Tuesday, March 31, 2009

you've got to be joking...

So here I am checking on the weather and I get this...

Issued by The National Weather Service Rapid City, SD 3:10 pm MDT, Tue., Mar. 31, 2009

Oh come on! We just had two freak snow storms, this is just too darn much! That's it, I'm packing up and moving to Florida! Well okay I'd need a couple of things to happen before I can escape the snow...for that to happen we would need the highway to open or the Airport to open and neither one is happening right now so I suppose that I'm stuck here!

Snow Pictures

There's nothing like snow and a lot of it to make you panic. Get a load of the view from My Scrapbook Nook...

Day 1- the view from the front that looks out the front of the house is surprising. Talk about feeling a little uneasy

This is the view out of the window out the window that looks towards the side of the house. This huge snow drift is just past my flowerbed full of lavender.

Snow Day #2- Here is Today's view- are you feeling a little claustrophobic yet? I know that I was!

Looking at my Scrapbook Nook front window from the Foyer Window- this isn't looking good folks, not at all!

And here's a better view of the huge snow drift today...that's just a little past my lavender flowerbed. Do you see the dried up remains of last years Lavender? I can usually find little rabbits hiding in it.


Things that make me laugh...

Here we are in an ocean of snow, hanging out until the nice people with snow plows and front end loaders remove the huge snow drifts from the roads so we can get a move on with our daily lives.

What am I doing at 3 am you wonder...well, I'm reading the closings and cancellations list and am laughing. So the school will open 2 hours late but there's no bus service...good one! Now HOW are those children who depend upon getting to school via the school bus going to actually get to school??? The chances that our roads will all be plowed and cleared 10 am are slim to none, LOL! Heck we're going to be lucky if they are cleared by 1 pm! There's a great deal of snow and it's going to take quite some time to clear it away.

I'll have to get the pictures posted of the snow then again it's been rather hard for me to be able to get computer time when ALL of my family members are home. The best I can hope for is that someone has to take a bathroom break, LOL!

The base has a military personnel call in- basically that means hang out at home too much snow has fallen and accumulated on the base, also that it's too dangerous to drive on the roads so stay HOME and don't risk your life trying to get here. Which means NO SCHOOL for the kids in base housing. Good thing I went grocery shopping on Sunday, these kids are eating me out of house and home!

Speaking of groceries...It's kind of funny how our house guest seems to know more about what's in my pantry than I do. Yesterday while we were all sitting down to dinner he put in a request for homemade pizza because he said and I quote "he saw that I had yeast packets, flour, pepperoni and pizza sauce in a jar in my pantry". I'm beginning to think that he's feeling a wee bit too comfortable here if you catch my meaning. Keep in mind that this is the same kid who was here last weekend and is the same teen that likes to add things that he likes to eat on my grocery list. I'm wondering if this kid really has a home OR is he just an orphan vagabond traveling from one friends house to another, LOL! Last week same as this week, this boys mother has not called here once to check on her son and he's been here since Sunday afternoon. This boy has been here with us so often that I feel as if I should call his mother and request money for child support, LOL!

Now to read the news for our local area and see how many stupid people got stuck in the snow after we were all told to stay home because it's too dangerous to be out and about since the roads and highways are CLOSED due to heavy snow fall amounts...this is always good for a laugh!

Quote of the Day

What dreadful weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.
~Jane Austen (1775 - 1817)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tell me that it isn't true

For years I've been waking up in the middle of the night, not every night mind you but most nights you can find me waking up at 3:30 in the morning. Sleeping in for me is waking up at 5:30 am. England is 6 hours ahead of that would mean that I'd actually be waking up at 9:30 in the morning. So is that my problem? My internal clock has been off all these years because it's set on a time clock for another country? LOL!

The say it isn't true part is that we are on yet another Blizzard alert. Yeah I know, we had one last week at this same time right? Oh and my son's Best Friend is here again and you know we always say that it can't be a true Blizzard unless Drew is here...guess what- Drew IS here. That boy knows where to go to be taken care of in such emergencies (good eats, warm bed and people who will take him like they take care of their own children). He's come here to be taken care of when he's been sick- I don't think that he gets that kind of care at home or else why would he be here when he's hacking up a lung sick?

Alright I digress, where was I? Oh yeah... our latest Blizzard warning. I hate it when I go to and plug in our zip code and see a statement such a Blizzard Warning flashing on the screen in RED. The snow is coming down right now and everything is covered in a blanket of the white stuff. So bundle up folks because it's going to get cold today!

Quote of the Day

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.
~Carl Reiner

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Camera Shopping

With the advice from my friend Laurie in hand, I've been looking at various SLR cameras. I shopped around for quite a while until I found the camera at a price that I was willing to pay. While we were in MA last month Lucien and I went to the BX at Hansom AFB and were not impressed with the BX price nor with the sales clerk (was this guy ever a jerk that liked to hear himself talk). That guy was not listening to what I was wanting and he kept trying to get me to buy a bare bones stripped down version of what I wanted-augh! And then he wanted to send me off to pawn shops around town to buy accessories for it. My husband and I looked at each other and said "WHAT?" Needless to say we were done in that store!

What did I buy? Well, I ended up buying the Nikon D-60 with the 8-55 mm lens plus the 55-200 zoom lens, the wireless remote, an extra battery, a camera case, some of those nifty 4 GB class 6 SD cards and few other things. Talk about creating my own economic stimulus package, LOL!

