Allow myself to introduce... myself


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Git 'R Done

It was another long weekend, and this time I decided to stick close to home for most of it to get stuff done (instead of driving to my Mom's house feeling I should be home getting stuff done). So I did a few putting around the house things, including mending the button on these pants, which makes me overwhelmingly proud, because I hate mending anything.

I decided at 10 o'clock at night to make a cover for this ottoman from some material that I had on hand, so I went from this (a piece we're borrowing from Travis's Dad):To this:

Which I personally think is a VAST improvement.

I also had a mini-breakdown in which I called my Mom and complained that I was sick of all the rectangles in my house. "What would make you feel better?" asked well-intended Mommy Dearest. "CIRCLES!" Said her bratty firstborn. But then I bought this lamp on the right, and felt instantly better:
Mommy Dearest also advised that I start small in my apartment makeover, and work on making one small corner of my rented home into something I like. So I went from this (which I thought was a good idea a year ago):

To this (which is a good idea for me now): I also changed the things on my mantel to get away from that "too many rectangles" thing. When almost an entire wall of your living room is a brick fireplace, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by rectangles!And now for today's gratitude: That tomorrow I am officially official in my promotion, that I have a little bit of art back on my walls, that Trav is spending some much needed time bonding with family, and that I'm finally making a sock animal (more on that at a later date).

Be Well and Do Good!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Day with Baby

As Boo is off having some girl time with one of my friends from work, Baby and I took it upon ourselves to head down to the Pleasantville Saturday Market for some Mommy/Baby time. Of course for Baby it's all about the food, so although he was mostly patient about posing for pictures, his main goal for the trip was scoring some popcorn.
Which he was not about to put down, not even to play on some toys...I am so very grateful that my children are healthy and happy and growing as they should, but oh my goodness how my heart aches when I think about how fast my babies are growing up!

Be Well and Do Good!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Can you FEEL the love?!

So last weekend's "long weekend" did end up being mildly productive, right up until the moment when I was attacked by a horrible flu bug that knocked me out of commission for three days. I can't remember a time in my recent history when I've felt too weak to even talk, but oh yes Dear Reader(s), I was thusly affected. All seems well now for the moment other than a few snifflies. I have come to realize about myself that I am a big baby when I'm sick, on the same lines as most men. I think it comes from having been with a man in the past (who shall remain nameless) that was the world's BIGGEST baby when sick, so now it's my due. In any event I don't think I was too horribly horrible; merely asking for a bit of juice or water as I lay dying on the couch, and perhaps a small request for someone to paint my toe nails.

A girl must still look her best on her deathbed, mustn't she?

So now let me get on to all my productivity from before
the flu. I revisited a quilt top that I had started in November for Baby, but had hated immediately and stuffed into a box. I decided this time to cut certain materials instead of leaving them whole, I channeled my inner Aunt Carolyn and ripped out some seams, and VOILA! A quilt that's still not finished but that I'm excited to work on. Hopefully I can get back to work on that again soon.
I promise to take better pictures when it's finished.

I also worked a bit in the yard, but by a bit I truly mean a bit. Since we rent here and didn't really know how long we'd be staying, we've left everything pretty much as is, which is pretty shabby. I've now decided that I'm only cheating myself by having blah surroundings, so slowly but surely I'm trying to beautify our little corner of Pleasantville. So I took this eyesore next to the front door out, since it's been dead for the two years we've been here.
I put something else in that spot, but I think the new plant is already dying. I also planted two honeysuckles to go up a post in front of where this planter was, but that picture didn't turn out. Alas...

