Saturday, September 30, 2006

Something I'm thankful for....

Happy Birthday M.A.!!!!! Surprised you, didn't I!!

Today is my cousin's birthday. The photo above is us when we were kids....I'm the short one with the braids and she is the pretty one with long legs.

How odd that today I'm taller than she is! But she is a very petite woman, and just as pretty as ever! She is my Aunt Dotti's may have read my entry about Aunt Dotti.

I tried to find a few more recent photos....I have some, but in all the chaos around here I wasn't able to find them.

M.A. is a sweet, caring, wonderful person and I'm lucky to be related to her.

I hope you have the best day ever, M.A. and many, many more.

Friday, September 29, 2006

What I did today!!!

Yes, I had a day of resting on the couch! Not quite this elegantly but you get the idea.

We worked so hard over the past few days and I think my inner self said "Enough, already!" We got out to run some errands this morning and when we got back home I ate some lunch and then got what I refer to as a "swimmy head" I put myself on the couch and fell asleep for most of the afternoon!

HB is busy doing some work in the office but I'm just sitting here at the computer taking it easy. I'll work again tomorrow. Sounds a little like Scarlet O'Hara, doesn't it!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's all about blogs!!!!

Recently Gemma tagged me for this meme. I think someone else may have also tagged me on this one but, I'm sorry, I don't remember who!

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blogs content and look?
No! I wish I could "pretty" it up and change the banner area at the top but I'm not a computer geek so I don't know how!

2.Does your family know about your blog?
I sent emails to the family members who have computers telling them I was starting a blog. I know my cousin reads it (she lives in Burbank) and my daughter reads it.

3. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?
No, I don't feel embarrassed about it. If I wanted to keep something private I certainly wouldn't post it on the internet!

4.Did blogging cause any positive changes in your thoughts?
Yes! Most definitely. I read so many really wonderful blogs that inspire me, and they also make me stop and think about things in new ways.

5. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go discover more by yourself?
I love to explore new blogs. I often go to a blog I enjoy and then begin searching through their list of favorite blogs....many times I find blogs that way and then continue with the same thing over and over again until I have gone through several layers of blog lists. There are some truly amazing blogs being written.

6.What does a visitor counter mean to you? Do you like having one on your blog?
I love having a counter because not many people leave comments. If that was my only way of knowing I had visitors I would think maybe 5 - 10 people read my blog daily! My counter tells me there are a lot more people visiting my blog than that. And it's also fun to see what country has visited. I've had people visit from places as diverse as Lapland (yes, really!) and Israel and all over Europe, Australia, South many places and without a counter I would never have known.

7. Do you try to imagine your fellow bloggers or give them real pictures?
I'm not sure what this question is all about. Most bloggers have their photo online so I don't have to imagine them. And I have posted my own photos.

8. Admit it. Do you feel like there is a real benefit to blogging?
ABSOLUTELY!! I think it gives people a place to express themselves, and to find out that their thoughts and feelings are not so different from everyone elses. I think it gives people a chance to get feedback on their creative abilities as well as on other subjects. It makes the world a smaller, less scary place in some ways.

9. Do you think that blogger society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events?
No, not any more so than anyone else! And actually they are probably more aware of some things than people who don't blog.

10. Does criticism annoy you or do you think it's normal?
Constructive criticism is always welcome. Criticism just to be mean is useless. I know many bloggers have had mean, nasty comments left on their blogs and I think that kind of criticism is unneessary. If I don't like a blog or don't agree with something I read, I just don't comment. Kinda like changing the channel on TV when I don't like the program!!

11.Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?
I usually stay away from political blogs.

12. Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
I didn't hear about it!! Who was arrested and why??

13.What do you think will happen to your blog after you die?
It will do the same!

14. What song do you like to hear? What song would you like to link to your blog?
If I could link sound to my blog it would be the sound of birds singing in the morning....or water over stones in a creek....something like that.

15. The next victims
Anyone who wants to do this next!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Am I the Only One??

Reality shows have been all over TV for the past several years....but I haven't found them interesting. I've never watched "Survivor"....GASP!!! I've seen bits and pieces of "The Amazing Race" but it just didn't do much for me. I know there are tons of other reality-based shows out there in TV-land but my interest hasn't been piqued....until I discovered "Dancing With the Stars"

Maybe it's because I'm such a rhythm, no grace, all left-feet, NOT a dancer by any stretch of the imagination! I love this show!!

I didn't see the first season. I was attracted by the one prior to this one....where they had Jerry Rice, Stacy Keebler, Drew Lachay, and George Hamilton among others. I really got into it!! I registered with every email I have (and I have about 7 of them!!) and voted for Drew all the way. I thought the last dance he and Cheryl did was just a knock-out.

The new season has started and I'm watching with amazement! This season I like them all! Maybe they aren't all the best dancers but I like their spunk! When I first heard that Jerry Springer was one of the celebrity dancers, I thought "oh, yuk"....I'm not a Jerry Springer fan! I don't watch his show. But I gotta say he's entertaining on the dance floor! And he's got guts to get out there with all the others and give it a try.

