Friday, July 31, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

How 'bout that? A bathing beauty for my vintage photo offering. My grandma, cute as could be, in a darling swimsuit. Don'tcha wish they still made swimsuits like that? I think I've mentioned this before, but the entire time I knew my grandma, she only wore skirts and dresses. Pants, never. A swimsuit? Never. So it has been fun for me to dig through all of her earlier photos of her life long before I was ever a twinkle in anyone's eye and find so many pictures of her in pants, clamdiggers, and swimsuits! Oh, the scandal!

Really this photo is quite appropriate for the fact that I made a similar little purchase yesterday and will anxiously be watching for a package to appear on my doorstep soon. I've already blogged about my love for retro-styled swimsuits -- last year I purchased two swimsuits from the Esther Williams line, and they are my favorite items of clothing I own. I've been watching these two pieces for months, knowing that the only way I would possibly own them is if they went on sale, and voila! They finally did. So I guess it wasn't exactly a spontaneous purchase, but a very-well-thought-out-over-several-months-of-drooling-over-my-keyboard purchase. Here's hoping both pieces fit and look just as cute on little ol' me as they do in the pictures online. I'm hoping they would make my little grandma proud if she were here to see me...

It's a gamble. Either those ruffles (swoon) are going to look absolutely adorable and make me feel like a retro bathing beauty, or those ruffles are going to make the junk in the trunk appear, ahem, wider. I'm crossing my fingers for that first option...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

For your listening pleasure

Here's what I'm listening to today, a little new music I discovered today on iTunes:

Whoever this Meaghan Smith is, I like her. I like her a lot. And I like her cute website. I wish I had a cute website like that with a little bird flitting around my head.

In fact, let's listen to another one:

See, don't you like her now, too? Plus she's Canadian, eh. I love me some Canadians.

I also bought this little ditty on iTunes this afternoon as well:

Which begs the question, why is this movie not playing in my little corner of the world yet? I promise my city is cool enough to screen it, but maybe Fox doesn't think so. Poo. I know I could go see a movie about gerbils if I wanted to (G-Force, really? People are paying money to see a movie about gerbils???), and I am still holding out until my chance to go see my boy Harry at the IMAX (come on, mom, I need a babysitter again, STAT!), but nope, no cool Zooey Deschanel in "(500) Days of Summer" for me. Sniff, sniff.

While we're on the subject of the lovely Miss Zooey Deschanel, here's another great one from her (actually, one of my favorite songs ever). Pay no mind to her crazy eyeliner, but definitely pay attention to the gorgeous gauzy blue number she's wearing:

Hmmm. That's all I got, folks...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Fox and the Child

I just watched this beautiful movie with my four-year-old. Gorgeous. Beautiful scenery, lovely music, and a sweet, sweet story. Somewhat bittersweet, which is hard for extreme animal lovers like me, but a great flick nonetheless. It was rated G, and my boy had no problems watching it since I explained all of the scenes to him, including the more intense ones, but most smaller kids could probably get quite scared at times. But really, what a beautiful little movie.

Yes, please!

March 2010 at the IMAX. Oh, how I love my movies at the IMAX. In fact, that is the numero uno reason I have yet to see Harry Potter, and I, my friends, am a huge HP fan. But fantasy movies are much more fun at the IMAX, and I have been waiting patiently since HP comes out next week at the IMAX, and I will try my very best to wait patiently for Alice in March.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Is it Friday yet? It is?


That was the word of the day, in case you were wondering. Or maybe the secret word, that only my four-year-old knew, and I apparently wasn't supposed to find out, like on Pee-wee's Playhouse.

(image via

Now I'm really dating myself. Well, dating myself and outing myself as a weirdo, since I used to love watching Pee-wee's Playhouse. Especially that episode where they showed all the funny things you can do with a pair of giant underwear.

I digress. (And I'll try not to act surprised when I notice my readership numbers go down later this evening.)

