Thursday, December 31, 2009
Are you acquainted with Padgett Powell? Have you read his new book, The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? Dare I risk a poor imitation even though I haven't read it yet?
Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? Do you remember that line from A Christmas Story? Have you ever had soap poisoning?
Do you still think about toys you loved as a kid? Is Colorforms on the list? Did you ever have a playmate whose parents bought them all the messy toys that your parents wouldn't dream of bringing into the house? Did you like that kid, or just their toys? Were there a lot of kids in your neighborhood growing up?
Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet? Do you pack everything away carefully, or just take your chances with breakage? Have you vacuumed up all the needles? How often do you vacuum in general? Are there dishes in your sink? And how often do you change your bed? Is that too personal?
Is it nerdy to be home on New Year's Eve blogging? Do I care? Can you believe that it's been ten years since we were all worrying about the Y2K doom and gloom threats? Are you happier today than you were ten years ago? Why?
How long has it been since you talked to your best friend? Went to the dentist? Weighed your ideal weight? Is your bathroom scale in the bathroom? What else is in your bathroom? Do you keep magazines in there?
Have you ever made a mistake that you can't forget? Have you forgiven yourself? Have you tried?
Are you green? How big is your carbon footprint? Are you committed enough to live without air conditioning? Are you old enough to remember when schools weren't air conditioned? And when the black boards were actually black? Did you have a policeman come to school once a year to hold a bicycle rodeo? Do you remember what the hand signal is for a left turn?
Was this post annoying? Or was it as much fun to read as it was to write?
Do I want to read Mr. Powell's book? Is the Pope Catholic?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I spent a good half hour on the phone with tech support. I could feel the tech rolling his eyes at me when I kept dropping the cords behind the desk and having to retrieve them. He finally told me that I had one of two problems...either my wireless router had gone bad, or my wireless card in the computer had gone bad. Neither of those sounded good to me, as we are in the middle of an emergency fund crisis right now with Carey's truck...transmission went out...$4,000 repair...but that's another story.
Well, since I have no other computer to test the router, I took the laptop to a wifi spot in town today to see if I could get connected there.
At first I had no luck. The pop-up message told me I had no wireless...damn...then I noticed the help links for troubleshooting.
Step one: Make sure the wireless button on the front of the computer is in the on position.
You've got to be kidding me.
Yes, I am that clueless.
I'm just happy...a) that this didn't cost me anything --not counting the blow to my pride--and b) that I figured this out on my own in the privacy of a public wifi hot spot, and not while on the phone with that tech support guy.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Anyway, I'll be posting more soon hopefully...just wanted to explain my absence.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I did!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
This bottom picture didn't turn out very well...reflection on the glass. But I don't have time to be a perfectionist right now!
I've been crossing tasks off the old to-do list left and right. It feels good.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Here is a silly picture I snapped the other day of two of them snoozing in the sunshine...looks like an octodog...one dog with eight legs.
Here's the other one...poor baby...he misses his boy...so do I.
I found a sweet video over at Stick Horse Cowgirls today, and I loved it so much, I wanted to put a link to it here too. It reminds me that I am blessed.
Click HERE and and then play the video. Enjoy!
Monday, December 7, 2009
5. I worked on our Christmas letter this afternoon. I used to be very anti-Christmas-letters, but I came to the realization that...a) I really look forward to our friends' Christmas letters...b) I really hate receiving cards with just signatures from friends and family...and c) I've ruined entire boxes of cards by writing personal messages in them, but never mailing them. These days you can print the letter on the front and color photos on the back. Even at that, I'm not sure I will actually get it completed and in the mail this year. The letter is done, but I still have to decide on which photos to include.
6. I ordered a 'fresh' balsam wreath this year, hoping that it would make the house smell like Christmas since we have an artificial tree. The wreath arrived somewhat damaged, and I can't smell it even standing close to it. Since hanging it, it has dried out noticeably. Even Caitlyn noticed it while she and Chloe were visiting, and she asked if she could clean up the needles on the floor for me. :) It's not worth the trouble and expense to return it, but I won't purchase another one next year.
