Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sand in my tushie!!

Yesterday we drove down to Gulf Shores.  We’ll be spending a week here.  This was my view from the balcony this morning.

Jealous any?

It was supposed to rain all day, but so far all we’ve gotten are some dark clouds and fantastic waves.  The wind blows like it’s ready to storm, but it never happens.  Just that glorious feeling right before the bottom drops out.

I did some Craft Gossip blogging early in the morning while Liv and my mother took a walk down on the beach.  When they came back, the little girl wanted some mama time.  We took a stroll down the beach and back, stopping every now and then to wade out into the surf.

It was a picture perfect kind of morning.  The contrast of the deep dark gray storm clouds and the bright sky around, and then the dark waves with the whitecaps breaking, made me wish I had my camera.  Or flock of seagulls flying around Liv as she ran free spirit down the beach, wave wet hair blowing in the wind.  But having that camera would mean that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy actually being out in the water and the sand with her.

(After we got back, I ran out to the balcony with my zoom lens to grab a picture of the waves from 12 stories up.  The kids are just random wave crashers who seemed like good enough photo props…)

Liv is usually a scaredy-cat with the waves.  She gets out about ankle deep and then a tiny wave crashes around her legs, and then she runs back out of the water in a squawky panic.  But today…

Today she went out waist deep and we skipped waves.  When our legs got tired, we’d sit down in the shallow water and let the waves crash on our bodies.

“This is EPIC!”

“Butt IN!” (said as we’d squat and point our butts in the direction of the wave)

“This is the most fun day of my life!”

“Sand in my tushie!”

“I gotta clean out my litter box!”



“We could do this forever!”


I wish we could.


Snuggle kitty, I never knew you

I often joke that my cats hate me.  They don’t.  I’m sure they actually love me.  But they don’t snuggle me.

When my cat Graydon was still around, he would snuggle in bed with me.  I could wrap my arms around him and hold him like a rag doll while we slept.  But he’s gone now and the three cats we have all prefer someone else as their “special someone” to me.

Earlier this week, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of this little gray kitty who needed a home.

How could I resist?  Greased with a couple of glasses of wine already, I found myself typing the words “I need a snuggle kitty.”

Welllll…  that set things in motion, and yesterday I was on the phone making arrangements to adopt the sweet snuggle kitty as soon as we got back from our beach vacation.  According to her reports, this little kitty would snuggle up and sleep next to her son all night, then wake up in the morning crying like a newborn.

I was in love already.

This morning I got a text from the kitty’s foster mom saying that my little gray kitty had died very unexpectedly.  She didn’t know the cause.  The little kitty was fine when she left her this morning to go to work, but when she came to check on her at lunch the little kitty was unresponsive.

I am so sad.  I never even got a chance to hold my little snuggle kitty.

Craft space shame

I’m not going to have time in the next few months to do any crafting or sewing, but it’s not like I have a working studio right now anyway.  I have a nice, big room for my crafting but it’s so out of control that it’s not usable.

It’s like an oversized version of the disorganized storage closet in your house, the one that you cram things into and then slam the door before it all has a chance to tumble out.  When I want to work on a project, it takes some crazy yoga balancing to pull my supplies out of the piles and off the shelves, so I can take them into the dining room to work on. (Because in this mess, there isn’t even a work space clear any more.)

I need to do some serious cleaning out and organizing before I can justify any more projects.

Here’s the view from the door.

Notice that the door is only partially open.  That’s because there’s a pile of some sort of something preventing it from opening all the way.

And the view from the other side  of the room.

I have no idea why that closet door at the back of that ginormous pile is open.  It’s not like I can reach anything in it.  On the other hand, it’s not like I can reach the closet to close the doors.

On a happy note, I have gotten one set of shelves cleaned out and somewhat organized.  There are actually empty spaces here and there!

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with the rest of the studio, I walk over to this corner.  If I stand just right, I can block out the rest of the chaotic mess and imagine that the rest of the room is as clean as these few square feet.

Packing it in for a few months

Most of the time I’ll let the housework slide in favor of a crafty good time.  Dining room table?  We haven’t eaten at it for over a month because it’s covered in my sewing projects.  I like a clean home, but not at the expense of creativity.

But as I was looking at my calendar for the next few months, I realized something had to give.  We’ve got two family vacations, Fall Fest at my daughter’s school (which I’m coordinating), Halloween, my daughter’s birthday – she wants a slumber part this year, eek! – and our annual Christmas cookie decorating party.  The cookie decorating party is kind of a big event.  Last year we had 30 kids at our house for the cookie decorating party, and I made 40 dozen rolled cookies in preparation for that.

It happens like this every year.  It seems that just about every week there will be some sort of major activity.  I refer to it sometimes as my death march through the holidays.  I turn myself into a big ol’ stress ball trying to do it all.  I’m realizing this year that I can simplify my life by putting the crafty and sewy stuff on the backburner for a few months.  I’m sure I’ll squeeze in one or two small crafty things, but I’m not even thinking about taking on any kind of mess making project.

For a creative sort like myself, this is big stuff.

On the other hand, as soon as I made this decision,  I felt a huge weight lifting off of me.  I’m feeling really positive about packing it in for a few months.  I’ll spend the time cleaning and organizing my studio, readying it for a big craft binge come January.

First of the season

Yesterday at the grocery store I spied them…

…the first Honeycrisp apples of the season.  This is always a happy day at our house.

Most looked pretty banged and bruised, but I did find one good apple to bring home.  They also had a variety I hadn’t seen before – Sweet Tango.  I grabbed a couple of those as well.  I tried one at lunch today, and it was good.   It was had a nice firm texture, a good crisp bite, and a taste that stopped just short of being tart.

