Monday, June 30, 2008

The day has gone just swimmingly!

STAYCATION DAY #2 is has been so great. I'm telling you, deciding on a "staycation" for now has been one of the best decisions for us as a family. The time together for the three of us has really bonded us tighter together, even after only two days. I can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Today has been just as fun as yesterday. We started out the day with no poo on the walls -- how better to start out a day, right?! (Next time you're having a bad day, just try looking on the bright side and think, well, at least there was no poo on the walls today!) Then it was time to take the boy to his first ever dentist appointment. I didn't grow up with a pediatrician or a pediatric dentist, just regular old family practice doctors and dentists for me, so I knew our boy would be spoiled. Walking into the office, we were not disappointed. There was a waiting room with a TV, and a room with three arcade games, complete with little stepstools in the front of them (for all the shorties) and no quarters required. Every kid's idea of heaven. Our boy did great, and my bribing him with pennies every step of the way worked out well. I kid you not, pennies. I know it won't last forever that pennies do the trick, but I'm going to ride this train as long as it lasts! He even pooed on the potty today for pennies -- thank you, Jesus.

After that, we came home, both got on our laptops (my husband needed to finish one last business thing) and watched the boy swim in the pool. Lifejackets are the best ever. He can balance on his own in that thing, so I am not always required to jump on in with him. We had our favorite lunch after that -- California-style burgers with seasoned skinny fries and vanilla custard, and then we bought ourselves a family gift, two outdoor speakers for the backyard. Now we will be able to sit outdoors, swim, and crank up the tunes.

The creme-de-la-creme of today? My new swimsuits arrived in the mail! Lately I don't get too thrilled about swimsuits. They just don't fit like they used to, they don't cover new areas that I would like them to cover (ahem), etc., etc. Until today. The day that the "swimsuits to end all swimsuits" arrived.

Do you know who this bathing beauty was? The graceful Esther Williams, movie star extraordinaire, known for her synchronized swimming. And man, oh man, have I salivated over the chance to wear swimsuits like hers.

That is, until today. Today, my friends, my aquatic dreams have come true. I am now the proud owner of two vintage-styled swimsuits, a one-piece in black (similar to the white one in the picture above), and a two-piece in blue (similar to the one in the picture below).

No more trying to suck in my newly grown "muffin top" (curses on you, muffin top, and just where in the heck did you come from?!) or my ever-expanding "junk in the trunk" (ahem). The bottoms of these swimsuits are pretty much like granny underwear, and who doesn't love granny underwear! (You know you are lying to yourself if you don't deep down have some love for the grannies, because we all know they are more comfortable than anything else. I'm just sayin'.) And there is a good reason why classic is never out of style. These little numbers hide all the trouble spots, don't reveal what God gave you to every poor soul out there, and yet, they still look sexy somehow. On almost every body type! Perfection.
Anyways, I love my new swimsuits so very much I am tempted to buy a third. And a fourth. Or maybe ten more...

Oh, and don't forget, if you haven't entered to win my giveaway yet, leave me something clever in the comments!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

100, baby.

Strike up the band, kids, because this is my 100th post! Really? I've been able to flap my gums enough for 100 posts already?! I know, hard to believe.

In honor of post numero hundred-o (my Spanglish really isn't the best), I am going to jump on the bandwagon and do what I've seen the rest of y'all out there in Blogland do -- a GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Since my readership out there is in the hundreds, no thousands, well, um, maybe I'm exaggerating and there might be 5 or 6 of you out there(?), I'm going to let the entries go all week. So, from now until Saturday night at midnight (CST), leave a comment on any of my posts from this one on (I'll try my best to post every day), and I will draw the winner on Sunday afternoon. I haven't exactly dreamed up the prize yet, but you must have faith in the fact that I think I have great taste and will make it extra good. Like slap-yer-grandma good. And we all know that means GOOD. (Keep in mind I might actually be paying a visit in person to the best-store-in-the-whole-wide-world this week, and I know for a fact I can find a little somethin' somethin' there. Come on, surely you know by now what store I am talking about?! If not, I will spell it out for you -- A-n-t-h-ropologie.)

Oh, and you internationals out there (that means, outside the good ole U-S-of-A), feel free to enter as well. I'm not afraid of international shipping, not me!

Okay. For those of you still paying attention and not salivating over the thought of possibly winning some little lovely something from THAT store, let's move on to today, STAYCATION DAY NUMERO UNO....