The three judges are a scream! I love hearing their comments almost as much as I love seeing the dancers. I think Emmitt Smith is just too cute with his shy little smile, and for a big football player he can dance! Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez are both in great shape and if they would follow the rules (I don't know what they are!!) I think the judges would give them higher scores. Nevertheless I have enjoyed their dancing, rules or no rules. Vivica A. Fox is, I believe, the oldest woman in the bunch but she's holding her own! The youngest is Monique....can't remember her last name....and she is just adorable.

The costumes are gorgeous, and the professional dancers are great. I love when two professionals do a dance to show how it's really done! They pull out all the stops and put on a show.

Am I the only one or does anyone else like this show??

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I've Been Book tagged!!

This is a popular meme, or whatever it's called, that is making the rounds. I did it once a few weeks ago and then I got tagged by both Beth and Maryellen to do it again. So I'm combining both of them in this one post.

The Rules are:
1. Grab the book nearest to cheating!
2. Open to page 123
3. Scroll down to the fifth sentence.
4. Post text of next 3 sentences on to your the book and the author.

Ok, here we go with book #1: "You like misery, I think, Mr. Dishart," McQueen said, when Gavin came to him, "at least I am always finding you in the thick of it, and that is why I am here now. I have a rare job for you if you will jump into the machine. You know Nanny Webster, who lives on the edge of Windyghoul?"

The last time I did this, I didn't have an interesting book nearby. This time I reached over and picked up a very old book...."The Little Minister" by J.M. Barrie. Inside it says copyright 1898!!

Here is what the front cover looks like....not in very good condition!

This woman's picture is across from the title page....

And this is the title page....

I had this book next to my desk for research purposes. I have not read it. I mentioned that I sold books online and now I'm getting rid of my inventory. As I'm doing so, I'm researching books to make sure I don't get rid of a book worth hundreds or thousands of dollars!! This one was not! Mostly due to its condition and the fact that just because a book is old doesn't make it rare or collectible.

The second book I picked up was "Steps and Stairways" by Cleo Baldon and Ib Melchior. This is a coffee table book filled with beautiful photos of steps and stairways around the world....some new, some old, some ancient. On page 123 there are photos so from page 124 is this:
"Underwater steps in modern swimming pools require highly resistent materials and sturdy construction, and their risers may be higher than the standard riser since buoyancy increases as a person descends into the water. Steps down to water along rivers and canals range from humble bamboo ladders of the families on the klong waterways of Bangkok, to the many splendid steps to the waters in Venice, where every palace and hotel, every street and plaza, has steps and stairs that give people access to the gondolas and motor launches that ply the canals. In cities that are closely identified with a river - from Paris and the Seine, London and the Thames, Vienna and the Danube, to Cairo and the Nile, Nanking and the Yangtzem Varansi and the Ganges, and Saint Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and the Mississippi - the steps and stairways that provide access to the water are as important as the bridges that cross it and the quays that line it."

Loooong sentences in that book!! And the book is so big I couldn't fit it on the scanner to get a photo of it. I did, however, find a photo of the book online and copied it.

I love big coffee table books like this. I have saved several from my inventory, that are especially beautiful. If anyone is interested, I might write about some of them and show some pictures.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lookin' Out My Back Door....

As promised earlier, I am going to share with you something that happened over the weekend. First of all, HB and I had planned to get away for the weekend as part of my birthday celebration. But that didn't happen. We postponed our getaway until a bit later. That way my birthday just keeps going and going kinda like the Energizer bunny!!

Quite some time ago HB had started to replace the edging on a raised planter area that runs the length of one side of our backyard. There were old, log-like pieces of wood that had obviously been there way too long. They were almost completely rotted when we finally pulled them out. HB replaced them with blocks and built a wall along the raised planter area on that side of the yard.

He planned to extend the wall along the back part of the yard but ran out of time (and energy!) Well, the blocks sat stacked up beside the house all winter and all summer until recently when HB finally decided to just hire someone to finish the wall.

So on Friday morning "Joe" came to begin the process. He gave us an estimate that we both thought was extremely low!

Joe worked all day Friday, showed up early Saturday morning and worked until almost dark, then came back on Sunday morning to finish the project....all that on an estimate of $180!! When he finished, the wall was beautiful! HB and I had discussed it and we both agreed that in good conscience we could not pay the guy just $180 for all the work he we doubled it. Joe was thrilled, we were happy and we have a nice new planter wall along the back yard.

It looks o much prettier when you actually see it. This is what it used to look like. I took this photo lookin' out my back door!!!

This is a closer look. I was standing to the left of the first photo. I love the rounded curve around our raywood ash tree. Joe put some of the plants in pots and planters to get them out of the way while he built the wall. He offered to replant them for me but I said I would do that because now I can move some of them around.

This is the side where HB started the wall. Joe finished this side and re-did an area that we decided to change from what HB had done....he had put in a curve around some flowers that we just decided to move. So now it's just a straight wall.

I think it looks very nice, finishes the edge of the yard and gives me a fantastic place to put plants. Now I just have to get get the old stuff re-planted and get some new stuff to fill in and it should look beautiful.