7. I spent all last evening watching DVDs of season one of Mad Men. I finally stopped, with the intent of saving the rest to watch one episode at a time (on Sunday nights, of course...they just aren't the same since the third season ended). And since I didn't start watching it until about the middle of season two, I am loving getting the background...all new to me!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
But officer, I have a dance recital to get to. A warning instead of a ticket? Really? Thanks, Officer Ramos! (Oh, and I took the photo while we were stopped and he was running my license, not while driving down the road.) :)
And this is what was waiting for me.
Sorry for the grainy photo, but I loved Caitlyn's expression in this one.
And making her dance debut...
And her daddy thought she would freeze on stage...HA! Chloe owned the stage!
And they came home with me. We had a rolicking afternoon and evening, and now they are snuggled up in bed asleep. I think I'd better go join them, so I'll have energy to keep up with them tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes
They are usable at this point. But since I'm making them for gifts, I thought I'd dress them up a little bit.
'Wrap' the tubes in paper, leaving the ends long enough to twist, and tie with raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn.
I'm using craft paper, because I have lots of it, but you could use paper grocery bags, or the Sunday comics.
(Edited to add: I originally stated that gift wrapping paper could also be used in this step. But my friend the science teacher told me NOT to use Christmas wrapping paper, as the inks used are not safe to burn and breath the fumes.)
(Edited to add: a comment pointed out that lint from synthetic loads is not safe to burn and breathe fumes. I always clean my lint filter after each load dried and always discard the tiny amount of lint that is left by synthetic loads. However, I have a lot of loads that are from 100% cotton jeans, towels, and bed sheets. Those are the loads that produce lots of lint, and that is the lint that is saved at my house. Thank you, commenter, for bringing that to our attention.)
Put the finished fire starters in a bucket or a basket to sit near the recipient's fireplace. Add a bow and a gift tag, and you're done!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
One problem. Once we got there, we figured out that the craft show is next weekend. Oh well. There were lots of cool places to explore. I found some great treasures that I've been pining for for ages (I'll show them to you in another post).
Then we happened on Tia's on the Square!
Look at this...
...oh, I love this place! The layers of exposed paint on the ceiling above that fabulous chandelier. Love!
And their displays!
So fun. So sparkly. So gorgeous!
And I absolutely adore these...
I'm really trying to get by with what I have...and I have a lot of Christmas ornaments, so I didnt' let myself have one. And now I can't stand it. I think I have to go back.
I'm kind of glad we missed the craft show. We had fun just roaming around town.
Today I am thankful for happy accidents.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I heard a discussion on NPR the other day about Thanksgiving being unique as holidays go. It is not about having to find the perfect gift, or sending cards, or hiding eggs, or shooting off fireworks. It is solely a day of tradition. A day when the focus is on the table...the loved ones around it and the food on it...and hopefully we appreciate and are thankful for both. A day when almost everyone in the country is having turkey, and all the side dishes are from recipes that have been passed down for generations.
I hadn't thought of it in exactly that way before.
Tomorrow we are going to Kasey's, and as long as I'm not having to cook, we could have hot dogs and I wouldn't care. My sister asked me what I was taking, and I told her I was taking the cans of cranberry jelly. She said my mother would be appalled...and she would...and I don't care. I am ceding the family tradition of controlling the kitchen.
One year I did take the time to put some of our family's favorite holiday recipes into a small cookbook for my kids, so Kasey has them if she chooses to use them. I'm happy to turn over the reigns...at least for this year. Though I confess I did buy a small turkey to roast in a day or so...I do love me some turkey sandwiches and soup and casseroles don't you know.
Also, Friday is the National Day of Listening. While you have loved ones together, spend an hour interviewing someone important to you, and if possible record it. That sounds like an awesome idea to me.
Today I am giving thanks for my family...for time to spend together...for hugs...and for traditions.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I recently found another blog that I really like...Humble Stars & Posies. Recently Sonja (said blogger) had a random musing and asked the question, "What's on your kitchen windowsill?"
That really struck a chord with me, because my kitchen windowsill is one of my favorite spots. So I thought I would follow Sonja's lead...show you my windowsill and pass the question on.
I recently put away some summery items that had long languished on the sill, and put out the antique blue mason jars (and luckily I dusted a bit when I did that!)
The left side of the sill is the home of a little stone elephant...a gift from a very special friend. When she gave him to me, she said that elephants are good luck, and they should face east. So this is the home he claimed as his own where he can see the rising sun, and I can see him daily and think of my sweet friend. The donkey reminds me of her as well, good Democrat that she is, and he leans to the left. :) And of course my watch and wedding rings land there at dinner prep time. The right side of the sill temporarily has an autumn scents reed diffuser on it...part of a birthday present.