We got off to a rough little start, something about POO ON THE WALLS, but that's all I'm going to say about that. You know, to preserve my sanity and all, and to guarantee the continued life span of a certain three-year-old, and because I have a happy-go-lucky attitude this week, due to it being our staycation and all. Once we got that out of the way, we took my mother and drove up north a little ways to a kids festival on a ranch. Too too fun. And the weather was unbelievably beautiful -- mid 80's, slight cool breeze, unheard of really for this time of the year in Wonderland. One of the highlights for the three-year-old was this:

You just know little three-year-old boys love ANYTHING that gives off a horrendous BOOM and makes smoke.

After a couple of fun-filled hours of the festival, we bid adieu to these lovely ladies:

Okay, I know they have horns, so one would think they were males, but they were flanked by their calves, so I think they might have been the mamas? Seriously, ladies, could I borrow a set of your horns? They would come in so handy for getting my boy to mind a bit better...

Soon after our departure from the ranch, we spotted this amazing sight off to the left of the road:

You know what those are? Wild mustangs. About a zillion of them in one huge herd. (You can click on the photo to view it much larger and see what I am talking about.)
A. MAZ. ING. One of the most breathtaking sights I've ever seen. I've only seen wild mustangs one other time in my life, when I was on a college road trip, driving through the Arizona desert, and one or two ran up alongside our car. That was amazing, too, but to see so many of them together like I did today was incredible. And a mile or two down the road we spotted two more groups as well. So awesome!

I'll leave you with those thrilling tales for today because it's time for this weary gal to catch some zzz's. In the meanwhile, come on out. De-lurk. Show me some love people. Tell me how much you enjoy my quirky posts. (Or don't, haha, I can take it.) Show me the love for my poo-filled life. Let's see how many of you there are out there...

Spring Fling Round Robin quilt for me!

This little cutie arrived on my doorstep last Monday! How fun it was to open the package and see what four, count 'em, FOUR, other quilters around the world made just for me!

The little kissing couple on the front is flanked by darling little phrases in French (at least I assume they are "darling" -- since I don't know French, they could say anything, I suppose, haha) and little flowers and windmills. Not only does the quilt have two beautiful borders, but it has extra details on the front like the ribbon detail between the first and second borders...

...and the embroidery added to the label on the back.

I absolutely love it. I love the fact that the little couple reminds me so much of my grandmother whose influence led me to get into quilting (she made both a Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt at some point, and the little couple remind me of those quilts especially). I love the fact that this little quilt has traveled so far to get to me -- from Norway to Finland to California to Arizona to me! And I love the fact that four very talented ladies put so much love and effort into this -- it is a beautiful collaboration.

Many thanks to Laila, Jeanette, Julie, and Susan! (And to Margaret as well, our amazing host for the swap!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Perfect Day.

That's what today is -- a perfect day in my little world. It's raining outside and cloudy, just like I like it. Seriously, I love days like that, and yes, I think I could be happy living in Oregon. Not that I'm moving, but just that I could be happy there, despite the weather. I've been doing dishes and laundry and dishes and laundry all morning and into the afternoon (the only two household chores I enjoy), broken up by periods of thumbing through old magazines (Country Living and Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, my two all-time favorites) and a little basement cleaning. I'm wearing a super comfortable skirt and t-shirt (read: not necessarily the most attractive outfit, but perfect for a homebound day). And the house is quiet, to make things even more cozy. My husband took the boy to soccer this morning, to the mall (yes, he actually enjoys going to the mall) and now they are taking a nap with the five pooches, all seven of them on our king-size bed. So I have the rest of the house to myself. And I might pop in the "Pollyanna" DVD we picked up at the library yesterday. Yep, Pollyanna would be the icing on the cake to a perfect day at home.

Besides my perfect day, I also enjoyed a perfect lunch (leftovers, usually not my idea of perfection, but this time it was). Last night I got extra motivated and cooked a really fine dinner, inviting my mom and her boyfriend over to join us as well. There were salads (copycat of Cosi's "Signature Salad" -- baby greens, pistachios, dried cranberries, grape halves, gorgonzola cheese, and homemade sherry vinaigrette), baby back ribs (a first attempt for me), whole green beans with butter, garlic mashed potatoes and asiago cheese bread (my mom's contributions), and the creme-de-la-creme, dessert -- warm peach crisp with cold maple cream sauce. Dessert was to die for. Any fruit crisp is usually delicious, but throw on some cold maple cream sauce (thanks, Pioneer Woman) and you have yourself some slap-yer-grandma, finger-lickin', lick-the-bowl-yourself-instead-of-letting-the-dogs, manna-from-heaven dessert. (Can you tell we all loved it?)

