Friday, December 30, 2011

"I think I'm going to tuck you in .....

to a nursing home!"

It has been a long several weeks of work for these 2 guys, and especially for Jari whose days have been very long.  He usually comes home and heads for bed after a shower and short minutes of hellos.

So for a whopping Friday Nite over here ....
the young husband of mine snoozing in the recliner, tucked under a blanket by his son.
The young man's bride sitting on a heating pad on the reclining couch ... under a blanket ... with a laptop and audio book keeping her company.

This week:
  • A few crafting projects got done
  • We got to spend Monday visiting with Juha & Annette
  • Tia's room still isn't touched and her pink rosette kissing balls still aren't done
  • New yummy treat recipes found on Pinterest (recipes that do NOT include any post Christmas dieting)
  • The last of the Thanksgiving cream cheese icing covered carrot bars just went down the hatch
  • Scheme A got finished
  • We celebrated 26 years of wedding bliss this week!
  • Christmas decorations went away this morning and the tree went out to the back yard
  • The year's expenses are all in Quick Books and except for a final perusal and quick fixes, they are ready for the tax man ... all papers filed or shredded
  • The e-mail box got emptied and/or filed into appropriate file folders this evening .. all 400 or so of them
  • I have been drinking way too much coffee and not nearly enough water ... I'm thirsty!
  • While eating the carrot bars, I realized why I did so much Christmas baking ... I'll be eating it at Easter
  • I learned today that rubbing alcohol works to get rid of tree sap on clothing and hands
  • My living room looks a whole lot bigger this afternoon
  • I wonder what I could do with that tree before it hits a tree collection pile somewhere
  • I saw more pallets today on a semi trailer and wondered when I'll be ready to go hunt some down
  • Do I really have to go back to work on Tuesday?!
  • My goal was to read one book during this Christmas break and I still haven't managed it
  • The treadmill was uncovered today ... not sure what that means for me!
  • I got to visit a friend in the hospital today
  • I may not have read, but I have listened to at least half a dozen audio books since the last day I was at work
  • I need one of those pallets to make me a blanket "basket" on wheels ... I do love blankets
  • We don't have any plans for New Years ... do we really need any plans?
  • Tomorrow morning I get to taxi Alyx to her last day of work at her caregiving job
  • We could really use one more car around here
  • I took a loooong nap this late afternoon
  • Tomorrow morning while I'm driving to the other side of town at 6:30 a.m. ... I may regret today's nap
  • Have a safe New Years Eve!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

today should really sound more like The best laid schemes o' moms.
I had a plan this morning.
I made it as far as Goodwill and was browsing through the store when my phone rang.
Hubby: Are you awake? Are you busy? Can you come pick up Brock ... he's busy running to the bathroom with the squirts.
Um. Sure.
Scheme gone out the window in the space a simple minute's phone call.
Brock was nowhere near where I was planning on heading.
It all worked out well.

On my way down there, I just happened to drive by the Pavillions where I've noticed a Hobby Lobby on previous pass bys.
No one would notice a slight detour, would they?

I did get a phone call as I was leaving the store. Busted!

Being as Scheme A was out of the picture ... I moved on to Scheme B. Mind you, I'm suppose to be working on Quick Books this week instead of playing with spray paint and sewing machines.

But what on earth is a girl suppose to do when she has these things within her reach?!
The metal basket was my find at Goodwill this morning. Sweet!

She decides that Quick Books really isn't that vital on this day of her life and she hauls out the trusty $20 yard sale sewing machine. I only had to mutter at it once today.
Someday I hope to have a crafting space again and maybe it will actually include a serger.
Today I french seamed because these had to be washing machine safe.

Anna got some black and white bedding for Christmas. Some polka dots and floral prints included with just plain black and white. She needed one more set of pillow cases and it was just too much fun to make these instead of buying some cheapie ones.

I wonder what the music is for and what kind sounds it would evoke if
piano keys were convinced to plunk out its tune.

Next we were on to Tia's room. It is getting some rearranging on Friday ... in pink and black.
We spray painted things today.
These became black and I spent hours making more of those tissue paper flowers.
Pink ones this time.
We'll show you when it's done.
Picture frames went pink and black.
It is going to look cute!

Tomorrow ... Scheme A.
And, okay, Quick Books.

Then again, it is our 26th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow.
Maybe I should go for a massage instead!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Problematic Pinterest

I have started spending time on Pinterest.
I probably shouldn't have started.
It really isn't the time consumption thing.
I am not taking away from anything else that I should really be doing,
it's the ideas that I keep finding!