The price of the D-60 (10.2 mega pixels) ended up being a much better deal than the D-40 (6 mega pixels). The D40 I've heard is going to be discontinued- so prices on it should be dropping soon. Don't you think for a moment that I paid full retail either! I'm frugal if anything :-) I've been shopping around for quite a while for a new camera- it all comes down to what are YOU willing to pay for the features that you want? So for me, I found a price that I was willing to pay. Even with shipping I am still paying hundreds less than I would if I bought locally. Sad eh? I am a big advocate of buying locally but there's also a limit on how much is too much to spend on an item.

So here's the deal...I hate living in a town where they have such a 1980's mentality. What do I mean by that? It's these business owners that think that we consumers have no where else to shop but at their store. It's as if they think that they are the only ones who sell that particular product. Apparently these business owners haven't heard about the internet, lots of people are shopping on it everyday and making rather large purchases on it too. Oh how I live for sarcasm! But seriously I buy a lot on line these days... from quilting thread and fabric to computers, clothing and more. I've bought quilting fabric on line because none of the local quilting stores carriers Moda's line of Mary Engelbreit fabrics. I bought all 3 of my Janome sewing machines on line and saved hundreds of dollars on them (I figure that I saved over $700 on them not including sales tax) and all of my purchases come with a full warranty. Many of these places are brick and mortar stores trying to stay afloat...local shops need to do the same and take notice of the trend of giving good values and good customer service.

Quote of the Day

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
~Henry Van Dyke

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What? More Snow?

I don't know about you but I'm rather tired of snow and cold weather. So for me to check this morning only to see the flashing red warning for yet another snow storm/blizzard predicted to be headed out our way- well that's just too over the top for me! I wish that our school district did a Spring break but alas they do a 4 day weekend, that's not enough time to go anywhere and enjoy it. Maybe I'll crank the heat up to 80ºF so we can all wear shorts and pretend that we're in Hawaii, LOL! Okay it was just a thought, LOL!!!

Quote of the Day

I have never been able to see myself as fitting into one category, and I have never been able to limit my contact with people to one group of people.
~Andres Serrano

Friday, March 27, 2009

This quote is in honor of my girlfriend Barbara who is 47 years old today!
I've been friends with Barbara since we were in the 3rd grade.

The Secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
~Lucille Ball

Farewell Luncheon

Today was the farewell luncheon for my husband. It was great seeing old friends and the nice things they had to say about my husband. My husband gave a little speech thanking his boss and the people who made his stay here a memorable one. It was both, a happy and a sad moment.

***I've taken some pictures and just need to get them onto the computer so I can add them in to this post

Quote of the Day

There are fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present, hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed, to forgive the fault of a thoughtless friend, to sacrifice self a little more for others. Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed, and to use your God-given abilities for the enrichment of someone less fortunate. Today you can make your life - significant and worthwhile. The present is yours to do with as you will.
~Grenville Kleiser

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine

Yesterday was one laugh at myself moment after another. There I was having to melt snow on the stove so we could flush the toilets, I poured baby powder in my daughters hair that I could not for the life of my brush out and we had to take showers at the base gym. It wasn't until the 3rd hair washing session of the day that all of the baby powder finally come out of Hannah's hair. Needless to say, we'll never do that again.

I couldn't wash the dishes, clothes or even my hands. It's amazing how much we depend upon water and how it can stop you cold in your tracks when you suddenly have it take away.

In the end, my day wasn't a total circus event, LOL! I managed to make yet another table runner (I'm currently into instant gratification in my crafting). I've adjusted a pattern and can make it longer or shorter to accommodate my needs. I managed to finish the hand sewing of the binding on Hannah's dresser/table runner last night. I'm quite proud of the fact that I used left over pieces from her quilt top to make the entire table runner, from left over squares and rectangles to left over quilt binding, backing fabric and even quilt batting. There it is, my first official 100% recycled scrappy project!

I've also gone to town on the Americana thing...making table runners galore! I made one for the buffet/sofa table, one for my pie cabinet and of course the thing that started it all, the dresser aka chest of drawers in the guest room/home office. Not once did I leave the house to get any fabric or supplies of any sort (the snow storm kind of put a kibosh on that). Then again I was determined to use what I had on hand. I've been studying another table runner pattern and want to make it within the next few days. I've got to pull fabric for it and get on with the measuring thing (doing adjustments to the length and width) and make it for my buffet/sofa table.

Now for me to get on with things that didn't get done the mountain of laundry that has suddenly appeared.

Quote of the Day

Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.
~Elsa Maxwell

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just like Little House on the Prairie...

This is so terribly funny in a sad and pathetic sort of way- having to melt snow in pots on the stove just so we can flush toilets. Let's not get started on the hair washing situation; note to everyone, DO NOT use baby powder on your hair. A friend recommended this to me and it sounded good at the time...just don't do it, really, don't do it!

So here we sit with gray hair (from the baby powder that won't come out no matter how many times we've brushed it and beaten it) complaining about how the city shut off the water without notifying us. For crying out loud, I'm HOA president for our subdivision (the city does have all of my contact information) and yet they don't call me. Grrr!!!!

