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Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Prayer

I'm saying special prayers for everyone I know tonight. A little Angel told me that Jesus is listening and is sending answers...we only have to open our hearts and our minds to them. May you all be blessed with love and happiness and a fullness in your heart that is like nothing you've ever known. Amen.

Read anything good lately?

I've joked about this for quite some time...how my kids would not let me read the Twilight Series of books. Well I've asked my daughter about the movies and she said that she watched the first one with her girlfriends back in South Dakota and that it sucked. I asked her what sucked about it- the more she hemmed and hawed about it I knew that it had more to do with her friends attitudes towards the male actors than anything else. So, while she was still in school I happened to watch the first movie- Twilight and LOVED it!
As it is, in a 2 week time span I've managed to read all 4 books in the Twilight Series and have seen the first 3 movies. The last time I read books so fast was when I was reading, well lets just say that I'm all over these books as I was with J.K. Rowling and her series of Harry Potter books! These novels are a terrific read, the author knew how to keep her readers hooked and how to draw new ones in! Thank you Stephanie Meyer for keeping me entertained over the 2010 Christmas Holiday school break!

Visiting the German Christmas Market

After being stuck at home for several day because of snow I finally was able to get us out of the house and off to Birmingham to visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market. It was a cold day 30º (22º with the windchill). We stayed as long as we could tough it out and in the end it was our Hannah who could no longer take the cold. We or should I be saying "I" bought a few things that were different and very unique.

Apparently this Christmas market happens every year in the city of Birmingham. parking garages are quite close and I highly recommend parking in one as the prices for parking on the street and twice as much! This Christmas market IS something that "I" would come back to see and shop at year after year.




Our son Andrew is home for the holiday and he brought his girlfriend Tamora. It's nice to see them together and better yet, to see him happy. They enjoyed the Christmas market but they too became chilled to the bone. Apparently I was the only one that wasn't freezing - I have no idea how that occurred as it's usually me that complains about becoming a Popsicle.
There were many wonderful things available at the market- from beautiful table linens, hand knitted woollen hats, scarves and mittens, wooden toys, Christmas ornaments, ceramics, clothing,German wines and foods and well there's more than I can recall right now. It's really worth taking your family to see and experience this event.



quote of the day

Christmas is, of course, the time to be home - in heart as well as body.
-Garry Moore

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
-Dale Evans

Christmas... is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart.
-Freya Stark

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
-Roy L. Smith

I don't think Christmas is necessarily about things. It's about being good to one another, it's about the Christian ethic, it's about kindness.
-Carrie Fisher

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
-Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 23, 2010

German Christmas Market

I love Christmas Time! Here in England they have this wonderful Christmas Market thing that is set up various cities throughout the country. Today I am off to embark on an adventure to visit one such city's German Christmas market. When I get back I hope to be able to go into detail about where we went, what we saw (and bought) all with pictures!

quote of the day

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
-Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sinus Headache...

Need I say more?

quote of the day

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
--Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SNOW

So here it is, another snow day here in Bicester, England. If we were back in the USA we'd be driving on the roads and carrying on business like usual-but we're not. Everything here has come to a complete and total standstill. There are no snow plows to plow the roads and neighborhoods, heck most of the people on our street don't own a snow shovel. Take our newest neighbor- he doesn't own any kind of a shovel. He thought that it didn't snow here- he now realizes the errors of his ways, LOL! Through the kindness of others he will have his driveway and walkway cleared of ice and snow. We've gotten over 8 inches of this fluffy white stuff and it's going to be a while before we can be mobile again.

I love hearing the laughter of children and trust me with our big yard, it's full of children! I've been watching them playing in the snow, having snowball fights and of course it wouldn't be complete without a few snowmen being made and snow angels too!

For the most part, I enjoy snow days. Reminds me of when we lived in the Midwest when we would get 20 inches of snow or more and we'd but stuck inside for a few days. We've got board games, books, DVDs and the snow to entertain us. I feel sorry for our son's girlfriend because she came so far to see England and what she's seen is the airport, the drive home on the highway (at night) and our house.

This snow bound kind of weather brings out the baker in me. We've had scones, sticky buns and many other delights all because of the snow. Today I think that I will encourage our son and his girlfriend to make some chocolate chip cookies from scratch. To get them involved in something fun and mildly entertaining. To take their minds off of being "snow bound".

quote of the day

Airplane travel is nature's way of
making you look like your passport photo.
-Al Gore

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Boy comes home today!

I think that pretty much says it all! He's been back in the States since July 26th. He is bringing his girlfriend on this trip. It's "her" first flight ever- so what does our son do? He takes her on a 9 hour flight, ooh that's brutal! But I hope that the flight goes well and that there aren't any delays.

Now to nail down that shopping list and pick up some groceries, get those stockings finished and get the guest room set up.

Loads to do and a limited amount of time to get it all done in. I'm one busy Elf today!

The Quilted Christmas Stocking Project




This is what happens when you have a sick child at home surfing the internet for crafting ideas (she is better now). My daughter has voiced (for a while now) how she doesn't like the idea that all of us had "different" Christmas Stockings. So this was the year she really made a fuss about it and well now they will all be of the same design but unique in the fact that they are done in different fabrics. Of course she saw something at one of these crafty websites but she didn't want felt, she wanted a quilted Christmas stocking and a big one at that! So we made our own pattern and got to work. Above you see the first of the finished stockings. Below you see the various prints that I cut stockings from, now to get them finished up.






I wanted to show you that everything is not as easy as it seems. Here is a close up view of the quilting process. I decided to quilt from the inside so have to do this upside down so to speak. Drawing the pattern to be quilted on the inside where it's easy to see.




I've a very busy elf to say the least! Now for me to finish the stockings today!



quote of the day

Every day holds the possibility of a miracle
~Elizabeth David

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm still an Elf!

So I'm recovering from my injuries, it doesn't mean that I'm just hanging out sleeping all of the time (just most of it). I've managed to get out (to my doctors office) and deliver little cheesecakes there...to The Airman that greets and checks you into the Med Clinic when you arrive, the poor soul who answers the phone when we make our appointments, the person who gets nothing but grief and gripes from us our Tri-Care Rep and the Doctor that sees us when we are in pain or puking our guts out. These are people who never to get see us at our best. I stand up and applaud every last one of them! I hope that they know how much they are appreciated by me and my family.