I also noticed that I have a vine going all the way up my chimney on the shady side of my house, that is currently in bloom. I have no idea what the plant is, so if there are any amateur horticulturists out there who want to take a stab at plant identification, here's what I have:

And lastly, just because I love the way it looks... my clematis growing through my butterfly bush. The butterfly bush is one of the trees I hacked away at in the spring, and it sure has made it bloom much more prolifically this summer. Hooray for hacking!
And now for more gratitude: Again with the great new neighbors - who not only have a daughter who will babysit my kids, but a Mom who wants to go walking with me and is willing to go at 7am! What could be better? A yard that I'm fortunate enough to be able to put plants in as time and budget allow; a great place to rent here in Pleasantville; times that are looking up; and a wonderful family. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Long Weekend

Today's the first of a four day weekend for me, one with lofty goals of getting some things made for the shop, giving the house and yard a total makeover, and making memories with the kiddos. So far today has been marginally successful, as Boo, Baby, and I went to Paint Away the local paint your own pottery place and painted us up some fun, followed by my taking a nap on the couch. The place was too busy to take photos, so for today's picture show I think I'll unveil the new paint job on my Mom's house, which has been a few months in the making. Mom has decided to do all the painting herself with actual brushes. Apparently that's unheard of these days... These were taken last weekend, and artfully obscure the scaffolding and chipped paint on the places that aren't finished yet.

And now, the gratitude: Awesome new neighbors (for the first time in two years) for the kids to play with , a day to be lazy, a computer that's limping along enough for me to post this blog post and one more thing at the shop, and a wonderfully rainy day to stay cool and be nostalgic.

Be Well and Do Good,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

O Happy Day!

I am FINALLY in possession of a borrowed camera, and as such have FINALLY been able to list again on Etsy. I didn't even realize how much stress not being able to list the 5 finished Qualts (Quilt Wall Quilts) was causing until I felt the relief from listing the first one. The apple is the first in the series; listing soon will be the pear:
The Lemon:The Strawberries:
And finally, the Cherries:

So watch the store, as I hope to post one a day for the next few days. Yay!

And now for the gratitude: GREAT new neighbors with a daughter willing to babysit on Thursday because we found ourselves in a crunch; an awesome daughter of my own who spent an hour doing the dishes tonight (HER idea); a son who loves to make people laugh; and a vacuum cleaner that has adapted to my infrequent vacuuming, and sucks cheerios with as much zest as it can muster. Woo hoo!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Truth

I think it's time for me to finally come clean about why it's been hard for me to write recently. I mean yes, it has been hot, and yes, I don't have a camera. But the ugly truth brings me to Lemon Event #3 (read the previous entry). I should have known these things always come in threes...

Lemon Event #3 - Breaking up is hard to do, even if you started it.

Lemonade Response - Look for the silver lining. To date three ceiling light fixtures have broken due to 6'7" tall man stretching. Replace fixtures and rest assured this will not happen again. Take pride in knowing that possession of the remote control for the TV is finally in the hands of the most worthy party. Appreciate that crying hard enough is almost the same as exercise. Recognize that there's a lot of ice cream in the world to be eaten before one person can take up an entire king-size bed. Trust that this is one of those moments that eventually makes a person stronger.
And now for a serving of gratitude: friendships, the best children in the world, a hard-earned job promotion, and health.

Be Well and Do Good,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Too Darn Hot!

I've been remiss in my blog postings of late because the computer is upstairs, heat rises, and I'm not built for these kinds of temperatures. I have a body built for winter if you know what I mean, so when the temperature hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, I melted. Not until after I got out of work of course, because those dear dear people love me enough to give me unlimited air conditioning as a part of my job. Let me tell you Dear Reader(s), when you're feeling sorry about what your paycheck looks like come payday, think of all the perks that job gives you that aren't showing up on the check. And when you're writing that list, make sure to include things like air conditioning. People can die without air conditioning, especially if they were bred for withstanding cold not heat!

And in honor of the fact that it's been Africa Hot (and I still have no camera), I present today's recycled photo; a Qubicle Quilt called "Safari Seduction" that currently resides at the Half Moon Creek Gallery in Anchorage, Alaska. Gratitudeness... I am grateful for my Mom, who has driven about 4 1/2 hours one way today to take Boo and Baby to see their Great Grandma for ice cream; trying new food at Todai in the Pleasantville Town Center; laughs with co-workers; and that insurance angel who rescued me from the doorway of horror yesterday. Oh yes, I believe in angels.