Anyway, the word of the day was "naughty". My son just could not pull it together. It started off with him full-out peeing his pants (and shoes, holy gross) in the living room. Or should I say, peeing a huge puddle on the floor. (Thank God for wood flooring.) Which, of course, I didn't discover until I laid out my beautiful quilt top on the floor to measure it so I could buy fabric to add borders. Thankfully the quilt corner is the only part that barely touched the pee, but still. What in the world?! He is not a potty accident-prone kid. Today he "just forgot". Nice.

Then we had to run some errands. Our first stop started with a nice little tantrum (which ended rather quickly, thank you). The second stop he sat in many different time out spots and corners. The third stop he lost his privilege of having a sucker. The fourth stop he lost his privilege of TV for the day. The most irritating part of all of this disobedience was his reactions after I would threaten the pieces out of him. He would either make kissing sounds at me, blow kisses at me, or wink at me, in an attempt, I would guess, to shut me up! Grrrrr. After his naptime, he proudly looked at me and said, "Hey Mama! You didn't see me get out of bed and find my toys!". Apparently he hasn't quite yet mastered the art of sneaking behind my back and not outright confessing things. That's good, I guess. When I went to check his bed, I found his nightlight. In three pieces. So he lost his privilege of having a light on in his room tonight. We'll see how much fun that is for us tonight. Throw in a whole lot of him not listening, me having to repeat myself over and over, and lots of talking back and disrespectful attitudes toward Mama, and you have our day.

I must add that I have a small inkling of why the behavior was especially naughty today. This week was a big week for us. On Monday, I caved in to peer pressure, and we joined the cousins on a trip to our local water park.

Public water park = not exactly high on my list of fun things to do, but I know that my boy was overjoyed to be there, and we had a grand time with the cousins. And then last night our little caravan drove up to another small city/big town almost an hour away and spent several hours at a Kiddie Park full of tiny amusement park rides.

Heaven for any little kid, I tell ya'. Complete with cotton candy, pop, popcorn, staying up super late, and squealing his heart out on all of the (25-cent) rides. So I am sure that the reality of today (boring errands, etc.) was a big ol' letdown for him after such a fun and exciting week of new adventures.

But there were some funny spots today, too. In the quilt shop, after having his life threatened away for the umpteenth time, he was sweet as pie and had the two sales ladies completely suckered with his politeness. "Scyooooooze me, wadies. Fank you for wetting me pway wif the toys. Welcome a meet ya'!" (his form of "nice to meet you"). Oh yeah, like melted buttah, straight outta his cute little mouth, followed by his trademark dimples and little eyelashes batting at them. I, for one, was not swayed by his smooth-talking. I'm sure they thought I was the Wicked Witch of the West. Ha.

During his solitary confinement, er, I mean, naptime, there was some very lovely singing coming from his room, with lyrics including, "I wuuuuuuuuuuuuv you, Mama, sooooooooooo much", "Don't be mad, don't be sad, I wike to rhyme", "God wants you be happy wif me", and "You my favowite Mama, please wet me out", among others. Ah yes, laughter makes everything better.

Although it was one of those days where nothing seemed to end up the way I planned, I did have a fun little surprise of a purchase -- Holly Hobbie fabric! Surprise! I bought myself more fabric that I don't need! Hooray!

We'll just call it therapy, okay?

But seriously, there was no way I was going to leave it in there for someone else to pounce on. I'm sure that years down the road, er, I mean soon, of course, I will make a cute little quilt for myself, er, I mean for someone else, of course, out of it.

And before I forget, my offering for today's Vintage Photo Friday (click on it to see it in better detail):

Quite a honey of a little picture, don'tcha think? That little feisty grandmother of mine (again, on my dad's side) left me quite a few little picture surprises. I love the fur coat (which, ahem, didn't apparently stick around long enough to be passed down to me), the Beech-Nut sign, and the obvious friendship between her and "Thelma", whoever that was. I'm thinking they could've passed for a Thelma and Louise back in the day, no problemo. This picture was most likely taken sometime in the 1920's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Yesterday and today have just been heavy.

Yesterday morning, a friend from church (and also from my college days) passed away unexpectedly. Very unexpectedly. Left behind a husband and two young boys, ages 6 and 9. To say we are all in shock is an understatement.

