Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am Woman - The Update

If you were a teenager during the 70's, you remember Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman." It was the theme song for the modern new woman who could go anywhere and be anything.

I'm a conservative, Republican, right leaning, Pro-Life supporting, Bible believing woman who struggles along the path of Christianity and believe me, some days are worse than others. Yet I heart this song and all it stands for. When you take away the labels which can be used to describe me (wife, mother, doggie mother, business owner, daughter, friend), at the end of the day, I can still make my husband's eyes roll back in his head. And I wouldn't have it any other way! I am an amazing creation - and so are you....

Enjoy ~

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Quotations"

I adore quotations. Wisdom from those who have gone before us. Humor when we need to laugh. Empathy when we think no one else understands. I go "quote surfing" on a regular basis. Just now I was reading Helen Keller quotes and was so touched I began to cry. My all time favorite quote is the one you see to the right. I feel her words deep into my soul. If I do nothing else I will be a good mother. I will strive to be worthy of the blessing God has given to me.

My father loved quotes too. Here is his favorite - he had this quotation in his office and at home:

"It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." ~ William Ernest Henley

Try "quote surfing," and you'll find it's a relaxing and inspirational way to spend some time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

One day late, of course! The Computer Grinch paid me a visit on Christmas morning, but today my genius hubby went to six stores to purchase what I needed, and chased Mr. Grinch away. Strange not being able to be online. I had major Bejewled withdrawals!

This week has been an unusual one. We got a total of 16 inches of snow, making it the second highest snowfall in the 70 years they have kept records. First place went to a storm which brought 18 inches back in 1950. We aren't used to that much snow/ice, and I think the city owns just one snow plow. Plow being the operative word. It's pulled by a mule and moves quite slowly. We ventured out Tuesday evening to get a few last minute things and the roads were full of all kinds of challenges. We were in a Dodge Ram 2500 pick-up, which negotiates the snow just fine.....but if you've ever done any off-roading you know trucks have very loose suspensions. I liken it to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, bucking bronco style. By the time we got home two hours later I was in tears from all the jostling around.

We had planned on attending Christmas Eve services, but this was before I knew what riding in the truck was going to be like. Then they cancelled the second service due to weather. My son ended up going with friends, to a different church, but that was fine - just as long as he went.

Christmas morning was different, too. Now that he's 14, my son doesn't have the motivation to jump out of bed at 7:00 AM and go running to the tree. Everyone slept in, except DH, who is never able to sleep in, and we had pancakes and eggs and did our stockings about 11:00.

Of course the house wasn't ready to receive the guests we were expecting at 4:30, and one gift I was making wasn't finished, and dinner still had to be made. Miraculously it all came together and we had a wonderful meal with our friends. Then we sat around the tree and opened gifts together while munching on homemade treats. With not much more than the glow from the tree lights, and looking out at the winter wonderland, it was a very special Christmas and one I will never forget!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

* The Magic of the Night *



As much as I envy the people who can rise with the chickens, I was destined to be a night person. I took these photos just before midnight. I love the set of ears in the first one. Second photo is Juneau (AKA Boogie) as he looked when he followed me back inside. Isn't Boogie the most unflattering nickname for such a beautiful animal? It fits him SO well though - he truly is a Boogie. It's all about him in a BIG way.

We have a good 4-5 inches of snow, then a layer of ice, then another few inches of snow. We get these kinds of storms every few years. Right now it's 20 degrees - quite invigorating!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

~ A New Creation, and Our Snow! ~


My newest little creation - a mahogany Scrabble tile pendant with a piece from a vintage necklace, or perhaps earring, one never knows. Placed inside an altered matchbox covered in vintage sheet music and black velvet rickrack. The photo is a tad blurry but I am too lazy to re-take it.




This is the view from our front door. It's very pretty and the dogs are loving it. The German Shepherd more so than the Malamute, which is odd. I hope to get some photos of them playing together in the snow. My son's youth group trip to the mountains was canceled. The roads are very treacherous so their "Snow Wars" event was held on the big field behind the church. Hubby said only the very heavily traveled main roads are safe. Everything else has a sheet of ice on it, and the snow continues to fall.

Hope you are safe and warm ~ Blessings to you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

~ Snow Day ~


I LOVE this vintage image. It reminds me of how our home felt today. Of course we did not have nearly this much snow. But the lights and the warm glow inside made my soul happy. The sun comes up about 7:30 and begins to go down a bit after 4:00. I like to look out my front window and see the neighbors' houses as they turn on their lights.

Now that we are less than six days away from the big day, all my creative switches are turned on and the rush begins. I tried to explain to my husband that I do get ideas long before the middle of December, but they are like unhatched chickens in various stages of growth. One idea is 90% cooked, another is 35% cooked, and yet another only 15% ready. Then suddenly, within the span of about 12 hours, all ideas become fully mature! I don't understand it but what can I do. That's the wonder of me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Oh PLEASE, be a man and suck it up! It's a scratch, from a thorn. Girls like sensitive, not wimpy."

-- my husband in response to our teenage son's kvetching about the two inch scratch on his leg.

(It's so fascinating being involved in the building of a man from the ground up.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And the winner is......

Holli of Cozi Moments. I apologize for being two days late with this post. The stomach flu (a snow dog's) and tendonitis (mine) have thrown me off schedule. Holly will receive her choice of $20.00 worth of merchandise from our Etsy store or our web store.

I see by reading Holli's blog that we have lots in common. She is originally from Seattle, and like me, is blessed to be married to her Prince Charming. I thank the Lord several times a day for my husband, and I bet Holli does too.

I am busy decorating my home, and trying to convince my son to allow me to do some kind of small, tasteful display in his room. So far, no luck. Last year my hubby made a beautiful wood stocking holder for our fireplace, but didn't have time to stain it. Once the holidays were over I forgot about my plan to decorate it myself, altered art style. So that's on the list too.

We are expecting a good bit of snow tomorrow. I am so grateful to live in the beautiful state of Washington, with the crisp, clean air and gorgeous trees. And, some holiday snow :).

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Sharp Dressed Man


Here is a photo of my offspring that hatched. He is in his last year of middle school and tonight they have a Christmas Dessert. The lunchroom gets all decked out and gourmet desserts are served. It's the social event of their season.

He fussed about the tie being too long. He's too big for a youth tie and this is a man's tie. The only tie hubby has is a navy blue one from his Coast Guard uniform and we couldn't use that. We aren't fancy folks that's for sure.

As we shopped for the shirt and tie, my son told me the ZZ Top song named above was on his mind. Of course I'm clearly not impartial, but I think he looks sharp, tie and all!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Giveaway ~ Gift Certificate




I haven't done a giveaway in quite some time. So, in honor of the holidays, I am offering a $20.00 gift certificate good at our web site and/or our etsy store. You may choose items from both places if you'd like. We will pay the shipping, so you will receive a full $20.00 worth of merchandise.

To enter please leave a comment under this post. To receive a second entry and double your chances to win, just copy my graphic above and link to me on your blog. The winner will be announced next Sunday, December 14th at 6:00 PM-ish.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Miss Illinois

Just checked my list of recent blog visitors and saw someone from Champaign, Illinois! Don't know who you are, but Hi person from Champaign, Illinois. My late father graduated dental school at the U of I. We lived in Glen Ellyn and Elmhurst till I was seven and we moved to California....ick. We would go back often to visit friends and relatives. Frankfurt and Mokena, I remember them so well even though it was 30 plus years ago.