Be well and do good,

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Rockin' It

Many months ago after a long day at work, Travelous picked me up and we took the kids to the park. I wasn't dressed for the sandbox, so camera in hand (I was carrying it everywhere at that point) I decided to assign myself the task of photographing my sayings rocks on different backgrounds. When I uploaded the pics I realized that many of them were washed out or unfocused, so I deemed them unworthy for blog use. Those were the days when I could take new pictures every day though, so I've had to lower my standards. So I bring to you once again, the sayings rocks.
"Your mother must be so proud"... see what the background for this photo is here...
And now for my moment of gratitude... I am thankful for the all the extra storage in my garage, which needs to be cleaned today, the great friend who offered to take me out to dinner tonight to celebrate my promotion (even though I will now have to postpone), Pleasantville recycling week which will haul away old computers and TVs for free this week, my adorable custom order from Little Brown House that will be part of our gift for a wedding next month, and my new wall that I painted a wonderful Aegean Blue (scroll down if you follow the link). I promise at some point I will have new pictures!

Be well and Do Good...


Saturday, July 7, 2007


This is the post in which I am giddy with excitement because I got the promotion I've been after! Hooray for me! I see a new camera in the future... with wonderful pictures for my blog.

Unfortunately, the new camera will not happen today. Which means you, Dear Reader(s) will miss out on today's event, a wonderful parade here in Pleasantville. What's that? A parade in Pleasantville? Yeppers... it's the annual Redmond Derby Days Parade, and it's my first time attending (in which I will be manning a booth on behalf of my day job). Parades are rife with photographic opportunities, but alas... I must be content to use my mind to capture the festivities. Blech. So here's my random blog photo of today: The boy from yesterday (my son, affectionately referred to as "Baby") demonstrating his favorite part of the recent trip to the zoo - the eating. Mouth full of pretzels, clutching his lunchbag which is apparently soon to sprout a leak, and also charged with carrying his own coat ("I can't eat with my coat on..."). He would NOT give up that lunchbag for anything.

And today I am grateful for waking up early to get ready for a beautiful day of working out in a booth in the sunshine, the outpouring of support from all the people at work who congratulated me on my promotion, the curtains that I will be making this weekend, and the one plant I have purchased for the yard that I am trying to nurse through the heatwave we're having. And of course a happy, healthy family.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Day After

It was a beautiful and amazing fourth of July in which we ate watermelon, barbecued ribs, and homemade potato salad, rum cake, and peach cobbler, and sat in the sun and watched the kids play on the slip n' slide in our friend's yard-that-I-am-so-jealous-of. We came bearing Tim's Cascade Luau BBQ 'Crack' Chips - so called by our friends for their addictive properties. I think we've hooked at least six separate friends and three family members on these chips, and we're just starting on our mission.

We were surrounded by some great people, interesting conversations (Gerald: "I expect a woman to serve me my food, it's how I was raised" Tasha: "I didn't see you bring a woman, you'll have to get your own food!"), and even a guest appearance from Mr Ty Barnett, but alas I still have no camera with which to take my own pictures. Can you appreciate my ingenuity though, can you?

But in the spirit of gratitude, let me share with you the picture I WOULD have taken and showed you tonight. I am sure it would have been perfect, and would have said everything. So close your eyes (not while you're reading!), and imagine if you will... one small five year old boy with porcupine hair sticking all over the place because he is badly in need of a haircut. Imagine this boy SO excited to see the fireworks, then realizing a front row seat at the City of Tukwila's annual fireworks blow-out may have been more than he bargained for. So the boy, with all the wide-eyed wonder that boys have, watches carefully beside the leg of the very tall man, then slowly wraps his arms around the leg of the very tall man, then slowly slides behind the leg of the very tall man... only to peer carefully out at the fireworks in total "safety". I SO wish I'd had my camera!