The ironic part of today being such a perfect day was the fact that today was supposed to be our first day of vacation, with us jetsetting off to the extreme northeastern US and eastern Canada, all 11 days of it. Last week, however, I simply realized I was too burnt out to fully enjoy such a vacation, not to mention the fact that my husband had been traveling a lot, my boy was back to his potty-training extremes (ah, yes, more accidents), and we really just needed some good old-fashioned time together, whether that time be spent far away or at home. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love planning trips, packing them full, and making them happen. So it kind of felt like I was failing myself at first when I asked my husband what he thought about staying home instead, but I wised up in knowing that I might truly be making a right choice for myself and my family. The bright side is that we will not only have an awesome week this week together as a family, but we will now be taking two or three shorter (4-6 day) trips throughout the rest of the year to different locations. For now, I am very excited about our "staycation" (was that even a word before this year?). We have a lot of fun little things planned for this week, not to mention a few house projects that we hope to at least make some more progress on. And I am just going to tuck away all the planning for the trip we were supposed to go on and save it possibly for next summer.

So, sorry for my little blogging break of a few days. I will try to post more this week, show pictures of progress being made on various projects, and tell funny stories of the latest stunts my son has pulled. And come back later today for a post on the Spring Fling Round Robin quilt I received -- cute!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are they fo' reals???

I'm truly going to slap myself after this post because it totally sounds like something my parents would have said while I was a teenager, but this is just ridiculous. The July J. Crew catalog arrived in the mail today, and on page 81 you'll find these men's jeans, priced at $285.

Here's the hilarious description online:
"A hand-crafted collector's item in authentic selvedge cotton denim from one of Japan's oldest and most renowned mills. We spend hours on each pair to create a unique jean for the most discerning denim connoisseur, so we have only a handful available—and no two are quite alike. Each one is made with denim woven on the original 100-year-old narrow looms. Each pair is stonewashed, hand-distressed, hand-splattered with paint and hand-finished, giving it the kind of character only individual attention can impart."

Would you like to hear my description of these jeans? They look like something my husband would be wearing at the end of the day after having either installed drywall or painted primer. I certainly can't imagine that someone is going to pay $285 for a pair, and I would love to know how many pairs of these J. Crew actually sells. (See, I told you it would sound like something parents would say. Oh well, at least I technically am a parent now, even if I still consider myself "young". Uh, young-ish. I'm only 31, for Pete's sake!)

So, how many pairs can I put you down for?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The word of the day is...

DISOBEDIENCE. Wish someone had gotten the memo to me before the day started so I'd know what was going to be coming at me all day long. Disobedience. Consequences. Then while he was "serving time" for the disobedience, more disobedience ensued. And all day long, the vicious circle continued. Ah, to be a three-year-old boy.

Monday again, already? The weekend came and went, slipping quickly through my fingers. My son continued his successful use of the potty, so our weekend was sublime, to say the least. It's like having a whole new kid! (Well, until today and the disobedience. Apparently, being naughty erased his memory because we had not only a poo-in-the-pants incident, but a pee-in-the-pants incident only hours later.) I'm still holding out hope that our weekend of potty success will return tomorrow.

Great news regarding the Wheeler family, the ones I had posted the prayer request about on Friday. They were able to get down to Guatemala to be with their baby girl. She was also released from the hospital and is doing so much better. Thank the Lord. I couldn't bear to see this family go through any more heartache.

This might be a bit random, but I do love this next video clip. (It is quite soothing, especially on big disobedience days like today.) There is one children's movie I haven't gotten tired of watching with my son. He could watch the new version of "Charlotte's Web" over and over and over, and surprisingly enough, so could I! It has beautiful colors, a vintage vibe with the costumes and sets, and such a sweet simplicity. I also love the song from the movie, "Ordinary Miracle", by Sarah McLachlan. It is the first song on the mix CD we play every night when my son goes to bed.

Soaking up the weekend.

Here is what I was up to over the weekend:

It was great scooter weather, even if it was a tad on the sweltering side yesterday. The best part for riding? No wind. (Oh, but I absolutely loathe windy days on a scooter. It completely sucks the fun out of riding.) And my scooter is only twenty-something miles away from hitting 1000 on the odometer! It's hard to believe that I could have gone that far, even if it has taken me a year or two to get to that point. Just so you know, I always, always, always wear my helmet. This picture was taken before I set off on yesterday's ride. And I try to remember to wear my 70SPF sunscreen as well. You know, I have to keep up my Snow White appearance, haha!

How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Standing in the gap

On a more serious note, I just read a heartbreaking blog post and would ask everyone to join me in prayer for this dear family and their baby girl in Guatemala -- the Wheeler family.

