Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Home for Good-Day 2

Today is my second day of being home for good. It feels weird that I don't have a huge block of my day already preplanned for me, however so far I haven't been all that great about actually getting anything accomplished except for a baking jag I went on yesterday that netted 2 large pans of 7 layer bars (one with the coconut and one with white chocolate chips instead of coconut) and 2 pumpkin pies. Yep, that is going to have to stop. I'll have to make it a point to only bake once a week or I am going to be regretting staying home....Let's see, the agenda for this week includes an early morning trip to Sam's before it gets crowded, a trip to the public gardens and getting my closet organized FINALLY. I am working from the closet outward. I will post a before and after picture only when I have an AFTER since the before picture is pretty scary. The up side to that is it can only look better....

On the craft side, I have been taking a spinning class and am looking for a used wheel. Do you know how hard it is to find a used wheel ? I think everyone else is looking for the same thing. I am surprising myself and leaning towards Louet wheels. I am usually a fan of the traditional spinning wheel look, but I have kind of taken a fancy to the clean lines of the Louet. So if anyone knows of anyone with a Louet they'd like to part with at a good price, email me. I want to spin some yarn from the mystery roving I have ordered from Wool2dye4. They have excellent yarn and they had a mystery roving for $10 a pound. Can't pass that up! I am going to spin my own wool to dye and ply. Since they said it was a mystery but definitely not merino, I hope it is a least soft enough for sock yarn. We'll see. So far I have been VERY happy with anything I've bought from them.

I still haven't figured out my new camera so no pictures right now. Tomorrow may warrant a trip downtown so I will try to get hubby to load up my camera software tonight and hopefully have some eye candy for you. So what are your plans this week? Have you got all your Christmas preparations completed? What are your plans for Christmas? Leave me a comment with all the details!

Good friends and great coffee to you and yours!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some Things to Think About

The house is quiet and I am contemplating how to fully revel in the fact that our office is closed for Veteran's Day. The boys and hubby are off to school and work, so I am left in a somewhat quiet house with multiple dogs and cats--and one cat in particular that has decided the empty case for the dog food cans is an adversary worthy of attacking in the most vicious and loud way. I was contemplating going back to bed, but I think I will grab a shower, take my knitting and head downtown to Dunn Brother's coffee shop and work on the sock I started over again. I got all the way down to the heel flap and decided I REALLY do not like 7 inches of plain stockinette. Who care if it is a beginner sock and that is the way it is written. It shall now have 7" of k2p2 ribbing...

I am preparing for the end of the month when my resignation becomes final. While I will really miss the law firm, I am ready to come home and get my house and health back in line. I am examining a lot of details about our hectic life and seeing what I can change or at least alter to make it soak in more. Seems like we just sail through life on autopilot without really taking time to honor the details. Here are some things I am thinking about:

1. Cooking from scratch more. Nothing fancy, just cooking with attention to little things like spices...

2. Cooking with the boys. They are at the age when making a pie crust or rolling out cookies and biscuits is a skill they need to learn, and they like being in the kitchen creating.

3. Actually getting my garden plowed for next spring. This way I can add things to the soil during the winter and they will be able to compost...and actually getting a compost bin that I can use easily. I want to grow things in the summer so we can eat from the garden more, not the store.

4. Shopping at the Farmer's markets in the Spring and Summer. I will buy more local fruits and veggies.

5. Sewing and knitting more -- to reduce my stash and make room in my house. A sweater that takes 8 balls of yarn is easier to store than the 8 balls of yarn--plus it is more functional.

6. Looking for ways to economise. Gas prices are knocking holes in everyone's budgets. I am going to look for ways to economise and still live well. When gas prices go up, my shopping budget takes a serious hit and second hand markets/bartering become my best friend!

7. Finding my art supplies such as my watercolors and prismacolors and sitting down to create something every day and shutting off my inner critic. I will give myself permission to make "bad" art if that is what rolls off my brush. I am a horrid perfectionist. That will cease, or at least be worked on!

I have become very interested in the way the Europeans are able to take little things and make focus on them. I have read a couple books that have made me think about trying to slow down and focus more. While I am sure not all of Europe does this, and it is not a blanket statement for every European, I am ready to slow down and get off auto pilot.

Those are my goals.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scenes from my weekend!