Lovely Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Kelly from Boomdeadda for passing the Lovely Blogger Award on to me and making me feel like a million bucks today!   I stumbled upon her blog not long after I started blogging here, and I immediately felt a connection because we both have a house full of very spoiled cats.  The more I read her blog, the more I see we have in common.

So here’s the deal on the award.  To accept the Lovely Blogger Award you gotta do four things:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to him/her in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire.
4. Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

I’ve alread done the first item, but I’ll do it again just in case, though.  Thank you, Boomdee!

7 Things About Myself

  1. I drive a minivan.  I’ve had it for 9 years, but it still cracks me up to think of myself as a minivan  mama.
  2. I tend to be a bit OCD about crafting.  I buy my supplies in bulk because it makes me happy to know that I have 24 rolls of adhesive on hand instead just one.  I get catalogs from Uline.
  3. Ceiling fans with lights give me headaches.  I think it’s the strobe effect that the blades create as they pass under the light.
  4. Several years ago, I had to cut almost all sugar out of my diet because of candida issues.  I’m able to tolerate small amounts of sugar right now, but I still have to watch to make sure it doesn’t get out of control again.  When I cut the sugar, I lost weight so quickly that some people thought I had an eating disorder.  I ate a lot, it was just all healthy food.  🙂  My jeans are starting to fit tight again.  I should probably get back to the healthy food.
  5. This year I’m president of the PTA at my daughter’s school.  I think this cracks me up more than the minivan. It’s not a job I feel I’m particularly good at, but there wasn’t anyone else who could take it on at the time.  I told myself one year, and then I’m out.  I’m four weeks in, but who’s counting?  Don’t get me wrong, I love volunteering up at my daughter’s school.  I just don’t deal well with being “in charge” or the person who everyone looks to for quick decisions.
  6. I have phone phobia.  Over the years, I’ve gotten over my introverted self enough to be comfortable walking up to someone and introducing myself.  But not on the phone.  If I don’t know the person I’m calling, I’ll find every excuse to not call them. And let’s not even talk about leaving voice mail.  I leave the longest, craziest rambling messages. The more I talk, the more I stumble over my words, with every awkward phrase recorded for ever and ever in the voice mail.  Which gets me more flustered, and I stumble over more words.  It’s a train wreck.  The phone phobia makes the PTA gig even more difficult, as I’m constantly having to call people I don’t know.
  7. We have three cats at our house, each with a distinct personality.  One is a grumpy old man.  Another is Mr. Laid Back Young Guy.  And then there’s the highstrung little girl kitty with the softest ever but who won’t let anyone but husband pet her.

And, my list of 15 bloggers I admire (in no particular order)

1.  Oh, Well, La-La

2. Cut Up Craft

3. What Can I Say?

4. Junk Rethunque

5. Idyll Hands

6. Mandy Holbert

7. Pillows A La Mode

8. Ponytail Kind of Day

9. Pork Chop Tuesday

10. Living The Creative Life

11. OhByGolly

12. Off Square

13. Defining Motherhood

14. Wiener Dog Tricks

15. Aunt Peaches

Fourth, you leave a comment on each person’s blog letting them know they’ve received the Lovely Blogger Award.  I’ll get that done as soon as I sign off.

Getting a lift

Today we had to drop by my grandmother’s house on the way home from school.  We had Liv’s friend with us for an afternoon playdate, so the girls went back to the TV room while I visited with my mother and grandmother.  It wasn’t long before we heard all manner of squeals and laughter coming from the back room.  I went back to check on things, and found this going on.

Now THAT’S a spool of thread

Look what arrived in the mail today!

I have a thing about buying craft supplies in bulk.  Uline sends me catalogs, and I pore over the pages fantasizing about getting a carton of poster mailing tubes or rolls of cheap kraft paper.  With the industrial stand and paper cutter, of course.

When I was at my friend Kimberly’s house, I spied the most fabulous spool of thread standing behind her sewing machine.  It was like a cone of serger thread, but it was sewing machine thread – and it was Gutermann.  I got a little weak in the knees.

I am all the time having to make a quick run up to the fabric store because I’ve run out of thread.  Those little 250-yard spools just don’t last very long in my craft room!!  Her spool had over 3,000 yards on it.  Sigh…

She was so very kind (or maybe enabling?) to let me know when JoAnn Fabrics put them on special.  And she gave me a code for free shipping.  How could I not order some for myself?  The selection of colors is pretty slim in the giant spools, so I just stuck to the basics.  Two white, one black, one light brown.

Sugar-free (or not) vanilla cream soda

I recently discovered the joy of an Italian soda.  Some sort of flavored syrup mixed with sparkling water, made into a little sip of heaven with the addition of some half-and-half.

The Loblolly Creamery soda fountain in the Green Corner Store has an elderberry cream soda that is to die for.   I don’t walk through the doors without ordering one as a treat for myself. 

But that gets expensive, so I’ve started making a cheater version at home.  

They’re super simple to make.  Just pour a dash of the syrup into the bottom of the glass.  Mix in some half-and-half, about twice as much as the syrup.  Fill with ice and then pour sparkling water over the top.  Stir and enjoy.  You can use fancy designer mineral water, but a can of Kroger brand sparkling water does just fine for me.

My version is sugar-free since I have issues with candida, and keeping my sugar intake at a minimum helps keep that under control.  For a treat soda, the sugar is fine.  But for guilt-free everyday, I was happy to find that Torani makes Splenda-sweetened sugar-free syrups. Yay!!!  Granted, there wasn’t much selection in flavors available in town, but I did find a vanilla flavored syrup. 

It tastes like melted snow ice cream, but with fizz. Yum!!


What looks like a bathroom sink…

….is actually a kitty bed. 

Have a happy Monday!