This little family has already been through a lot of heartbreak recently and have already been on a very rough journey trying to bring their beautiful daughter home from Guatemala. Today they received a phone call that their baby girl is very very sick and almost died last night and is now in the hospital. I don't know any more than that, other than the fact that they are desperately trying to find a way to make it down to Guatemala today or tomorrow to be with her. (You can find their blog listed on the right in my list of blogs -- "The Lord, Mighty in Battle" -- if you would like to read about their journey or let them know you are praying for them, too.)

Heavenly Father,
I pray that you would hold the Wheeler family tightly in Your hands, that you would be with beautiful Eliana and heal her, that you would enable her parents to make it down there quickly to be with her, and that You would be glorified in all of this.

A good day. No, a great day. No, the happiest day of the year!

Do you know why this is the happiest day of the year? Maybe because my son went POO ON THE POTTY TWICE IN THE LAST 24 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can still hardly believe it even happened. After some very difficult months, it feels surreal to be typing this out even, that he really did it. And not only did he do it, he told me he needed to go sit on the potty both times, which also never happens. Folks, I believe we have FINALLY reached a turning point. And for me, just starting out in my 31st year of life, never thinking that my greatest wish at this point would be for my son to poo in the potty, well, I am just basking in the glow of it all.

According to a news story this morning on Good Morning America (no, I don't watch it, but I saw the video on Yahoo news), today officially is the "happiest day of the year". Today, June 20th, has been proven scientifically through this formula, O + (NxS) + Cpm/T + He, to be the happiest day of the year.

Outdoor Activity + (Nature x Social Interaction) + Childhood Memories/Temperature + Holidays

Some British psychologist actually came up with the formula, taking in account all the things people love best about summer. The study was actually funded by an ice cream company, so keep that in mind, but it is kind of fun to think that today is officially so happy and not just because my son made the big breakthrough, haha...

I read this hilarious entry on the "Freshly Picked" blog today (you can find the blog on the right in my long list if you want to visit) regarding her body image, and I bet most of us could relate (I know I can):

"Dear Early 20's Body,

We were so great together. I miss you. I know that together we can never be what we once were. But I have such fond memories of you. I have feeling very melancholy about you because in just 5 short months I will be turning 30 (eek!).

I really wish that I had appreciated you when I had you. I feel as though I was always too hard on us. Sheesh why couldn't I have just stopped & enjoyed you? I am sorry. If I could go back, I would rock you steady - that I promise you.

I am glad for the memories that we have together. Remember how we could eat whatever we wanted? Remember how flat our stomach was? I often think fondly of the smoother, firmer, higher, locked & loaded us. And I guess that I should be happy that I will always have the tight times to get me through the saggier times.

If you see my 30's body around somewhere, could you apologize for me in advance. Because in 10 years I am sure that I will appreciate her more

Thanks for the memories.

Love Susan"

Amen, sista. Amen.

And for your viewing pleasure today we have the lovely Feist, singing "I Feel it All":

Just in case you might have been wondering, this makes for excellent dance parties in the kitchen. I already tested it out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I see the moon, and the moon sees me.

So here's a little question for you, in the same fashion as the age-old debate of "which came first, the chicken or the egg":

Do you see the man in the moon, or a bunny (up on its haunches with its head tilting back)?

Personally, I have always had this somewhat romantic idea of the moon. My bedroom window faced east growing up, so I always had a nice view of it in the sky, and I'm sure on more than one occasion I had a conversation or two with the "man in the moon" (answering the question of which of the two figures I see). I've always loved the song "Blue Moon", and one of my favorite movie scenes is from "Joe Versus the Volcano" when Joe is stranded out at sea, floating on his big fancy luggage, starting to lose it mentally, and the huge moon has risen above him.

My fascination with the moon has even carried over into my home decor. A couple of years ago I fell in love with a "piece of art" (at least in my eyes) at a local shop. I put it on layaway, paid it off, and brought it home, garnering some very strange looks from my husband. "You want to put that up? On our wall? Seriously?" was pretty much the reaction he gave me. Ever the dutiful husband that he is, though, he ended up digging his drill out of the garage and hanging it up for me. I had even taken it to a local frame shop and had them re-install the hanger on the back to make it tilt at just the right angle, instead of hanging straight like it came when I purchased it. (In my mind, the man in the moon smiles down with a tilted face.)

So, if you ever come to my house, you'll be greeted by a warm, smiling face in the living room. Or at least, I hope you'll think it is a warm, smiling face. I'm sure the occasional visitor is probably weirded out by it, but oh well.

