Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You all are the bestest! I got some really great ideas from you all & I think that I have a little bit better plan now.

Here is what I am thinking so far. Let me know what you think. By the way I am completely barrowing/stealing ideas from all over the place. I have tried to give credit where credit was do.

For ladies:
Matching Kitchen Set (apron, mini oven/fingertip mitt set, & kitchen towel), food mix (like cookies in a jar, brownies, etc), bath salt/tea/bomb(from here, here or here), and/or favored coffee mix & chocolate coffee spoons.

For Guys: Grill apron & grill mitt, rub mix, Peach Jalapeno Jam/grilling sauce, grilling/marinade recipes?

For younger kids:
Crayon holder, coloring book, Snowman Soup or maybe Snowman Poop,

For Tweens: ?

Why are tweens so hard?

That's what I have so far. I have other more personal things for my mom, MIL & Aunt in law, but I think that I will get working on getting some of these "set" made up for everyone else.

I just had to point out some of these bath salt/tea/bombs recipes. They sound sooooo wonderful! Makes me wish I had a bath tub, instead of just a shower.

Chocolate Ice Cream Bath Fizzies Recipe
Bath Cookies
Fruity Bath Salts recipe
Healing Lemon & Green Tea Bath
Effervesce Fizzing Bath
Faerie Herbal Bath
Lavender Milk Bath Sachet
Citrus & Herb Bath – minus the fresh orange & maybe add lemon peel in it’s place?
Bath Bombs
Coconut Bath Soak Pouches recipe

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My blank Christmas list

Oh my gosh! I can’t believe that Friday is December 1st already! I am so not ready. I mean I have my house decorated & all, but that is it! I have no idea what to do for gifts this year & no $ to just buy ones with. I had hoped that I would have some moment of clarity & wonderful gift ideas would seep into my brain via osmosis from the net, but no such luck so far. Darn!

I really need to make most of the gifts this year for sake of the budget with most of our funds having gone for “the house problem” this year. Which by the way is not over, we got another nasty gram from the township yesterday. Oh joy!

So I spent my lunch ½ hour searching the net for great little gifties that I can craft up. I must not be looking in the right places because I came up with almost nothing. I did find this that I thought was a rather cute idea & might be able to use.

Mouse Pad Cover

So my super crafty Diva, blogging friends, what fabulous hand crafted gift wisdom can you share with me?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks.

As we start into the Holiday rush I just wanted to share a little something that John & I have been doing for the last couple years. We both hold those who serve in our military close to our hearts. John served in the Air Force & his dad (WWII) my dad & my step dad (Vietnam) served along with many more uncles cousins & friends. If you agree with the mission or not I urge everyone to remember that it is because of the sacrifices of our brave brothers and sisters throughout the history of our great nation is the reason we are able celebrate Thanksgiving & whatever chosen December Holiday that we observe or for that matter have the opportunity to chose not to celebrate. We must remember that these people that are severing during this holiday season are sons/daughters, husbands/wives, fathers/mothers, & friends of someone and will be away from their families so that we can celebrate with ours.

So a couple years ago I found this organization that found away to give a little something back to our troops for all that they do. Any is a little bit different & that is what drew us to it. I am a hands on kind of Gal & prefer to not just give money. Because the concerns of terrorists you are not permitted to just send a care package addressed to “any soldier” as you could in the past & this box would just have been randomly handed to a service man/woman who might not otherwise receive any mail. As we all love to receive mail (hello Swap Bot? Don’t tell me you don’t like to get mail! Ok not the bill kind, sure.)

What any soldier has done is allow the soldiers to sign up on their site to receive care packages. Usually this person is the unit leader or just a member that has taken notice that other soldiers might not receive any mail or care packages. They sign up & tell a little bit about the unit or themselves. Here is where you can search for a soldier to send to.You can read though the listings & select who you might like to send a care package or write. You send it to the attention of the person that registered & they will share with the unit or maybe distribute to the members that are not receiving anything at all.

We feel that this is a great program & love that we are able to pick who we are sending to. It makes it seem more personal. We haven’t ever heard back from any of the people that we have sent packages to personally but they often post on Any Soldier that they are so grateful for what they have received & for us that is just fine. It just feels good that we are bale to brighten someone’s day that is sacrificing so much just so that we can live our lives.

We are going to pick a couple of soldiers to send to & probably get our packages off this weekend in the hopes of them arriving in time for the holidays. So I wanted to share this with my blogging friends so that maybe in the rush of the season you might find a spare few minutes to send a box or even letters to thank those who won’t be fortunate enough to be with their loved ones this holiday in order for the rest of us to enjoy ours.

