my whole meal.Maybe tomorrow when I'm getting those stuffers, I'll get some veggies.

Now go to sleep....or you won't be worth anything in the morning...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Par-TEA !!

One of my friends from church has started a new at home shopping job.  She is a consultant for Steeping tea.  I went to her launch party, so I said "Hey, Stephanie!  Come over to my house and make tea for my friends!"  And she did!  It was lots of fun.  There were facts and snacks and tasting all around.  And I told her "I want to do this again in September when we are thinking hot tea instead of iced tea."  So she is coming back again!  I think my friends had a good time and will maybe even want to come back.  If you want to come, let me know!  I'd love to put a cup out for you, too!

It is very cute.  Her hubby went shopping to buy some display items for her and something to make it feel even more special to celebrate her love of tea.  I might send him shopping for me!  He did a great job.  Thanks Ryan.  And what great friends I have!  I want them to come back again, too.. We had 2 separate spaces so everyone had enough room to stick their pinkies out if they wanted to.
I think the order is coming in tomorrow and I can't wait to see it.  I had discount on this great set!  Just in time for summer... but not only do I get this wicked-awesome PITCHER!,  but I also get 4 flavors of tea and the pitcher scoop to measure it out.    It just looks so cool and refreshing!  If you live far from me, you can still hook up and order from Stephanie Jones online through her link.  You won't be sorry.  Does this sound like a shameless plug?  YEP!  It is and I'm ok with it.The Sweet Tea Pitcher is perfect for making sangria, cider-infusions and old-fashioned iced tea! The mesh infuser holds the loose leaf tea and fruit so it doesn't come out while pouring. Brilliant! Find it on page three of our Fall/Winter 2014 Catalog.

This is where you will find my friend Stephanie, if you can't make it to my house in the fall, or if you need to stock up for the summer and more... 
I will give it a try and see if it gets you where you need to go.
Have a great day, or night ...Let's talk real soon.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Back at it...

I know people get tired of me saying what a crazy season of the year, tax season is for our household.  And so I'll just say, another one has passed.  But as our business evolves, and as technology advances, and more people have more stuff, we find the offices are not cleared out like they have in the past.  Summers were quite leisurely around here for years...  Then we had our summer of 2 weddings, a graduation, and a relocation of a kid to Florida.  And that was when the realization kind of hit.  We aren't ever "caught up" anymore.  My table/desks are piled with projects and look-ups and extendeds and just a variety of other paperwork.  It's not meaning to be a complaint, as much as an explanation.  And along with the realization, is the need to adjust my thinking.  I've got to relieve the pressure to finish and clean off the desk.  I am a "maker".  I make things.  And they get finished.  And then I make other things... OK.. if you come into any room in my house, you just MIGHT see something that is not finished.  But I don't really feel good about it.  So, as I move through this next stage of life, and business growth, I'll just have to remind myself how blessed I am to have enough to eat, and clothes to wear and a house to live in and a quilt or 3 to cover up with.  And quit worrying about the stuff that's always left over for tomorrow...

And now, now that we are into June, I'm getting on a more personal roll.  I am slowly easing into doing some crafty things again.  I did go to my friend at TADA Quilting and long arm quilt 2 king sized quilts.  And I have some scattered pieces going for another quilt.  Perhaps one fitting for a baby girl.  And a friend, whose daughter is graduating this month was talking about looking for new cushions for her outdoor furniture, because hers were faded and dirty, but they were so expensive.  And I said "well!  We can just get some fabric and put covers on those old cushions."  But she told me she didn't sew, so they are all beautifully covered.  With a 60% off outdoor fabric sale, and additional 15% off the remainder, we bought the fabric to cover 6 cushions of various sizes, 2 spools of thread and 2 discount outdoor pillows for less than the price of one of the larger cushions.  And she loves them.  And they really didn't take that long.  The harder part was figuring out and doing the first one, then improving on it to do the next one...and then going back to rip out the whole first one for a redo.
Along with sewing, I have found a little time to read again.  I still have a batch of unread magazines, but that is wonderful for summer and camping.  But I've read these books in the last month or two.  Looking for another to start this weekend.  I have another in the camper, but I have a "few" right here.  Does anyone else tend to handle being overwhelmed and time squeezed by doing something like buying books you wish you had time to read, or fabric you wish you had time to sew?  Yeah, me neither...  I think I have another picture to share... better end this as I make a new effort to BLOG MORE AND FACEBOOK LESS...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My new Title - Gramma