As funny as all of this is, I'm not taking any pictures as I prefer not to be reminded of this situation. My daughter is telling me that there's no way that I'm putting HER picture in the internet with baby powder in her hair. Now we're off to the base gym to get a shower and wash our about sad eh?

Edited by: Hannah, her grammatical daughter. xP

A crap way to start the day

There's nothing quite like starting ones morning without WATER. Oh the phone calls I'm going to be getting once the rest of the neighborhood is awake. I sent out a mass e-mail to all of the homeowners (the ones I have e-mail addresses for that is) letting them know what's going on. I called public works and spoke with a sleepy gentleman...he was wide awake after I kept him on the phone for 10 minutes.

So out of the 5 people in this house right now, I have 4 who would like to take a shower this morning. Our teenage son was the smart one who took a shower last night. My husband will go to the gym- oh wait- all base services are closed. So basically, we're screwed over today. The guy from Public Works told me that he hopes to have us all with water by 3 or 4 pm- talk about unacceptable! I see myself being Ma Ingalls...getting a large soup pot full of snow and heating it until it melts down just so we can wash faces and hands. Just another side effect from the "blizzard".

My forecast for this morning- I'm going to have quite the crabby teenager daughter who will be having a major fit because she can't wash her hair due to the fact that we have NO water.

Quote of the Day

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together."
~ Carl Zwanzig

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Little House on the Prairie Blizzard

Alright, the winds woke me up earlier that I had planned to be awake. I looked out the front room (formal dining room) window and saw nothing but snow and blowing snow. There appears to be a huge snow drift up the side of one of my neighbors homes across the street from me, but the wind can whisk it away as quickly as it put it there. Soon enough the daylight will reveal what the storm has brought us. To me, this is the kind of thing that one would see on TV, it's what I like to call a Little House on the Prairie type Blizzard. You know, where Pa Ingalls would tie a rope from the house to the barn so he could hold on and not get lost in the blinding snow while he went out to milk the cows.
Laura Ingalls-Wilder wrote of bad winter snow storms back in the day before central heating, Tyvek house wrap and CanExel siding- and they made it through the storm just fine and so will we.

Once the sun rises hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures of what's been going on outside. I'm wondering how deep those snow drifts are in the road in front of our house and throughout our neighborhood. Time to make a call to the city for snow plows.

the procrastinator in me

Are you wondering what's up with my quote today? I saw it and thought to myself, this is perfect! I gave a chuckle as I put it here on my blog. It has to do with crafting-it's about me getting in motion and getting things made for our guest room and our daughter's room. The quilts for these rooms seemed to have taken me for forever to get done due to the fact that they had so many different pieces of fabric. Now I'm feeling motivated to working on the Americana stuff only because I've found that the local Quilt Shops have started to get some new Americana fabrics in stock.

I'm hopelessly addicted to quilting, just like I am addicted to sewing in general, counted cross stitching, stamping and of course there's my serious addiction to scrapbooking. Oh yeah I'm all about the rainbow and it's many colors that's for sure! I'll take some pictures of the table runners. I started hand-sewing on the binding last night on one of them. I also started working on making a cloth basket for my kitty. She loves to hang out in my yellow basket but that's for my sewing stuff...her basket will be in done up with various pink, brown, green and beige fabric strips.Wrapping the rope with fabric is the part that takes the longest. Once I get to sewing it up it'll go pretty darn fast.

Look for pictures of my latest creations later on today...if I'm able to get some time on the computer once the rest of my family is awake.

Quote of the Day

It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish.
~J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blizzard Warning

I've been seeing this "Blizzard Warning" for 3 days. Frankly I'm sick of winter! I want to be able to sit out on the bench in my front yard having my morning coffee while admiring the flowers in my flower beds or on a chair out on my deck in the backyard admiring the view of the hills.

It was in the mid 70's over the weekend, the weather was delicious to say the least. And today I wake to 50 mph winds and rain and sleet that's coming down sideways-ugh! So here I sit with a sun-burnt nose, typing away with my signature pink mug full of coffee on the desk in front of me waiting for the snow to come.

I say it's time to make something fun, who's with me? Doesn't an Apple Crisp sound perfect for a day like today? M'm, I love the smell of freshly baked apples and cinnamon!

Quote of the Day

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change.
~Ramsay Clark

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Girl Time

Hannah and I got to spend some quality mother/daughter girl time together yesterday. We talked and laughed at quite a few things. We had lunch out at our favorite Chinese Restaurant and day dreamed about our upcoming summer in England,

After lunch it was on to do more errands, I was still looking for a replacement set of drop pearl earrings (I lost one on the flight out to Boston last month). The store had gotten them in again and I made my purchase- which by the way had me doing the happy dance! We've still not found a pair of earrings to replace the one that Hannah lost on the flight home- obviously the Boston trip had it's ups and downs for the two of us, LOL! I came home and told my husband about the earrings and how I had bought a replacement pair- believe it or not but I do believe that he was truly happy for me.

Quote of the Day

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~Jane Howard

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fini Flight

Here are a few pictures after my husband got off his plane...

Lt. Col. Lucien Grisé


Our family

Andrew, Lucien, Sandie and Hannah

Quote of the Day

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.
~Arthur Rubinstein (1886 - 1982)

Friday, March 20, 2009


My dear friend Theresa helped me to have a little less on my plate today as she asked a mutual friend if she could watch little Amelia-whew! Now I can get errands done w/o baby in tow. I'll be back to taking care of my little friend next week but today menu/schedule was just so hectic.