Happy Thanksgiving & God Bless!

On the sewing frontier.

My very talented friend Gina, recipient of the brown corduroy purse, just got an article, Dressed to Shoot, published in Shoot! Magazine. It’s all about costuming for Cowboy Action Shooting & it is very good! Congratulations Lady! I am looking forward to many more!

So that got me to thinking that I really dropped the sewing ball this year in regards to costuming. I had some commissioned items & then there has been the whole house thing (that will be going on for a year come Dec. 23rd), so I guess that I have an excuse. I miss it though. So I was looking for some inspiration last week & came across this beauty!

It is from a copy of a French magazine LA MODE ILLUSTREE dated October 3, 1897 that is for sale on Ebay. After some encouragement from Gina on morphing a pattern that I already have I set to work. No I don’t have a finished garment to show you, but I was able to redraft it into what I think will be a very close rendition. We lost power on Sat afternoon for about 4 hours so that gave me time to work on my pattern but no sewing or ironing. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Once I get some other sewing out of the way I plan to work on it. Of course I won’t be wearing it until next spring at the earliest but it was good to get the creative juices flowing & earmark a tiny faction of my 2 tons of fabric for something, anything!

So look for future updates on the Purple & Navy Princess Dress in the coming months.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Meme? Never heard of it but I’ll give it a go…..

I barrowed, ok will maybe stole because she probably won’t want it back once I’m done with it, this from Bekka. I liked reading hers, it’s a bit like therapy & I could use some of that today (yeah I know why is today different from any other day, it just is).

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Ugh I look like I need another 8 hours of sleep!

2. Favorite planet?
Hmmmm, Uranus you know cause it’s the butt of so many jokes…

3. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
You mean peopel get that many phone calls!?

4. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
My phone is so low tech it just rings, but I would so have I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. That is so funny!

5. Do you “label” yourself?
Yes but probably not in a good way. I used to think better of me but then we moved "here" & things have kind of gone to Hell in a hand basket.

6. What does your watch look like?
It’s a Wenger Swiss Army that is in desperate need of a new band.

7. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping, you mean people are wake at that hour? Oh wait that used to be me.

8. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Yeah right, see #4

9. What's a word that you say a lot?
Ass, as in you are an, he is an, they are, smells like, tastes like. I really need to watch my mouth…..

10. Last furry thing you touched?
My co-worker, DQ’s, cat. Yup we have reached new heights of DQ –ness. She has purchased a $500 cat that needs eye drops every 2 hours & therefore must come to the office. Amazing!

11. Favorite age you have been so far?
Can I pick 2? Sure I can it’s my list right? 23, because that was my wild child days & 27 because I married & we had yet to move to well, you know.

12. Your worst enemy?
My overly sensitive feelings. I tend to care why too much what everyone else thinks about me.

13. What is your current desktop picture?

14. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Uhu… yup…. As if I was paying attention to the totally un work related babble.

15. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
Easy, The $, then I can buy a plane & fly any time I want.

16. Do you like someone?
That depends, who are we talking about? Like I tell John, I always love him, but I don’t always like him.

17. The last song you listened to?
A Showman's Life ~ Gary Allan

18. What time of day were you born?
1:40 p.m.

19. What's your favorite number?

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Lake Worth, FL

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
More envious I think, of ladies who are close to their sisters. I always wanted that but I guess it wasn’t in the cards for me.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Bawawawawaawa!!!! Yeah right!!! That’s a good one! Unless they are jealous of my “Tom Seleck” looking husband maybe but other than that they are out of their mind.

23. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Working in Boca Raton, FL. Our sister company’s headquarters is in New Jersey & husband is from New Jersey. When we heard a about the first plane we turned on the TV in the conference room in time to see the second plan hit. It was the worst thing have ever witnessed.

24. Do you consider yourself kind?
I try to be & I hope that I am.

25. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
hmmmm some place where it wouldn’t sage or stretch in time……

26. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

27. Would you move for the person you loved?
Absolutely, he did for me.

28. What's your life motto?
Life Motto? What the heck? People have these?

29. What's your favorite town/city?
New Orleans, for the food!

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Last night. I wrote two.

31. Can you change the oil on a car?
I could if I had to.

32. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
If this means like your high school sweet heart first love, um that he got married but his parents didn’t care for her & they always hoped we would get back together. (my mom saw his parents a few months back). Isn’t that nice? Guess he shouldn’t have dumped me Jr. year for that bimbo cheerleader! Tramp! ;)

33. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
On my mom’s dad’s side to the early 1800’s, the Hungarian church lost many of the records before then. On mom’s mom’s side, it was farther back but I lost the web addy of the family tree some distant cousin set up. Bummer.

34. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
My cousins wedding last Feb? I think.

35. Have you been burned by love?
Uh yah! See #32 & I can so top that many times over.

There ya go! 35 thing about me that you probably never wanted to know.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Holy Thanksgiving Batman!

Oh my gosh! Am I the only one that just realized that next week is Thanksgiving???? UGH! I had hoped that we might be going to Louisiana, but it looks that that is not the case. John’s cousins live there & they just got moved into their new house a week before the 1 year anniversary of their old one being totally destroyed by hurricane Katrina. My MIL is going do for 10 days & it would be so great to see them & her, but maybe next year.

I haven’t heard a word from the family here in months (you would think that they might call to see if we were living on the streets because our house was condemned by the corrupt local government but I guess that doesn’t fit into the bubble that they live in). This might be a blessing in disguise to avoid having to eat raw turkey or being roped into having to cook it like last year. The whole “we want to barrow your deep fryer to cook the turkey” translated into you will end up buying the oil & cooking the entire thing yourselves because we don’t understand that gallons, as in 5 or more, of oil means GALLONS & not quarts. Also we will pawn it off on you as soon as you arrive. GREAT! So no great loss there.

So I guess maybe I shuold be thinking of what I am going to cook for Thanksgiving as it looks like we will be on our own. Hmmmm Any suggestions? Maybe we will just have these, my newest guilty pleasure!

On the house front we are not going to be prosecuted or evicted (at least not for the time being). The State told the township basically that they & the previous owners are the ones that screwed up & they can’t see how they are able to hold us responsible for that. Not that we are out of the woods or have received a penny of the money (we are into 5 digit figures now) that we have had to fork over to pay for all of this, but we are now working on that among other things.

Thank you for all the prayer, thoughts & Karma. Even though it's far from over, we can start to see a pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Deer vs. Plastic Jack-o-lantern

Did you see that SW Michigan made the national news? Yup we are the ones with the deer who had its head stuck in the plastic pumpkin bucket.

It even made the Today Show!

It was really funny to see except he wasn’t able to eat or drink with it on there. Good news he was able to break free of his plastic jack-o-lantern just in time for firearms deer season that starts tomorrow morning!

Now you might think it odd that I would be concerned about that deer not being able to eat when John took tomorrow off in the hopes of blasting Bambi, but hey we have to eat too, right? We do eat whatever he shoots too. I haven't bought any beef at the store in almost 2 years. Not bad for a city girl. Maybe I should write a cookbook. "101 ways for a City Girl to Cook Venison" What do you think?

We really are lousy with deer around here we have more car/deer accidents than any other area of the country. This I know for a fact as I used to work for a large national auto insurance company & I can assure you that a good size deer can do so serious damage to a vehicle.

On a completely seperate note, I wanted to point out a blog that I stumbled across recently. Bekka is very entertaining & talented & she is taking part in a post a day for Nov. I think she might have hit a stumbling block last week but I am impressed seeing as I am lucky if I get a post in every 2 weeks! Go Bekka GO!

How not to buy a TV.

Our poor 14 year old TV finally bit the big one. First the color has been getting increasingly darker & redder for the last couple years. Then for the last couple months the picture would flip for the first ½ hour until it warmed up. It has just been getting worse & worse. So as an earlier Christmas gift to each other we went on Sat night to buy a new one. Thus begins the saga of how not to buy a TV……..

First off do not have your husband measure & not check what he is measuring. Because if you think that he is measuring the current TV when in actuality he is measuring the opening in the entertainment center, no good will come of using those measurements.

So we spent over an hour trying to decide which one to get. Seeing as the one that we really really wanted was nearly $4000 we had to a hard time deciding between the realistic ones that they had to offer in our price range. We finally decide & John measures it. 30 ¼” inches across.

John: what did I tell the width was?

Me: 30”, that was the TV, so we have at least 1 ½” room on each side of that.

John: Ok

Get said TV home & into the house (it weighed a ton!). I had convinced him on the drive home that I could have it hooked up in no time & even though it was nearly 9 pm it wouldn’t be that big a deal .

He opens the top of the box & uh ho. Look from TV to entertainment center, Is that going to fit?

Measures the width of the TV 30 ¼”. Measure the width of the entertainment center opening 30” exactly. Well of course it is!!!