My husband I have this dream of someday being able to take off in the RV, with a couple of dogs, and just meander about the country. I know I'd want to stay a long, long time in Illinois.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bunnies and Rats and Dogs, Oh My!




These are the family photos of a dear lady named Peggy (you can click on the photo and it will open full size in a new window). A fellow Washingtonian, she purchased some knobs with rats and rabbits on them and shared with me these images. I thought they were so adorable and I asked for her permission to post them here.

What a busy household this must be! I have yet to ask her how her fur children get along. I can only imagine the great stories this family has to tell over the dinner table. People who own rats are passionate about them. They talk of how intelligent and sweet these creatures can be. I would not argue with them, but I was born with an innate fear of rodents. We are talking screaming, up on the chair, shaking at the sight of even the tiniest mouse. A few years ago we bought my son a hamster (Spunky, may she rest in peace). I tried to face my fear, but it was not to be. Fears are funny things. I have big dogs with big teeth, yet I was more afraid of that yellow fang in Spunky's mouth. Spunky did not live long and we purchased Spunky the Second. STS lived even a shorter life and we are now done with hamsters.

I think rabbits are gorgeous creatures. Years ago I began to collect them in various forms (china, stuffed, ceramic). I have well over 100 scattered throughout the house. I discovered about 12 years ago that I am seriously allergic to rabbits. Just being in a house where a rabbit had been just about sent me to the emergency room. So...no rabbits.

I discovered Peggy has a very cool t-shirt business - designs one does not find every day. If you'd like to check it out, click here.

Thank you Peggy, for sharing your precious photos!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mom Stuff

Parenting a teenager. I liken it to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, or living with someone who has PMS 360 days of the year. On really bad days it's the Hormonal Highway to Hell. Occasionally I get a good day, a day which makes it all worthwhile. Today was such a day.

My 14 year old son has a new friend, a girl but not a girlfriend. A girl, who is a friend. She lives across the river in Oregon. He came to me tonight and told me she didn't own a Bible. He said "she is a Christian but her parents are not." He had told her to look up a verse and that is when he learned she couldn't. He told her he would send her a Bible. And he/we will. I guess I took for granted that every household had a Bible. I was proud of my son for promising her that she would soon have her very own. He is often about his Father's business - praying for others, trying to help people in any way he can, looking to God for guidance in all areas of his life.

When I think of the fact the Lord choose me to be the mother of this child, I feel both humbled and blessed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Wonderful Holiday

We had the most fantastic Thanksgiving dinner at Kay's home. She says it is her favorite holiday and that she loves all the cooking. It definitely showed in the incredible meal we enjoyed. Wonderful comfort food! The company was charming and there was laughter everywhere. Her youngest grandson has the cutest laugh I've ever heard. He would make Mr. Scrooge smile.

I have been praying for the family of the man who died at the Wal-Mart store in New York. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the events that occurred. In many cities festival seating is now illegal. I keep hoping that idea will catch on and laws will be enacted to prevent tragedies like the one which happened today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Blessings

I spent a bit of time pondering on what I would say for my Thanksgiving Day post. Each time I thought about what I was thankful for, the word blessing become most prominent in my mind. I finally figured out I am thankful that I know how blessed I am. I believe everything we are, everything we have or do - it all comes from God. As a very young child I was taught to count my blessings. I still do, every day. Sometimes several times a day.

The Lord has blessed me with a most wonderful son. A son who dedicated his life to the Lord at age 4, and has never looked back. I am always mindful of the great responsibility I have been given, to train him up in the way that he should go. Five years ago I married my best friend, my Prince Charming, my knight in shining armor. Every day I love him just a little bit more. We are blessed to share our home with two beautiful animals who provide us with unconditional love and are teachers in their own unique way.

I am grateful that God spared my life in a car accident two years ago. And also that He led me to caring, Christian doctors who truly "get" me. I feel blessed because I am not under the power of material possessions. I don't feel a need to compete with anyone. I know that money cannot buy love or happiness. I am thankful that I don't take things for granted. When I turn on the water faucet I often think about all the people in this world who don't have the luxury of clean water.

I am thankful to be a simple person - easily entertained, and never bored. Idle hands is a concept I have never been able to grasp. I am content in my messy house of creativity, with the dust bunnies endlessly hopping. Love and laughter and respect live here.

We will be sharing this day with good friends. May you have a peaceful Thanksgiving Day. Don't forget to count your blessings!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Question of the Day

Do you brave the crowds and shop the day after Thanksgiving? If you do, are you one who gets up at zero dark thirty to be one of the first in line?

Personally I have never shopped on Black Friday. I have always disliked crowds so that has been enough to keep me away. I am usually going to bed about the time the sales begin, so I guess if I went with someone else, who was well rested, I could function. Maybe some day....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Say Hello to Mr. Owl


Being a lifelong cast member of Short Attention Span Theatre, I like to try new things. This Scrabble tile pendant is my most recent craft. I am particularly fond of him because he is constructed in three layers - and he's tiny! I do love working with tiny things. I had these pendants at the bazaar we did last weekend and we sold quite a few.

If you would like a Mr. Owl for yourself, he can be found here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday, Monday....

.....so good to me. I like Monday. Monday is one of my favorite days of the week. I was ultra productive today. Hubby was out working, as opposed to being home working, so I did everything on my own. Got a lot of things shipped today, which is good because I was a tad behind.

We had a space at a local holiday bazaar on Saturday. We sold $.50 less than what the space cost. While I am at the bazaar I feel completely out of place and I tell myself, no more, this is it. But the next day I am already thinking about the next one. The next one is December 6th and I have lots of plans for my display. I am not telling hubby yet, because he'll freak. My son agreed to wear an elf costume if we (myself and my Bazaar Advisor) deem it appropriate.

It's always interesting to see all the things people make. Interesting, and dangerous too because my mind starts racing - oh, I could do that, or gee, that would be fun.

We had London Broil, asparagus and sourdough bread for dinner. I read this certain blog where the lady shares what they are having for dinner everytime she posts. I think it's interesting what people have for dinner.

Time to hit the hay (I use this expression a lot now, I am officially OLD). I only got 4-1/2 hours of sleep last night and am really feeling it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Name That Primate





Tonight I am listing primate fan pulls in my eBay store. I have looked and looked on the net, but cannot identify the above three. If you know what any of them are, PLEASE let me know. I cannot look at another monkey face tonight! I am already wondering what type of nightmares are in store.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mrs. Morris' Neighborhood


We are fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful neighbors. The kind of people who would help, no matter what the problem was, no matter the time of day or night. Last night we had dinner at the home of one of our neighbors. It was interesting, for a variety of reasons.

They have a squirrel named Susie, who is so tame she takes the peanuts right out of your hand. She crawls all over the man of the house, and will gently pry his fingers apart if he has a nut in the palm of his hand. If she arrives and no peanuts are left for her, she actually taps on the sliding glass door to announce her arrival. I hope Susie is intelligent enough to stay far, far away from Miss Jessie.