Now for the other part- I'm sewing and quilting our NEW Christmas stockings. With help from Hannah Elf I've been making some progress. I tried to load some pictures here buy alas my SD reader decided to be on the fritz! SO I will attempt to do this again later.

Now I'm off to get back to working in my Elves Workshop to finish the stockings before my son arrives tomorrow night.

I'm down but I'm not out

I know that I've not written since Friday but I've had a valid excuse (really I do). Here's my story...My husband and I went to the Comm Squadron Christmas party Friday Night. During the party there was a game of Scavenger hunt long story short I was the one to play from our table. IN the end it turned into Combat Scavenger Hunt and I was injured. Someone pulled the chair out from behind me as I was going to sit down- my head hit the stage, and my arms hit the floor. Long story short after seeing the doctor he was concerned about my ouches and sent me to be x-rayed. After being x-ray and thoroughly examined I do not have broken bones (thank the Lord) but do have torn muscles in my neck, and deep tissue damage to my right hand and torn tendons and deep tissue damage on my left hand and am wearing a brace (again). I'm on some serious muscle relaxers and when I take them, I am out for at least 8 solid hours. Now for the funny part, I might have broken my favorite wrist watch but at least I did win the game and got the goody basket- which consisted of spa bath goodies and a gift certificate to our local "spa" lady. Nice huh? Too bad that I can't have anyone touching me right now so no hour long Swedish back massage for me, I'll turn it into the ultimate pedicure instead, LOL! My feet are the only things that don't hurt right now.

quote of the day

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely.
-Pam Brown

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feeling the spirit of Christmas

There are so many nice little things to do for people during this time of year. I feel like an Elf when I go around with a bag full of my hand made treats, delivering them to unsuspecting souls.

Wednesday took us 100 miles away from here, to another US military installation (where our daughter has her orthodontics done). I brought my little hand made New York cheesecakes in for the Orthodontist and all of his staff. One Airmen got teary eyed and told me that it was the nicest thing any one had done for them (she almost got me crying).

Thursday I brought in a pan of my Fudge Brownies for my husbands office staff, When I left, all eyes were focused on those brownies :-) I'm sure that this morning that there's nothing but crumbs in place where those brownies were yesterday.

Now that brings me to today- Friday. I've got to get back to work on those quilted Christmas Stockings. I cut out fabrics for 9 stockings, cut out backing fabric for them all and now to cut out lining fabric, then the quilt batting and then the fabric for the top cuff. That's a lot of fabric to be cutting out, then I get the pleasure of sewing them all. Oh I must be insane to take on a task like this!

I need to power up with some more coffee before I go back upstairs...an Elf's work is never done!

quote of the day

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year.
~Thomas Tusser

Thursday, December 09, 2010

quote of the day

At the worst, a house un-kept cannot be so distressing as a life un-lived.
~Dame Rose Macaulay

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Winter Frost

Spider webs look amazing when covered in a thick frost. And the sky is such a beautiful blue gray color..

Even my rose bushes were transformed into something rare and beautiful
I love this time of year...then again I like being inside in my nice cozy house drinking hot chocolate too!


quote of the day

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Crafting is in our Blood

My daughter and I are very much the same when it comes to crafting- go to be doing it and want to see beautiful results. She's been sick this week and really sick over the weekend but she went to school today. Her motivation-there's a trip to Oxford and a sleep over that she doesn't want to miss out on. Oh yeah that's MY girl! So even with her being so sick over the weekend she still had things going through her mind...
Note to self- don't let sick child peruse through the internet looking at Christmas Craft sites.

My darling daughter decided that we ALL need NEW Christmas stockings. Apparently she didn't like the fact that we all had different ones. She wants them to have a "theme" and to be of the same size/design. I had her trace a stocking that we had and make it a ½ an inch bigger all around. There was my template for new stockings. Now to pick out fabric- thank goodness for my stash, although it's come to my attention that I don't have nearly as much red or green as I thought. Good thing I didn't need black as I only have 2 different pieces. We had our fabric picked out, now to cut out the stockings. I got that done as she supervised from the couch. Now today while she is at school I will cut out the fabric that will be used to line the stockings and the coordinating fabric that we will use for the cuffs. Meanwhile my husband is cracking up as I was getting a little flustered with the demands of our daughter. He looked at me and said "Oh Sandie, she's so much like you" Oh really I reply his reply "when you get an idea in your head you've got to make it NOW and there's no stopping you once you get started". I can see this in our daughter and I really do see it in myself- how funny!
So I'm about to start cutting our more fabric, hopefully I'll be able to get these all done up (cut, quilted and sewn together) before our son needs to be picked up at the airport next week.

quote of the day

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.
- Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 05, 2010

quote of the day

If you really do put a small value on upon yourself,
rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
-Anonymous

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Confessions of a British Pottery Addict

So what is it with me and British pottery? I can't seem to get enough of it! But I'm picky you see, I'm one of those purists...I refuse to buy a piece under the guise of "it was designed in Britain" (it's something that my girlfriends don't seem to understand).
Take Spode's Christmas Tree and Royal Albert's Old Country Roses patterns for example; all now being made in Indonesia and China but the companies are charging the same prices as if they were made in Britain. These patterns are those companies top sellers and they're being made where? The fact is that it's not the same- well it's not the same to me anyway. Even when shopping for my beloved Portmeirion Botanic Garden pieces I have to turn the item over and look where it was made. I have made the mistake of thinking that all of it was still made here in the UK- which is not true. I have 3 pieces that were made in China (no joke) they are the pierced cake plate, the set of 4 measuring cups and the multi purpose jar. I had bought these before I had realized that not all Portmeirion pieces are made here in Britain. Alas, as it is, this is something that seems to only matter to me. But with so many things that have been made in China these days that are recalled because of lead content makes me wonder how some of the world's finest pottery companies are turning to the "Made in China" label on their pottery pieces.

What can I say, I'm a purist. I want my British Pottery and Bone China to be made in Britain and I make no apologies for it. I've gone to the extreme to get my "Made in England" pieces, spending many hours sifting through dusty antique stores, browsing crowded charity shops and every now and then I go to eBay UK. I'm happy with what I've bought and the great memories of my "treasure hunting" experiences will be with me for a lifetime!

I ♥ Bicester!