So needless to say, we were back at the store the next day, picking a new TV because apparently when it comes to purchasing electronics we ride the short bus. We were able to get the same screen size, but a different brand. Let me just tell you that even this one just fits, but we did measure twice!

So when we go to pay for the new TV we find out that the only one that they have is an open box model. Meaning that someone else returned it (like we did the non fitting one) & we got money off of it! Yippy! The big difference between our open box returned TV & this one, ours never made it our of the box & this one didn’t even have a box! The remote & owners manual were taped to the top of it! They assured us that it was fine & had all the same guarantees that a regular one. Ok fine. Then of course on the drive home pulling away from a stop light the tv fall against the hatch back! Excellent!

We got her home, hooked up & all is well, so far. In fact for us it’s like having that $4000, HDTV, plasma, flat screen TV that we were drooling over compared to what we had! We are in love with our new TV!

Merry Christmas Pumpkin!

In addition to TV shopping we each got a new movie.

John’s pick: The War Wagon (love The Duke)

My pick: Emma

To go with my other Jane Austin Fav, Pride & Prejudice. Which I cannot wait to watch now that we have a TV that has real color.

Then I also picked up Some Kind of Wonderful & Pretty in Pink for John to give me for Christmas(am I the only one who ends up doing this?). I have been looking for these to add to my cheesy movie library.

Am I the only one that just loves those classic chees-a-riffic movies? Like The Breakfast Club(have), The Princess Bride(have), Sixteen Candles(need), A Christmas Story (will be buying as soon as Wally World restocks ‘em), etc…..

Friday, November 03, 2006


“A most beloved” friend (a little P&P quote for ya!) Gina’s birthday was on Friday.

I made her what I think turned out to be a pretty cute little purse & filled with some other goodies too! I hope that it was a good one! I didn't want to post any pictures until I was sure that she got the package I sent, because I was a little late getting it off to her.

But now that she has here they are:

I think that this is my favorite pattern so far from my Japanese craft books.

Close up of the wool felt flower that I made & embroidered with beads.

And just some of the goodies that are in the bag, lavender sachets I made.

Playing catch up.

That is what I feel like I have been doing the last couple weeks. My mom & her husband Jerry were here for nearly 2 weeks (well for 5 days of that they went to Petoskey, MI, but they were with us the rest of the time). Mom & got to spend a couple of days just the two of use but it was too short. We are very close so it has been hard living 1500 mile away from each other these last 3 years.

So what did we do with our time you may ask…. Well we went thrifting, antiquing, sewed & canned. I will start with the antiquing. While the boys when pheasant hunting, we went to Schoolcraft MI. There are probably 6-9 antique shops on main street. There is one that is 2 store fronts wide on the first floor & 3-4 wide on the second floor. We heard that it used to be the old opera house, but I don’t know for sure.

So here is what my wonderful Mom bought me (she says that she hardly ever gets to buy me anything & growing up we hardly ever had extra $ so she is trying to make up for that now, a little).

I got this great Pyrex type bowl in that ever popular pattern.

These fabulous buttons that I am so excited about because they were .25 each instead of the $7.00 each I almost paid for very similar buttons at the Sewing Expo! Now I can make my Garbo Cardigan (along with the other dozen things on my “to do” list).

These three Blue Ridge China saucers. I don’t think that I have anything in these patterns yet & at $1 each how can you pass them up!? Then last but not least my sugar bowl collection grows. I got this mystery sugar bowl minus the lid for $2.50. I would love to find a lid for it, but I don’t know the maker or anything about it. At the moment it is housing my new big buttons & that is fine too. Not a bad haul if I do say so myself. Thanks again Mom!

So now I am off to catch up on my work (eeeeew!) e-mails & blogs.

Office visitors….

We had some excitement at the office this week. No not more fleas (thank goodness). Instead we had discovered that we have a family of wee baby field mice that have apparently been living here for a little while. They are so used to people that they were running around in broad day light & one was so bold as to crawl on my desk with me sitting at it! I went to pick up my coffee cup & almost grabbed the little guys as well! I am not afraid of them by any means as I used to have pet mice growing up, but I also don’t want to get bit by a wild mouse.

Our boss bought traps & we have caught 3 so far. I feel bad because they are sooooo cute but they will get big (we think that they are babies because they are smaller than a ½ dollar!) & they can have 3-9 babies in a litter! They ate all my Ricola cough drops, several heresy kisses & a whole packet of crackers. They dragged all this behind my bookshelf, strong little buggers! I am sad that they must go but if they don't they might stage a rebellion & over throw use juse as Tim Bedore has been predicting, the animals are plotting to do!