I'll be picking the kids up from school early today so they too can be there to witness their Dad coming back from his last flight on a B-1 bomber. That right there saddens think that today will be that this will be the last time my husband flies. He's been flying for 20 years, needless to say I will be there with my camera in hand and I hope that the base has one of their professional photographers there too. As per tradition, I get to spray him with the fire hose and a bottle of Champagne. I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about this. The clock is now ticking on his out processing and departure from Ellsworth AFB, SD.

My daughter has her solo today. She wanted to look extra special today (you should see the outfit she bought for this event- very nice) and I'm going to put her hair "up"...once she's finished drying it. I'm going to take some pictures of her once she's all dressed and her hair is done up.

You're going to be surprised with this next thing- believe it or not I managed to get a total of "4" Americana themed pillow cases made in just a couple of hours (that's an all time record for me) Oh and they are stitched in too! Although I do need to get the top stitching done, I want to do that using red,white and blue variegated quilting thread, I'll get that done today sometime. Isn't it amazing what we can do once we set our minds to doing something?

I managed to get half way through that horrendous pile of laundry yesterday. Now for me to work my way through the other half-ugh!

Quote of the Day

"The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities."
~ Sydney Smith

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do you know the tune to...

Mission Impossible? It's been playing in my head all day long. We're having an open house on Saturday, tomorrow is my husbands fini flight, my daughter is solo singing recital at school tomorrow and I'm trying to get through a mountain of laundry today, keep the house tidy and get some things finished those Americana pillow cases. Did I mention that I have my little friend Amelia over all week long? So on top of those other things, I'm also taking care of a 10 month old baby who also happens to be teething and make dinner, WOW! It's never a dull day around here, that's for sure!

You've gotten a glimpse of what's on my plate, so tell me- what's on your plate?

Quote of the Day

Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.
~Thomas Sowell
(1930 - ), Creators Syndicate

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

my busy life...

As per usual I've got at least 12 different things going on at once. If it's not the new project I'm about to start (it's a messenger bag for Hannah) or the fact that I desperately want to make some Americana themed pillowcases for the guest bed or how I want to get the red, white and blue table runner done for the guest room chest of drawers. There's the dozen or more scrapbooking layout ideas floating around in my head and the half dozen or so counted cross stitch projects that I want to finish up. Did I mention that I have 4 different books/novels started? The Gemini in me is coming through loud and clear, I don't think that I would know what to do with myself if I didn't keep myself so darn busy.

With 3 months remaining until our household goods are packed up,crated and shipped off to England I've found myself at a standstill moment-talk about what a weird feeling that was, LOL! Then without notice, I started feeling compelled to gut and rearrange things in the kitchen. So I started that project and then suddenly I moved on to clearing out food stuffs from the pantry after that I started to take an inventory of spices that I'm going to ship to myself- or maybe I'll just stick them all in my suitcase (I'm undecided on the shipping part). I want to be completely prepared for our big move without any last minute surprises.

Next household hunt up and put aside all of the items that are going into permanent storage for the next 3 years. There's Hannah's doll house, camping gear, some dishes, lots of glassware, knickknacks galore, flower pots, snowboards, boogie boards, kids toys, and miscellaneous household items.

Quote of the Day

“Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people's bad manners.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I'll be honest, I'm not the best at waiting for people. I've always been that way (ask my mother, LOL). So when did the movers show up? 1:18 pm, no joke. They had our items packed up in boxes, on the truck and were driving down the road by 2 pm. The woman (who was 7 months pregnant) was cramming as much stuff as possible in those boxes, she did not wrap any of our shoes up with packing paper, nor did she wrap any of my purses (yes I brought purses and shoes in this prepack- need to have "going out" clothes ready for when I get there). Now the other person she was with, we estimate his age to be about 75. That's right we have a pregnant women and an elderly man- seems about right for the people who come to do our prepack. This old guy starts spouting off about things that the moving company he works for will not allow military folks to pack (by the way, those kinds of items were not in this shipment).

So he's yammering on about how they will not pack up cosmetics, especially Mary Kay Cosmetics. His next tirade was about spices- how they will not pack up spices, then he goes on about food and how they won't pack any food.

Alright here's the skinny from the Air Force- of course they don't/won't pack your business- that's your responsibility. So if you have a home based business you will have to arrange to have that stuff shipped over on your own dime.

Food items, of course there are limits and we have to understand why they are in place. No meat products can be shipped, this also means pet foods (if you didn't realize it, it's all about mad cow disease and keeping it out of the UK by any means possible). All I want to take with me are my spices and extracts- nothing else. I've already arranged with my friend who is the director for our local women's shelter to donate all of the food in my pantry and I will be giving her all of the condiments from my refrigerator for her and her family's personal use. I hate to see good things go to waste and she's right there with me. Okay let me get back on husband gives me this 6 page outline of items that we can bring/have packed and what can't be brought/packed. NOWHERE on it did it say that spices were not allowed and it actually said that cosmetics ARE allowed. Food items have to be listed and packed in the very first box tagged in our household goods shipment. Now I totally understand the no meat and dairy products thing. Now with the fact that I'm not bringing any food stuffs...I'm going to order a box of my country gravy mix direct from the company and have them ship it to me at the APO address- HA!