What Season Are You??

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Since it's Monday and I don't have a lot of time for blogger today, I thought I'd do another one of those little blog test thingies. Actually this one got it right! I do love autumn/'s always been my most favorite season.

I hope you are all enjoying a good Monday morning. When I get some time later today I will try to post some photos of something that went on over the weekend. That should be enough suspense for you!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lettuce Leaf Lady

Since I've been boring you all to death with my birthday and baby pictures recently I thought I would give you something else....another one of my little drawings. Plus it's Saturday and I'm painting. No, nothing on canvas or paper! I'm painting walls!

So here's another of my drawings. She is just in ink....I haven't colored her yet. I was inspired by a photo in a magazine showing several different varieties of lettuce!

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend doing whatever you want to do. Isn't that what weekends are supposed to be about? I'm getting down to business and tackling some of these home projects again. I won't be able to get to anything fun until I get some of them out of the way. I've been dragging my feet, using my birthday as an excuse (yes, I did that!!) but I really must get busy or this house will never get back to normal. Whatever normal is!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

So Many Wonderful Things....

I had the most amazing birthday yesterday! Thank you to all the bloggers who stopped by and left messages for me. I just love you all!

My daughter called to say Happy Birthday and I no sooner hung up the phone than it rang again and it was my son calling to wish me Happy Birthday! Now that may not seem like such a big deal to some of you but my son lives in a small town in Alaska. He has no phone, doesn't own a car, and usually works just about every day. But yesterday he had the day off, and he got a ride into town, bought a phone card and called me.

In the afternoon the doorbell rang. It was the mailman delivering two packages for me. One from my oldest and dearest friend, Gail, who lives in Florida....remember, she was the one who sent me those boxes full of yarn several months ago!! And the other one from the sweetest, most creative person I know, my friend Kathy who is facing a serious surgery in a few months.

Both boxes were just stuffed with the most wonderful gifts.

I tried to get close-up photos of some of the items but my little camera just won't do that! From Gail, the most wonderful vintage craft book, a beautiful purple scarf made from a gauze-y, flowy material, an incredible little notecard with the tiniest crocheted flowers I've ever seen, a pair of gorgeous earrings, and a cute, tiny little crocheted basket that Gail did....she has only recently learned to crochet so that was extra special. Everything was wrapped in a fantastic dragonfly paper and then in gold tissue paper.

She wrote that the little notecard with the crocheted flowers was made by a retired woman who helps out at a thrift shop. I can't imagine how she makes such tiny flowers! The notecard is only about 3 1/2" X 5" (there's a photo of it in the collage below)

From Kathy, all Mary Engelbreit items (she knows I love her) a cute picture frame, a small round treasure box, some adorable teapot-shaped thumbtacks, a couple of magnetic notepads, a tea towel, and a teapot-shaped tin with cherry flavored tea inside. She also sent me a pretty bookmark card done by Marjolein Bastin....I love her artwork, too! And everything was wrapped in a huge sheet of handmade paper with tiny purple hearts.

I made a collage of the cards they sent.....

The card from Gail says "Dream When we take time to dream we discover the many windows to our soul" by Isabela Burani. Gail has sent me a couple of cards from this series and I love them. In fact I have them framed and they were hanging on the office wall right beside my desk....until we had the fiasco in there!

Who could ask for better gifts? These two friends know just what I like! They have spoiled me rotten!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday!!!

Yes, today is my birthday. I'm 36 years old....oops, wait a minute, I think I may have transposed those numbers!! OK....I'm actually 63 today. But I'm just a kid in an old gal's body! Now here's fair warning. I'm gonna bore you to death with baby photos so if you don't click away you'll be subjected to me as a baby.

Here's what I looked like when I was only 10 days new....I sure don't look too happy about my new experience!

This is what 6 months of life on earth did to me....I'm posing nude and don't seem to be a bit bashful about it.

Then one year new....

Here I am at about two years....very prim and proper! But sitting on a table! Where are my manners? At least I'm not dancing on it. After that last photo you might expect anything!

I'm not sure about this one except I think I'm probably about three. My mom and dad and I were living at a naval facility in Bremerton,WA (my dad was in the navy during WWII) and I'm told our neighbor called me Cleopatra. Don't know why but that's what's on the back of this photo. It's probably the one and only photo of me where I'm actually dirty!! My mom tried her very best to make me a frilly little girl. Most of the time it just didn't work out that way.

Would you believe I have that little sunsuit? It's red and white checks, and I may even have the blanket I'm posing on in the second photo!! I have two baby blankets and they both have satin ribbon on the edges and look very much like the blanket in that photo!

I have tons of photos of me when I was a baby. My mom had my photo taken once a month! She kept a copy, sent a copy to my dad, and my maternal grandma had a copy. I'm sure my other grandma had one too. When my dad came home from the navy he brought all his photos home; when grandma died all her photos came to my mom, then when my mom died they all came to I have three and four copies of every photo of me taken each month until I was about three years old! Maybe that's why I have tried to avoid cameras all my adult life! Too damn many photos of me already!!