Today is December 22. We have 2 days until Christmas Eve.
I still don't have any Christmas Dinner supplies in the house, although the freezer probably has
enough sugar stocked in it for a while.
The last gifts were wrapped this morning, bright and early, and everything is under the tree.
I've sort of had a problem with the limitation department this year. Ugh.
Bearing that all in mind ... I'm working on Pinterest Projects???!!!!

I went to the 99cent Store yesterday and found a double pack of crepe paper for 99cents.
Last evening (while the laundry was spinning and the kids were running) I started making crepe paper flowers. Each piece of crepe paper was cut into 24 inch strips.

Each strip of crepe paper was wrapped into a flower. I tried several ways of doing it and finally managed to find a system that worked relatively quickly.
Excuse this photo ... too much red for my camera.

After making one roll of crepe paper into rosettes, I cut a circle shape out of extra cardboard boxes that were stored in the garage. This one is double thickness, glued together.
Then the task of gluing on the flowers. My trusty glue gun is small and has been with me forever.
The makers of toasters and coffee pots could take a lesson from the glue gun manufacturer!

More rosette making ... and more gluing.
BTW, the house was still sleeping and I've got a great book going on my iphone. :)

Finally the last flowers were glued in place.
The wreath completely full.

The wreath hangs on the white paneled coat closet door which is right inside the front door.
I planned to hang it on a wreath hanger that was missing for several years and is finally found.
I prefer the fishing line look instead.
I'm not crazy about the gold ribbon either, but for now it's what I had on hand.

I do like.
Whether indoors or outdoors.

I haven't linked the idea as I'm on the wrong computer.
I'll add it later if you want to give this one a try yourself.
Next on the list .... upper case letters with fun colors or kissing balls.

But first ... maybe I should go buy a ham and some potatoes.


The link as promised.
 The tutorial is for a Kissing Ball  and I just adapted to make this instead.
Ham and potatoes are in the house .... 
maybe I should make some dinner.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One evening at a time ....

we get closer to Christmas Eve.
The tree lights are shining brightly most evenings ... at least if I remember to plug them in.
The floor is still safe from needles, although I don't know how.
I do about as good at remembering to water the tree as I do at many other things.
The excitement of packages under the tree continues to grow.

Snowmen meet citrus that I found on sale at Albertson's this week.

And best of all ... all of our children are in Phoenix right now.
I didn't think we'd have them all home for Christmas, but through a miracle ... we will!
I have someone in the kitchen now who eats leftovers.
He still doesn't want his picture taken, but he is willing to give Mom a shoulder rub here and there.

Apple pie smells fill the house this evening.
I was quite sure the apples were not going to survive until Wednesday and
didn't check them until after the pie crust was thawed.
They would have survived, but by then it was too late.
Christmas pies are baked!

And ... the coffee beans.
I have taken to grinding a bunch of beans at a time.
This evening was coffee bean grinding time if I want any java at 4:00 in the morning.
That isn't a case of want ...
it's a downright must!

We made our last trip to the post office this afternoon. Kind of late, but so it goes.
I have a post office here that I absolutely love.
The line is never long.
Until today.
Today Tia and I ran to the post office and I started laughing.
It looked like I was at the Palmer post office.
And then I really laughed ... with gratitude to Ship and Click.
My stuff was stamped with postage and all I needed to do was drop it off.
Ooohhh ... I love it!

Two gifts left to wrap before Saturday.
Final baking slated for Wednesday.
Costco trip for ham and dinner fixin's on the schedule.
Somewhere we need to fit in a Birthday evening for Tia who turned 15 on Sunday.
Happy Birthday Sunshine!
For the past 3 years we have had a houseful of visitors following the Sunday School Program
to celebrate her special day.
This year we couldn't do that and the schedules between Christmas parties and work
schedules are just a bit challenging somedays.
And a plan to enjoy a few sights of the Christmas season the end of the week.
My goal is probably lofty, but a goal it is!

... and share a cup of Christmas Tea ...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fantabulous Friday

Back in October, I saw this board at John C. Lincoln Hospital and had this idea for my wall.
We all know how those ideas go.
In the brain, swirl around a bit, sometimes get filed never to be seen again.

Not this time!
Jenny had some frames sitting in the garage that she was willing to let go.
Much as I adore this little gem posing for us .... she sat out in the garage and was a constant reminder of the plan.
It worked.

I had everything I needed at home which meant that I could craft something without leaving the house ... at all.
Especially my kind of crafting day.
First the paint.
A day or two before I had gone through all the junk mail fliers and thrown them away.
They were not retrievable ... trust me on this one.
Grocery ads are available online. So, while sparing my kitchen counter (which I'm sure the landlord greatly appreciates!) I set to painting the frame black ... after removing precious picture and glass.