Our neighbors are a husband and wife, and the wife's mother. Husband is recently retired (for the third time) and has spent a lot of time working in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. It is fascinating to hear him talk about the environment, and how animals are protected at all costs. If a caribou decides he doesn't want you to pass, you wait till he leaves, then you pass. My snow dog and I would be thrilled to live in Alaska - my hubby, not so much.

The grandmother, 89 years old, makes the most amazing crocheted doll dresses and accessories. Her daughter does too - some of them can be found in my eBay store. AND, this elderly woman is a major Portland Blazers fan. Never misses a game, and checks the sports page first thing in the morning. I got a real kick out of that. In fact she did not join us for dinner because there was a game on.

I am often reminded of "The Four Million," by O. Henry. Everyone is worth knowing. Everyone has a story, and a lesson learned. We should talk less, listen more.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miss Jessie Fought the Squirrel.....


...and the squirrel won! Miss Jessie is addicted to squirrels. Addicted like heroin. She would run through fire to get a squirrel. Fortunately for us, she is rarely successful. Even when she is, she doesn't dismember or eat them. They become her toy. The whole business is totally disgusting and if I dwell on it for too long, I start to gag.

Today the squirrel managed to bite and scratch enough to make her yelp and drop it. She doesn't have any visible marks though. Despite going off her property and receiving a VERY stern warning from dad, she offers no apologies.

Miss Jessie's "little" brother is a Malamute and they are famous for chasing and killing small animals. Not this one - he just stood there and watched from a distance.

Do you find your life becoming a bit dull, too much of the same routine? Get a dog, or two or three. It's a new adventure every day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Real Live Woman -- A MUST See

This is the most empowering video - I guarantee you will not be disappointed. The person who posted it disabled the embedding, so all I have is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cn9d8Xi_Cw

Something every woman should see, especially the younger women who are still on that road of trying to fit themselves (literally) into a certain mold. I grew up with a very critical father. I could never please him. I think I finally succeeded at the age of 34, when I gave birth to his first grandchild. I spent a long time looking for love and acceptance. I bounced around like one of those silver balls in a pinball machine.

I did everything wrong, yet the Lord was gracious and He blessed with me a husband who loves me unconditionally. And believe you me, I've certainly put him to the test. His love wraps around me like a warm and fluffy robe. I feel it always, even when we are apart from each other. To this day I am still bewildered at how he can love me, exactly like I am. No hoops to jump through, no conditions or stipulations ~ just love.

Even if you do not have such a man in your life, I hope you will listen to this song and take the words to heart. We are all worthy. We are all children of God. As women we are blessed to have "The Sisterhood," to remind us just how special we are.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When Challenger Flies



I saw this video on another blog (if you are the Blog Police and have to know where I saw it, feel free to email me). It's a wonderful way to spend three minutes and 31 seconds. Very comforting and calming. Here is the story of this beautiful creature ~

Named in honor of the lost space shuttle crew, "Challenger" has performed free-flights during the USA's National Anthem at hundreds of events coast to coast—raising substantial public awareness for the Bald Eagle protection cause. He is the first Bald Eagle in American history trained to free-fly during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. He has helped educate millions of people about the need to protect the USA's National Bird.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Decor ~ Short Bus Style



We had a nice Halloween! Kay and I took my son trick or treating (her little goblin was sick and had to stay in). Hubby stayed home with the dogs. Juneau "sat" guard on the loveseat in front of the window, and provided scary noises for the evening. He was offered a pizza crust to leave his post, and he refused!!

Dear hubby hurriedly set up our Halloween decor, just as it was getting dark. Cornstalks from the backyard garden (so carefully tended by him), and two little pumpkins freshly carved. I love the pumpkin lights. And the baseball? Well, I put it there to disguise that big old blob of flash glare. We won't win any contests, but we were pleased with our display nonetheless.

This was my baby's last year of trick or treating. Sad to see him growing so quickly, yet proud of the young man he is becoming. Each time I saw a very little child all dressed up, I went back in time. How blessed I am to have all these memories. I really think someone is spiking my diet Coke with extra hormones. Everything these days is a pass-the-tissue, teary, bleary-eyed Kodak moment.

Hope you had a safe and happy Halloween!




Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Special Gift


I had a bit of surgery last month. I was blessed with the most incredible, caring surgeon I have ever met. Her name is Toni Storm-Dickerson, but lots of people call her Storm. I made this for her, as a special thank you for caring so much and being so patient with me.

I think these tile creations are a love 'em or hate 'em kinda thing. Definitely kitschy, which normally isn't my style. Yet I had a great time making this (my first) and have already begun work on a second in a ladybug theme. Dr. Storm's nurse told me that the good doctor recently lost her favorite garden gnome. Also that she's a fan of diet Coke with lime. The gnome on the left is holding a little gold angel in his hand. The other pieces were added just because.

My last post-op appointment was scheduled for today. And I overslept - it's been that kind of a week. I no-showed a confirmed appointment, but luckily I am rescheduled for next Tuesday.

I would love to hear what you think of my tile, and if you like it, any ideas for future tiles would be appreciated.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Fairy Door & The I.R.S.


Here, finally, is a photo of the Halloween/Fairy door I sent to my swap partner. She must have been disappointed, because I never heard from her. I like the spider web and ghosts at the top. I also like the broom and leaves at the bottom. I was trying to create a stacked window effect on the right side.

We were informed today that we owe the I.R.S. in excess of $7000 in regards to property my husband owned prior to our marriage. Our accountant tried to negotiate with them but that was not to be. He said all we can do is pay it, and then go to a tax advocate and try to recoup some of the money. We will have to take a credit card advance. As Tony Soprano would say, "Whatta ya gonna do?"

Tonight my son asked me if we were in danger of losing our home, or not having food to eat. He said he is hearing about the struggling economy everywhere he goes. He gets frustrated because he is too young to get a job. He wants to help the family. I think about what kind of world my son will be living in. How will he survive? And I've already begun to ask him not to put me in a "home."

Then I think, okay, every generation feels it has it the scariest, the most precarious, etc. My mother is 77 and I ask her what era she thinks has been the worst. She says surviving World War II was by far the most difficult time in her life. She remembers the rationing, and the overall tension and fear in the country.

As a Christian, I look at the erosion of morals and values in our society. What began as a tiny flake of snow in the 60's is now an enormous snowball, growing larger every day. I know God is in control and my life is in His hands. He keeps His promises. He has blessed me with far more than I deserve. I should not be anxious, but still, I am.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Little Things


I just love miniatures! Replicas you can hold in the palm of your hand. These "games" are roughly 2"x3" and I almost squealed in the store when I saw them. Inside are little pieces of candy in the shapes of the actual pieces you see in the regular versions of the games. Hubby said the candies tasted like Sweet Tarts. I thought they tasted like Tums. I listed this set in my Etsy store, to see if anyone else would appreciate these little treasures.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dogs


My mother sent me an email concerning a Boxer dog in England, who had adopted a Billy goat after the mother abandoned it. These days you never know if these forwarded email photos are genuine, or "photo-shopped" or what. I would like to believe this is genuine because dogs are capable of great and amazing things. We are blessed with two dogs. Both unique and special in their own way.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
Author Unknown

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fairy Door Swap


Here is the adorable door I received in the Fairy Door Swap. It came from the most magical of Autumn Nymphs. It was right on time. I envy people who are on time. Tomorrow I will post the door I sent to my partner. It turned out weird, and it wasn't on time.