All that aside, I was excited this afternoon to read an article on Yahoo talking about how tonight the moon will appear larger than normal and the explanation behind it:

"The moon illusion, as it's known, is a trick in our minds that makes the moon seem bigger when it's near the horizon. The effect is most pronounced at full moon. Many people swear it's real, suggesting that perhaps Earth's atmosphere magnifies the moon.

But it really is all in our minds. The moon is not bigger at the horizon than when overhead.

The illusion will be particularly noticeable at this "solstice moon," coming just two days before summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere. The reason, according to NASA, lies in lunar mechanics: The sun and full moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week's high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging moon and a strong, long-lasting version of the illusion.

If it's any consolation, space station astronauts report the same effect.

Here's how it works: Your mind believes things on the horizon are farther away than things overhead, because you are used to seeing clouds just a few miles above, but the clouds on the horizon can indeed be hundreds of miles away. So if we think something (such as the moon) is farther away, and it's not, then it seems larger."

I am hoping to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon tonight, but it all depends on if our skies are clear in Wonderland tonight. As if we haven't already had enough daily drenchings, we are supposed to have yet another round of thunderstorms come through sometime this evening. Guess I'd better go downstairs and ready my "rain-catcher" next to the chimney, just in case...

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.

What I am about to tell you is not known to many people. If I tell you, you must promise not to be all hatin' on me...

It is true. I watch "The Bachelorette".

There. I said it. But I can explain myself.

It is the summer. And we all know, summer = reruns. Not to mention the fact that all my favorite shows are droppin' like flies. And there really aren't that many movies I'm dying to watch from Netflix.

So what's a girl to do? Well, this one tunes in weekly to "The Bachelorette". (Ah, it feels good to get that off my chest.)

Now, I have to give myself some credit. I have not watched every season of "The Bachelor/The Bachelorette". I started out watching the first few seasons, but then, ABC started to drop the ball. Actually, looking back on that first season, I have to laugh. Alex? Really? He was supposed to be all sexy and charming and eye-candy-ish? Yipes. (Seriously, if you think back over some of the dudes that ABC has offered up for the ladies, it will make you laugh. Some of them, well, no way. No. No. No.) The "contestants" (if you want to call them that, and, usually, I think it is a fitting term) have gotten sleazier and sleazier throughout the seasons. The bachelors (and bachelorettes) have been nothing to write home about. And I didn't even watch the season where Brad Womack dissed this poor girl, so I missed out on her first experiences with the show. But this girl seems a bit different. I really like her. DeAnna seems to have a very good head on her shoulders, seems to be making some good choices, trying to be fair and right, and the guys don't seem like complete losers. It's going to be interesting to see who she picks in the end. I tried searching for spoilers online, and it seems like the consensus has it down to Jason (the single dad) and Jesse (the snowboarder).

Who do you think DeAnna will end up with?

or Jesse?

I must say, watching "The Bachelorette" really drives it home that I am so thankful I didn't need a show like that to find my dreamboat, and that I am so blessed to have a great man to share my life with. So see, the show's not ALL bad. But I certainly could do without any more references or shots of Trista and Ryan and their baby. I'm sure they're nice and all, but man, am I the only one who finds them nauseating?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm back. I really can't believe I slacked for so long on putting up a post, and I am surprised I even have any readers left, so thank you, oh faithful friends out there.

So what explains my absence? Well, nothing really. Just a whole string of days where there wasn't really anything big planned, and yet I never felt like there were enough hours in the day to get all the things done that I wanted to get done. And for all of the wishing that 24 hours could magically stretch into 36, I still didn't really accomplish a whole lot, not compared to so many of the other industrious bloggers out there, the ones whose posts I read daily, amazed that it seems like every single day there is a new completed quilt or a new craft project or something impressive to show for their time.

However, I did get a few things crossed off my long "to-do" list.

The three quilts I had sent off for long-arm quilting finally came back (I think they were gone almost three months), and I got the binding done on all three. That was quite a chore!
One went to our cleaning lady, another went to my mom (both of those are the darker quilts), and the lighter colored bird quilt was for me to keep. It's already been put to good use, and is the perfect size for three little greyhounds to burrow under.

Today I bought the binding fabric, the backing fabric, and the batting to finish up another quilt. This time I bought bamboo batting -- have any of you used it yet? It looked comparable to the all-cotton I normally buy, but I guess it is a "green" batting, better for the environment. Well, maybe not better, because wouldn't 100% cotton be good for the environment, too? Man, what isn't "going green" these days?! I think I will be tackling the quilting of it myself rather than sending it off for a lengthy trip to the long-arm quilter. I haven't yet decided though if I will machine quilt it or try hand-quilting again. I kind of got to where I enjoyed doing the hand-quilting, but man, that would take a lot longer since this is a lap quilt size and not 2'x2' like the Round Robin quilt.