I can say it, I'm going to miss living in Bicester England. This little town is the perfect spot for us- not too close to London or Oxford but also that it's not so big as to not have a "home town" feel to it. My most favorite place to go is to Sheep Street- the shopping district. To grab a pastry and a cuppa at Nash's or some coffee with a friend at Costa. Grab a quick bite to eat at the local chippie, pick up my dry cleaning from Bicester Dry Cleaners on the corner and take home a bouquet of flowers from the local florist a couple of doors down from there. Bicester is beautifully situated and I wouldn't change it for the world!

quote of the day

A true friend is one who walks in
when the rest of the world walks out.
-Walter Winchell

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow let it snow

The things I love about winter..

Mittens, Hats and Scarves

Warm Sweaters

Hot Chocolate

Baked Apples

Hot Apple Cider

Snow Days

Wool Coats

Thermal Underwear

Home-made Breads and Soups

Snow Boots and Wellies

Wool Coats

Heated Car Seats

Cinnamon & Vanilla Scented Candles

Snowflakes

Hot Apple Pie

quote of the day

Only the mediocre are always at their best.
- Jean Giraudoux
this quote had me snickering this morning

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My "to do" list

To Do Lists- we all have them. But the trick is to get the tasks listed on them completed in a timely manner. Some of my tasks need to be done today and others by the end of the week and some are simply on going things I do on a daily basis.
Here's my list for today/this week...
change sheets/make beds (2) DONE
tidy up daughters bedroom DONE
quick wipe down of bathrooms (2 up and 1 down) DONE
assemble Christmas tree -DONE
laundry-wash/dry/fold/put away- In Progress
condition leather sofa
vacuum stairs
vacuum downstairs- DONE
vacuum upstairs rooms DONE
tailor daughters new skirt-DONE
curb wheelie bin DONE
decorate Christmas Tree- DONE
write Christmas newsletter In Progress
start planning pottery shopping trip to Stoke-on-Trent In Progress
mend straps on daughters camisole- DONE
work on kindle covers (these are Christmas presents) IN PROGRESS
draw up plan for new tote bag design (gift for daughter) In Progress
wax eyebrows- DONE
remove gray from hair
remind friends that I only have 3 months left here in the UK-DONE
look through winter clothes- donate unwanted items- In Progress
schedule mammogram
write snail mail letter to those girlfriends who refuse to use e-mail-DONE
make a grocery shopping list-In Progress
mop hardwood floors-DONE



quote of the day

The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
- William Gibson

Monday, November 29, 2010

making room for the tree

My lovely British military house was not designed in the modern era that's for sure! Even with the 10 month renovation it underwent last year, it's still the same size -okay so a laundry room/mud room was added on, that still doesn't add anything to the areas of this house that need to be larger. Basically the rooms of my British house are small in comparison to American rooms. Trying to fit a Christmas tree in the living room is like trying to put on a pair of shoes that are one size too small- you can do it but it doesn't feel good and you're not going to wear them for very long. That's pretty much sums up how I feel about cramming a Christmas tree into this living room.

So here I am, I'm taking a break from moving our furniture here and there. I've had to put a couple of pieces of furniture in the formal dining room that were in the living room- all because I want to have a Christmas tree. Now both rooms are packed with wall to wall furniture. Oh there's nothing quite like that claustrophobic feeling of furniture closing in on you for Christmas, LOL!

On a lighter note, my husband did get the Christmas lights strung on the house before the temperature dipped into the teens last night. Brrrr, it sure is nippy out there today! We're expecting some snow tonight!

Is it December yet?

November is going by in a flash! Now to get on with business at hand...

My Elves workshop is now open! I've got about a dozen sewing projects to complete, more mini cheesecakes to make than you can shake a stick at and let's get to thinking about that Christmas newsletter that I have to write (ugh). As if I'm not busy enough, lets throw in a DV visit to our base, the cookie drive (we now have 60 airmen to make cookies for), a dorm dinner, a hearts apart dinner, a spouses club event (I'm making a soup for it- can you guess what kind?), an orthodontic appointment, maintenance coming to fix a few things, a handful of Christmas parties to attend AND our son arriving back in the UK with his girlfriend. Needless to say December keeps me quite busy! That's all of the extra stuff I have going on- I still need to keep the daily stuff I do around this place. All I can say is Coffee don't fail me now!

quote of the day

Either I've been missing something
or
nothing has been going on.
- Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Me vs. the turkey

Some turkeys take longer to defrost than others...mine happened to take 6 days and there were still ice crystals in it's cavity this morning! It's not as if this was a huge turkey, actually I bought the smallest one they had at just a little under 12 pounds. Well now my turkey weighs less because I took a meat cleaver to him and took out his spine and cracked the ribcage and made it lie flat.

Since our daughter had school all week, we decided to celebrate our family Thanksgiving today. This is the only time we've delayed having a Thanksgiving meal in our home. But it's guaranteed to be a good meal!

Now for me to get on and to start baking my mini cheesecake desserts (I'm giving those out at Christmas and need to get a start on them as I need to make more than 40 of them!

Today I am thankful for...

Thursday- Being with family and friends
Friday - Being able to spend quality time with my husband
Saturday- Alone time- no one need see me whack a turkey with a cleaver, LOL!

quote of the day

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
- Sam Levenson

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

Brackley Antique Cellar and their helpful and knowledgeable staff.

quote of the day

Happiness cannot be complete if you
compromise yourself or your values to attain it.
~unknown

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Busy is as Busy does

It's one of those weeks for me- just being plain busy! We Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Now I had 2 different British women ask me today what Thanksgiving is about (one thought it was our independence day). I told them it's about being thankful for the blessing that you've had throughout the year. It's a time of gathering your family and friends round and being "together". For me, it's a time of community service- giving back to my military and local communities. I'm collecting items to give to the local Food Bank, buying grocery store gift cards to help out a local church, gearing up for serving and hostessing at the big Thanksgiving dinner happening at our base and a whole lot more!

So I better get on with it, tomorrow is the big Pie Social at the base where all sorts of local folks have been invited to attend. Me, well being that everyone seems to be bringing apple, cherry or pumpkin pie to the event I thought that a New York Cheesecake with strawberry topping would be a nice change of pace. I better get myself into the kitchen and start baking it eh?

Today I am Thanksful for...

Having the opportunity to live in England.

quote of the day

Laws are like sausages.
It's better not to see them being made.
- Otto von Bismarck

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

What to do on a rainy day...
  • Clean your house
  • Do the laundry
  • Play with your pet
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Have copious amounts of tea and biscuits
  • Surf the web
  • Plan meals for the week
  • Wash the windows (on the inside of course)
  • Ring up an old friend
  • Organize your pantry
  • Look through clothing and do repairs
  • Change sheets on all of the beds in your house

There's always something to do around MY house, how about yours?