Fall is in the air here in Washington. Thank goodness! I love, love, love it. It can never be too cold or rainy or misty or gray for me. Juneau the Snow Dog completely agrees.

I ended up with complications from the breast surgery last month. Still dealing with those. Thank goodness for antibiotics!

Our 5th wedding anniversary came and went on October 3rd. We both forgot it. We remembered a few days before the 3rd, and talked about how we would celebrate. On the 4th I remembered - that we had forgotten. Hubby said his idea was to take our wedding rings in and have them engraved with "we will never part." Then he added, "or maybe it was we will never fart, I'm not sure." Funny guy.

My son has a 91 in math, according to his progress report. And 100 in Discipleship. Haven't heard about the other subjects yet. But I am over the moon with the math grade. He's really working hard this year.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Georgia Peach

Years and years ago (about eight), I was surfing around eBay and came upon the most incredible seller with the most amazing array of wares I had ever seen, all in one cyber place. I wrote her a fan letter of sorts, telling her I was just getting started and how I admired her inventory. She answered right back, with the sweetest letter. She also poured out her seller's heart to me, giving me lists of the things that sold well for her. She goes by the name of KJ.

We became fast friends and about a year after we "met," my son and I flew to Georgia to meet KJ and her daughter. Her family and mine thought it rather odd for me to visit her, and odd for her to welcome two strangers into her home. Not us though, we were like two peas in a pod. Two single moms trying to make ends meet and raise decent, productive children. We drove from Atlanta to Orlando to visit Disney World. It was mid-October and all the Halloween decorations were up. I think that's when I miss KJ the most, at Halloween time.

All four of us stayed in the same hotel room. We shopped and shopped and shopped. In fact, on the way home her car was so stuffed we had to squeeze our kids into the backseat. The shopping was for things to re-sell, of course. KJ has been to Disney World a million times. This was the first trip for my son and I. It's where we turned off the lights to go to sleep, and my little guy announced, "I can't see a sing." It's where he also grabbed the microphone on the parking tram and began to give instructions to the passengers. I can honestly say, that was the best vacation I've ever had.

Now KJ's daughter is in her second year at Annapolis. How incredible is that? She is smart, independent and grounded. And my son, although he can give me fits, never fails to disappoint in public. He is kind, respectful and helpful. He's growing into a fine young man.

KJ is still single. She works as hard as ever to pay the bills. She has amazing determination and "hustle." To make it in this business requires long, long days. I tell her often that she inspires me, but I don't know if she believes me. So I will say it here. KJ never moans and groans, never whines about her circumstances. She is the most non-complaining person I've ever met. She thanks God for His blessings as she goes about her daily work.

I miss you KJ, and I am honored to have you in my life!

Monday, September 15, 2008

On the Mend

I am healing quickly from last week's surgery. Everyone at the hospital was wonderful. So kind and caring. I had taken four bars of my friend Kay's soap with me, as a little thank you to the nurses. My doctor happened to come in and see them, so she got first pick. Kay's soaps are wonderful and it was so nice for me to see the smiles on the nurses' faces.

I woke up quite alert, none of that usual sleepiness - and was released an hour after the procedure. Good thing, because people in the rooms around me were throwing up (paging Ralph Alfalfa, the Buick salesman) and that's just icky.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blogs and a Boob

As I travel around Blogland, I am often struck by how diverse the blogging population is. I am drawn to the country-ish type blog, where the author lives on a farm and cans her own veggies. I am also drawn to the altered artist type blog. Those are the genres that hold my interest. Of course I take the occasional side trip to the land of goth, stark reality, and then there is always a recipe blog or two.

I'm old now, so I remember life without the internet, life without cable, even life without cell phones. It wasn't a bad life because I didn't know any better. So....life with internet, cable and cell phones isn't anything new, yet I am constantly amazed by it. Odd things amaze me. Things like a child calling me "Mom," the fact my husband married me, how dogs can smell a bizillion times better than we can - just to name a few.

Tomorrow afternoon I am having a cyst removed from my breast. Totally benign - it has been poked and prodded and ultrasounded and aspirated. It is trauma related, from the accident two years ago. It's moving around, changing shape and is now over four inches long. It has to go. As a woman we are so conditioned to be vigilant about things like this. I am glad it's going. And thankful it's just a cyst. Those who face breast cancer are true heroes in my book.

Same day surgery - another phenomenon of the modern world! I wonder if drive-thru surgery can be far behind?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Question of the Day

Warning: this question is gross, icky, juvenile, sick...and gives you a brief glimpse into my twisted little mind. However, in my defense, I did not write this - I just enjoy passing it along. It's one of those "would you rather" questions. I heard Carla ask it EONS ago during an episode of Cheers.

Okay, ready? Here we go:

Would you rather
Lose your balance in a sewage treatment facility, or
Eat food recovered from an autopsy?


I asked it, so I gotta answer it - I bet I'll be the only one who does. I would rather take a swim, than take a chew. There, I said it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The First Day of School

Today my "baby" began 8th grade at a small Christian school in our city. He has attended this school since kindergarten. This is his year to be the big man on campus (or so he says). It is my usual custom to spend the first day of school in and out of tears as I reflect back to kindergarten and realize for the millionth time how quickly he is growing up.

I drove him to school. I have not done that in a long time. There is always the fear of oversleeping, even with both of us setting alarms. Never fear, dogs were here and the sun was up and there were squirrels to be chased. So at 6:04 Juneau comes in and lets out one high pitched YIPE. When I didn't get up fast enough, he did the deep in the chest, head back "arr ooo ooo." I told my husband, "I think they must do rock, paper, scissors to decide which one gets to wake me." He agreed and said he could imagine their conversation: "you do it, I did it yesterday."

This evening we were signing receipts for textbooks, acknowledgements of class content and rules, and his application to be part of the Student Council. It was neat to see what he wrote and how he said he had been through "many trials in life" and could help others through the wisdom of his mistakes. He feels called to be a Pastor. Not just "I want to be," but "I feel God is calling me to be."

A little while ago he brought me his cell phone, which is so basic I am surprised it can receive text messages. He said "Mom, you say you are up on street language, what does this mean?" Oh goody thought I - a test!! A chance to prove I'm not a total dolt. The screen read:

K. K. gtg c u 2moro

I said, "It says okay, okay. Got to go, see you tomorrow." His mouth dropped and his eyes got wide. He was totally amazed! I mean seriously, totally amazed that I could translate that message, and on the first try. Then he struck a pose and told me "I look buff when I stand like this." All is right in the World of Testosterone. By the way, I got him to school on time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Man and His Dogs

My hubby is such a good Doggie Daddy! And his dogs are hopelessly devoted to him. He is their favorite human by far. He was here when I brought Miss Jessie home from the pound almost eight years ago. Took about 30 seconds for them to bond.

Before we married I would pack up the kid, the car and the dog (and usually something baked) and we'd head down south (about 40 minutes away) to see Geoff. The minute I turned down his street, Miss Jessie would begin to whine and wiggle around because she knew exactly where we were going. She would burst through the door and race around till she found him.

I am fortunate to overhear many tender moments between man and dog. My masculine man cooing things like "she's a good girl, yes she is" and "love the puppy girl." The dynamic is a bit different with Juneau, being that he's a boy dog. There is a lot of rough housing, tugs of war with ropes, and tonight I overheard him say to Juneau "great, come sit here and pant in my ear, I love that."