Now I did find out that they WILL allow me to have my fabric in clear Rubbermaid totes, woohoo!!! I plan on getting quite a few more in the next coming months as I want our clothes to be packed in them as well! I brought the woman down to My Scrapbook Nook and asked her what I can do to prepare my crafting stash for the move. As we were coming down the stairs she says that the best thing is to be organized, then she steps in and said "WOW, you have nothing to worry about, you ARE ready now". She proceeds to tell me that this was the most organized craft room she ever saw and that packing it up will not be an issue. She said that she wished that more people would take the time to be as organized as I am. So that was a big plus! I've already started organizing things in my sewing/quilting corner- all of my thread is now stored in clear containers as are some other sewing related items. Sure I'll need to get a few more clear boxes for packing up items that are in the drawers of the sewing cabinet and in drawers in my craft room and at the end of the our move (the unpacking part), it will pay off big time for me to have been so well organized in the first part of the move (the packing part).

So I'm going to do some more investigating about the spice issue. I did not see that outlines as something that I could not have packed. I suppose if push got to shove that I could always ship them to myself.

Quote of the Day

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
~George Bernard Shaw

Monday, March 16, 2009

Between the hours of 8 am and 12 noon

I hate it when I've been given an open window like that...the movers will be here between the hours of 8 am and 12 noon. So my husband jokingly says to me...You know what that means, they're going to be here either at 7:30 am or 11.58 am. I'm hate to admit it, but he's right. So we wait....

Quote of the day

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
~King Whitney Jr.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Motivation and Inspiration

There's nothing like a military move to get ones blood pumping. There's the excitement and anticipation of going to a new place and experiencing new things. The smell of new cardboard boxes and all of your items being packed into them that also makes you a little fearful of what to condition to expect your furniture to be in on the other side of your move (eek). Tomorrow a moving company will be here for the first pack out load. It's for my husbands pro-gear and personal items that he will need while in England. I'll have to remind myself to take a picture of the boxes of stuff that gets packed tomorrow. I'm sad that my husband is leaving soon but happy because we're on the tail end of the big wait.

The unseasonably warm temperatures we experienced yesterday left me full of hope for the upcoming days ahead. It's supposed to be in the mid 50's to low 60's all week. I don't know about you, but I certainly view this as being truly delicious weather! Hopefully by the end of today the rest of the snow will be gone, melted away from the warm sun. I so dearly want to be working in my flower garden and in my flower beds- raking mulch, trimming away dead plant material and so forth. I eagerly await the coming of spring. I certainly hope that we're done with the snow but as you know, we can very well get hit with a Blizzard in May. I remember last May's blizzard oh so well- being trapped in my house for a few days with teenage boys eating everything in sight, LOL!

I look forward to spending a few hours out of doors today clearing out some dead plant material and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face.

...reminder to self...I need to call the landscaper and order some more mulch for my flower garden areas. I wasn't able to do a lot of the work last year due to my foot surgery but this year I'm going to go at it with all my heart! I adore flowers and want to see them everywhere!

Quote of the Day

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.

~Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

“Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you,
they're supposed to help you discover who you are.”
~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lets talk about Cosmetics

It's something that most but not all women wear. I have to give a good chuckle when I think about of how many billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics each year. We women are vane creatures and there's nothing wrong with that, but move over ladies because we are not alone! I'm not talking about teenagers, their stuff has been around since I was 16, LOL! There are special skin care and hair care lines out specifically marketed for Men not to mention that there are at least 3 different hair coloring products being marketed for Men.

Look around you the next time you are out shopping for cosmetics or haircare products and see if there are any men shopping for skin lotions or shampoo that won't dry their hair out. I was recently at a Clinique cosmetics counter getting some essential items for myself ;-) and there was a man being waited up- getting a full skin care line for himself. I applaud any man who takes an active roll in trying to make his skin look the best it can. Why should it only be us women who don't want dry skin in the winter or sun-burnt skin in the summer? Do my men (husband and son) use skin care products...lets look at it this way, I lead by example and they follow ;-)

Quote of the Day

People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
~Salma Hayek

Thursday, March 12, 2009

work work work

Keeping one's home in company ready condition 24/7 is pretty much near impossible when you actually live in your house. I've been working at this for a couple of hours and am finally ready for this Realtor only open house. Everything is dusted, mirrors and all glass surfaces are clean, floors mopped and/or vacuumed. Beds are made (all 4 of them) and I even ironed a linen table cloth for the formal dining room table. Now for me to relax a bit before my realtor get here. I'm going to take this opportunity to take some pictures of my house ;-) you know...while it's clean, LOL!

Quote of the Day

A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.
Arthur Brisbane,
"The Book of Today"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm on a roll- Lets Purge!

Something really got to me yesterday and I feel as if I've got some sort of a second wind when it comes to purging even MORE stuff from my home. Would you like to know what the "something" was? IT was a call from the moving company that's coming here on Monday to pack my husbands 500 pound load. This to me was like a wake up call- this IS REAL this IS HAPPENING! And it's going to happen next week! First it was my car- which by the way is ON the Boat which is currently sailing on the Atlantic Ocean! I felt strangely queasy yesterday afternoon.