Today I am thankful for...

Sunday-My Parish and my Catholic Faith.
Monday- FREE Heat!

quote of the day

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.
- Charlotte Whitton

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Prayers needed

Please pray for my friend Laura. I woke up this morning to find out that her daughter Jennifer died yesterday. To suffer the loss of a child, I know of no greater pain a mother could suffer. Please hug your children a little tighter today and keep Laura in your prayers.

Today I am thankful for...

My children.
Over the years they've made me laugh, they've made me cry and in the end I wouldn't trade them for anything! Although I've been known on occasion to tell them (okay so it's more like yell it at them) that I would gladly trade them in for a pack of Chihuahuas when they act up- which really isn't true, I'd still keep my kids (they're potty trained).

quote of the day

A strong positive mental attitude
will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
-Patricia Neal

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

Sheep and their soft fuzzy wool! I adore wool sweaters, scarves. hats and mittens!

quote of the day

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
-Rita Rudner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What do you mean "it's in the mail"?

This is what happens when you want to be creative and are waiting for packages to arrive in the mail that contain the things to help you create your latest crafting endeavour. Oh the life of military families living abroad (insert big sigh here). Nothing I can do but to wait it out.

So while I'm waiting for things to happen around here I'm going to get crafty with things that I do have at my disposal. Stay tuned...this should be good!

Today I'm thankful for...

All of God's creatures great and small- except for flies, they creep me out.

quote of the day

May your walls know joy;
May every room hold laughter
and every window open to great possibility.

-Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

Long distance calls from dear friends that brighten ones day!

quote of the day

A human being has a natural desire
to have more of a good thing than he needs.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

really good brakes on my car!

quote of the day

You have no control over what the other guy does.
You only have control over what you do.
-A. J. Kitt

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday

My husband and I spent the better part of our Sunday in the little community of Aston-Clinton. What a wonderful community it was too! My husband was part of a ceremony that honored the fallen during WW1, WW2 and the current war in the gulf. It was amazing to see so many from the local community turn out for this event. After the wreath ceremony there was a procession up to the local church where we attended church (this was my first time attending a Church of England service). Afterwards we got to talk with many of the town officials and got to learn some more history of the area and of a US plane crash that happened there during WW2.

Afterwards we dined with a British Army commander and had a tour of a historic weekend house that was built by one of the Rothschild Family back in the late 1800's (it's now used as an Officers Mess). The place was fantastic!

Now if I could figure out how to get pictures off of my cell phone and onto my computer I'd be set to share some with you!

Today I am thankful for...

Cell/Mobile phones with cameras.

Sunday- For British communities that honor the fallen soldiers of wars past and present.

quote of the day

The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house.
- Jeff Foxworthy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Following a routine

Have you heard the Phrase "A Clean Home is a Happy Home"? This saying can be applied to any room of your house be it the kitchen, the dreaded "kids bathroom", your crafting room/space or your living room.

I've always been one to organize things- everything in it's place and a place for everything (it's a common phrase I say at home). I never had a problem with becoming overwhelmed with house keeping things until our move from Texas to Virginia. The move was terrible, the packers did the worst job in recorded history on packing all of our items -that is until the movers from South Dakota to England but that's another story. My husband couldn't take time off to help me with the unpacking and organizing of the house I was left on my own to complete the task. The boxes weren't labeled correctly so I was unable to locate items that I needed- such as the iron -which I found a few days after I really needed it in a box full of Lego's and a bucket of red Texas dirt -no joke. I promptly tossed the old one and went out and bought a new iron. But the real catch here is that the people who packed up our belonging mislabeled just about every single box they packed which left me surrounded in utter chaos. I had things strung out of every single box- which became very overwhelming. A friend recommended The FlyLady and I've taken her concepts to heart and have added a few of my own along the way.

I loved how The FlyLady broke it down in simple easy to do steps. I remember reading a quote from her "your home didn't get this way overnight and it won't get clean in a day". But for me and the cross country move it had gotten this way overnight. With her insight I was able to pace myself and not let myself feel overwhelmed. I've recommended her website to dozens of military spouses over the years. She's helped me get through every military move since 2000. By having check lists and pacing myself, I've gotten through our military moves. With another big move in my future, I know that the FlyLady will help me to stay focused.

Make a routine for yourself and follow it. If you don't know where to start then check out the flylady's baby steps page, it's got some great information on how to get yourself back on track. I can spend 15 minutes or less in any room of my house and have it be what I like to call 'company ready'. Keeping the bathrooms clean has been a snap since our son left home for college ;-) Oh yeah, it's obvious who the little piggy was in this house. Any room that boy of ours walked into was left in total chaos. But I digress...Make a routine and follow it, it's as easy as that. Maybe (and it's only a suggestion) it would help if you got others in the house to follow a routine and to pick up after themselves as well. I never could get that boy of ours to conform, I have happiness in knowing that he's changed- now that he has a girlfriend ;-)


Purge items from your home regularly!
Being stationed here in England has made this easy for me and it's all because there are more charitable organizations out here than one can shake a stick at! All of which have "charity shops" that generate money for their cause. Okay the other part is that at any given week I get a bag shoved through my mail slot from one of the many different fore mentioned charitable organizations looking for donations ...not for money like back in the states, but GOODS!!! Talk about making this easy for me! American Charities could use to learn a thing or two about this kind of funding raising. I can take the bag and fill it, leave it on my door step and poof! There goes the clutter of unused items from my house! FREE Pick up of my unwanted goods (another things American charitable organizations could taken note of, and gas is more than double the cost here than it is back in the states). This week it was 2 bags of clothing and shoes. Next week who knows what it could be. I have integrated this into my reduce, reuse, recycle program/habit. I will miss these British charities when we move back to the states and the weekly pick ups. Hence I will have to re-establish a new routine for donating unwanted/unused items. But until then I shall purge as I go through each room and set it aside for the next charity bag that comes through the mail slot!

I'm getting better, I really am

A good friend pointed out to me yesterday that I've been sick for 3 weeks. The last time I was out of commission for that long, I had chicken pox when I was a kid. At least I no longer feel like a walking zombie. I am feeling much better, not 100% yet but I am feeling like I can leave the house now and not be looked at as if I'm spreading the plague.