Here are some other people who have September 21st as their birthday....

Wells, H. G. (1866)
Hagman, Larry (1931)
Bruckheimer, Jerry (1945)
King, Stephen (1947)
Murray, Bill (1950)
Hill, Faith (1967)
Lake, Ricki (1968)
Richie, Nicole (1981)

Kind of an odd group, don't you think?! And here is some information about my birthday....or so they say. I don't think it sounds much like me.

Your Birthdate: September 21

You're a restless rebel with an unpredictable nature.
Bright but unbridled, you tend to seek out wild experiences over new ideas.
People are frustrated by your great potential, but you love your unconventional life.
You're a heartbreaker. People get attached to you, and then you're gone.

Your strength: Your thirst for adventure

Your weakness: Not taking time for slow pleasures

Your power color: Hot pink

Your power symbol: Figure eight

Your power month: March

I can assure you I am not adventurous, and I seldom seek out wild experiences!! Oops, I forgot that posing nude stuff way back in my younger days!

Well, hot pink is NOT my color....we all know it's purple! So much for the accuracy of these things! :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Busy as Bees!!

I had a non-stop day today. Didn't even get to visit any blogs! HB and I have so many projects on the front burner right now that I'm not sure which one to do first.

We haven't finished the office yet because we decided while it is all emptied out we can make some other changes to the room. I still have to remove the hideous wallpaper border that was here when we bought the house. I've never liked it but just never got around to taking it down. We're having new carpet installed but are waiting until the other things get finished. The carpet will be the last thing. And we'll be adding plantation blinds.

Then as if the house isn't in enough chaos, I decided to sort through everything in the craft room! So far I've been at it for two days!! And I'm almost finished.

Then HB decided to do some other little odd jobs around the house....things that have just been put on the back burner for too long. So we are just a couple of busy bees around here.

This week I may not be blogging as regularly as I usually do because with all these projects I may not have a lot of extra time. I'll try to stop in for visits to all your blogs.

I'll just leave you with one of my drawings....the background is pale blue but it doesn't show up very much.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another Peek at My Brain!

While cruisin' through Blogland yesterday, I came across this little quiz over at Crazy for Fiber. Maybe this explains why I'm so confused most of the time!!

You Are 55% Left Brained, 45% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

So I guess this means I'm not sure who I am. And I suppose that pretty much sums things up. I always tell people I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up! Maybe I'll be a logical daydreamer...yeah, that sounds good.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Hair-Raising Experience

Recently several bloggers have posted photos of their "big hair"....I'm not sure why we want to torture ourselves this way but what the heck! I had some big hair in my day!

I graduated from high school in 1961 just in time for the beehive and French twist. When I turned 18 I had my hair bleached ash blonde and had it put up in a French twist with the little "s" curls on either side. I thought I was hot stuff!

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

My first husband met me after I had blonde hair and he never saw me any other way. I used to sleep with toilet paper wound 'round my head so as not to disturb my carefully teased and hair sprayed coiffure! What on earth was I thinking??? Here is a photo of us at my grandma's house....I'm the one with the hair piled up to the sky!! The photo has December 25, 1966 written on the back which means I was about 23 years old.

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

This photo is a little difficult to see but it's me at Christmas time 1979 just after I moved to California with my kids. I'm in a flannel granny gown that my mom made for me. And get a load of the hair!!

Long ago I had graduated from the pin curls my mom used on my hair and I put my hair up on tiny foam rollers. It would take me a loooong long that I would have to rest in between because my arms would get tired. But I did it because my hair had to be curly!

I think all those pin curls and rollers must have damaged my brain!

Friday, September 15, 2006

What Can I get You, Hon??

I'm being so lazy with my blog this week. My brain just doesn't seem to be working. I think I'm in shock over the cooler temperatures we're having!! Just kidding. But whatever it is, I just can't seem to come up with any good ideas for subjects to write about.

So when that happens I always turn to....what else....another meme!! I've seen this one on Deb's and also on Laume's blogs and they both said to feel free to use it.

Gather 'Round the Table or You Are What you Eat or (in my case I'm calling it) What Can I Get You, Hon?

How do you like your eggs? I don't eat eggs very often but I like scrambled if they're the real thing and not those damn fake powdered/reconstituted things you get in restaurants these days. If I know they use fake eggs then I will choose over easy. Deviled eggs are also one of my favorites.

How do you take your coffee/tea? I drink two cups of decaf in the morning with a little sugar and lots of vanilla half and half (not Coffeemate!) If I drink tea, iced in summer or hot in cooler weather, I just use sugar. But if I use Good Earth's spiced tea then it doesn't need anything.

Favorite breakfast foods? I usually eat oatmeal (the kind you have to actually cook on the stove) with a smashed banana, a little brown sugar and vanilla Silk. If I'm feeling really adventurous I'll add some pecans or walnuts and maybe a few raisins.

Peanut butter - smooth or crunchy? Smooth. I buy my peanut butter at Trader Joe's and it's organic with nothing added. I will eat it right out of the jar with a spoon and nothing else!! I love peanut butter.