One of my sons and I spent the day at the Wichita Art Museum and Botanica (a public garden we love). I couldn't take any pictures of the Quilt exhibit at WAM, but here are a few goodies from the gardens. My son loves to feed the koi in the pond. We have been doing this since the kids were babies and now they are almost 14. Time sure flies!
It is getting closer to the time when I will be ending my work at the law firm I work at. I have loved the job but it is time I come home and work on my house and my health. I am amazed at how things fall into place and things I have wanted to learn are placed in my path. when I was in Georgia, my friend and I found a wonderful scarf done in entralac. She mentioned how much she like the pattern and I remarked that I have always wanted to learn it. I saw a set of stitch markers while at the shop that got me thinking about learning wire working so I could make my own. And last but not least, I have considered trying a little faire isle, but can't get the hang of it from books. I am taking a wire working class in Newton tomorrow at the Newton Beadery and a Faire Isle class there Saturday. November 8th I am taking an entralac class at Twist. Is that not wild or what?!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Creativity Plans

Pictures from my trip to Tulsa on Monday and Tuesday...

I am sitting here completely chilling out to a really neat album that I am surprised I like. It is Love, Sensuality, Devotion by the group Enigma. For those of you who lived through the 80's, it is very 80's style...but in a cool way! I can see painting or knitting to this group! I may just have to order more. I am a member of a monthly music service called Your Music and the albums are only 6.99 . I have found some good stuff there and you can't buy most of these for that price, so I'm lovin' it!

With winter approaching, my thoughts are turning towards artistic endeavors. While I was in Tulsa last week, I came across a bead store that is offering a class on making your own jewelry clasps, jump rings and other findings out of sterling silver wire...definitely something I want to learn. So I am contemplating whether I can make it up to Tulsa at the end of the month to take this class. It would take a little juggling and I am trying to watch finances in anticipation of me ceasing working outside the home, so I am still weighing the pros and cons. One pro would be that I can make jewelry for Christmas gifts....one con would be the actual logistics of getting to Tulsa....

I am having a creativity spike right now. I have made myself go on several field trips for inspiration (Artists Dates for those of you familiar with Judith Cameron's incredible books such as The Artist's Way", "Vein of Gold" etc) . The artist date is a field trip to a place in order to get inspiration or to push your creativity along. It is definitely working! I have been free writing (again, Judith Cameron calls them Morning Pages) for 3 pages in the morning after I get everyone off to school and work. This is my time to get my heart ready before I head to work....

I am trying to make myself behave when it comes to buying more yarn--kind of a yarn-a-holics 12 step...I fell off the wagon this week when I ordered 10 skeins (a bag) of Bretton yarn from Patternworks. Hey, I save 15% --does that count? And I got 5 free patterns with it that use Bretton. I have not ordered yarn from Patternworks before and sometimes I am hesitant about buying yarn without touching it first--but this is a superwash wool (70%)/Nylon (25%) and alpaca (5%) blend that is really going to be wonderful for socks. I ordered white and I am planning to dye it. I figure I have enough sock yarn now to keep me knitting for the next year without having to buy more...let's just see how that turns out. I think I need a sponsor...but everyone that has volunteer is a sock knitter themselves and on that shaky ground!!! However, I am quite firm that I will finish the socks I am working on before starting another pair....

Things I am trying to do in anticipation of not working outside the home:

1: Taking stock of all the books I have and have not read--technically I have enough to keep me interested for years!

2: Taking stock of all my cookbooks in anticipation of cooking more at home. I have quite a few and it will be fun to actually start using them!

3. Taking stock of all my fabric in anticipation of actually having time to quilt. I have enough that I can get several really good sized quilts completed and only have to buy backing fabric.

4. Taking stock of all my knitting supplies. This includes yarn, patterns, needles, books etc. I am set for life!

5. Taking stock and getting all my beads and jewelry supplies in one place.

A few of these will happen slowly as I am having to work through the contents of our garage. That alone will keep me busy for a while once I leave my job in December... it will be good to take time to get the house in order. We moved into this house in June and still have boxes unpacked in every room and a garage full of boxes. I will roll up my sleeves and get working on putting the house in order one I am home full time...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Great Day in T Town!