The thought of those two boys being without their mom has really rocked me to the core. It is, of course, a blessing to know that she had a relationship with Jesus Christ and will be in heaven, but it doesn't really take away from the sadness of how those two boys had their mama taken away from them.

Coincidentally, I had just finished one of two identical quilts for our quilting group at church, and I was almost finished with the second. I think I've mentioned it before, but our church has a little knitting/quilting ministry. The knitters make beautiful shawls and blankets, and the quilters, of course, make lap quilts. They are taken by the deacons at our church when they go on visits to people at the hospital, people experiencing tragedies, or shut-in's. It's not too often that we need kid-themed quilts as most of our items are given to adults and the elderly. So lately my contributions have been specifically for kids, just in case we would ever need them.

My job in the quilting group is usually "the finisher". I enjoy the handsewing portion where the binding is tacked down and the label is attached. Since I am by far the youngest member of the group, the other ladies usually prefer me to have this job since it's quite tedious and not as easy for them, especially those with cataracts and/or arthritis setting in. So I haven't made too many quilt tops myself, but I've started to try and contribute more of those lately. We try to use donated fabric, but as you might suspect, some of it, um, might not be the most desirable pieces, and most of it isn't exactly what any little kids might enjoy. So a while back I picked up one of those little fat quarter sets from JoAnn's. I figured I would churn out a little quilt top with it, and once I got cutting, I found that if I threw in some extra pieces from my stash, I could easily churn out two identical tops at a time.

These quilts should've been finished two weeks ago, but my son got really sick and I was unable to go, and then last week was Vacation Bible School so we didn't meet. Little did I know that the timing would end up perfect -- last night the call went out to see if any of us had anything for two young boys. They were finished this morning just in time to be taken over and hopefully bring a small dose of comfort to two little boys. It kills me that they are going to two little boys I know -- not that I don't understand that they ended up really being perfect timing, but just that I hate that those boys have any reason in the first place to receive quilts from our group. The circumstances, that's what breaks my heart. It was all I could do to not cry on those quilts as I finished stitching them up last night.

The labels that we attach to the backs of all of our quilts read: "This quilt was made with love, hope, and prayers. Each knot represents a prayer that was said for you." Our quilts are tied instead of machine quilted -- prayers are said for each knot that is tied and the ties are purposely left long, so in the future, others that know the recipient can add their own knots and prayers.

I pray that these quilts can bring even an ounce of comfort to little N and Z. And C, you will be missed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday (and some other random stuff)

This is a photo of my grandmother on my dad's side. Her name was Oneida (pronounced "Oh-nee-da", not the other way like the silverware company). Actually, her first name was Grace, but she went by Oneida. She was born and raised in Indian Territory, on a small farm just outside a small town in our great state. She is the grandmother who inspired me to quilt -- I have several of her quilts in my possession, and, although she didn't pass it on to me directly by teaching me, after she passed on I realized that if I didn't carry on the tradition in our family, no one else was going to. What a little firecracker, that Grandma of mine.

Today was a great mail day -- two fun packages for me. Here is the first one, fresh from a recent swap through Paperback Swap. A brand new hardback copy of a Kate DiCamillo book -- Border's sells this one for $18 or $19. I think that rounds out my hardback collection of almost all of her books for my son's library.

And then this fun little package arrived! Last week I was reading through some of my favorite blogs, and this little beauty caught my eye on The Farm Chicks. When I clicked through to the Etsy store, I was quite surprised that it was so affordable, so I ordered it. I love vintage bathing beauties, and being a bathing beauty is somewhat of a little inside joke between my husband and I. Eventually I hope to put up a collection on one wall in my guest bedroom of all my favorite Etsy art purchases.

I also whipped up another block for our quilting bee, this one for Edith. Edith requested circles -- yipes! I don't know about other quilters out there, but curved piecing scares me a bit. I was about to just applique a bunch of circles onto a square of fabric when I remembered that we had already tackled some curved seams with the "drunkard's" path block we did earlier this year, so I made a much smaller version of that and added a border all the way around with some squares. Um yeah, those little drunkard's blocks are much harder the smaller you try and make them, lesson learned. Maybe that's one reason they are called "drunkard's path" -- maybe a little swig of somethin' somethin' helps ease the fear of curved piecing, haha.