He's a good guy. The dogs (and I) are blessed to have him in our lives.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bumper of My SUV Song

Anyone who knows me knows I am big on songs. Not music, but songs. Music I know nothing about, only that my tastes are quite eclectic. This is a beautiful tribute to all our troops.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long Time.....No Blog

I'm not sure why it's been so long since I've posted. Perhaps I felt I didn't have anything interesting to say. But that's okay, every day life can be interesting too.

We had a wicked heat wave but today got amazing thunder and some raindrops, too. My neighbor had a baby boy. Another neighbor lost her brother and we helped dog-sit while she was away. My son became even more interested in how his hair looks, and took a few showers without being told to. My friend Kay moved and is now five minutes away from me. I will get to see her "to do" lists much more often.

Business has been steady and I got my office (well, half of it) cleaned out and reorganized. Our garden has really begun to produce and tonight we had a green salad with snow peas, carrots, green onions and tomatoes - all from the garden. I used to say I didn't like tomatoes, but these were amazingly good.

School starts in two weeks and my son is actually looking forward to it. His last year of middle school. There are about 110 kids in the whole school. It's very Little House on the Prairie-ish and we love it.

Miss Jessie and Juneau are doing great, always something new and entertaining with them.

There you have it ~ my every day life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mrs. Morris' Neighborhood

Here are a few things that happened today:

Juneau and Jessie (mostly Juneau though) scared the beliefs right outta two Jehovah's Witnesses who came on our property. One lady wouldn't even leave the driveway. The other was braver and rang the doorbell. Jessie took her position right next to the door, barking her most ferocious I will protect this house with my life bark. Juneau hit the loveseat which sits in front of the bay window. On his hind legs, head thrown back and just bellowing his famous woo woo woo, intermixed with the occasional deep bark. It's 150 pounds of dogs. It's very loud. It's the ultimate security system.

I listed this tag on etsy, with an "adults only" graphic before it. Sorry Mom.


I may not have what it takes to impress etsy buyers. But I am going to make a few weird things, and see. It's good therapy no matter what, because I have weirdness leaking out of my brain, all over the place. May as well put it to good use.

Juneau went to the end of the driveway, then one foot farther - thus putting himself on the wrong side of the invisible fence line. He didn't have his collar on, but these fences work quite well (unless you are Miss Jessie and you figure out if you run really, REALLY fast, you can make it across without getting shocked). Without his collar he didn't receive any shock, but he was afraid to come back across. He stood there whimpering and whining, waiting for rescue. Calling his name, coaxing, coaxing with food - none of those things work. Dad had to walk down there and pick him and carry him across the threshold so to speak.

I should explain we are the second to last house at the end of a dead end street so there is no through traffic. Our back yard is teeny and tiny, but the front yard is quite spacious. Jessie is a very friendly dog, and Juneau, although loud and wolf-like and imposing, would not let a stranger get within 10 feet of him.

We had hot dogs for dinner - Hebrew National of course - they are zee best.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Question of the Day: Inside the Lines


So often what we set out to create is far different from what we end up creating. This ATC is called Inside the Lines. What is she saying to you?

Monday, July 21, 2008

New ATC's



I listed these two cards on eBay today. They can be found here.
Juneau is the most photogenic dog - I love using his photos in my art.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ice Cream

Tonight my hubby said "let's put the dogs in the car and go down to 31 Flavors for an ice cream cone." He has been doing some very cool spontaneous things lately (some of which aren't rated G if you get my drift). So I politely masked my horror at being in a car, and said "Sure."

We each ordered our cones, and THEN he asked for two child's size vanilla cones. I said "you are buying ice cream for the dogs?" and he said yes, he was. We drove over to a quiet area with a bit of grass and trees. The dogs ran towards the grass, all but ignoring the ice cream we were offering them. Apparently a zillion new smells and plenty of places to go potty rank right up there with ice cream. They had to be coaxed back over and over, and would only take a few licks each time.

It was a very nice surprise, from the best husband in the world.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Horsey Card


Today we attended a combination baby shower and BBQ at the home of our neighbors. Rather than buy or make a traditional card, I whipped up this 3D altered art card. The baby's name is Travis and his mother loves all things horse. I'm sure he will ride before he walks! We had a wonderful time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

26 Cents



For the heck of it I did a search on Amazon, for my mother's books. All three were there. All written about the horrors of child abuse, and the relationhip it has to pornography. Books about how to keep our children safe. Books about her own childhood - a childhood so tragic I cannot let myself dwell on it for very long. Yet she is the first one to point out the Lord has taken her sorrows and turned them into triumphs.

This song so epitomizes the love a mother has for her child. A love we do not fully comprehend of course, until we become mothers. My mother is an amazing woman. I live far away from her now. She visits once or twice a year, and we email back and forth. I always have at least one meltdown during each visit. Not because of anything she does (not on purpose anyway), but because I find myself feeling so small in the presence of a person of such faith. I know this is how the children of Billy Graham must have felt, or maybe still feel. To the world, this parent is so well known, so inspiring, such an angel of God. But to the child, this parent is a parent, plain and simple.

Things "came together" for my mother in her early 40's, when she read the Bible from cover to cover. She says her eyes were opened to many things. She was healed of years of hurts, and God began to use her as His ambassador. She is now 77 and shows no sign of slowing down, despite some health issues that would send a lot of people to bed, and keep them there.

In the past 20 years she has written three books. Her words have been translated into many languages and have reached the far corners of the world. She testified in front of the U.S. Senate, has appeared on Larry King Live, done countless radio shows, lectured to groups all over the country, and founded her own non-profit ministry which she named No Neutral Ground. She is extremely active in prison ministries and has spoken at both mens and womens facilities. She does a great deal of work at homeless shelters. These things are really just the tip of the iceberg.

Her stature is small but her presence is not. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart she would say. Motherhood is a serious thing. My sister and I did what we were told. I was 20 years old before I told my mother no, that I wouldn't do something. I don't know which one of us was more surprised. She has two grandsons and loves them both dearly. Yet they are not allowed to get away with anything. She told my son several years ago, "I love you, but stop trying to play me." It's a very down to earth, matter of fact, bite me and I will bite you back approach, and it works.

Several years ago we were on a family road trip with my then nine year old son. He was acting up big time - being quite the donkey. Nothing I tried worked and I was at the end of my rope. Thinking out loud, I remarked "I'm going call my mother and get some advice. She is older and has more experience in raising children." He gulped as the color drained from his face, and said "that won't be necessary, I'll be good." And he was.

She is a person of modest financial means, yet all her needs are met. A friend will call and say "the Lord has laid it on my heart to buy you new tires." She has the faith I aspire to have. She knows it's all about eternity, eveything else is only temporary.

Her trips here are planned around Mondays at Value Village. Seniors get 40% off. Mother has a shopping angel and never fails to find the most incredible bargains on the most beautiful things. She recently took a group of friends on their first thrift store adventure. She had a blast being their guide. I have learned to be frugal and think outside the box. I owe this to my mother.

My mother is a lady every day, all day. I can be a lady if need be, which to me is enough. I think Mom woud disagree. But it's too late now to change me and my warped little mind. I know she loves me, even when I belch and blame it on tree frogs (yes Mom, tree frogs really do exist).