I strolled through photos on my computer and picked some that I liked, printed them in color
and inked the edges up a bit.
I started with brown inking and decided I didn't like it so added black on top of brown.
Using the glass from the frame, I cut a white poster board to size.

My new thing is splashes of red.
I don't have much of it. In fact, I just glanced around my living area (the size that I can glance around) and really don't have nearly any red!
Red felt I do have.
It actually came down from Alaska with me in a Sterlite dresser that was just plumb full of fabric stuffs.
I cut out some circles and then added some black stitching to the edges of them.

After attaching the photos and flowers where I wanted them, next came the lines. My goal was to make a blank calendar grid on the poster board. Thanks to cutting boards with loooong lines and a sharpie ... it worked. I didn't want to have my lines go through the photos entirely and completely destroy the images, so I made lines to hopefully make  hints of date spaces in some places.

Voila! The finished project!

Complete with my pops of red.

I just noticed that the bottom right corner of this photo shows that the glass has a break in it.
Now that I've pointed it out ... you'll notice!

Now to hang it on the wall.
I am not a good job list maker. At all. I have lamented this maaaannnnnyyyy times and I really don't need to make much of a list.
I'm pretty good at winging things ... I've had plenty of practice.
This does what I need it to and I really like the way it turned out.
You write on the glass with a dry erase maker and start filling in things.
Wipe it clean with a damp cloth and go for it again!

If I were to schedule my entire life on this thing, it would need to be much larger.
As the outside frame size measures about 21"x27", the squares don't allow for including everyone's work schedules so we can nagivate through the week.
That would be handy.
I wouldn't need to be asking a hundred times, "what day do you work?" "where do you work today" "now how are we all getting to where we need to be tomorrow!??".
If I was to use the entire board and fill every day, I would also lighten up the photos so they are nearly hints of photos rather than full live living color. Then you could write over them and actually see what you are writing.
And .... you could color code your writing. Different colors for different children, types of activities, or whatever your little heart desires.

For now ... it works.
Should I happen to find a larger frame at a yard sale someday ... it just might change!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dirty dishes.

lots. of. them.
and i will gladly wash them.

because they mean that today i got to spend the day in the kitchen.
i do love the kitchen.
especially when it involves things like butter and flour ... and sugar. lots of sugar.
an apron made by my dear niece amber keeping the rest of me from being dusted with flour.
a very good audio book playing in my ears.

baking sheets that have seen many years of use.
and will continue to see many more.

pieces of christmas surround the sugar.
treasured gifts.
treasured memories.

i even managed to squeak in a haircut today.
one where i actually sat down and had someone do it FOR me.
that's a biggie over here.

now a few moments to enjoy the heating pad relaxing some muscles that are in serious need of a massage.
and time for a run to the grocer for something else i forgot today and must have for tomorrow.
my memory is just a bit short these days.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Light of the season.

In the middle of a city filled with the hustle and bustle of the season
we find quiet moments of peace.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The mission for today ....

was to find us a Christmas tree.
There are tree lots everywhere here in Phoenix, however, we have grown to love the ones we pick ourselves. The hunt for the not so perfect tree.
We had planned on going up north on Saturday but due to the weather we postponed it.
Today was Tree Day.

Tia went with us and we headed out of town, planning to meet Annette with kids and Dave & Miranda with kids along the way.
The drive up toward our meeting spot was looking a little like we might just have a cactus in our living room ... and then maybe nothing at all!

The views of snow either left from last weekend or newly sprinkled brightened our day!
The tree situation was not looking any better.
Maybe we'll do table top trees this year? We could probably do many, but the permit only allows for one per family.

I have to tell you that Costco is only a few miles away. They sell, I'm sure, beautiful trees.
As do WalMart, Target and nearly every store around.
Between my house and all those lovely convenient tree shopping experiences are only a "few" stoplights. Not any of this absolutely beautiful scenery that we were witness to today.

And then ... what to my wonderful eyes should appear! A tree ... or two!

With enough snow to make snowballs and sunshine to warm the day to a beautiful 25 degrees.

We tromped through snow, found our perfect trees, and headed back for a bonfire complete with hotdogs, marshmallows and hot cocoa. And visiting. Oh, but I do love visiting. Juha wasn't able to join us as he is off toodling across the country. His kids were seriously missing him today. They got to cut the tree, drag the tree .... all that good stuff that dad must usually do.

 The license plates are from the three rigs that went today. Fun, hey?

After a beautiful afternoon enjoying fresh air and sunshine, we all headed home with our trees secured to our rigs ... through all those same beautiful vistas again. Lucky ducks we are.

The smell of fresh cut pine is wafting through the house tonite.
Maybe tomorrow we'll work on getting it decorated.

I believe we have started a new tradition in our family.
Now we'll just wait and see how many of the munchkins want to join us next year!