Yesterday my boy and I were in the front yard when we found this ginormous bug in the grass. He was so big (surely it's a boy bug, right?) and actually surprisingly strong as well -- he had quite the grip on the blades of grass when I tried moving him to a piece of mulch. My husband was brave enough to hold him on his hand for us to get a better look. Our neighbor told us that it is a cicada bug -- one of those loud bugs you can hear in the summertime making long sort of hissing type sounds. Pretty cool.

I just have to give a shout out to GOD for giving us some GORGEOUS weather today. We have had a really long nasty spell of upper 90s, low 100s (with high humidity) that has been miserable, and today is the first day of upper 80s weather!!! It feels so refreshing to stand outside and feel an actual COOL breeze instead of the hot furnace winds. So enough typing -- I'm going outside!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Think of a wonderful thought...

Sometimes when I get out from under the rock I've apparently been living under, I find the coolest new things (new to me, at least).

For instance, tonight I was browsing iTunes. I'm a huge iTunes nerd. Love. It.

Tonight I was specifically searching for new tunes to put on my son's nighttime playlist. It had been about a year since I created his last playlist, and I wanted to switch things up a bit. I must tell you right now that the playlists aren't typical children's lullabies, oh no, they are not. This music-loving mama includes everything from cinematic scores like from "Chocolat", foreign titles (the last CD had a French pop song on it), old classics from the 1940's and 1950's, Disney movie classics, new Indie songs, a praise and worship song or two, etc. My boy is going to be well-versed in music culture, that's for sure.

I was searching for more classic Disney film songs (like from "Bambi" or "Pinocchio" or "Snow White") and stumbled across these little Disney storybook things. Part Disney movie soundtrack, part narration -- they are way cool. In fact, I guess they are pretty similar to the little book/record (or cassette tape, depending on how far back your memory goes) combinations that many of us used to own back in the day. I have so many fond memories of my little records full of classic songs and stories. Most of the ones I found, such as "Bambi", "Peter Pan", "Toy Story" and the like, are between 20 minutes and an hour, and they seem to range in price between $2.49 and $4.99. You download them just like any other iTunes selection. If you search for them, type "Disney's Storyteller Series" or "Disney Storyette" in the search box as many of them included those words in the title.

I can't believe it has never occurred to me (until now) to download the audiobooks for kids. This is going to open up our little world, haha! I took my purchase ("Peter Pan", of course) and immediately burned it to a CD for my boy to listen to while he falls asleep tonight. How magical is that?! Falling asleep to one of the most classic little boy stories...

I can't wait to see what else we can download. For other fun classic (non-Disney) children's downloads, check out Kiddie Records Weekly.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bring it on.

I'm still here. I've just been trying to catch up on my sleep since the big roadtrip to Minne-SOOOOOOOH-ta. And since Barf-O-Rama 2009. And since Vacation Bible School started this week.*

*Please note that it is not the workload of VBS that is the tiring part, especially since I am just an assistant that has to push the play/pause button on the CD player for the kiddies to hear the music during Bible story time, but rather the fact that we have to be up and at 'em earlier than normal. I know, don't feel sorry for us.

Barf-O-Rama 2009? You haven't heard of that? Good times, good times, people. After the 12-hour drive home and being completely wiped out, our little man got sick the first day home. As in siiiiiiiiiiiick. As in strep-throat-in-the-extreme-heat-100-plus-degree-summer-really-stinks sick. Bless his little heart, it was rough, for all of us. We've been unusually blessed in the fact that our little guy NEVER gets sick. We cruised from our 3rd-year-check-up to our 4th-year-check-up with nary a doctor visit in between. (And I think the only visit between his 2nd and 3rd years was one for pink eye, which doesn't really count as being very sick.) Seriously, the kid usually has the immune system of steel. So getting sick for him is an especially miserable experience because he doesn't understand it and has no previous experience of being sick to draw on.