I feel her love, across the miles, across time and space. I always will.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coupon Shopping

I'm pretty good at ye old coupon shopping, even if I do say so myself. I amaze my husband and that's tough to do. Tonight Jacob's church youth group went to a water park, so Miss Jessie and I hit the grocery stores. She is a wonderful traveling companion and a reassuring presence when one is driving around at 11:00 pm. My original plan was to visit three stores, but I ran out of time after the second one.

At the first store (Albertson's) I spent $33.83 and got the following:

1 dozen eggs
1 bag tortilla chips
1 bag Cheetos
1 bottle fancy cherry water for my son
1 bottle canola oil
2 pounds butter
1 package of double roll toilet tissue
2 Kraft pasta salads
1 bottle Ranch salad dressing
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
1 bottle Bleu Cheese salad dressing
1 bottle Caesar salad dressing
1 pound monterey jack cheese
1 pkg beef mini hot dogs
6 onion bagels
6 cinnamon raisin bagels
1 pkg. Reese's peanut butter cup mini's

Then I went to Safeway and spent $21.48 on:

Bag of salad greens
Bunch of bananas
3 pounds peaches
1 loaf buttermilk bread
1/2 gallon lemonade
24 pack Pepsi
1/2 pound deli turkey
1 package flour tortillas

Not exactly a balanced diet, but we have chicken and beef in the freezer and are well stocked on most other staples. I am envious of those who live where stores double an unlimited amount of coupons. Safeway offers four in their weekly circular. I only shop at Safeway for whatever they have a good sale on, preferably when I can combine that with a coupon. Otherwise they are just too expensive. Albertson's does accept Safeway's doubles though....all four of them. So I have to be creative and often make a few trips throughout the week. Luckily we are within walking distance of the Big A.

It seems grocery prices are rising daily. Hubby planted a good sized garden so hopefully soon we will be getting our greens from there. I notice too that manufacturers are downsizing their products in the hope we won't notice (we do!). And there you have my little shopping trip for the day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Child of the King



I forget, at times, that I AM a child of the King. That I have a personal relationship with the Lord and He is my ultimate father. I can lose sight of Him in the crowd, but He never takes His eyes off me.

I began this card with no direction in mind. I just started to glue, and tissue, and cut and paste. I have had this old cross on my work table for quite some time - just waiting for the right place to use it.

I lightened up the background of my blog for my Mama, who was having trouble reading it. I hope this is better, and that she likes my card.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Nice Day

Hello Blog Land! Today was a nice day. My son returned from five days at camp. He had a little crash on a mountain bike and left some skin back at camp, but nothing broken thank goodness. I was not able to talk with him at all. That was a tough one for me. I needed to hear his voice. I needed to hear he was okay.

Hubby gave both doggies a bath! I would have taken pictures but I didn't want to open the bathroom door and have the dog try to jump out of the tub. Juneau went first. He had to be coaxed in, but at least he went. A bit of whining, but he survived.

Miss Jessie was next. She hates baths. She hates baths so much that if she even hears the water hitting the tub, she runs to the other end of the house. This photo was taken a couple years ago. Her expression was the same today.

Juneau watched his mentor be taken into the bathroom and you could tell he was concerned. Once the water began, he went and laid right in front of the door, listening to everything. It wasn't long before he started to whimper. I believe he really was worried about her.

I made a couple ATC's. My pain level was quite low. Yep, a good day.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Question of the Day: Baby Names

The Lord blessed me with one son (that I know of). It's always fun to add the "that I know of" and watch a person's facial expression. Even before conception, I had a girl's name picked out: Dorian Rose Louise. Dorian being my mother's first name, Rose being my former husband's mother's first name, and Louise being my middle name. Yet I hoped and prayed I would give birth to a son.

I know one shouldn't make special requests, but I am a weenie and knew that a boy would be easier. Especially if I had a daughter who was anything like me. Snakes and spiders and lizards and frogs are no big deal. But the thought of hormonal battles with another female scared the you know what out of me. I also prayed my child would inherit my nose and not his/her father's nose. Simply because his/her life would be easier that way.

We could not agree on a boy's name until well into the pregnancy. I had two ultrasounds, one at the usual time and one about an hour before an emergency C-Section. Both times my little guy was shy and wasn't going to reveal anything to the camera. So we did it the old fashioned way, back before ultrasounds and amnio. We were surprised by Jacob Thomas Heisner Salisbury. The Jacob and the Thomas being chosen by my mother, and Heisner being my maiden name. My father was quick to point out his grandson's initials JTHS were the same as his high school, Joliet Township High School. Is this post boring yet, or what?

I still believe Dorian Rose is a beautiful name. Did you have a baby name you didn't get to use?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So My Bud Is Coming Home

My friend Kay is on her way back from Utah. She left almost three weeks ago, in search of better things. It's a long story and really not my place to tell it. I am just happy she is coming home and I hope she believes us when we say we will always be here for her.

I have known Kay about 18 years. My son was born six months after her daughter. They fought like a brother and sister. We would put them in the backseat of the van and take off garage saling. But first we would stop and get a Pepsi and a bag of Cheetos.

We have been through a lot together - good times and bad, just like any friendship. I am not the easiest person to have as a friend. When I feel strongly about something, out it tumbles from my mouth before I have a chance to stop it. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I'm anything but shy. Or I could just say I am opinionated and stick my nose in when I shouldn't, and be done with it.

Glad you're almost home my friend - the Cheetos and Pepsi (and gas) are on me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Question of the Day: Deadliest Catch


Who is the hunkiest crab boat skipper? And which boat would you like to spend a week on? My vote for #1 hunk is Johnathan Hillstrand, followed a close second by his brother Andy. For my sea cruise, I would choose the Northwestern though. I love Sig's attitude and Edgar's sense of humor. Oh....and I'd eat crab for every meal!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two Tags, One Card



Wow, three posts today and it's only 3:00 AM.

I made a couple things over the weekend. I find if I don't create something every few days, even a tiny something, I feel as if I'll go crazy. Once I expend some of that creative energy I am able to focus (as much as is possible for me) on work related things.

These are for sale on etsy.

Which Way Do I Go?


First let me say I am a bit embarrassed by the front door in this photo. Of course it's our door, and if you have dogs, you already know how hard they can be on wood surfaces. Tacky looking door aside, I really wanted to use this photo because it so perfectly illustrates the title of this post.

I am by no means a seasoned traveler in Blog Land. Yet I have noticed there seems to be two different kinds of blogs. One is geared toward the melancholy, the deep and often dark musings of life. The author occasionally adds a bit of sunshine or whimsy, but for the most part, the blog is a rather solemn place. The other is happy to the point of being totally unrealistic. A giggling, silly, someone please turn off the nitrous oxide kind of blog. The author could make a sigmoidoscopy sound like an all expense paid trip to Silver Bella.

I am constantly struggling with the question of which kind of blog is more meaningful to the people who stop by. Usually I attempt to strike a balance between Ernest Hemingway and Gidget on steroids. After all, a blog should be an inspiring, comforting, fun place to visit. No one really wants to read about cramps or rotator cuffs or the gases husbands pass in the night. I don't know though...maybe they do? Maybe reading about another woman's struggles helps remind us how similar we really are and how we need to be there for each other.