What kind of dressing on your salad? Olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.

Coke or Pepsi? I think I used to keep Pepsi in business! But I no longer drink either of them....they have that dreaded high fructose corn syrup.

You're feeling lazy. What do you make? I'm assuming this is just for me. In that case a microwaved potato with some real butter and a little dab of sour cream and lots of chopped broccoli on top.

You're feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? I'm making that same assumption again so it would be vegetarian. But I seldom eat pizza. Just way too much salt for me.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? I really can't imagine that ever happening!! As I've told you numerous times, I hate to cook. If I'm trying to be nice to HB it would be spaghetti and meatballs....his favorite.

Do any foods bring back good memories? Of course! My mom's pork roast; fresh green beans with new potatoes; pecan pie; my grandma's macaroni and cheese (the real thing) or her blackberry cobbler.

Do any foods bring back bad memories? Yes!! But I'm not gonna share those yukky times with you! And trust me, you should be thankful for that.

Do any foods remind you of someone? Spaghetti makes me think of HB. Peas make me think of Molly!! And chocolate covered cherries remind me of my mom. She loved them.

Is there a food you refuse to eat? Probably several! You know I would never eat rattlesnake! Brains, tripe, any of those kind of things....ugh. I won't touch canned spinach. When I went to grade school there was a rule that you had to clean your plate before you could go out for lunchtime recess. On the days when they served canned spinach I resigned myself to sit in the lunchroom because nothing they could have done to me would make me eat that slimy stuff! I won't eat okra. And I don't eat meat. And I never drink milk!! Just never liked the stuff.

What was your favorite food as a child? I almost hate to tell you this one!! You'll think I grew up deprived or something, which I didn't....but I loved fried fresh side meat as a kid! It was salty and crispy and when my mom cooked it I could eat several pieces. We usually only had it once in awhile. I think my dad liked it. I also loved breaded pork chops. And ice cream!!

Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love? Oh, too many to name here! I was a very picky eater when I was a kid. Plus I never wanted anything on my plate to ever touch! If it did then I wouldn't eat it. Now my favorite things are one-dish meals where everything is all mixed together. One food I never ate as a kid was cauliflower but I love it now.

Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate? I'd probably have to go with the fried side meat!! Can't imagine eating that now!

Favorite fruit & vegetable? I eat bananas just about every day. I also love watermelon....and almost every other fruit I've ever tasted. As for veggies, I like most of them. I guess I would say asparagus or broccoli.

Favorite junk food? I don't eat at junk food places very often. Usually only if we're travelling or in a pinch for something quick to eat.

Favorite between meal snack? Grapes....either fresh or frozen. And Trader Joe's has these veggie chips that I love.

Do you have any weird food habits? I don't eat ketchup on french fries (or anything else!) and HB thinks that's weird. I don't eat meat and some people think that's weird. I don't like jelly on my peanut butter sandwiches and most people think that's weird. I told you about my habits as a kid and even I think that's weird!

You're on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? Wow! Somebody should have told me sooner!! What diet am I on?? South Beach? Atkins? Slimfast?? Seriously, I would fill up on fresh fruits and veggies and drink lots of water.

You're off your diet. Now what would you like? Whew! I'm glad that's over!! Now pass me some cookies, cake, a couple slices of pie and a pint of coffee ice cream.

How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? Not very! I don't do very good with spicy foods.

What would you like to drink? Most of the time I drink water or some kind of flavored water with an occasional iced tea or iced coffee. If it's to be an alcoholic drink, make it a margarita. My second choice would be a mai tai.

Red wine or white? White, please. Or a nice blush. Reds are a little robust for me.

We only have beer. Well, then I'm out of luck because in a million, trillion, bazillion years I would never drink a beer. I hate the smell of it, the taste is gaggy, and I won't tell you what it looks like to me!!

Favorite dessert? Just one?? Oh, come on now....I don't think I've ever met a dessert I didn't like! Pineapple upside-down cake is pretty high on my list. Pecan pie. Cheesecake. Ice cream. I think you get the picture!!

The perfect nightcap? A cup of hazelnut hot chocolate....or maybe something that HB calls chocolate with peppermint schnapps!! We always had that when we went camping.

Now if anyone wants to do this meme feel free to take it. I think I'll go weigh myself now because I must have gained about 50 pounds just talking about all those sweets!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Could it Be Time for "Q".....

Q - is for queen. Y'all know that HB calls me The Potty Queen! I also heard a lot of "Queen" back in the 70's and 80's when they were popular. And I like Queen Latifah. She's a big gal and I like her personality.

Q - is for quiz. Sorta, kinda like a test and I never do good on them! All anyone has to do is say the word "test" and I go into meltdown and get that "deer in the headlights" look on my face. It isn't pretty!

Q - is for question. My mom told me it was not nice to question people about things! Boy, did I grow up in another world! To this day I find it difficult to ask questions. I think my son's favorite word was "why" so I guess I broke the trend with him.

Q - is for quarrel. Something I don't like to do. Wastes too much time for nothing.