I had to take my mom to the cardiologist today in Tulsa Oklahoma. She lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, so it is not too far of a drive for her. However, when the appointment is at 7:30 a.m. it is too early to get up and make a 1.5 hour drive in the morning so she rented a cabin at Keystone lake and we stayed the night. I did a little running around while she was having tests run and got to remember how much of a spot this town has in my heart. It is a very good place to learn artistic endevors --and there are some killer bead stores there! I am hoping to get back at the end of October to take a class at one of them on how to make my own findings, clasps and etc.
I used the time she was at her appointment to have an Artist's play date (from the Artist's Way for those of you not familiar with the phrase). I got to go to a couple bead stores and soak in the inspiration. It was good stuff..I needed it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Little Spice is nice

I was comparing this blog with my other blog (the one with the knitting rants...) and have come to the conclusion that this blog is really boring! I think this blog needs a little shaking up. So, from here on out, hold on to your (hopefully handknitted) hats. Time for some attitude.

Today I went to the Yarn Harlot's "speech" and completely loved it. She is really funny in print and even funnier in person. I had brought my camera, but couldn't find it because it somehow got buried in the small yarn stash I had in my bag...the one that makes my husband groan...the one that looks like I may have kidnapped Little Bow Peep's sheep...I NEED to carry this yarn. You never know when you might get trapped in a freak snowstorm and have to whip up something warm to protect your brood. Ok, so today the temperatures were in the upper 90's...but it could happen. And by golly, I will be ready.

Or, when hubby rolls his eyes at my traveling stash, I can just sweetly ask him if he really wants me to be somewhere with nothing to keep me occupied. That should keep him quiet!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Cute man and one of the boys flew to OK City to have lunch with my sister in law who is visiting from New Mexico. She and her fiance are expecting a little one--her pregnancy has definitely flown by quickly! I had a Eureka moment last night when I realized the timing on the beginning sweater class at Twist couldn't be better. I should be able to finish my baby sweater in plenty of time to do a couple more and get the technique down before the baby arrives. It also gives me time to do a small crib quilt....

I stayed here at the house to study my Japanese since we have a quiz tomorrow. I have got to start making at least an hour a day to study my Japanese and my math! I am doing my math class online. I'm not too crazy about the format, but I will give it a run for this semester. I may just be one of those people who learns best in the classroom.

I love my Japanese class, but have discovered it is much easier to learn a foreign language when you are younger! We went to Border's this weekend and picked up a couple hirigana workbooks. I think Border's has a much better foreign language section than Barnes and Noble. And their coffee bar is better. The food at Barnes and Noble is really bad! I had a cupcake the other night that was so stiff and artificial tasting it was scary....it was much easier to not eat it...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Girls day out

A couple of us girls went to see "The Nanny Diaries"-it was cute, but I wish the main character (Scarlett Johanson) was a little stronger--she seemed really wishy-wash. Cindy has read the book and said the book was excellent--but that the movie wasn't too close to the book. I hate it when they do that! I saw "A Beautiful Mind" at the theatre and then read the book--which by the way was based on his real life...Then I was disappointed that the movie left out the fact there was first son and that he is also schizophrenic....I know you can't get everything in a 2 1/2 hour movie that you have in a book, but some things are important and change the whole content..OK, I'm done.

I would rate the Nannie diaries a 3 of 5. It's cute.

However, I did see the trailer for a movie, " Feast of Love", while waiting for the movie to start that REALLY looked good. It stars Morgan Freeman, who I think is one of the best actors of our time. I love anything he is in because he is so talented about drawing out a character and making him seem real...I know it may be a chick flick, but I think guys would like this too. When this opens, I am going to be there!

We went for sushi afterwards. I love sushi! Cute man and I took a sushi class here in Wichita and I have decided we are going to have to make our own sometime. We will probably make the veggie based rolls since I don't think there is a source for sushi grade meat that is available to the public. I may run around to some of the Asian grocery stores next week and get the ingredients to make sushi.


A three day weekend! I am so ready for it! The past 2 weeks have been just crazy. I really think the full moon got to some people early! It was such a stressful week that I broke my normal rule of not shopping for yarn when I am stressed and hit Twist, the new yarn shop here in town. I bought yarn for the upcoming sweater class I'm taking and found some outrageously cool Colinette sock yarn called Jitterbug. The colorway is called Mardi Gras and it is spectacular!!! It was $20 a hank, but I picked up the last two hanks she had in this colorway because she did indicate the hanks tend to be a little smaller than most, and I did not want to run out. Whatever I have left over from the second hank will be come the tops of another pair that I'll finish out in a solid coordinating color.