I'm going out today with friends to check out a "hometown" craft fair put on by our base. It's about people who make up our community selling their wares and such. I'm looking forward to seeing what's out there. Maybe I'll come home with something interesting- we shall see!

Today I am thankful for...

The FlyLady. I started with her fly-baby steps over 10 years ago after I became overwhelmed during a cross country move. And now it never takes me more than 15 minutes to have any room in my house clean and company ready. The best part is that it really pays off when you're sick!

quote of the day

"Three things in human life are important.
The first is to be kind.
The second is to be kind.
The third is to be kind."
- Henry James

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

A steamy mug of Hot Chocolate on a cold day.

quote of the day

One never notices what has been done;
one can only see what remains to be done.
- Marie Curie

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

Wednesday-
...The Spouses and Parents of our men and women who serve is the US Military. Without their love, devotion, tireless support and sacrifices, we wouldn't be the military force that we are today.


Thursday-
...The men and women that have served in the US Armed Forces.

quote of the day

Patriotism means to stand by the country.
It does not mean to stand by the president.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Still sick...

I know that I've got my friends concerned about me being sick for so long. I want to let you know that I am being seen today and hopefully this new Doctor can get to the bottom of this and figure out why this crappy illness is hanging on to me the way it has.

Today I am thankful for...

Recycling and going green (as much as I possibly can).

quote of the day

I hate the word housewife;
I don't like the word home-maker either.
I want to be called Domestic Goddess.
-Roseanne Barr

Monday, November 08, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

The women who have been my mentors these past 20 plus years. They have continually given of themselves to so many, they can put a smile on your face when you are frustrated and want to pull your hair out and have you seeing a different side to things before you know it.
They guide you to be the best person that you can be and along the way they become a part of you. It's because of them that you are able to help others as they have helped you.

It's because of women like them that I am who I am today and I hope that I am a little like each of them in their kindness and love for all military spouses. You all know who you are (at least I hope that you do). My thanks goes out to each and every one of you with heartfelt gratitude!

quote of the day

Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.
-Gertrude Stein

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Today I am thankful for...

Saturday-I am thankful for.... those wonderful people who do hand crafts with their own 2 hands and bring those unique items to craft fairs. what a wonderful gift the Lord had bestowed upon them and they are sharing it with us.

Today- I'm thankful for being able to spend quality time with my husband. It's such a rare and precious gift we have (20 years of marriage) and being able to have fun with him and still laugh at things that the Lord has brought into our view.

quote of the day

It's the experiences in life that makes us who we are.
it's how we deal with it that shows others who we really are underneath.
~unknown

The Bazaar

Being a military spouse you hear things from your girlfriends about these "Holiday/Yuletide Bazaars" that are held at overseas bases, they are said to be the end all be all of holiday shopping experiences. Oh I had been so envious of my girlfriends whose husbands had overseas assignments that were able to first off be overseas and live the life and secondly for being able to shop at these "holiday bazaars".
My girlfriends would tell these fun stories about how they got their Polish Pottery (it was such a novelty item 14 -15 years ago) or their tapestry rugs and wrought iron pieces from Turkey, their handsome furniture pieces from Germany and their bone china service from England. There we were, assigned to a duty station in the Midwest- we had a whole lot of Tex Mex food and that was about it. To be honest, we lived in Abilene for 7 years and the only furniture we bought was a bed and a dresser for Andrew that we ordered from a company in Maine (we love handcrafted maple furniture). Nothing exotic going on at our house that's for sure. Okay so I did buy a lot of Longaberger baskets, pottery and wrought iron- but then again that was made when all things Longaberger was still being made in the USA (it's a whole different story now).
Now for me to tell you about the unique things we came across yesterday at the Mildenhall Bazaar- Where to begin...
There are these 2 little old ladies that card and spin wool and make their own yarn! Their hand knitted creations are true works of art. Last year I bought quite a few hand knitted sheep and other little creatures from them. Too darn cute!!!
The ladies that do the egg crafts-seriously cool stuff there! Picture it,enameled and bejeweled duck, goose , emu and ostrich eggs (hollowed out of course). These eggs are true works of art! They were made into music boxes and jewellery boxes. I fell in love with 3 different ones yesterday- the price charming (it's a bejeweled frog with a gold crown and tigers eye stone for eyes), the Christmas Tree music box, it was VERY ornate and the Regatta, it had cut out parts in the top egg shell half, lots of jewels and little pearls here too. I was in love, talk about something not every has. Last year my darling husband surprised me an enameled egg from these ladies, mine had a dragon fly theme (I adore dragon flies). This year, he bought me another one but this year it was not a surprise, I got to choose one.
I simply Loved the folks who were selling the Russian Matryoshkas those adorable nesting wooden dolls (click on the words and it will take you to the history of those dolls). I got my first matryoshka or babushka (Russian for grandmother) from my aunt who went on a trip to Russian in the early 1970's. It was a little 3 piece nesting doll set and I was in love with them from then on. I now have a small collection of them and cherish each and every one! I knew that I wanted to get another one but which one- they are all so pretty (my tastes go towards the traditional and floral designs). The one I bought yesterday has 15 pieces and is of a traditional design. Here's a side note- all of my nesting dolls with exception of one have blonde hair.
Many vendors selling Pashmina Scarves, all of them had excellent prices and color selections. Needless to say I bought a few to give as gifts, with the great prices at the bazaar, I can look like a spent a million dollars!
Loads of antique furniture! There were many great pieces on display. I only wish that I had room in this house to put them (even if it's only for a few months). But alas this house is pretty cramped for space and I couldn't do that to us now...talk to me after Christmas though ;-)
The handmade blown glass perfume bottles- oooh how pretty! The pieces came from Egypt and were just like the ones I saw at the perfume factory in Egypt but at a faction of the price!
There was the lady that was selling hand carved Welsh loving spoons (yes she traveled from Wales for the bazaar). Talk about more of this one of a kind handmade with love art. Friends of ours have one in their home and we both have admired it. Now we have one commemorating our 20 years of marriage. Take a look at the website and learn the history of this unique craft.
There was so much more there and it would be a shame not to mention them all but alas I want you to go there and experience it on your own if you can.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Naughty Me!