Last week a good friend went and surprised me and bought a scooter! So now I'll have a good buddy to ride around with, and I am so excited about that. She entrusted me with the big job of riding her brand new scooter (with absolutely NO miles on it) home for her from the shop, since she had yet to learn how to ride it. That was a bit nerve-wracking -- I've never had an accident on my scooter (thank you, Jesus), but I was hoping and praying my first one wouldn't be on her brand new one! Thank goodness, I got it to her house with no problem.

Wonderland has also been having record amounts of rain. (No, I don't live in Iowa, bless all their hearts.) And record amounts of crazy thunderstorms have meant that the chimney in the basement has been leaking again occasionally. Here is a pic of my "brilliant" solution for now to catch the rain and keep the carpet from being soaked.
See the little hole? During that particular evening, it had enough water steadily pouring out of it that I had to empty that Rubbermaid container 3 times. Yep, we have got to get ourselves a chimney man to come fix it.

It is quite unfortunate, however, that our boy is still having poo issues. Trust me when I say that yesterday was NOT a good day for us. Again, if that boy is fully potty-trained by the time he goes to college, it will be a miracle. I am hoping that someday soon this blog will be a "poo-free" blog, and I will no longer have to resort to telling poo stories. Yep, I never dreamed that my glamorous life would include talking about bodily functions. Ah, the life of a mother...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stay tuned...

...for a much better post later this afternoon. Again, I apologize for being such a terrible blogger lately, but currently I am going CROSS-EYED from trying to plan this crazy vacation!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shame on me.

I skipped a whole week with no explanation. And I really don't have any solid excuses for my absence, save for the fact that this week was just one of those weeks where I had a whole lot I wanted to accomplish, had a whole lot of free time (free from appointments, etc.), and yet, I never felt there was enough time! Does that ever happen to you? And, of course, true to my own self, I didn't even scratch the surface on my long, long list of unfinished projects.

I promise I will return tomorrow, back and better than ever, and with pictures. Because I know you don't want to read too many wordy posts with no pictures, right?

Nighty-night, Bloggerville...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Earning my granny points

Thanks for all of the love on the Spring Fling quilt! It has opened up a new door of quilting to me -- the whole side of hand-quilting, and I can see where I might start doing quite a bit more hand-quilting in the future, maybe even venture into the world of stencils and fancy patterns. Oh my!

Speaking of quilts, I am earning more and more "granny points" every day. I say "granny points" because I feel I am cruising steadily down the road to Grannyville -- with my love of quilts and sewing and baking and all of that. And, of course, I say that with the utmost respect and joy because I think eventually I am going to love being a granny, and by the time I reach that age, heck, I should be pretty darn good at it! Kind of like if there was Girl Scouts for adult women, we could call it Granny Scouts, and fill up our sashes with patches, haha. Anyway, I earned some granny points on Friday with a little trip to the local quilt show. This was really my first quilt show to attend (besides the State Fair), and it didn't disappoint. There were so many beautiful quilts there. It was really neat to see such a variety, and even if they all weren't my taste in style or whatever, I can tell you I have the utmost respect for all of those quilts and how long it took to make them, especially now that I know how long hand-quilting, etc. can take.

I took a couple of pictures of some of my favorites. (I'm sorry I don't know who made each of these since I didn't take along a pen and paper to write down the sources.)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spring Fling Round Robin finished!

Ah, it feels so good to be done. I finished my portion of this little quilt last night (the quilting, the binding, attaching the label, and mailing it to its final destination). I was so nervous about quilting someone else's work (let alone THREE someone else's!), and I knew that my machine quilting would not do their work justice. So it ended up being perfect timing for me to learn how to hand quilt. I plugged away at this little quilt many a night (now I wish I had tallied up the hours it took for this beginner), so, although my little stitches may not be as tiny as they should be, and although I didn't try quilting any fancy patterns, there was a whole lotta love and time that went into finishing it up, and I feel quite proud.

And now it's the fun part for me -- waiting for a fun finished quilt to arrive at my door!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Little bites of heaven.

(image found via "TallGuy" on flickr)

Am I the last person on earth to know about chocolate Skittles?! I was a bit skeptical when I bought them, but, hello, delicious! And yes, the flavors are even pretty true to their names -- brownie, chocolate caramel, s'mores, vanilla, and chocolate pudding -- not a bad one in the bunch if you ask me. Of course, this is not going to help in the whole trying-to-tone-up-my-bod department...