I'm grateful for friends (ESPECIALLY the kind that will do your hair at 7:30am), a pin-striped suit for a job interview, Starbucks' Blueberry White Iced Tea, the beautiful weather, and a man who tries. And as always, a healthy family.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The One About Gratitude

I'm reading the book I bought a few weeks ago, and it made a point that I thought worth working into my blog. It's the same point that Oprah made many years ago, but apparently it takes me about ten years to catch on. The book says that people who make a conscious choice to be grateful for things are much more likely to accomplish their goals, and that the two main roadblocks for gratitude are self-entitlement and self absorption (funny, I thought one of them might be thieves stealing your car stereo). I've always known that I wanted to be a glass-half-full person. But sometimes that can take a little more thought and effort if it doesn't come naturally. So in an effort to be more grateful, I've taken these recent lemon events from my own life, and turned them into lemonade.

Lemon Event #1 - Stolen car stereo
Lemonade Response - Recognize the beauty of not getting into a vehicle with the station tuned to Randi Rhodes on Air America (nails on a chalkboard). Reuse the same picture of the hole where the stereo used to be in an effort to provide dynamic content on my blog.

Lemon Event #2 - Broken Camera
Lemonade Response - Begin to think of other ways to illustrate personal blog so as to keep reader(s) attention. Currently working on ability to draw stick figures that accurately illustrate my extra 50 pounds.

I wish I could provide more examples, but I couldn't think of any more Lemon Events. Apparently this is working already... Unfortunately though, the truth of the matter is that the dead camera means reusing old photos for awhile, to keep things interesting. Of course the upside would be that people with bad memories and new readers alike will never even notice. I hope to replace the camera soon, but that would take a couple of sales in the shop. In time Grasshopper, it will come.

So the newest blog feature will be what I'm thankful for. Tonight I am thankful that tomorrow is a holiday, and that we will be spending time and having great conversation with friends. I am grateful for the little bit of extra time I had with Boo tonight, watching some Bill Cosby Himself from 1983 and talking about physical comedy. And of course, I am grateful that we all have our health.

And now, some pictures of Boo picking out the raisins in her granola bar on our zoo trip a few weeks ago. You have to admire the concentration...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hey Lady, I Thought This Was a Craft Blog?!

Every once in a while a completely irate and imaginary blog reader will get into my head and yell at me about my blog content. I feel it necessary sometimes to explain to the imaginary irate blog reader that I have never made any promises about the content of my blog, so it is not possible for the reader to be irate. Sometimes the imaginary blog reader listens, and sometimes he doesn't. Such is the way with imaginary blog readers.

I started my morning today having a delightful and spirited "discussion" with Travelous about the disappointing health care situation here in the states, followed by a nice little walk with the family. I mention the walk, because even though Travelous and I are almost always on the same side politically, for some reason our discussions are always more spirited than they should be. The walk is my own personal victory, since my point during our "discussion" was that until the system is fixed, we ALL have a responsibility to take better care of ourselves. I think he heard me, at least on this one point, so perhaps this will be the beginning of some much needed change in our lives. I mean really now, wouldn't it be nice if I could fit into one of those beautiful dottie angel slip dresses? So the plan is to walk again tomorrow, and Boo and I have committed to walking together early in the mornings. Cross your fingers for me...
I got an e-mail from Mommie Dearest today showing me her wonderful new lime green felted bag she knitted. A few weeks ago when Dearest was on recliner rest with her bum leg, I sewed together a quick QQ Teenie with one of her most memorable sayings from my childhood, "Mucky Mucky High High" which she would always use whenever my sister and I were being too snarky about someone. Her translation when asked is "until you walk a mile in someone else's moccasins, you have no idea what they've been through". She's a smart lady, that one. So she used the QQ Teenie as a pocket on the bag, and of COURSE it looks adorable. Of course I may also be biased a tad. But JUST a tad.

I wanted to show a picture of the first set of QWALTS finished for the Etsy shop. A QWALT is a Quilt Wall Quilt, which is to say that if you wanted a whole wall of similar quilts, these would be a good way to do it. I should start listing the QWALTS in the store tomorrow, so keep an eye out.

Oh MY isn't that a GREAT looking apple green wall?