In my quest for some inspiration for what to do with this skinny living room for the holidays, I got sucked into web surfing various interior design blogs for many hours yesterday- Oh Naughty Me!. I know that we only have a handful of months left here in England, but dang if it doesn't kill me to have this TV of ours mounted over the fireplace-ugh! Trust me when I say that this "thing" is the last thing I ever thought that I would have hung over a fire place in any house! But alas this house is old (built somewhere between 1925 and 1930) and frankly the television hadn't been invented yet, not had over stuffed reclining sofas and the other little things one had now days. It's a skinny little room with windows in odd places.
I will however make myself be happy with what I have here with me now and not pine over the things that I have in permanent storage back in the USA. I do dislike quilting with my ¾ sized sewing machine, and only do the basics with this machine. With that said, I have several finished pieces that do need to be quilted.
Alright now to do something productive with this day while I'm still recovering from the head/chest cold from hell. I am feeling much better by the way!

Today I am Thankful for...

Comedy and being able to laugh myself silly!

quote of the day

When people talk, listen completely.
Most people never listen.
-Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Celebrating Autumn

I've always been one to decorate for the seasons. Autumn is such a wonderful time of year, especially when you live in a part of the world that actually HAS seasons. I am currently living in Bicester, England and I'm happy to say that we get all four seasons here. Autumn where I am is full of colorful leafy splendor! As I drove my daughter to school on Monday I truly took notice of how beautiful the landscape was with the various types of trees covered in rich hues of red, orange, yellow and deep green. I want to bring those rich colors inside of my home.

Now it's time for me to take a look through my Rubbermaid totes of window treatments and table linens to see what I can find to decorate a couple of rooms with. Or maybe I just might go upstairs and make something new to use for decorating or better yet, I could finish up a project (like quilting those long table runners I pieced together in September). The possibilities are near endless! I'll let you know what I end up with.

Today I am Thankful for...

The Power of Prayer.

quote of the day

It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'
- Sam Levenson

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm Thankful for...

In honor of Thanksgiving, every day this month I will post something that I'm thankful for-
Today I am thankful for- Friendship

American Football

My husband and daughter LOVE Halloween but this year they were torn to be here OR to go to an American Football game that was being held at Wembley Stadium. You can all guess where they were, yup they went to the see the San Francisco 49ers (my home team) play against the Denver Bronco's. I handed out candy to the scads of kids and parents that came to my front door and they watched men running around in the cold with a pigskin. They both had a terrific time and said they'd do it all over again!

Halloween

Halloween in out little community is HUGE. How big is huge you wonder. Well this year I liken the crowds of people to be something like Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I've never seen crowds like this- ever! It was a seriously insane amount of people coming through this little neighborhood- much more than live in the local area that's for sure!

I had an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote over flowing with candy and withing 1½ hours it was GONE! All handed out to children of all sizes who came knocking at our door. The next morning you could see how every-one's lawns were trampled by the stampeding crowds of people that were here. It was obvious just from the look for the neighborhood that there were tons more people here this year than last year!


Granted, I never had any unruly people knock on my door. When I ran out of candy they all understood and were polite (I even posted a sign on my front door stating that I was sorry but I had run out of candy). But I had heard from some friends that they had some rather uneasy and even tense moments with some groups of people when they had run out of treats to hand out. Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for children, lets have it be for the children and in the spirit that it was intended. No one needs to be rude, obnoxious or threatening.



I want to end this post on a high note. For being in a country that does not "do" Halloween, the British families really get into making costumes. It was great to see parents and grand parents dressed up in costumes going out with their children. Heck sometimes the family dog was wearing a costume. The most fun I had was when folks wanted to have their picture taken in front of our house or better yet, standing next to our automated gargoyle. It was cracking me up! We had carved pumpkins in the windows, the smoke machine was in full force, strobe light and more!

quote of the day

Conscience is what makes a boy tell his mother before his sister does.
- Evan Esar

Friday, October 29, 2010

sick for a week

There are things I enjoy and things that I don't enjoy- and being sick is on my list of things that I do not enjoy!

I feel as if I've been sick for forever. I'm tired and cranky, and to be honest I'm tired of being tired and cranky. I've lost my sense of smell and can hardly taste anything, my hearing goes in and out, I've lost my voice and I'm tired, so very tired. Damn this sucks!

quote of the day

Have a heart that never hardens,
a temper that never tires,
a touch that never hurts.
-Charles Dickens

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm back in the UK

Actually I've been back since late Monday afternoon but have been quite ill. It seems that no matter where we go on a vacation holiday one of my family members gets sick. This year both my husband and I have gotten sick. Me, well I've had 2 different illnesses and have developed pleurisy because of the extent of coughing. We went to see the Doctor on Tuesday and well my husband seems to be getting better where I have taken a turn for the worse. To make my situation all that more pitiable I'm having an bad allergic reaction to the pain medication and now have hives and severe itching all over my body plus diarrhea and uncontrollable vomiting (nice huh). So I guess this is something I can write about in my scrapbook eh?... Caught a serious head-cold and was almost wiped out by a stomach bug from a Falafel sandwich from our tour guide while on vacation in Egypt. Oh the memories!

quote of the day

I'm thirty years old, but I read at the thirty-four-year-old level.
- Dana Carvey

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today!

Finally after all this waiting, the big day is here! We were wanting to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary with a special trip just for us, but alas at that time things were just a bit hectic. So here it is, October and well wouldn't you know it, the timing couldn't be more perfect for us to take a trip!

Our bags are packed, just a few little details to take care of around here and then we'll be off! we won't have internet connections other than at the airport so I'm leaving my little laptop behind. I am bringing a note book to write about all of the places we've been to and our experiences. When we get back, I'll tell you all about it!

Our daughter is off as well- we all will have stories to tell of our travels when we get back.

Please keep us all in your prayers!

quote of the day

I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn't matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.
~Julia Roberts
Happy Belated Anniversary to me!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1 day

Why is it that men seem to wait until the last minute before a trip or a social event to do clothes shopping? They knew weeks in advance of such occasion yet they put off doing the one thing that they should do fist- buy clothes for themselves! Myself, I've been packed for more than a week! My husband? Well he's got some toiletries put together in a white plastic bag hanging on a door knob (yes I'm being slightly sarcastic).

Yesterday I went out with my spouse to get him a new blazer and a couple pairs of trousers- oh yeah that was fun (insert eye roll here). Women generally come out of the store HAPPY when carrying a bag of nice clothes for themselves. Men on the other hand, well they come out just as grumpy as they went into the store even with a bag full of nice clothes- do you know why that is? It's because they had to pay full price that's why! They knew well in advance that they needed to add something fresh to their wardrobes but never shop until the last minute. They don't look for sales or anything, and they think that the stores will always carry their size (time to wake up guys).