But along with the ol' family reunion came late late nights with all the cousins, no naps, and less sawing logs at nighttime than normal, so we were all pretty wiped out towards the end. Throw in a public swimming pool, and BADA-BING! The immune system of steel goes out the window, and you've got yourself a sick little kid. Apparently one of the other cousins came down with the same thing, so we're pretty sure it traveled home with us.

Needless to say, I'm tired and ready for a relaxing rest of the summer since our summer has been kind of strange since it started. Broken elbow + hospital stay + staying out of the pool most of the summer so far + big roadtrip + big sickness -- whew, I'm tired just typing it out. I'm ready to spend the rest of the summer just chillaxin' by the pool with no more drama!


In other news, we LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE our kitties. After a rough first day of introductions (it was looking quite like Harry might kill Sally), Harry and Sally have warmed up so much to each other that they now sleep together, eat from the same bowls together, play together, and would generally be lost without each other. We are thrilled, to say the least. How fun that they have their whole lives ahead of them to spend with each other! A little match made in heaven. {Insert collective "awwwwwwwwww" here.}

Too bad if you're tired of kitty stories and kitty pictures. She is just too dang cute not to post.

This picture cracks me up. The Italian greyhounds LOVE kitties, too. But they are quite spastic and bouncy, and it can be a lot for a little kitty. Mazi, our bigger dog, got pretty protective of little Sally, as you can see here. I laugh, though, because although it is "sweet" she is acting protective, I think it's more of a "if anyone messes with the kitty it is going to be me" type attitude since she is the queen dog. The good news is that everyone gets along -- dogs, kitties, and humans.

Feel the love. They share every dish of food and bowl of milk. So cute.

And, last but not least, they both curled up on my son's bed a couple of nights ago. Note the plastic sheet and towels for blankets since it was during the final hours of Barf-O-Rama 2009. I hope that eventually they might be the type of kitties to sleep at the foot of his bed someday. Talk about cute.


I have been sewing up a few little things lately as well.

Here is the June block for Stephanie of the Pieced Together Quilting Bee, which was actually sewn up and mailed out on time before we left for Minne-SOOOOOOOOOH-ta:

It's another spiderweb block, and I really loved her fabric choices. I am anxious to see the whole thing once she pieces the blocks all together.

And another little birthday present for a very special little 2nd birthday.

It's "Spaceboy", another Wee Wonderfuls pattern. I hope you can tell he's a spaceboy since his helmet is bright orange and not silver. Next time I might try to find some silver-ish fabric to use for the helmet part. There is a robot doll that goes along with him, but since I was sewing this up during Barf-O-Rama 2009, there was no free time between washing the barfy laundry and taking care of Barf Boy (my husband's name for him) to sew up a second doll. Like my other dolls, I tried to make him look like his recipient -- in this case, the cutest little guy from Taiwan you ever did see.


Overheard this afternoon while my boy was playing pretend with his stuffed animals:

We're pirates, GRRRRRRR!!!!!
We cut coupons!!!!!!!
We save money!!!!!!

Hmmm, I don't think he's been spending too much time with his mama, do you?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When Harry Met Sally (or A Tale of Two Kitties)

At least that's her name so far -- Sally. Original, huh? I'm still trying to find out her personality and if the name fits, as I have a few other contenders out there. Right now "Trixie" is a major contender, and I still like "Dolly" (after good ol' Dolly Parton) and "Magnolia" (calling her Maggie). Harry was easier to name since I already had a name for him before we even met him.

Yeah, so we brought home another kitty. What can I say? When you're married to "St. Francis of Assisi" like I am, it's not hard to sway one's spouse to take on another furry member of the family. I jokingly refer to my husband as "St. Francis" all the time -- he loves all the creatures of the world and is constantly trying to rescue and help animals out. I'm not Catholic, so that's the only saint I can name off the top of my head. And since we're already known as the crazy pet lovers, one more cat isn't going to sway people's strange opinions of us any farther. Our experience as pet parents has taught us though, that more than one isn't always a bad idea, and sometimes it makes things a little bit easier.