Q - is for Quaker, as in oatmeal! Love it! Eat it almost every morning except when the weather is broiling hot. As a kid you couldn't have gotten me to touch oatmeal let alone eat it!

Q - is for quarterback. Now I'm not a big sports fan (not even a little one!) but when Joe Montana played for the SF 49'ers I loved to watch him play. And he's not half bad on the eyes just to look at!

Q - is for quilts. Never, ever made one in my life and don't expect to but I love to look at them. Especially old ones with all those tiny stitches done by hand. I have a couple of old, tattered quilts that my grandma made. When I was younger I didn't realize the value (not in $$) of them and I actually used them on my bed. Now they are coming apart and yet I keep them....but then you know me!

And another little sidenote about quilts....I got into blogging because of quilters. When I first discovered blogs I found a lot of quilt blogs and began reading them. There usually had pretty pictures and lots of chatty information. From there I branched out into other blogs and then finally one day I decided to try one of my own. And now here we are.

Q - is for quips. I can be rather sarcastic at times. When I'm watching TV I can make some pretty sarcastic remarks. HB usually cracks up and tells me I'm bad!

Q - is for quaff and quench. Just the sound of these words is interesting. And since I almost always have some kind of drink (usually water, coffee or tea) near at hand these words seem appropriate for me.

Q - is for quit. It's about time I quit this list because I think I've run out of "q" words. And on the subject of quit, I have quit a couple of jobs but mostly I try to finish may take me a looooong time but I'll get there.

NOTE: Does anyone have the new blogger beta, and if so, how do you like it? I keep hoping that it will begin working smoothly....has that happened yet?

** I was so excited about finally getting the photo to upload that I forgot to put a beginning on this post!! But I guess you all know it's my wordplay thingie!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm so fashionable....NOT!!

I'm a little late today getting something written. I got up and had some errands to run, and while I was out I picked up the new issue of Interweave Crochet magazine. I almost didn't buy it because the cover looks as if the girl is wearing a bedjacket!! But I did a quick flip through and decided to go ahead and take a chance. Now I'm glad I did. There are quite a few interesting articles and some really cute designs inside. I'm not sure why they chose "Miss Bedjacket" for the cover when there are some other really cute choices inside....but then I'm not a magazine editor! And since this is Fashion Week in NYC I thought it only appropriate to have something fashion related here on my little blog! For me Fashion Week usually means I just bought a new pair of jeans! A fashionista I am not!!

This jacket caught my eye right away. The color is great and it's described as a fitted and flared coat. I think it could be very versatile, like over nice pants or even jeans. This was designed by Mari Lynn Patrick.

This next one is a page of ads but I especially like the blue sweater on the right side. The other outfit is cute (not for me) and the man's hat just tops it off.

I love this skirt!! If I was 30 years younger and (hand over mouth) mumble, mumble...pounds lighter I would definitely make this skirt. Maybe in a different color for me since I look dead in yellows or oranges! But I like it. It has pear-shaped motifs between the panels but they don't show up in this picture. This was designed by Annie Modesitt.

This sweater is just adorable and made with simple granny squares but not in the traditional way. These are made using one color per square. They also show a child's version done as a pullover....very cute. Designed by Valentina Devine.

My personal opinion is this purse/messenger bag would look better made with a solid color. With the yarn they used the leaf shapes almost get lost in the busy-ness of everything. I think I would do the bag in a deep, rich chocolate color and then make the leaves in fall colors of rust, dark gold, burnt orange, and maybe a little dark olive green. Designed by Judith L. Swartz. She is also the author of Hip to Crochet

Ok, now I guess I should go round up my crochet hooks and get busy. I wish I could say I'm gonna do that but the truth is it's still a little too hot for me to crochet. They are promising some cooler temps by tomorrow so maybe I'll begin to feel human again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Teapots and Pitchers and Freud....Oh, My!!

HB and I are still busy re-doing the office area, and after all the gut-wrenching memories from yesterday's anniversary I just couldn't think of anything I wanted to write about today.

So I just decided to keep it short today and tell you about another one of my little quirks. So buckle up! We're going inside my mind! Now don't be isn't that bad!!

I'm sure Freud would probably have a field day with this! I like things that pour or have a spout. I have a small collection of teapots, and would probably have more except I just don't have anyplace to display them. I cannot pass up a teapot or a graceful pitcher....these are gorgeous but just a little out of my price range!!!

Things that pour just seem to call out to me. They can be big or small or even miniature. I just like the shape of them because they usually have very flowing lines! Little cream pitchers, gravy boats, you name it....if it has a spout I like it. I even have a miniature tea set in a cardboard teapot box.

It was a bit difficult to get a photo of it because it has a shiny surface and some glittery gold outlines.

When you open the box there is a little gold (cheap plastic!!) tea set inside.

The teapot box is about 4" high and from spout to handle is about 7" so it isn't really very big. The little plates are about the size of coins. I can't remember where I bought this but it was most likely some thrift shop in one of the places we've lived.

I also like to draw these same things....this is a little drawing I did in markers.

"Bubbling Over" (It reminds me of a gourd!)