Yes it's true.  We have recently been informed that we will now be changing our title....or adding another new one.  Last year we got to add IN-LAW to our list of accomplishments/jobs.  Now, In September, we will be grandparents for the first time. Thanks Alex and Alyssa for this opportunity to spoil.  It's got to be less pressure than the whole parenting thing.  I'm looking forward to it... and also I'm looking for fairly simple baby knits.  I am not a good knitter.  But I'd like to be able to knit a couple of special things that I can make a baby wear.  You know, cuz even if it's wonky, they can't fight their way out of it.

Alex was my dino-lover.  Does every family have a kid who is more into the whole dinosaur scene?  My mom got an education reading dinosaur books to Alex, and he gently helped her out when she couldn't pronounce their names.  Might be time to get the books out and have her start practicing.  We are excited for this next phase of life.  Knitting pattern suggestions, greatly welcomed.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Because I want you to think about it....

Tonight I posted this on my Facebook page....and then thought since it's been a while since I took the time to post on my blog, perhaps this was the time and place to share...

Today, my heart was I sat beside the older gentleman, who was new to me this tax season. He was signing the papers for a joint return, but his wife was not with him. Beside her name was printed "DECEASED" on the papers. He had some questions and I had some answers. We ended satisfied that everything was understood. As he gathered his papers together and I slipped on the rubber band, he said "Now I'm headed to the cemetery." I replied, "Going to talk to your wife." Not a question, but a statement. He nodded, but I could see the tears pooling in his eyes. I was tired and feeling a bit more sensitive today, and mine started watering, too. We stood together and I reached around this near-stranger, and gave him a hug. I said, "It's hard to do this together stuff alone." He just nodded again. Fumbling in his pockets to find his hat, I looked at him and thought of all the people who I know and love, and so many more that I don't, who sit across the table from an empty place, who go for hours, or even days without talking to anyone, who don't know how the things will get done, that someone they loved used to do, who never had to cook for one before, or those who never really cooked. I cried some more after he left, a time or 3 during the day, and then during "be" at church tonight...
If you should happen to see one of those people in the next few days, and you're unsure if you are brave enough on your own, just reach around and give them a hug from me. It might have been quite a while since they had a good squeeze. And you can tell them,"Karen sent this."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Am ...a MOM

I'm a MOM...are you a MOM?  Maybe you are and maybe you are not.  I have had 2 kids get married, one more move out on his own, and the last one head 1049 miles away to college.  On some days, I think my mom days are pretty much over, as I know them.  It is a new role I am playing, as a mother-in-law and remote mommy.  I've not totally been kicked to the curb.  They know I'm just a phone call away.  And I have skills.  Mom skills.  Things that they didn't outgrow, and never will.  Some are side by side skills.  The painting partner.  The sewing machine lady.  The fix it up chappy.  The power tool handy girl.  The cooker and baker.  Not that I'm great at any of these things, but I dabble enough to have some skills.

Well, today, I looked at something on the counter.  There were 3 choices.  As is the case in many mom situations, I did NOT think, which do I want?  I instead thought, which one will others NOT want?  Crazy, right?  Do you ever do that?  Why do we do that?  Perhaps that is why I have trouble choosing my food at restaurants, or choosing the restaurant to eat at... choosing which movie to see, or whether to bake cookies or brownies...  Am I really thinking about what I want?  What brings me joy?  Yes, I read the book.  Or am I so used to taking care of others, that I can't kick the martyr role?

 I admit, that when my hubby goes away to golf at the end of Tax Season, I have sometimes traveled with him to meet up with my sister, and sometimes stayed home to hold down the fort.  I have decided this year, with 2 dogs, that I will not travel with him.  Partly because of the dogs.  But partly because I enjoy working on projects at 2am...if I want to, not if I have to.  And now, I've got this new friend, Jill at TaDa Quilting in Erie PA.  And I intend to spend some quality time with her that week.  And maybe painting something, or picking up some stuff at Lowe's and building something or 3, and then again, eating weird things at weird times of day and not having to explain.  I don't say these things because I have a mean husband who makes a lot of demands (when it's not tax season!), but just because for the point of conversation, there are questions that would be asked and out of politeness, I should answer.  There are meals that are normally shared, with decisions made based on the hankering of two, that now can be cake and ice cream...just because.  Or peas.  Just peas.  But now, I am rambling, and as is the case with mom's, we too, must go to sleep.  Or to our sewing machines for a little while to unwind..