I have made some incredible friends in Blog Land. Women I'd love to meet, and just hang out with. They are a source of comfort when times are tough, and they rejoice with me when times are good.

So....I guess I go where life takes me, always striving to find the middle ground. Through good days and bad days and dog worn doors.....

The Lovely Lori's Jewelry Give-Away

Lori, or LL as I call her, is a wonderful lady who came into my life via the Enchanted Swap. She makes beautiful jewelry. I own one of her bracelets and can assure you, you will not be disappointed in the quality of LL's work.

Lori has recently opened an etsy store, and to celebrate she is offering two pairs of earrings to anyone who leaves a comment. Here is the link to her blog. I hope you'll hippity hop on over and take a peek!

Morning Glories and Moonflowers

I admire people who make jewelry. Lately I have been attempting to include some bits and pieces of jewelry in my ATC's. Usually working with tiny things is not a problem. But geez, I am all thumbs when it comes to dealing with jump rings and chain. Hopefully all I need is more practice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

If Wishes Were Horses

"If wishes were horses, beggers would ride." I do not know the origin of that statement. I do know my mother used it on a regular basis. It was a staple in the "verbal arsenal" all good mothers have, and her response to such whinings as "I wish I could stay up later" or "I wish you would just spank me instead of lecturing me."

I have done a great deal of wishing these past two weeks. My bud Kay moved away on June 22. She and her daughter spent their last weekend in town at my house. Kay and Juneau really bonded. I took many mental pictures of the two of them, cuddling on my bed. I wished she could stay, but I knew why she had to leave.

I wish they would outlaw fireworks in my area. Yes I know, bah humbug and what a cranky woman to wish for something like that. The City of Vancouver is not known for many things, but it is IS known for putting on the largest fireworks show west of the Mississppi. You'd think that would be enough. Miss Jessie is terrified of fireworks. She pants, she paces, she trembles, she cries, she runs in circles. There is no comforting her (we have tried medication - it doesn't work) and for a solid week, she lives in this state of anxiety.

11 years ago today my father died of cancer. I wish he had lived to see his grandson growing up. He would have been so proud. I wish he could have met my husband and been able to see what a wonderful man I married. I wish he could have realized that even though I'm not skinny and didn't graduate from college, I am still a person worthy of his love.

I wish I were better at dealing with my pain, and my flashbacks of the accident. I wish I were better at concentrating on asking God for His help and His grace. All the king's doctors and all the king's counselors cannot put Humpty back together again. Only God can.

There you have it - my stable of wishes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Waaayyyy Beeeehind




Isn't this a pretty card? Much nicer than a dog's behind, I know. Speaking of behind, that would be me.

So....my bud Kay is moving on Saturday and I'm starting to become sad about that, even though I am happy for her because it's a brand new start. She will spend her last night in town here with us, and that will be nice.

I am not sure exactly how it happened, but our web site will be featured on PayPal's Merchant Network this Thursday. I am praying that exposure will bring new customers. They want a thumbnail size photo to accompany their article so I am sending one of my wedding pics. I avoid the camera, even more so than Miss Jessie. Then I figured I would put the thumbnail on my blog as it seems to be the thing to do. The photo makes it appear I am missing part of my upper teeth. But really, I am not. They are all there, bought and paid for and everything.

While I am strolling down Wedding Memory Lane, here is a photo I took the day I received my rings. I look at my finger at least once a day, and marvel at the fact this diehard "I will never get married again" man IS married, and to me.



Maybe I'm just odd that way. Because I often find myself looking at my son and being struck with this overwhelming feeling of: I am someone's mother! After 13 years it should have sunk in by now, but nope, still takes me by surprise.

I didn't have many people enter my last giveway, so what I am going to do is contact everyone who did enter, and send them their choice of the three downloads. I really and truly planned on having more to choose from in my etsy store. But as I said, I am waaaayyy beeeeehind.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Friendship


Aren't you grateful us humans don't have to greet each other this way? Anyway....these two are buds, pals, friends. They always have fun together, even when Miss Jessie purposely kicks Juneau's one front leg out from under him and then wraps her mouth around his neck.

Last Fall I was reunited with an old, OLD friend - someone I had not talked to in over 20 years. We were penpals at first (her in NC, me in CA) and eventually we each traveled to each other's homes and saw the sites, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Our lives took very different paths. She is the single career woman. I am the married WAHM. She is demure. Me? Not so much. She remembers things about me I had long forgotten, and it's probably better that way.

We talked on the phone today, and as usual, we had a great time. I am so blessed to have a close group of girlfriends who find the same things funny, who put up with all the trips my twisted little mind takes. Alas they are "close" only in spirit. Dora is still in NC, Kathryn is in GA, Sam is in CA, and soon Kay will be moving out of state.

I think the Lord orchestrated Dora's call today. These little near death experiences we have in life can be rather daunting. It's difficult to find a person who can relate to having a full size car travel about 70 feet through the air, after being hit by another car going 60 mph, all the while rolling, and finally landing on its side about a foot away from one's windshield. You tend to remember those kind of things, and they tend to mess with your mind.

Dora was the victim of a horrendous violent crime 12 years ago. Stabbed in her bed in the middle of the night, by a man high on drugs, looking for money. He took an eight inch knife from her kitchen and stabbed her 23 times in the upper body. Then he pulled her phone out of the wall and as he later told the police - he thought she was dead. It is impossible for me to wrap my mind around this kind of horror. To speak to someone who has survived this is a very humbling thing. It puts many things into perspective. The attack punctured one lung, but she survived because she had extra weight protecting her. The doctor told her "if you were skinny you'd be dead right now."

She no longer lives in the same place. The man who did this was released from prison last year. I ask: are you afraid he will try to find you? She answers: no, it's not going to happen again. 12 years later she has the flashbacks, the "what if he'd stabbed me two inches to the right?" conversations with herself. She told me she has become an expert at shutting those things down before they are able to take control. She reminded me we walk on faith, and we drive that way too.

Truly an amazing and inspirational woman. A blessing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

School's Out for Summer......

Is it just me, or do other people get the Alice Cooper School's Out song stuck in their heads too? School was officially over yesterday, and within two hours my offspring that hatched had been mohawked.

You have to choose your battles, and he did end 7th grade with a 3.6 GPA. He attends a private Christian school and their curriculum is challenging to say the least. Of course this type of haircut would not be allowed at school. I think of it as his summer fling. He's a good kid. Respectful and polite. A crusader for the underdog, his faith is rock solid.


I am proud of the young man he has become. I just don't understand how he grew up so quickly. My little premie baby is almost as tall as me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good Swappy Day

I recently discovered swap-bot and of course, I just HAD to sign up. I received my first two swaps today. The first was to take one item from your partner's profile and send it. Pretty simple, right? The unusual part is how partners are matched. The person you are sending to is not the person who sends to you. This swap, offically called "Quick Swap V," had a lot of international players. I sent packages to Belgium and the Czech Republic. I received this package today, from the UK. The other person sending to me is in the U.S.

Look at all the neat things she sent! And the swap only required her to send one item. The ribbons are gorgeous, and unlike any I have seen before. The Brixham booklet is full of B&W vintage photos.


I also received all these scrapbooking papers. I adore the English people. We send knobs across the pond quite frequently, and every customer I have dealt with has been wonderful. A lot of people long to visit France, but not me. I would much prefer seeing London and the surrounding countryside.