There now see....that wasn't so bad was it? I made sure we stayed on the brightly lit corridors and didn't wander off into the dark recesses of my mind! That would have been scary!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001....It Changed My World

Recently there has been so much attention on this anniversary both in the media and here in blogland that I thought I would make a few comments, too. I don't want to be thought of as unpatriotic or anything like that....but I also don't want to dwell on bad things too much.

On that fateful day HB and I were living in Vallejo, CA. We were still in our RV as we had just found the house that we're now living in. HB was getting ready for work and had the TV on and I was peacefully snoozing away. He woke me up saying "You have to see this!" I was groggy and a little miffed that he had woke me up so unceremoniously, but I stumbled out to the TV and was immediately wide awake. I could not believe what I was seeing. My mind kept trying to take it in but just couldn't seem to grasp the fact that it wasn't an accident.

We stood there in the middle of the room and watched as they showed the planes hitting the buildings over and over again until finally I couldn't look anymore. In my heart I knew that we were living in a different world than we had been in just a few hours before.

HB went to work and I was left alone to watch the horror unfold. I watched for awhile and then turned it off but then I would worry that maybe something else had happened so I turned the TV back on and watched again....and this cycle continued for the rest of the day. By that evening I felt as if I had been through hell and back....just physically, mentally and emotionally drained.

We signed the papers for our house a few days later and I can truthfully say we were wondering what the hell we were doing! I'm sure our signatures were very shaky on those dotted lines! We had no idea what was going to happen in the next few seconds let alone the next 15 or 20 years! It was a scary time for us.

I will never forget 9/11 and the horror of that day. Luckily I knew no one who was directly involved in the tragedy but I think we are all involved in the aftermath.

The photo above is how I would like to remember the skyline of NYC....I've never been there but I have seen that skyline so many times in photos and movies and TV that I feel as if I have. I want to remember the towers filled with vibrant, happy people....alive and going about their everyday lives.

I am no longer as trusting as I once was. I realize there are people in the world who hate me simply for the country where I was born. I am always upset by fanaticism of any kind or extremism. And they seem to be very prevalent in the world today....both here and in other countries. My world is changed. I am changed.

This photo was from and I hope they don't mind that I used it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Let's Pretend....OK?

Could we pretend that it is Labor Day weekend? Like before all the plumbing problems when life was just peaceful and simple! That's where I'll start this entry. HB and I woke on that Saturday morning to the sound of hot air balloons drifting overhead and the whoosh of the propane tanks firing off. It was the 7th Annual Antelope Valley Sky Parade. We hurried up and got outside so we could see the balloons and we took several photos while standing in our backyard. Don't tell anyone but I was in my jammies! Here are just a couple....

Good ol' Smokey Bear....

This one had just drifted over our backyard....sorry about the glare spot.

We actually moved to this house in 2001 but it was after Labor Day so we missed the balloons that year. The first year we were here for the balloons was in 2002. They woke us up and when we heard them overhead we didn't know what the heck was going on! It was a little startling to wake up and hear such strange noises right outside the window. Plus the loudspeakers from the park are loud and can be heard, too. That year I think HB took some photos and later we walked down to the park to see what was going on.

Each year since then I always think I'll be ready for the balloons but I always forget and then they wake me up on Labor Day weekend.

I took soooo many photos this year that I don't think I can put them all on blogger so I have made an album that (I hope) you can see here. If this link doesn't work I'll have to try something else.

And just so you get an idea of where we live this is the street that we walk down to get to the this photo we were on our way home so the park would be in the opposite direction from this view.

This is our street.....and once again it was on our way home from the park.

And this shows the hills off to the south of us.

I love to be able to look out the windows and see the hills. I guess growing up in Illinois where everything is flat as a pancake makes any little hill seem exciting to me!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Life on Saturday Morning

The leak is turned out to be a construction defect and could have been completely avoided had the job been done correctly in the beginning! That kind of stuff really makes me mad. I wish I could bring the person who did it over here and show them how much chaos they caused by not doing their job right.

Now the long process of regaining control of the house begins! This has all come at a most inconvenient time but I guess, when would be a convenient time for a leak!! What it has done is disrupt our lives and our plans but it has also put us on the road to early retirement a bit earlier than we had planned.

HB and I were planning to sell the house but just not right now. But since everything is going to be disrupted we thought we might as well begin putting things back together with the thought of putting the house on the market. So the office will most likely not be returning to its former life. It is a room off the family room that I believe was originally planned as a bedroom since there is a closet space. There are no doors on the closet area and we have put shelves there and used it for books, etc. The room has double doors which we usually left open so the space was convenient for us, and had an open feel.

We're thinking of setting the room up with a single bed (with lots of pillows for lounging) and maybe one of the computers on a small desk. Make it a versatile room. HB and I have both been learning about staging houses for resale. In fact we thought about doing that as a business at one time.

I think there will be a lot of painting, carpeting, sprucing up, and just generally a lot of work for us over the next few weeks but we are now set on a path to finish with this house and move on to something else.

Currently we are looking in the TN/KY area. That could change at any moment though because HB loves to search the internet for real estate!