This little rock lives here behind the faucet, just under the sill. Probably one of the kids brought it in to me while visiting...not really sure...perhaps it would be happier living in the great outdoors again. :)
Today I am very thankful for my kitchen window...what's inside it and what's outside it.
Well, that's my windowsill. So what's on yours?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Diego's team lost the championship game today, but it was a good game just the same. And it was football weather...chilly and damp, but thankfully no rain while we were sitting in the stands.
It was a nice drive to the game and back with Carey. A sweet time spent with family. And once back home a day that was so relaxing that I took a nap.
For these things, I am deeply thankful.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Can't help it...this photo makes me think of Great-Grandpa Bunny Bunny.
Today I am thankful for chiropractors (mine in particular), for whoever thought up selling rotisserie chickens in the grocery store, for sons who carry in groceries, for the forethought to change out of work clothes before starting dinner, for pomegranates so ripe and juicy that they polka dot a plain white t-shirt, and for husbands who clean up the kitchen!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This is not a perfect view. It has fences. And power lines. And brush crowds in where clear spaces and grass should be.
But I can look past them all. They go completely unnoticed. It's all about focusing on what is right with my world, instead of what intrudes. The sunshine and shadow on the hills. The fading horizon line. The sky.
Today I am thankful for the view from my front porch. And for the peace it brings me.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I have been waiting for the Celestial Seasons holiday teas to be back in stores for what seems like forever. Actually since the day I used my last Candy Cane Lane tea bag, meted out sparingly since last holiday season. :)
This is the yummiest peppermint tea. It has a little vanilla added in. Mmmmmm. I love it iced in the
These three boxes are just the beginning. This year I'm stockpiling!
Today I am thankful for simple treasures.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Actually, I want to be a football hero's grandmother. :) And I am!
Today I am thankful that Diego (carrying the ball) had such a happy day. His team won their district championship, 28-0. They all had fun, and no injuries.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm really not that big on refrigerator magnets. But once I have a specific need, I'm all about finding a solution, and they fit the bill.
I wanted fruit and vegetable images for the magnets, so at a friend's suggestion, I went through old magazines and had no trouble finding appropriate sized images for the marbles in advertisements and articles.
So here are the raw materials:
large flat clear glass marbles (the ones that are about the size of a quarter)...old magazines...a scrap of tissue paper... Mod Podge...scissors...Exacto knife...paint brush...E6000 glue...strong disk magnets (I forgot to take the picture before I used all the magnets, so you might note that the package is empty).
And here are the steps in order. (Sorry no photos of the process.)
- Cut out pictures that you like
- Brush Mod Podge on the flat side of the marbles.
- Place picture side down into the Mod Podged side of the marble (so picture is visible through the curved part of the glass) and brush more Mod Podge over the back of the picture securing edges. (If the pictures are a little too big, just let them dry, and then use scissors to trim around edges as needed.)
- Let dry
- Cut out circles of tissue paper to put over the back of the pictures (not really necessary if your picture is large enough to cover the whole marble back, unless you want them to all look uniform even on the back like little old perfectionistic me)
- Apply Mod Podge to back of picture on magnet...stick on tissue paper...Mod Podge over tissue
- Let dry
- (I've read, though I didn't do it, that you can use an emory board to sand off any rough edges of paper once dried.)
- Put a small amount of E6000 on marble back (enough so that the glue just barely squeezes out from under the edges of the magnet when you push the magnet secure against the marble) It is important to add here that you should keep something metallic close by so that you know which side of the magnet is the 'attractive' side rather than the 'repellent' side...please don't ask me why I stress this. The 'repellent' side goes in the glue on the back of the marble.
- Lay the marbles picture side down overnight, so the E6000 can dry thoroughly before placing on the fridge
Here are the finished magnets on the fridge:
And here is how I plan to use them. Start the day with all magnets on one side of the fridge. Then, through the day as servings of fruits or vegetables are consumed, move a magnet to the other side of the fridge.
Voila! A visual reminder every time you go to the fridge to eat your fruits and veg, and a simple way to track your recommended daily intake. (I always thought it was recommended to have 5, but now I'm reading 9 half-cup servings each day...4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables!)