The second swap was an "extra scrapbooking papers" swap, where you were to send whatever you could fit into a business size envelope and mail for just one stamp. The pretty pink and blue papers pictured below came from a lady in Missouri.



If you haven't been to swap-bot you should definitely visit. Then again, the whole world probably knows about it. I tend to be the last to know. I didn't even know Stickles existed until a few months ago.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Winner and a New Blog Giveaway

The winner of this week's blog giveaway (four ceramic knobs in her choice of design) is Jenny at Fated Follies Studio. Juneau was not in the mood to choose the winner, so my hubby drew the name. In reading Jenny's blog, she has been a very lucky girl lately!

Next Saturday's giveaway will be three collage downloads from my teeny tiny etsy shoppe. It will be a lot larger by next Saturday. I love collage, altered anything, mixed media and miniature things. Many of the people who read my blog do also. Have you noticed that people either "get" altered art, or they don't? No middle ground. My own mother didn't "get it," until I explained at length. She says she does now, but maybe she is just being polite.

So....three downloads of your choice. If you "get it," please leave a comment on this post before Saturday, June 14th at 6:00 pm.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Edgy Etsy Tags and Felt


Oh my, that etsy nut is a tough one to crack. I have experimented with "this and that," trying to find a groove. Something I can do (and like to do) and something etsy buyers will also like. My bud Kay over at The Rustic Cottage is an old pro on etsy. She says "go edgy." And since I don't like felt or felty things, my only other alternative is to "go weird." Lucky for me it's not a long journey.

Today I took the first step and listed this tag. It's tame compared to some of the ideas I have (for adults only dontcha know), but it's a start. I have this almost fanatical need for straight lines, perfect edges, and everything being centered. It was a huge effort for me to position that photo off-center. Unfortunately that attention to detail is not carried through to any other area of my life. I can mess up a room quicker than a group of pre-schoolers on a sugar high. It's truly amazing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One Tag, Two Cards

This tag is very similar to one of the panels I made for the Birds and Bonnets Swap. It will be on the way soon to the "bestest" friend I've never met. Wouldn't it be incredible if the all the wonderful women of blogland could get together for a giant slumber party? We could have it at the Playboy Mansion, and banish Hef and the bunnies to Chuck E. Cheese for the evening.




Two ATC's....just because I haven't made any in a while.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Meatloaf

As I said yesterday, this is some good meatloaf. If you try it, please let me know what you think.

The Loaf

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cracker crumbs (or bread crumbs - any kinda crumbs)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup milk (not that gross soy milk - hi Beth)

The Sauce

4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

The Directions

Mix meat, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, crumbs and milk. Shape into loaf pan. This recipe originally calls for pouring all the sauce over the meat and then baking it. Personally I am not a fan of grease or fat, especially if I can see it. Even if you use super lean beef you will still have that gooey congealed stuff around the sides and top of the loaf (insert gag here). So I put about two teaspoons of the sauce on top and call it good. That way the sauce can season the loaf a bit. When it's done cooking, I drain the you know what off as best I can, and I've even been known to blot the meat on paper towels. I save most of the sauce to serve on the side. This is particularly important for those leftover meatloaf sandwiches.

So....once you have made your sauce decision, place Mr. Loaf in a 350 degree oven and cover with foil. Bake for about one hour. I check it at 45 minutes and remove the foil so the top can brown a bit.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's for Dinner? Not this.....

My intention was to post a truly incredible meatloaf recipe. I think it figured strongly into my husband's decision to marry me. Really, it's that good. While looking for the recipe I came across this clipping from 1971. I forgot about meatloaf and began to take a trip down Memory Lane. This is more interesting than the meatloaf recipe, although I admit it's not as useful.

Just click on the image to see a larger view.



I lived in this house with my father and mother and sister, from 1967 to 1976. I don't know for sure if Jean Harlow had lived there. Maybe the author of this article was wrong. I do know that tour buses stopped in front quite often. I remember my dad searching the attic, looking for clues. He never found any.

It was a beautiful old house with a huge yard and redwood deck. My sister and I had our rooms upstairs, and my parents slept downstairs. Part of the roof was flat and there was a door at the top of the stairs which led out to this flat roof. Strangely enough, the strongest memory I have is of my closet. It was huge! The size of a lot bathrooms. It had built in drawers and a window!

Across the street was the back portion of the North Course of the LA Country Club. Our neighbor to the right was a stock broker. To the left, a sweet retired couple. Jean Stapleton (AKA Edith Bunker) lived two houses down and drove in the neighborhood carpool. Two houses down the other way was the home of Arthur Hill. There was a retired Army general and his wife. At the end of the block lived a woman named Fanny who was so obsessed with her lawn she was known to patrol every square foot with a pair of manicure scissors.

We had moved to California from Illinois when I was seven. My father went from being a dentist in a small town to being a Beverly Hills dentist. He had many celebrity patients, joined the country club, and was never the same again. I took Clark Gable's dentures to school for show and tell. Freddie Prinze committed suicide at a hotel on Wilshire just blocks away. Halloween meant hot chocolate or cider and homemade cookies from the neighbors. My mother tried to keep the family together. In the end my parents divorced and the house was sold. Mom had saved the article all these years, and recently sent it to me.

I will post the meatloaf recipe tomorrow......

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Giveaway

The winner of this week's giveaway will receive a set of four ceramic drawer knobs, measuring 1-1/2 inches in diameter, in any of the designs we offer at our web store. It's amazing what a difference pretty knobs can make to furniture, especially cottage and shabby furniture.

Here is just a sampling of our designs:



I love this ducky. There are three other knobs in this theme. Makes me want a ducky bathroom!


Timeless classic - Country Roses

I think this little guy or girl is adorable. So cute in a kid's bathroom. Once again, there are several complimentary Sea Life knobs available.

If you would like to be entered, just post a comment anywhere on my blog. Deadline is Saturday, June 7th at 6:00 PM PST. Juneau and the M&M's are waiting.......

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, Eh?

Oh how I have longed to use the expression "winner winner chicken dinner." The winner of our 12 ceramic drawer knobs in her choice of design is........


Sandra

Her blog can be found here.

Sandra lives in Canada and if she is anything like most Canadians, she probably wishes us Americans would stop saying "eh." My mother is from Canada, so I figure I am allowed, almost obligated, to throw out the occasional "eh."

Since I am putting off cleaning up the kitchen, I will tell you how I chose the winner. Never one to make things easy, I first had my son close his eyes and point randomly, four different times as I scrolled up and down the comment list. I then assigned each name a color: red, green, yellow or brown. Now comes the REALLY scientific part! I took four M&M's in the above four colors and laid them down on the cement outside. I did this while Juneau was drinking water, to be sure he wasn't watching me.


He ate the red M&M first, and Sandra was red! There is a brown one there too, hidden by his big ole head.

I swear he knew what was going on, because after he ate the red one, he turned around and looked at me, as if to say "Did you get that? Red won."

I do know that chocolate is bad for dogs. But it's actually dark chocolate, and smaller dogs are much more susceptible to being harmed by it - if they ate a lot. The three to four M&M's Juneau consumes each day are not harmful to him.

As I said in my original giveaway post, we will be offering a free set of knobs each week to anyone who leaves a comment. I will be back later with details about that. Thank you to everyone who entered!