Right now I'm working from the dining room so please excuse me for a couple of days if I don't have any photos for you. I don't have my camera hooked up yet (not even sure where it is!!) but I will be back to "normal" before too much longer. Thanks to everyone who kept checking in (I can see by your comments) and we do appreciate all the thoughts and encouragement you gave us. I'm slowly trying to catch up on my blogging visits but forgive me if I don't visit as often as in the least for the next few days.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Plumbing Update

Hi everyone! I really appreciate all the good thoughts sent our way over the past few days and all the nice comments you left for me.

Would you believe that this morning we finally got a plumber out here to track the leak for us!! We have been without hot water since this all began on Monday! We heat water on the stove to take sponge baths (as my grandma used to call them) and do dishes etc. But the laundry is piling up and I hate going to a public laundromat.

Well, now for the bad news. The leak is (in the words of the plumber) in the worst possible location. HB is going to do part of the work himself so he will need to jackhammer out a large hole in the floor, dig down about 18" and then tunnel under the supporting wall (it could be 14" thick) that seperates the house from the garage. It sounds like tons of fun ahead for us! The leak is somewhere under that area.

When the hole is dug then the plumber will return and make the necessary repairs. And here's the kicker....IF it can be repaired!!!!!

I am pretty sure I will be offline for several days. The whole house is in chaos. I guess I'm not supposed to be creative right now because I sure won't have any time for fun stuff until this problem is fixed.

On a happier note....we will be replacing the carpet thoughout the office and family room area. That's something we have talked about doing ever since we bought this house in 2001. That part makes me happy. Ya gotta find some bright spot in all of this!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

An Even Longer Weekend!

Well, my long weekend may turn into a much longer time than I expected. This morning we discovered water seeping through the carpet in the office!!

After several holes cut into the wall to examine pipes, we discovered the water is coming from underneath the slab! Oh, joy!!

Since this is all taking place in the office, we will have to dismantle the entire office (too much stuff in too small of a space to try to work on pipes!) until the pipe can be fixed. HB thinks the slab will have to be torn out in a part of the office.

This Labor Day will definitely be one we will remember for many years to come!

I had tons of cool photos to show you of the hot air balloons taking off from the park just about a block away from our house but they will have to wait now. I think we will try to set the computers up in another room but don't know how quickly we will get to that. At the moment I'm sitting here with holes in the wall, damp carpet under foot, and general chaos in the room. HB wants me to finish this and get the computer out so here I go. Wish us luck.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Long Weekend....

I think I'll take a couple of days off from blogging and enjoy the long weekend. I'll see you all back here on the 5th. Enjoy!!

I'll leave you with one of my doodles.....

Fall Colors

Can you believe it's September already?!! I wish I could tell you it was beginning to feel like fall around here but it isn't! We're still having very warm weather....mostly in the 90's.

Fall has always been one of my favorite times of year. I'm anxious for it to get here so I thought maybe if I posted some fall photos it would help! I love all the vibrant colors of the trees, and the sky just seems to be bluer than usual. Living here in the high desert we don't have too much of a fall season and not too many trees turn color. We do have one tree in the backyard that will turn a beautiful deep burgundy color and I will be sure to take photos when that happens.

When we lived in Colorado I enjoyed the aspens as they turn a wonderful golden color. Our property had so many aspens on it. One year they didn't turn golden but were a blackish color! I think that year we had a very wet summer and fall and that was the reason. It was a bit strange.

Here is a photo HB took on the road to Pike's Peak during the fall. I think this is Crystal Lake, and as you can see the aspens are beginning to turn a golden yellow.

Here is another photo taken the same day in the same area.

Where I grew up in Illinois we had great fall colors. There were two very large public parks where I loved to walk in the fall. There's something about leaves crunching underfoot that always gets to me. And I love sweaters and jackets and boots! I guess I really should live someplace not quite so hot!

My kids and I used to go to one of the big parks, build a fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows. I remember raking leaves and burning them in the street at my grandma's house in Illinois. That was before all kinds of regulations when you could still burn leaves. That's one of those smells that I can always recall.

What are your favorite fall memories?


I've been tagged by Daisy Lupin for a little book thingie. I was supposed to grab the first book, turn to page 123, scroll down five sentences and then copy out the next three. So here goes: "Here the peasants could shed their snow-laden fur-skin jackets and leave their huge straw overboots. A door led from the hall into the large main room, which was literally a living room. Here the housewife did the cooking for her family on the great fireplace, which had a built-in oven at one side. The fire was never allowed to go out from the time of the first frost until the spring thaw, and the coffee-pot on the hearth was as constant as the fire." I added one extra sentence because I thought it was called for!

Now let me explain this book. The name of it is The Decorative Arts of Sweden by Iona Plath. It is one of those Dover books and I had recently brought it into the office to look through and do some research. It was the book on my desk at the time. I actually had to go to page 125 to get text as page 123 only had photos! Does that mean I'm cheating!! :-)

Not so exciting but I was instructed to choose the first book at hand and other than a dictionary this was it!