My son is doing the summer reading program at our local library for the third year in a row. Yep, train 'em up right from the get-go, that's what I say. He joined the first reading program right after his first birthday, so it is a great little summer habit we have gotten ourselves into. Of course, it's pretty easy to reach that goal of 20 books when you are still rather small...

I wish they had an adult version of the summer reading program. Hey, I'm not too proud to admit I wouldn't enjoy a fun coupon book and little prize if I read so many books, too.

My husband and I watched this movie the other night:

It was surprisingly good. I don't know what I was expecting, or rather, I really had no idea what to expect from it, but I really liked the storyline. It was an added bonus that it had parts of it that were tied to adoption as well. My husband wasn't all that crazy about watching it, so he started out with his laptop in his chair, more working than watching, but after about the first third of the movie, he was hooked as well and told me he really enjoyed it at the end.

Right now I am enjoying an extra-long session of "me" time as my son is STILL asleep from his nap and it is nearing dinnertime. Woohoo! I love afternoons like that, where I can squeeze in a few more minutes of getting things done around the house (um, and surfing the web) without feeling like I am ignoring him.

Okay, back to hand-quilting for me. I'm in the home stretch and should be ready to bind my Spring Fling Round Robin quilt, hopefully putting it in the mail Friday or Saturday at the latest. I'll post pictures when I am finished...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Berry pickin' ("behbeh pippin", according to my son)

This morning we had a little unexpected fun. My mom called me from work and asked if we wanted to go do some impromptu blueberry picking. So my son, my mom (also known as "Abuela" to my son, which means grandmother in Spanish), and I headed out to the country in search of beautiful blue berries.

Berry pickin' is serious business to my mom and I. Two years ago we planned out our trip, got up super early to drive waaaaaaaay out in the sticks, and each picked at least 8 or 10 pounds worth to haul back. That same year I also purchased official blueberry pickin' jewelry to wear, haha, from etsy, you know, because every girl should have appropriate jewels to don while doing such an important task! Last year the blueberry crops in our area were all ruined from a late freeze, so there was no berry pickin' to be had, and let me tell you, we were devastated. So this year, my mom began scouring the newspaper weeks ago and calling every berry farm around to see when they would be ready. Almost every day she has called me to give me the "updates" on when we'll be going, which, until this morning, was supposed to be Saturday morning. Apparently this morning one of those farmers called her back and told her he'd let us come for a little early harvesting if we wanted to, before the big opening day on Saturday. For us blueberry lovin' gals, that was all the invite we needed. My mom played hooky from work, and we hurried out there. The farmer was only open for a few hours, and since my mom had snuck away from work, we could only pick for about an hour, but we made the most of that hour and we each walked away with 3 pounds of beautiful fat blue berries, for only $3 a pound (a steal if you ask me). And that just only whet our appetite for more -- we'll be resuming our regular berry pickin' come Saturday.

Blueberry pickin' is definitely one of my favorite things about summer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Random Tuesday (again)

Since last week's Random Tuesday post garnered my little corner of the blog world the most visits I've ever had in a day, well, it seems like a great idea to do it again. (Yep, it has nothing, absolutely nothing, I tell you, to do with the fact that I am one of the most random people you'll ever meet. Well, meet through cyberspace, if you want to call it that.)

I had a fun little "celebrity sighting" today at the post office. Er, if you want to call former reality TV show contestants celebrities. Since there aren't ever too many celebrities found wandering around Wonderland, this one is going to count as a celebrity. I was behind this lady in line, rifling through my brain trying to figure out how I knew this girl. I recognized her face, but couldn't put a name to it. And then it dawned on me -- she was a final contestant on The Bachelor! I must preface this by saying I am not a die-hard Bachelor watcher. I watched it off and on for the first few seasons, but unfortunately it seemed to just grow trashier and trashier, so I gave it up. But I did watch part of the season that aired in 2004, when Tara Huckeby was fighting to win the football player, Jesse Palmer (who wasn't worth fighting for in my opinion, so she got the better end of the deal if you ask me since he ended up picking the other girl).

I didn't see a wedding ring on her finger, so I guess she's still searching. She's a bit older and surely a bit wiser now, so I hope she finds a great guy, especially since she really seemed like a nice girl.