As I was sitting on a stool waiting for my husband to come out of the dressing room, I was sitting next to a lady who had me smiling from ear to ear. I must have been looking bored out of my mind when she leans over to me and says with this smirk and a sarcastic tone only another women can understand "I've completely lost the will to live". She was referring to having to wait for her husband in the dressing room trying on trousers. Throw in that charming British accent and I almost lost it! It was too darn funny! She said to me that she's rather shop for clothes with her teen aged daughter than suffer through this. I looked at her and I said "I couldn't agree more". Meanwhile another gentleman comes out of the dressing room, walks over to his wife and says "do these trousers make my bum look fat?" Can you see the irony in this? My thought was -we've tortured you for years with making you come clothes shopping with us and now it's your turn and you get back at us for those years of torture in just one afternoon...nice!

quote of the day

Always and never are two words
you should always remember never to use.
-- Wendell Johnson

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2 days

Here I am, getting ready for this trip of a lifetime. I look forward to going someplace new and exotic but yet this place is as old as time its self. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I'm bringing a notebook to journal in while I'm away as I will not have my lap top with me on this trip.

I have no qualms with the requirements of dress, I only wish that more people would do what is asked and be respectful of other cultures and religions. This is the trip of a lifetime- I know that I say it a lot but it's true! This has been a dream of mine for such a long time, and for it now to become a reality is nothing short of amazing!

Now after this trip I'll be filling my look look book blog with TONS of photo's! I'll have MORE than enough pictures to fill a scrapbook and maybe I'll bring back a trinket or two!

quote of the day

For travel to be delightful,
one must have a good place to leave and return to.
-- Frederick B. Wilcox

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hellos and Good Byes

Being a military spouse isn't an easy job. We're the ones that go through the constant heartache of losing friends to a PCS (military move) year after year. I used to let myself get upset about this thing that I couldn't control- those damn military moves taking my best buds away! I'd throw myself a little pity party as I hated "losing friends to a PCS" and the worst part was being the one that was left behind. I got tired of the constant heartache and that's when I decided one day to look at it from a different angle. God has given me a fantastic opportunity to show new people the wonderful places that I've discovered- the little places to have lunch with a girlfriend (or my kids), the places where to buy those hard to find items, a yummy place for a cup of coffee or tea, where you can get yourself a cool scarf, the places to take your family to set up a great back drop for a family photo, etc. Look at all of the wonderful things you've shared with your "old friends" that you can now show to "new friends". And when YOU leave, all of those wonderful things will continue to be passed on. It's like you're leaving behind a legacy. Look at it as never really saying good bye but as always saying" Hello".

some of my other antique shop finds...

I confess, I am a hopeless Pottery Addict! Living here in England has enabled me to find a wider selection, better prices and better quality pottery!

Take this Portmeirion Basin and Ewer in the Christmas Rose pattern- I could only dream about owning something like this. But living here in England has given me the opportunity to be able to own such fine pieces as a fraction of what it would cost me back in the states. Now to replace them if they were to break during the move- now that would cost a mint!


Now who can resist a covered casserole dish? This was calling out to me, a brand NEW Portmeirion casserole dish that someone received as a wedding gift and they didn't like it. Left abandoned and on it's own to find someone who would love it...then I came along! I paid a third of what full retail is on this lovely piece of British made pottery! I will treasure it for many years to come!









These platters are so seriously cool to look at! The style is called "Flow" as it has to do with how glaze is applied before the firing process. Believe it or not but the Turkey Platter is in mint condish and I got it for the whopping price of...£5.00, no joke! It dates to the early 1900's and has clearly only ever been on display. Apparently turkey platters aren't much in demand out here.
The Fleur di Lis platter is supposed to be late 1800's and did cost me a little more than the Turkey Platter, but look at it, it's seriously cool!
Now as for being "collectible", apparently it's the Asian or Oriental designs are the ones that are highly prized and sought after by collectors. Me, I don't much care for the Oriental designs, I'd much rather have a nice pretty floral pattern or something else that strikes my fancy than Blue Willow.
AAhhhh, more great finds in Portmeirion. This is a retired floral pattern and it's one heavy bowl! It's lovely! It will be well used in my home!


This lovely little vintage piece is made by Portmeirion, it's from the 1970's and I do not know what the pattern is called but it's pretty none the less! The piece is a Sandwich tray, but it's great for serving all kinds of yummy treats!

The little bowls you see are made by Burleigh and are small sugar bowls- which are great for serving wonton soup, salsa or ice cream!

Here's my best deal yet on Burleigh Pottery- the large Chinese bowl which retails for £54.50, I paid £15.00. There's no way on this planet that I would ever find a deal like this back in the states...no way no how! I felt as if I had won the lottery that day!



There are also the Unusual finds- take this Portmeirion Halloween Bowl. Since Halloween isn't all that "big" out here in England like it is back in the States one would never expect to find something like this.


As you see, it fits in perfectly in my kitchen table in the breakfast room filled with Halloween treats!

With only 6 more months to go out here, I look forward to seeing what other great deals I'll come across and discover. One never really knows where the next bargain is lurking.

quote of the day

Be an explorer.
The universe is filled with wonder and magical things.
-- Flavia

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Antique Shop Treasures

I saw (it's been many months ago now) in a magazine, a sitting room decorated in a manner that has stuck with me and has been in my head for quite some time. I'll have to wait until we get state side once again to find some wing back chairs, I've got the Turkish Rug and maybe I'll get lucky find a small table while here. Okay lets get back on topic- Then a little while back on the internet (HGTV to be exact) I saw a formal dining room decorated in a manner that I thought quite pleasing. Elegant yet not too formal to make ones guests feel uncomfortable. Then I saw a some more photo's of this persons house and loved what she had done with her Blue and white Staffordshire pottery collection. I knew that I wanted to recreate a similar look for my own home with my collection of blue and white pieces. Here's the link to Tetbury's photo's over on HGTV's website. Now here's the look I've recreated...