Later, gator!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Yarn Along...a little late...

"~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us!~"  Ginny at Small Things

I've made it.  I've completed the wedding the same year as the weddings... and they have been delivered...and life is good... and I'll just wait to see if they make their beds and send me a picture... I took a couple before they left, so I'm good... the daughter has returned to school, the 2 older boys and the misc spouses have returned to work, and the last one will get on a plane next Monday to fly back to Florida for the spring college semester.  Life is slowly adjusting...and tax season is coming fast and furious...and I THINK I'm ready...well, it's coming so I have to be ready.

So, in light of having a portable, in the car, project, I've tried a little preemie cap.  I know someone whose baby was born too early.  She is doing well, but she'll be in the hospital for a while.  Last weekend, she got to the 3 pound mark.  But along with that, I listened to a missionary speaker talk of infant mortality in the country she was living in, including her baby.  How the families have trouble finding clothes that little hats keep their little heads with all the tubes and wires, normal little clothes just don't I googled, and searched pinterest, and I've found a couple of projects.  This is my first little cap... The top needs a little help.  When I switched from my tiny circular needle, to double pointed needles, I didn't have the same size, so I winged it.  Next time I'll wing it a little differently. But hey!  If your tiny little head is cold, even my pointy hat will work!

And I've been trying to read good books.  Here's one I finished and liked...

right here.  I watch their show, and although I'm not in Texas, they might just be some good neighbors.  They don't argue and fight on the show, and I appreciate that.  I'll probably NOT do a huge reno to my house, there are things there that I can use.  And God is in there.  And they have come under fire recently, someone trying to lambaste them because of their church and preacher and what they believe, and my local Christian radio station had a great link today to Chip's response.  Amen to that.  Please, people, try to get along.  Give things and people a chance - you just might be surprised.
Let's none of us be HATERS...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quilting before Christmas?? CRAZY!

I have been working on a couple of quilts for a long time....  Let me clarify that.  I started 2 quilts quite a while ago.  But life got busy and my hands got stiff and swelly and it was just difficult to proceed at a very fast rate. 
The first quilt I started before the May wedding, but soon figured out that I wasn't progressing at a rate to finish for the wedding and hey, when it's hot outside, who worries about a winter quilt?  So it was bagged, labeled and put into a basket.  It came out in fits and spurts to be worked on from time to time.  Most recently, I decided if I could work on one row of instruction, or one little part a couple of times a week, the end would come.  And my hands started to co-operate a bit more, so as I sit here typing, the quilt top is finished.  Until I was at least halfway through, I vowed never to try this again.  Now it is done and I love it!  Isn't that funny... I have actually made several quilts with colors or pattern chosen by the recipient and thought, wow, I'm not really lovin' this.  And then when it's done, it's almost hard to part with.  I've hopes that people that receive my quilts, are at least a bit in love with them.  Early in my knitting adventure, my husband lovingly said "Don't knit anything for me" and I really haven't.  He doesn't get the who sentimental bond with homemade things that I do.  A handknit, a handsewn (especially quilt), a piece of pottery that was created by my hand... pretty much, I put some of my heart and soul into them.  We have a ministry that our church is involved in that makes prayer quilts and prayer shawls.  Quilts are made by individuals or collectively by the group a few times a year and layered and string ties are sewn through out the top, and the top is stored in a special cupboard.  When there is a need, a request is made and the quilt comes out and it's laid on a table at church, and the people coming in and going out are asked to tie a knot and say a prayer for the person in need.  Sickness, death, issues, no judgement is made.  Quilts have come back when return hospital visits are needed, to have more knots and more prayers.  It really is a great ministry, as is the prayer shawls that are given out.
I like to think that my quilts are a bit of prayer quilts all their own.  I think quite a bit about the people I make them for.  And I pretty much always know who I am making a quilt for.
And so, as I work on this quilt for my son and new daughter-in-law, I've thought a lot about them.  About the years that they have already been together...about the trips and the adventures that they have had traveling.  About the life ahead of them, at this young age.  Of the joys and hardships to come, and the love that will get them through that.  And I sew, and I pray.  And I'm happy to gift it.
But I'm not sure I should post a picture here yet.  It IS a gift, although neither reads this...really, no one reads this...and that's partly because I have slacked on posting... but yesterday I treated myself to a long arm quilting class, and tomorrow I will take this quilt, and the cool pack that I pieced, and load it onto the long arm, and quilt the daylights out of it...yeah, it's going to be my guinea pig quilt... and then I'll put a binding on it and maybe it will even make it under the tree.  So I should probably wait for a picture of the totally completed end product.. probably the July wedding kids quilt won't be done enough to be there....but the wooden gift for #3 will be there, too.  I like to make my gifts and I like them to be practical.  Hoping the feeling is mutual.
Counting down...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Baby, It's finally COLD outside