So I have Longaberger Baskets all over the place...I also use them for storage. Here we go on the purge part- no I'm not purging the baskets, LOL! I'd open up one basket only to find about a dozen table clothes. These are the wonderful yet relatively inexpensive plastic table clothes with the felt backing. This is the table where the kids do homework and class projects, my husband does his little electronic crafting and so forth. I would use those plastic table clothes to protect my table- and they've done a great job too! But now, it's time for me to cull the heard and reduce how many of them we own. I took out half and put them in the box for the Women's Shelter. I open another basket and find acrylic paints (the type for walls not paper). I haven't done any stenciling in over 8 years, why on earth do I still have this old stuff? Out to the trash bin they went!

Next stop on the purge express...back to the guest room closet. I came across a box that just made me laugh! Why I had it still is beyond me, I thought that I had gotten rid of all of that junk years ago- but apparently not! Costume jewelry- basically earrings from the 1980's. I was quite the fashionista back in the 80's and had costume jewelry earrings to match every outfit I owned, then again the same went for high heeled shoes, handbags and belts, LOL! I had gotten rid of the shoes, belts and purses years ago. As I looked into this box and got a real blast from the past, and then threw it all out into the garbage! I didn't care to be reminded of how much of a yuppie I was back then.

Here's a question for you... Why do we hang on to the boxes that jewelry came in? You know, the little rectangular box that the jewelry store puts the purchase in and that your husband wraps up in pretty gift wrap before he gives it to you? I'm serious, why do we keep them? We never put the items back in it, we store it in a jewelry box right? I came across even more of those boxes yesterday, this was stuff my parents had given to me over the years (again this was stuff in the 80's box). In the end, I threw out everything that was in that box.

Little stuff can really add up and it takes up space just like big stuff. Go through your things and get rid of the items that you don't need or use, things that are doing nothing but taking up space in your home. This stuff lurks everywhere...underneath your bed, bathroom sink, in the linen closet, in the kitchen and even your coat closet! Check your garage, I'm sure that there's stuff there too! I know that there's stuff is for me waiting for me to go through it- it's too cold for me to go through it this week but it is on the list of things to go through.

I'm off to tidy up the house, get some laundry done and to make little appetizer desserts for tomorrows open house. I'm going to take pictures of my house and then I'll post them here with a link to the MLS. It could very well be that someone reading my blog can help us to find a buyer for our home :-)

Quote of the Day

Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor (1892 - 1964)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

just when you thought that I was done purging...

I haven't purged anything for quite some time. So this morning I got this bug in my head to go through and clear out some stuff in our home office/ guest room closet. We had 4 boxes of framed portraits stored on the top shelf in the closet since we moved in here nearly 2 years ago.

My husband and I talked about how we felt about having pictures of people (family, our children, friends) and neither one of us wanted that huge spread of pictures on a wall anywhere in the house- so we put the boxes in the closet and that's where they stayed... until now. I'd much rather that those pictures be made into scrapbook layouts. So while I was still in my pj's, I took all down all 4 boxes and went through them popping out the photo's. I took out all but 3 pictures from the frames and put them(the photo's) in to acid free sleeves (for now), I decided to keep two 5x7 and one 8x10 frame and the rest (all 20+) are in a box marked DONATIONS. I will not look into the box, nor will anyone else in this family be able to retrieve anything from the box. That's been the golden rule and we've done good as to sticking to that rule.

My next big hurdle is the decision making on what goes into permanent storage for the next 3 years...Heaven help me with this one, LOL!

How's your weather?

I'm seriously tired of winter, how about you? It snowed all day long yesterday kind of like a drizzly rain but in snow-blah! Then last night the wind really picked up and MORE snow fell. Long story short, school was delayed by 2 hours. I left the house and it was -16º with the wind-chill...w/o it it was a whopping -1º. And right now 3 hours later, the temperature remains the same. The place where we are moving to is having great temperatures! It's currently 6:30 pm and it's 48º- what's not to like? I feel as if I'm hiding in my house because all of the blinds are drawn closed. The glare from the snow is near blinding and it gives me such a terrible migraine headache...where did I put those sunglasses??? Oh they are in a drawer in my sewing cabinet, LOL! So... if the neighbors aren't thinking that I'm some sort of recluse, then they must be thinking I'm a nut job for wearing sunglasses inside of my house, LOL!

Quote of the Day

What else is love but understanding and rejoicing in the fact that another person lives, acts, and experiences otherwise than we do…?
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
~Barack Obama

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's UFO time

I decided that it was time for me to get on the ball and get those UFOs out of the box and get to working on them to finish them. So for me, I spent the better part of yesterday pulling out old projects and assessing them. Seeing and making notations on how far into each project I was, what exactly needed to be done to complete them and put them into piles. Who would have known that I had so many uncompleted projects, LOL!

Lucky for me that I keep all of my UFOs (unfinished projects) in a Rubbermaid tote next to my sewing table. After I rummaged through it and made my assessments, I got to work. I managed to complete 2 tote bags and I finished ¾ of the "quilting" on my Americana Flag banner. I also managed to make quite the mess in the formal dining room too!

A note about working with the clear nylon thread- if you can avoid it don't work with the stuff! Talk about making me want to pull my hair out! The first time I ever worked with the stuff I said that it would be my last time. Well I still have that spool of thread. After a conversation with a friend who quilts, on her recommendation I bought another brand of nylon me, it too was just as difficult to work with, nylon thread no matter what brand is going to be tricky to work with. I had made myself so frustrated with my project that I had to walk away from it. I will try my hand at at again this morning, it's my goal to get the quilting done and to get the rod pocket and the binding sewn on- today!

