Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This was our very first Christmas ornament. We received it from a very dear friend even before we were married. She made it out of a cookie cutter and it is very precious to us.
In a prior artsy phase, I was a china painter. I could do a really good forget-me-knot and some pretty passable pansies. But faces? Forget it. We had an absolute china painting genius in our church. I had purchased this really beautiful nativity set with the idea that I would make an heirloom set to be passed on. I started on the camel robes and then looked at all the faces and knew I was in way over my head. Bettie Wilmoth graciously agreed to paint the whole set for me. And it definitely IS an heirloom.
This cute little nativity set was handmade by a local artist and I collected a couple of pieces each year. When I started collecting, we had very little money to spend on decorations. I started with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus and added to it little by little.
Okay, the lavendar-hued lightbulbs on this chandelier in our dining room are a little disconcerting. Fortunately the lavendar hue goes away from we turn them on. But anyway, each year I hang these really beautiful ornaments from it and it is always the last thing I take down after the holidays.
When I was a little girl and we lived in Oklahoma, where my father was a pastor, a lady in our church made a red felt Christmas stocking for me and my brother. I have always loved it. So when Mark and I got married, I made a similar one for him. And then Aaron, and then Christa, and now each of the grandchildren.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Christmas cards...also didn't happen. Mark and I usually find some fun and funky picture taken during the year and that's what makes it to our Christmas card. I don't know. Maybe we didn't do anything fun and funky in 2008. But we love receiving Christmas cards so please don't take us off your Christmas card list. Fun and funky next year--we promise.
And the last of the Christmas presents will be finished today. *sigh* Then I can just sit back and enjoy the lights on my tree.
Lights on my tree...which makes me think of my holiday decorations, which actually got put up pretty early this year. I know. Some people have "themes." The holiday magazines are filled with all these "decorator" Christmas rooms. I love looking at them. But really? My heart is warmed by the things we have put up for years. It is comforting. So my house will probably never have a "penguin" theme.
Nope. Instead we have this little trio. We have had them for years, for so long that I can't even remember where we got them. I think we got the strainer reindeer in Kansas, which means he is over thirty years old. We got the little soda can "caroler" when Aaron was small and for some reason it reminded us of him (I'm sure he will be happy to read that...). And the little basting brush Santa has been around for quite some time too. And they all live happily together year after year.
Okay, I have serious refrigerator-envy all year long...except for Christmas. Aaron and Christa have one of those fabulous "French door" refrigerators. You know the kind--with the double doors on top and the freezer unit on the bottom, satin-finish silver, beautiful...This snowman is the ONLY thing that makes me glad to have my old white refrigerator.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Reading one of my all-time favorites, How About Orange, has led me to her mother's blog. Now two of the coolest things about this blog author are that she is from southern Minnesota (pretty close to where Mark grew up) and we are becoming email friends, with the very likely possibility that we will meet in person next summer!
But what are the chances that you will ever actually have a post dedicated to you?
I have been telling her how much Mark misses Minnesota winters this year. Well, every year, actually. She takes gorgeous pictures and yesterday she posted this. COOL, huh?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
But I think I better take my Santa hat off the sewing machine and get to work.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
My working life as a medical transcriber involves spending countless hours with my computer keyboard. So the other day Office Max was running a special: buy two toner cartridges and get a wireless keyboard and mouse for free. You know how it goes--sometimes you have to spend money to save money. I figured that some year-end writeoffs might be in order so why not stock up on toner cartridges?
I rushed right on over to Office Max, picked up those toner cartridges (yikes, $97 apiece??) and came home with a box containing my new keyboard and mouse.
I am now wireless, and considering all the other things I have plugged in here in my office (can you say two overloaded power strips...), that is a blessing. And the bonus is a keyboard without lint or dust in those hard-to-reach places.
So here is a picture of my old keyboard (feel free to download this fascinating picture to your own photo album). Do you notice something missing? This keyboard is only a year old and some of the letters are actually worn off the keys. My keyboard and I might need a vacation from each other...
And here is my new keyboard, sans wires. And my cute "jolly" mug? Yep, that's how I'm feeling today.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The other thing I'm always amazed at in Fresno is that no matter what time of the year, most businesses, office complexes, even gas stations, are beautifully landscaped. That's something you don't see in the Midwest.
Hey, wait, is this actually the slighest tinge of fall color??
This is what I'm talking about. *sigh* Now if only the temperature would cooperate a little...
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So I have had a cold all week. Not that bad actually, as colds go. A little congestion during the day. However, every time I get a cold, and I mean EVERY time, I always a develop a cough that usually shows up just at night. A few colds back, I started having trouble with cough syrup. Made me feel really yucky and didn't help the cough all that much anyway. With this cold, I have been waking up at about 1:15 with a cough. Tickle in throat, clear throat from yucky phlegm, cough, cough, tickle...well, you get the picture. Oh, and take a cough drop...and worry about aspirating it during a bout of coughing, and needing the Heimlich maneuver....
Last night, I again woke up at 1:15, thinking to myself, ha, time for my middle-of-the-night "cough--ee break."
Still, I can't help wondering if that bottle of Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat beer that I guzzled right before bedtime had anything to do with thinking that "cough-ee break" was so, well, funn-ee.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
But this is the cutest little sock monkey I've ever seen, and he can jump on my bed anytime he feels like it!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
When I saw them, they just had to go home with me.
In order to be as economical as possible on such a splurge, we purchased the smallest size, 8x10, and then bought white frames and oversized white mats to make them each a more substantial size, and I framed them myself.
Well, that was quite a few years ago and, whew, have their prices gone up. But even so, two more pictures are on my dream list: "pedals & petals," taken in Italy,
but most especially this one, "a wave of color," taken in Ireland.
Would I ever love to live upstairs on this street.
While their pictures used to be primarily in Europe, they have added some stunning pictures from the United States. Having lived in the Midwest, this one really caught my eye:
So if you feel like doing some sightseeing but your pocketbook says "no way," check out the Scanlan's website and do some colorful dreaming. You'll be glad you stopped by.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Okay, enough about the reasons WHY.
We have two atomic clocks in our house. Up to this point they have always shown the identical time. I love clocks. We have a LOT of them. So an atomic clock is very useful to carry around with me to each room when I change the clocks twice each year.
Do you notice a problem here? The two atomic clocks are a minute off. My two cell phones actually say 12:45! (Well, the green one says 1:45 but that is clearly a user programming glitch--fairly easily taken care of.)
So I googled atomic clocks. And you can go here to check out the "correct" time. Really? Okay, if you say so. Turns out, it matched up with the cell phones. Am I spending too much time thinking about time. Probably so. Maybe I should just listen to one of my favorite Chicago songs: "Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care.....?" Besides me, that is...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wait. Hold on. I've veered off the point. We are victims here!
Items left behind: valuable construction tools.
Items taken: small bungee cord, clip-on sunglasses, ear bud for cell phone.
So to those tricksters who performed this little treat, here is my advice: If you were looking to find some valuable things for quick resale, you left those behind so you should probably consider another profession. If you were looking for something cool to add to your Halloween costume tonight, well, uh, I'd love to see what you do with that little bungee cord....
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hey, who blew that candle out when I wasn't looking??
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Around the Block Designs had a booth again this year. Last year we got rained out, even though that meant people were ready to shop since there were no quilts to seen among the trees. This year we had beautiful weather and met lots of great people.
Check out the action on this video (with appearances by Around the Block Designs toward the beginning and again at the end--obviously professional actors were not used in the making of this video).
So if you are ever in the Bay Area around the end of September and are looking for a jolt of color, check out Quilting in the Garden. You won't be sorry.