Today I am thankful for the enjoyment my crafty hobbies bring me.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Carey just e-mailed me this picture of the flag, a recently completed project they have been working on in their spare time at work. All I can say is WOW, they did an awesome job...the measuring alone! It's a little hard to determine the scale in the photo, but he tells me it is 32 feet by 24 feet! I believe that's their helipad above it. This is a commercial industry, and the guys undertook the project on their own.
I have to say I am very proud and impressed. My guy, who always denies any artistic talent, seems to be showing great promise in the artsy/crafty arena!
I thought is was a perfect photo to share on Veteran's Day, because today we honor the men and women who serve; past and present. We are so thankful for you. Godspeed.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I managed to get up without hitting the snooze button too many times this morning. I got ready for work, and drove into town. I got to the office right on time...and found that my boss had a meeting out of town today.
I don't usually work when he's out of the office, so I usually keep an eye on the calendar...not sure how I missed it. And I didn't really have a lot to do.
So I took the day off.
I went to the grocery store, which was on the list to do after work. I came home and put everything away, and put dinner on to slow cook, and was done by ten thirty.
What a cool surprise to have the majority of the day in front of me...free and clear!
So I did a little crafty project that I will photograph tomorrow.
Today I am thankful for unexpected fun!And for a job that I like and that is really flexible.
And for the best boss that I've ever, ever had.
(Yep, you guessed it, he follows my blog. LOL)
((But seriously, he IS the best boss I've ever had.))
Monday, November 9, 2009
Busy day. Got lots of items scratched off the list.
Now I'm too pooped to pop...showered and shampooed and ready to hop between the clean linens on my bed with a novel (currently Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand).
Today I am thankful for having a comfortable bed to crawl into.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
On the way to meet them, I was listening to Car Talk on NPR, and I heard this song which amused me...then makes you think about what your actions say to strangers.
Today I am thankful for the rain.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
1. There are so many chores to catch up on around here, that I may be busy till Memorial Day. Shall I list seven? Laundry, vacuuming, mopping, decluttering kitchen cabinet, filing, clean out closet, painting...
2. The knitting is progressing. I have one doll body knit and ready to sew the seams and stuff. I have a good start on the second one. I'm feeling optimistic.
3. Why is it we have hundreds of channels available on satellite and still there is nothing worthwhile to watch? Are those made-for-tv movies on Lifetime not the sappiest things ever?
4. I'm tired of the same old things sitting out around the house...knick knacks (paddy wacks). I want to pack everything away.
5. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree?
6. I think a facial might help...maybe a pedicure...
7. I love weekends! Especially long ones when the house is quiet...they are filled with the promise of scratching lots of things off of the to-do list. Today I am thankful for weekends!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today while reading another blog, I noticed a button and clicked on it. That's how I found Leah of South Breeze Farm and her Giving Thanks Challenge. Since I've been on that topic myself this month, I decided to join her band of thanks givers. :) Thanks, Leah!
Today I am thankful for the company of like thinkers!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I was talking with a woman at work today, and I stated that I am thankful for the things in my life that have been painful or difficult. At which point she looked at me askance. And then the phone rang, and our conversation ended.
But it made me think of these souvenirs that have been taking up space in my house. Now that I've gathered them all up, I guess I'll throw them away. I don't need them anymore. But they are not unpleasant reminders for me.
They actually remind me that the hard times in life make really good classrooms. I've learned a lot about patience, and compassion, and imperfection. I gained strength through weakness. I saw the people around me in a new light. My marriage was blessed.
Before the accident (and other medical crises that have come my way) there were hard times that left invisible souvenirs. Times when grief overwhelmed me. Times when getting out of bed and facing the day required monumental effort. Those days were worse than the times of physical injury and pain. I felt guilty, because by NOT being grateful for each moment...each breath...I was dishonoring the very ones that I was missing so much...the ones who wanted so much to have just one more day.
I think that's when I learned to give thanks. I forced myself to look for at least one thing a day for which to be thankful. It took some practice, but when you get in the habit of looking for things, you get a lot better at recognizing them.
Today I am thankful for troubles.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
South Texas autumns don't quite look like the autumn we experienced on vacation last week, but its own kind of beauty makes the hot summers here bearable. Cool nights...sunny days...low humidity...fewer bugs. And at home, sitting on the porch that I love (but not enough to sit out on when it's 105 degrees F.) fills me with peace.