It's daylight savings time and I just set the clocks in the kitchen forward 1 to work on the rest of the clocks in our house. I've got clocks everywhere in our home...I just like knowing the time that's all.

Quote of the Day

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J. K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, 1999

Saturday, March 07, 2009

who would have know?

It's the little things that we learn along the way that help us to be better crafters. This morning I read an in depth article on sewing pins. You know, those little things that hold fabrics together. There's so much more to them than meets the naked eye. Here's an the artilce I received in my Sewing Savvy newsletter

Picking the Perfect Pin
Straight pins are a simple tool that we use every time we sew. Many of us take this tool for granted and may not be aware that different types of pins are designed for different fabrics and uses. For me, because I enjoy a wide variety of sewing projects, I have several types and lengths on hand for each of my special projects.

Pin Construction

Pins are made from brass, steel or stainless steel.
Brass pins are usually nickel-plated. Be careful with brass pins because the nickel-plating may leave a black mark that is not easy to remove on the fabric. The advantage of brass pins is they have a very sharp point and typically will not rust.
Steel pins are the least expensive to purchase, but the steel may rust. The advantage of a steel pin is that steel is stronger than brass -- an advantage when working with heavy wools or drapery fabric. Plus, I like working with steel pins because of my magnetic pin holder. (Remember: If you have a magnetic pin holder, don't place it near an electronic device or embroidery machine because it may damage the computer chips.) Sometimes steel pins will be nickel-plated, which helps to prevent rusting.
Stainless steel pins do not rust and are the strongest pins available. Their only disadvantage is they are the most expensive.

Pin Heads
Pin heads can be flat, may have a ball at the end or be T-shaped.
A flat head is the most common pin head because it is the least expensive to produce. This is a great standard pin for sewing lightweight fabric like cottons or broadcloths.
A ball head is one step up from the flat head. The advantage of a ball head is that it is easier to see. I prefer a ball head for all of my sewing, but especially for heavier fabrics like denim or bulky fabrics like sweatshirts or polar fleece. I find the head is easier to grab hold of for inserting and pulling out of the fabric.
A ball head may be made from either plastic or glass. Glass heads are more expensive than plastic heads, but, if your budget allows it, purchase glass heads over plastic heads. A plastic head will melt from the heat of an iron whereas the glass heads will not melt.
A T-shaped head is used for crafts and draperies. Typically the pin is longer, and the larger head makes it easier to insert into and pull out of multiple layers of fabrics or heavy wools.

Pin Length and Diameter
The length of a pin is stated in sixteenths of an inch. Translated, this means that a no. 16 pin is one inch long (or 16/16) while a no. 17 pin is 1 1/16 inches long. In general, pins range in length from a no. 8 (8/16 or 1/2 long) to a no. 24 (1 1/4 inches long). As a general rule, use longer pins for bulky fabric or layered fabrics and shorter pins for delicate fabrics.
The most common pin is called a dressmaking pin or no. 17. This pin is considered to have a medium diameter, and it is used just like the name implies, for general garment sewing.
A pleating pin, or no. 16, has a smaller diameter than a dressmaking pin. It is designed to be used on fine or delicate fabric.
A long pin, or no. 24, is used for heavyweight fabric (thick wools with lots of bulk), draperies or crafts.

Pin Points
And yes, even the point on a pin is different depending on its usage. However, most pins are considered "sharps," meaning the pin has a pointed tip. A sharp is the standard pin point, but you can also purchase ballpoint-tipped pins for knits.

Final Pin Tips
Here are a few additional tidbits of information for your pin selection. Before pinning into your fabric, always test your pin on scrap fabric. Some fabrics, like vinyl, leather and oilcloth, will have permanent holes from the pin. When pinning these types of fabric, always pin into the seam allowance.
Pins are just like needles; they will become dull, bent or broken after usage. Throw your old pins out, as a dull pin can cause a run in your fabric.
And finally, don't sew or serge over your pins. A pin slightly distorts the seam allowance and may lead to seams that don't lay as flat or may be crooked. Serging over a pin will dull the blades of your serger; however, your pin will be neatly chopped in two pieces.

to sign up for the Sewing Savvy newsletter go to and select Sewing Savvy

Quote of the Day

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
- Leo Tolstoy

Friday, March 06, 2009

teenagers...need I say more?

Being a mom of 2 teenagers is not an easy job. I think that I'd rather wrangle a group of 10 screaming two-year olds than have to deal with teenagers, LOL! Heaven help me with my testy 13 year old daughter and my opinionated 16 year old son. There are days and then there are days.

Not much going on other than doing things in preparation for the move.

Quote of the Day

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
William James (1842 - 1910)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I love Stripping!