This is my view from the kitchen window.  The birds are hungry and digging through a deep dump of snow to get to the seed in this feeder.  They totally cleaned out a tube or two.  I've had them out only since the weekend.  But, I've had junkos, nuthatches, bluejays, cardinals (male and female), chickadee-dee-dees, tufted titmouse...they are cold and hungry and I'm the best stop right now.  I enjoy watching them through the window.  Makes washing up some dishes almost a pleasant job.

We had that good weather awhile back, and got lights up.  We are blue and white out front.  This is a little of what it looks like at night.  I like the blue and white... I got a blue LED bulb for my front light, too.

And then we got some blue rope lights and lined the path.  It's the new sidewalk we put in last spring and it is curvey, so we thought we should offer some guidance on where it is, and where it isn't!  Even with snow, the glow will guide you.  It's rather a cool look, don't you think?

I apologize for the lack of posts and chat lately, but right now, I'm getting ready to go to Buffalo Airport to pick up #4, coming home on break from Florida.  He might have a chilly re-entry.  He'll be skiing by the weekend.  Almost 4 weeks of cold and then he can go back to his shorts-weather. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Tower

After MANY months of fighting with my desktop computer, we finally just bit the bullet and ordered a new tower.  It sat in the box all weekend.  Then tonight, when I finished with a couple of today's jobs that were hanging on, I finished some filing, finished some culling of year 8 in the files - I keep 7 years of your tax returns, anything older than that, you keep yourself.  There was the Excel file that got cleaned out, not once, but TWICE, and I had to go back to February to re-enter them.  I was finishing some of this up and feeling tired, but good.  I have the mysterious quilt pieces ready for inspection for the recipient, and not quite ambitious to start the next one...maybe tomorrow night.  So I decided to take the tape off the box and set the computer tower on my desk.  I attempted to re-start the old tower one more time, to no success, then I moved it to the floor and brought out the new one...
It was half the size of the old one-runs so quiet, I thought it had shut itself off.  I now know that my email contacts are all lost-again.  If I can get the few documents and the 15,000 pictures transferred to a temporary place to sort through them.
So, for an hour or 2 of puttering, I'm up and running...well, I still have to figure out where the email is...not obvious.  But I'm smiling.  Ready for jammies.  Reading in bed sounds like a good place to be right now. 
Hope your day was pretty good and that you're tomorrow is even better.  Yesterday, I got the second shower and the end of the hot water.  Today, my repair man didn't get here, so showers were "invigorating".  He promised to be here by 8am tomorrow.  I have to be somewhere at 9, but I'm coming right home, after the freezing shower earlier, to the hot shower, where I will use every drop of hot water.  Better this weekend then Wednesday or Thursday.

Oh, so I went to my special doctor last week for a checkup and she told me my Vitamin D # was low.  Oh, I said, because I don't drink enough milk- NO, she said you need more sunshine. the information I've been directed to, says I'm supposed to be avoiding sunshine.  NOPE, now I've just been depriving myself of sun for NO REASON!  And now I'm headed into winter and gray.  So I got as much sun as possible last week hanging up the lights...I hear my jammies calling...