I was reading an article today on the Yahoo page about former American Idol contestants, a sort of "where-are-they-now" type read. (Again, I am not normally an avid AI watcher either, so many of them I had no clue about.) But there was one girl on there from Season 2 that I remember, Carmen Rasmusen, and they had posted a video from her latest CD that came out last year. She'll probably never be one to top the charts, but I must admit, I like the video. It's about loving summer and all the great things that are part of summer, and I love her outfits, the forest setting, the kids, etc. in the video, so I thought it would be a good one to share. It reminds me a lot of the same good vibes I get from those Country Time Lemonade commercials.
Here's "Nothin' Like the Summer":

My husband and I are quite the pair. Last night before I was turning out the lights to go to sleep, I noticed that we each had a bandaid on our right hands -- I had a blister, and I have no idea what his problem was. But the funny part about it is that I had a Batman bandaid on mine, and he had on a pink Hello Kitty bandaid. Neither of us could find the gender-appropriate box apparently.

This morning our wonderful-never-want-to-live-without-her cleaning lady came. (After my last post, I must interject here and tell you that I do realize what a luxury this is for us to have her, and let me tell you, she knows how very very much we love her and are grateful for her help. Another blessing in my life that I know I am spoiled by having.) Lately, she has been bringing a friend with her to help the work go faster, enabling her to clean more houses in a day. This friend had the fun job of tackling our hall bathroom, and after only a few minutes, there was a "Ya-hoooooo-oooo!" singing out down the hallway. These two ladies got so tickled and were so startled by our son's "poo-poo button" (go back through my posts to read about the button if you haven't already). I had to do my best "Spanglish" to explain to them why in the world there is a Yahoo button sitting on top of the toilet. They again got so tickled about it and couldn't stop laughing, especially after she accidentally pressed it again, and it somehow malfunctioned and wouldn't stop yodeling.

My husband surprised me with candy the other day...

Do you remember eating those as a kid? Apparently I still love them!

Monday, June 2, 2008


It's 10:15pm, and the cold air is flowing once more. A total of 37 hours of sweating it out, and now it is time for a bit of reflection.

I can't lie -- yesterday and today were tough. With the heat and humidity (early for this time of year) at the level they were, it was hard to constantly keep a good attitude (I didn't). The hot, sticky air seemed to suck the life out of me (and the dogs), and it turned everyone cranky by this evening. None of us (including the four-legged members) slept well last night, and today was not good for napping either. By the time sunset started rolling around tonight, I was even starting to feel a bit nauseous from the heat. And now that I am sitting in the cool air once again? I'm looking back and the guilt is starting to creep in. Not even a full two days, and I was a wimp. There are millions of people throughout the world, not only in other countries, but even here in America, that don't have the luxuries that I do. They don't have A/C. They don't have electricity. They may not have running water. They may not have access to basic healthcare or toiletries. And many of them work from sunup to sundown with who knows how many kids to take care of and mouths to feed.

37 hours of no A/C not only made me a pretty cranky gal, but also pretty non-productive. Pathetic. All this mere hours after sitting in church on Sunday morning, listening to a doctor give his account of a recent mission trip to Guatemala. He recounted some horrible scenarios he witnessed, extreme poverty like you wouldn't believe. Some of which I had also caught a brief glance of on a taxi ride through the same city a couple of years ago. And even in such extreme circumstances, many of those people still have a smile on their face.

And then there is me. Pathetic girl who thinks she is going to wilt away without A/C for less than two days. I'm just laying it out there, the bare ugly truth of my selfishness, hoping that this will serve as both a good reminder and a wake-up call to myself that the world does not revolve around little ole' me, that there is so much more out there, things that I need to keep my eyes and my heart open to, things that maybe I need to start focusing more on and seeing how I can be a part of the bigger picture in making a difference in someone's life other than myself.

Isn't it interesting the lessons God can teach us in so many unexpected ways? I pray I will be able to keep my heart open and my eyes searching for these valuable truths and reminders.


We're going on hour #32 without air conditioning here in Wonderland, which is why you haven't heard from me. Wonderland was battered with severe storms both Saturday and Sunday, and we are waiting impatiently (see, I'm not going to lie and tell you that I have a chipper attitude about being in 90+ degree weather with no A/C) for the air to be restored. I'm a very hot-natured gal, and apparently quite spoiled, too, by the freezing cold air I am normally accustomed to, which makes my hot, humid, and breeze-less house even more torturous. Even the poor dogs are just lying lifeless around the house, trying to soak up the last remnants of cool from the wood floors. I think I might join them soon. The boy and I tried getting out for a couple of hours to run errands in air-conditioned stores, and, while it provided great relief, it almost made the return home that much more unbearable. With these current pioneer living conditions one might assume that I have been able to plow ahead with my hand-quilting, but not so much. Remember, I am the owner of two horribly sweaty hands (even under the best conditions), and this heat is causing them to gush like fountains.

Hopefully we'll be back soon, cool and refreshed. I'm crossing my fingers that the cold air is on its way...