The little tiny thing is actually one month older than Harry. but she is definitely smaller. She was the runt of her litter, and I can't help it, I would be thrilled if she stayed small. We once had a cat, Taosey, that was a runt and always looked like an older kitten. (And coincidentally, this is not the first time I've brought home a furry souvenir -- in middle school my family took a little vacay to Taos, New Mexico and brought home, you guessed it, Taosey. So, unfortunately, it runs in my blood.) But with 4 dogs and 2 cats now, I think it's safe to say there won't be any more animals for us for a while. Eventually the numbers gotta go down, people.

While up in Minne-SOOOOOOOH-ta, we enjoyed a fun afternoon with one of my husband's cousins and her family. Well, a mega-family is more like it -- 7 kids! They live on a beautiful piece of property in the country and have built up quite the collection of animals: there are two gorgeous horses, lots of chickens, a goat named Dick (I know, hahaha, I couldn't stop laughing at poor Dick, but such a friendly little chap), a bunny, and quite a few mama cats with around 10-20 kittens. There were kittens everywhere, so I'm not really sure how many there were.

The two beautiful horses for riding. Most of the kiddos took a turn, and so did a few of the adults, including me.

Told ya' their property was beautiful. And the weather that day was gorgeous -- partly cloudy with a high just below 80 degrees.

The chicken coop and yard behind it. Can you spot Dick in the crowd? Quite the ladies' man, that Dick. Bless his little heart. It's hard not to make a million "Dick" jokes out of it, kind of like when my brother and I went with my mom on a tour of the Hoover Dam. Oh yeah, dam jokes galore. Even us straight-laced gals can have little naughty streaks!

The kids all got the chance to gather eggs. They collect about 28 eggs a day. My husband was the brave one to take instruction on how to gather the eggs from under the mean chickens, and he was successful!

Here's our little girl with her relatives. The big calico is actually not her mama. And I can't remember if the black and white one is her sibling or not. I think she was the only one left out of her litter. The calico mama had only three legs. And did you know that calicos are always girls? How's all that for a bunch o' random?

As you know, country folk tend to have a little bit different approach to their pets -- more of a "survival of the fittest" type thing going on, especially since vet fees can be costly when there are lots of animals involved. But that is not to say that the kitties were not loved, oh no, quite the contrary -- they were held and cuddled 24/7. And little Miss Priss here was probably one of the favorites due to her tiny size and sweet, sweet disposition. When I saw her, I was immediately drawn to her. Bless her tiny little heart, she had lots of gunk coming out her little nose and eyes, and we both feared that if she didn't make it to the vet to get some antibiotics, she might not do too well in the long run. Since Harry was an only cat and an indoor cat at that, we figured it might be kind of nice to him to have a companion, and pretty convenient that they would be pretty much the exact same age. The deal was sealed.

Staying in a hotel for the whole weekend meant that we would have to wait and drive back to their house the night before we left to get her (they lived quite a piece north of where we were staying) and then sneak her in the hotel just for one night. My husband put her in a Rubbermaid with a big air hole cut in the lid and smuggled her in, and she spent her first night with us in a hotel. Thank goodness for a relatively quiet kitty and no messes, so the hotel was none the wiser. Our next hurdle was driving home -- kitties + cars do not usually equal a great combination, and a 12-hour drive only made it more of a challenge. But the tiny little girl defied the odds and was the best car kitty EVER! She slept on pillows, on the console or on shoulders the entire way, purring and pawing and snuggling the entire time. It actually made the drive much more fun and way less challenging than we thought it would be.

When we got home, that's when the fun be continued once more...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Everyone loves a vacation.

Yessirree, everyone loves a vacation.

Especially when it is a big roadtrip up to one of our favorite destinations, Minne-SOOOOOOOOOH-ta. You absolutely must say it that way. We spent our fabulous 4th of July holiday with a zillion long-lost cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and friends at the big family reunion on my husband's side of the family.

And, like all good vacations, we picked up a little souvenir.

To be continued...