Actually it's 2 of the looks combined into one. My British house alas has narrow poky hallways and compartmentalized rooms. The picture you see here is in my breakfast room. But once I get back to New England I'll be able to have a larger house (hopefully one with an actual entry way like I had in my last house). I've found these items in various Antique shops here in the UK, on e-bay UK , the RAF Croughton gift shop and of course at the Burleigh Company factory shop in Stoke on Trent. Now if you'd like to catch up on the lovely person who created those wonderful rooms over on HGTV, well here's a link to her Blog Antiqueaholic, it's well worth checking out!

quote of the day

About the time we think we can make ends meet,
somebody moves the ends.
~ Herbert Hoover

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A day in the life...

Getting ready...
♥ for the postman to bring me a package
♥ for the power to go off in about 30 minutes
♥ for my pedicure today
♥ to drive to the base
♥ to check out an antique store
♥ to call on a friend
♥ to have lunch out

Just a day in my life really.

3 day weekend

Believe it or not but there was this 3 day weekend- well for me there was. My husband worked and my daughter Had to go to school but alas I celebrated Columbus Day!

quote of the day

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
- Walt Kelly

Friday, October 08, 2010

quote of the day

Isn't it interesting that people feel best about themselves right before they go on vacation? They've cleared up all of their to-do piles, closed up transactions, renewed old promises with themselves. My most basic suggestion is that people should do that more than just once a year.
~David Allen

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dreaming of my next house

With retirement in 6 months and the actual move within a few short weeks after that...It's got me thinking and dreaming about my next house. I know exactly what I want to do with the next one! I wonder what kind of house we'll end up buying- oh I hope that it's a Salt Box design as it's such a classic New England style house! I've got plans for the various rooms and areas of the house-from our reading area (which will be the formal living room) to the eat in kitchen, the formal dining room and the family room! I've got some pretty nifty ideas and with a few things purchased here in England, well I'll be able to put together something quite spiffy!

quote of the day

Be who you are and say what you feel because
those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
~Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

quote of the day

There is no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

quote of the day

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
~ James Michener

Monday, October 04, 2010

I LOVE October!

For the past 20 years, October has been our moving month... until this assignment. Now October has a new designation, it's now travel month for us! Going to school here in England has opened up new opportunities in vacationing. These school breaks are great times to get away for a trip to wheresoever your heart desires. There's a school break coming up this month and our daughter is going on the big school trip to...the USA. Sure we wish that the school was taking the kids to France or Poland somewhere other than the USA (only for our daughters sake). In the end, she's very happy to be going on the big trip with others from school even if she is the only American student going on the trip. She's going to see so many great places and have sooo much fun doing it too!

So what are we to do while our children are away? Hannah's on holiday with her classmates in the USA, Andrew is stateside attending University. What's this, Parents left home unsupervised? Oh say it isn't so, LOL! We've got our trip booked and paid for! For me, this will be the trip of a lifetime as I have wanted to go to Egypt for at least 30 years. I'm gathering things that we'll need on this trip- sunscreen, bug spray, summer clothes, sandals, hats etc. Oh to go somewhere warm during this time of year- woohoo! Now I have been reading up on some stuff and it seems that traveling to Egypt is much like when one travels to Mexico or Jamaica...don't drink the water! Okay you can but only if it comes bottled and is factory sealed! Now that's something that Hannah and the other kids from school won't have to contend with, LOL!!!

quote of the day

I can't think of anything that excites a great sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
~Bill Bryson

Saturday, October 02, 2010

common sense or nonsense?

I hope that my story will make you laugh, when I discovered this I was beside myself first with disgust then laughter.

I enjoy internet shopping, who doesn't these days right? I like to look around at various websites to see what great pottery deals/finds are out there waiting to be discovered. But never in my life did I ever expect to be grossed out and laughing myself silly at the same time. I won't put the website on here because to point out stupidity to the masses is just plain mean (and it could hurt their business and I wouldn't want that) but I will tell you what I found...I found a Chamber Pot listed and being sold as a Soup Tureen! I almost spewed tea at my computer monitor! I had a good hard laugh at the thought of some silly person not knowing the difference between a chamber pot and a soup tureen buying this thing and serving soup out of it at a dinner party!

I made a miscalculation

It's NOT seven months until retirement as I had said before, it's SIX! No need to panic, just move my time frame up one month. Good thing I started now with the cataloging right?

Now for me to make a list of the places I want to go to (that means shop at) before we leave. I dare say that a trip to Stoke on Trent is a MUST! Burleigh and Portmeirion are #1 and #2 on my list!

quote of the day

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
- Gertrude Stein

Friday, October 01, 2010

Paper Crafts and Quilting- oh the Crafty Goodness!

I love paper crafting and quilting and here's where paper crafting meets quilting in the most fun way! My Friend Peg has made a quilt using a Big Shots die, here's a link to see Peg's Quilt. I know that I have this flower die and it makes me want to make one of these adorable quilts! What a quick baby shower present this would make eh? Okay well minus the part of having to get it professionally quilted. But seriously, I'm itching to make one of these!

Taking Inventory

There always seems to be TONS of stuff to do in order to get ready for a move. I like to be prepared and well organized before the big day arrives and believe me it will be here in a few short months. For some 7 months may be far away and for others it will be here sooner than we think.

I start my inventory process first by photographing items and then by making a written inventory. I put it all on a flash drive and bring it with me when I move. It's quite painless really, but you do have to be devoted to getting this done early or it will seem like quite the daunting task if you wait until the last minute. I've been there, I know how overwhelming it all can be. The thought here is that the early bird doesn't get an ulcer and suffer through sleepless nights worrying about their belongings not making it through the move.

My scrapbooking stash has slowly reduced in size due to me making cards and card kits for a spouses group function and of course there's Hannah's art class projects and her paper crafting projects in general. My quilting stash has reduced -well kind of but only because It's been transforming it into other things...aprons, dishtowels, table runners, tote bags and quilt tops. I did buy a bit of fabric while I was in California in August, but it was all for a purpose, I wasn't buying yardage just to have as 'stash". I've put together quilting/sewing projects (kits per-say) for me to work on. I've got more than 2 dozen so called "kits" put together for me to have on hand for "something to do". There's no chance of me getting bored around here, none what so ever! I've got several baby quilts to put together, a couple of tote bags, some purses,at least 6 table runners and more aprons! There are these cute little 'wine jackets" I've got to start cutting and sewing and of course the camera straps and well a couple of quilt tops and a couple of fancy schmancy pillow cases. That should keep me buy for the next few months right?

So now for me to get back to work on the written inventory and picture taking. I've got it half way done- the British pottery part anyway, LOL!