Today (and every day) I am thankful for my home.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I had an annual appointment with my ear specialist in the city this afternoon. And I was able to drive myself. Since being diagnosed with Meniere's, there have been times that I went for weeks, if not months, without driving. I think it's been over three years since I've had a vertigo episode...Hallelujah!
Being able to navigate the seventh largest city in the US without assistance has always made me feel powerful and independent...more so now than ever.
Sitting in the waiting room today, there were patients of all ages. The little ones are awfully cute...it makes me sad that they have to start out with serious challenges due to hearing disabilities, but so glad that there is modern medical help available for them. Two such little ones managed to change this afternoon's waiting room, filled to overflowing with impatient patients, into a micro community filled with laughter and smiles and kind words.
Today I am thankful that we are fearfully and wonderfully made...for skilled and caring medical professionals...and for the ability to drive and the freedom and mobility that it affords.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
This photo, taken on our journey (and from a moving vehicle), is an inadequate representation of an awesome phenomenon. See the bright spot just a hair left of center in the photograph? That is one of a pair of sun dogs. In reality it looked rather like a rainbow, and at first that's what we thought it was, except for the fact that it didn't bow. Then we noticed that there was another one on the opposite side of the sun (both outside of this frame to the left). Luckily we were in the company of a science teacher, and she reached back in distant memories and pulled up an accurate name...she also carries a blackberry, so we could then look it up. (The sunshine was bouncing off hexagonal ice particles in the atmosphere.)
Do the clouds in the photo remind you somewhat of Van Gogh's Starry Night, or is it just me? I love sky watching, and seeing unusual occurrences always fills me with thanksgiving. And since we are moving rapidly toward the holiday thereby named, I thought I would kick off a month of thankfulness in my posts.
Today I am thankful for eyes to see, friends who teach, cameras to document, and a spirit of appreciation.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
We are home from our trip. It was wonderful. The best vacation I've ever had. And since my birthday fell square in the middle of it, I have to say it was the best birthday I've ever had too.
The fall colors are something we don't see in our part of the country, so it was such a treat. I took lots of photos. Though at some point I stopped looking through the camera, just to enjoy.
The time spent with the other Kathleen was filled with best-friend laughter, and good-natured squabbling, and multiplication of the beauty delivered to all five senses...
...the visual feast of colors in the autumn leaves...
...the sound of rain falling in the forest...
...the incomparable sweet smell of her newborn grandson...
...the explosion of flavors at my birthday sushi dinner...
...the chill of the morning air on our face, and the welcome warmth of a jacket to snuggle into.
I loved every moment.
And I'm glad to be home.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
If I had a million pounds I’d …. have 1,663,500 dollars.
I am … thankful.
My home is … my favorite place to be.
My best friend … is waiting for me.
My parents taught me …. to save up for what you want, buy the best quality you can afford with cash, and take good care of it.
Every day …. I overestimate how much I will get done.
My life is … undeservedly blessed.
Men are ... all dogs.
Women are … all perfect.
I hate people who … make broad generalizations. (Which means the previous two answers were written in jest, in case you didn't know.)
I love the sound of … the voices of the ones I love.
Sometimes I … put a lot of items in my shopping cart, and then talk myself out of them, and put them all back and leave the store empty handed.
I work …. with truly wonderful people.
God … loves each and every one of us.
As a child … the library was my haven.
The world could do with less … meaness.
The best invention ever … Sonic ice.
Before I go to bed at night ... I brush my teeth.
The last thing I ate … mmmmmm...ice cream.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
My ex…is not my ex...yet. hahaha...He's pretty sweet...I think I'll keep him. :)
Maybe I should… start packing for my trip.
I love…staying up late.
I hate … getting up early.
I need … to be creative.
People would say that I... am fun.
I don’t understand… calculus.
When I wake up in the morning… I hit the snooze as quickly as possible.
Life is full of …surprises.
The past is … full of lessons learned and lessons unfortunately left unlearned.
Parties are …. usually torture.
I wish …. I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.
Tomorrow …I'm embarking on an adventure.
I have low tolerance of... poor customer service .
I am totally terrified of …. a lot fewer things than I used to be.
There will be a part II following soon. Feel free to join in if you’d like to, and let me know so I can come over and read yours.