Here it is- my latest project, My Mary Engelbreit themed quilt top. I still can't believe that I did it in a day! When I first started quilting I started with fat quarter projects, not realizing that Stripping (that's what quilters call strip quilting) was really the way to go, LOL! I started with a Jelly Roll from Moda fabrics (that's a 2½ inch wide strip of fabric that's pre cut from an entire fabric line) and added from there. I'm quite proud of the fact that I used many more fabrics from my "stash". The quilt top is done in a simple 4 rail design that surrounds an adorable Mary Engelbreit panel depicting a little girl (who looks very much like my niece Isabelle) holding a flower and the sentiments "Friends are the Flowers of Life"- which is very true indeed! I changed a few things from the original pattern, I cut away more of the panel and added in the cute bumble bee fabric. I've been collecting ME fabrics for quite a while (at least 7 years) and was very pleased that I was able to use many of them while making this project. Of course some are not ME fabrics but I felt that they went along with the theme such as the yellow background bumble bee fabric, the green plaid you see all over the place, the green polka dots fabric, the green, blue and yellow checked fabrics. In all, I replaced 12 fabrics from the jelly roll from fabrics that I had in my quilting stash (many of them being ME fabrics you can no longer find). I'm quite pleased with the turn out! I'm going to say it (and you're going to laugh) I LOVE Stripping!

Surrounded by God's blessings

Can you feel it? (and you say "feel what?") The blessings that appear/surround us daily in our lives.

I want so much to be able to create things... for my family and friends to enjoy now and in the future. To take a quilt and wrap it around themselves as they sit down nibbling on a snack (made from one of my recipes) while looking at one of the scrapbooks that I made. Can you feel it? My love surrounding them in so many different ways, from the quilt to the food and the scrapbook of memories. So where does this all come from you wonder, to be able to have this passion for creating- it comes from God. It's through God's love and God's blessings that I'm able to do all that I do. It's from sharing my talents that makes it a true gift.

I'm off to get some pictures put onto my computer from my share with you what I did yesterday that has left me feeling quite elated!

Quote of the Day

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
~Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818), 1780

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

lets talk about addictions, LOL!

Oh my gosh you are not going to believe this but... I'm onto making another quilting project. I've got the Americana quilt top pinned to the batting and backing fabric and hanging over the railing in the formal dining room. I've started working on another quilt top- this one is a Mary Engelbreit themed one called "Friends are Forever". It's a pattern from the quilting magazine "Quick Quilts" the August 2008 issue to be exact. It's too darn cute not to make. It's supposed to be a "quick quilt" to make because it uses a jelly roll (pre cut 2½ wide strips). I did have to cut some additional strips from my fabric stash because I wanted to change out some of the prints, etc. But I'm well on my way on having this quilt top together...which for me (after my last project) is amazing!

Quilting is just one of my many crafting addictions...followed by closely by scrapbooking, card making, sewing in general, cooking of course, flower gardening, photography, embroidery and counted cross stitching.

I'm off...I want to get this quilt top done as I'm feeling super inspired right now!

Quote of the Day

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
~Oprah Winfrey (1954 - )

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I need a 12 step program

I told myself today when I went out that I was only going to buy 1 yard of fabric for backing a table runner and a couple of jumbo spools of thread...11 yards of fabric and 6 jumbo spools later. I think that I need to enter a 12 step program for quilting.

I've started this stocking up" thing because of my upcoming move to England. Everyone I talk to who has lived in England/Europe has told me these horror stories about how expensive everything is going to be and how hard it will be to find quilting or scrapbooking supplies. Well there are some things I want to have on hand and not have to wait 6 weeks to get- that would be thread and needles and of course cardstock and adhesive. I've got more cardstock than anyone would every need to have on hand and I'm just about done with buying thread.

Now for my surprise of the day...As I was parking my car at one of my favorite fabric stores there were signs on ALL of the windows- "Going out of Business" Sale, I suddenly felt very sad. My daughter and I love this store and they carry fabric selections here that the other shops don't and visa-verse. This is/was a great place to shop. So for those of you in Rapid City area that read my blog- get on over to the Fabric and Textile Warehouse...while they are still in business! I hope that the owner finds another store front to lease in the Rapid City area.

Quote of the Day

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someones life.
~Sister Mary Rose McGeady

Monday, March 02, 2009

Another Monday

I remember how last Monday started off...I had this grand list of things I wanted to accomplish during the week- HA! That Americana quilt top got the best my last week, LOL! I had no idea that it would consume most of my free time. So here I am, preparing to head out for a couple of hours of paper crafting fun with friends. I can only imagine what fun things Peggy has planned for us today. Stay tuned as I'm sure that I'll be posting more this afternoon.

Another Monday

I remember how last Onday started off...I had this grand list of things I wanted to accomplish during the week- HA! That Americana quilt top got

Quote of the day

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.
Spanish Proverb

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Americana flag banner project

I've done nothing but talk about this thing all week long. here's a couple of pictures of the back side of you can see what's been pushing my buttons all week.

As I had 2 the main pieces to put together...I thought that this would be the end of my having to take the seam ripper to it, alas I was wrong (oh so very wrong). I had to take the Canton off (the blue field with stars is called the Canton). And flip the stripes in hopes that the other side would line up and to my great surprise they did! Do you see all of those little squares? Those are the little devils that have been giving me stress all this week!

Here you see where I have pined this every quarter inch so it won't slip while I sew it together. Next comes the sandwiching of the quilt top, batting and the backing fabric. After that there's the actual quilting process of the item and then I'll need to attach the binding and the rod pocket for hanging.

Did you know...

That it's National Pig Day? Click on the pink link to find out more.

Hannah made this darling little Pig in Honor of this special day- I didn't know which picture to post so I added them all! Oh in case you are wondering...this little pig is one of the many cute creations from the book Stray Sock Sewing.

Quote of the Day

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
~Dale Carnegie