I am going out this afternoon with some girlfriends for a chick flick and then sushi afterwards. There is a really good sushi place near the theatre and we haven't been there in at least 2 months...the girls are going to the movie to watch " The Nanny Diaries" and then hubby is meeting up with us at the sushi place. He loves this place (Tokyo) as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I now have a spare bedroom in my house. It used to belong to my oldest son but he moved to Iowa and I figured I would turn it into the guest bedroom and my studio. The door has been shut because the cats love to nuzzle on the beige covers and leave black hair all over the bed...so the door was shut. And there it has stayed. I'm trying to decide whether I am afraid to turn the corner on my life and acknowledge the babies are leaving the nest, or I am afraid to acknowledge the room is now fertile to be the studio I've always wanted. And the door remains closed.
Change is scary.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Praise of Simple Things

I got a package in the mail today that really got me thinking about how much life changes. As technology speeds up our lives, sometimes it is the little and simple things that anchor us and give us the permission to stop and breathe. For me, one of those things is a simple fountain pen.

I love fountain pens. The feel of the pen in my hand and the very slight sound the nib makes as it slides across the paper gives me the time to slow down and focus, really focus on what is happening. So today, as I opened up the package that contained the fountain pens I ordered from Ebay, I found myself contemplating the seemingly lost art of writing a letter. It also seemed funny that through the technology of the Internet, I received something that is regarded as old fashioned by others.

There is something about receiving a letter written in the sender's handwriting that makes me stop and relish the very page I hold in my hand. I love receiving a letter in the mail. Written in print or script, the pages spill forth the thoughts of my friends and for a brief moment, we aren't separated by miles.

A large portion of my friends do not write letters. They tend to think of it as outdated and old fashion given that they can shoot off a blurb of text through email. We lead such fast paced lives, sitting down to compose a letter seems as old fashioned as hitching up a horse for the commute to work. So, when I do get a letter from a friend, it allows me to take time out from my busy schedule, sit down and really think about that person for the time it takes to read the letter.
Writing letters is a passion of mine since it gives me time to compose my thoughts, almost like journaling. As I write, I think about the person I am writing and direct my flow on the paper to that person. As my husband will attest, often these letters get started and never sent. But for the time that I am writing them, they are almost like therapy.

When I was in school, handwriting was a class students took for many years, not just the one or two the school systems do now. We learned to write in manuscript and cursive, along with a couple seasons of fancy script. Although we did not go fully force into Spencer script, with all it's fanciness and flourishes, we did learn to add little flourishes to our letter to give them a graceful charm...and we learned how to write all kinds of letters. I loved that portion of my education and have used it ever since!

Tonight, take out a pen and a piece of paper and write a letter to a loved one. Take the time to think about them while your pen slides across the page. It is a gift of time for both the sender and the receiver.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I'm not sure how to get the picture for this, but do click onto it--it is a really good song and the picture will appear at that time. It made me realize how much talent we lost when John Belushi died.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Don't mess with Texas!

I am getting ready to head to Oklahoma so that I can get up in the morning and go to Texas with my Mom in Law...my niece has a birthday party, so we thought we would go---and have a little girl time together. On the game board is a stop at the outlet malls in Gainsville, Tx and the one in Hillsboro. I love outlet malls--and Texas really knows how to do them! I like the long ride to Texas, so hopefully I'll get some good pics too.

I really need to block the fountain pen search heading from Ebay! Every time I slide down that dark path, it costs me....big time. I wonder if there is a fountain Pen hoarders anonymous? Although I will say that I use my fountain pens. I love writing letter. Long letters. Most of my friends do not write anything other than emails, so I am not usually on the receiving end of letters, but I do enjoy writing them. It is very relaxing to be able to just slow down and put words on paper. That is where my love for writing objects comes from. I love paper and pens. When hubby goes to conferences, my big treat is that he brings back vendor pens...hey, I'm a cheap date.....Some of the vendors that visit his office leave some really well made pens...

I guess I'd better get ready to go--daylight is burning....

Happy thoughts and great coffee to you and yours!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hump Day post

I am actually home from work today because of a sick kid. I felt guilty leaving him since he was at the level where propping him on the couch with plenty of fluids and the promise to be home early felt like a crappy idea for a mother to do.... I'm glad I did stay home -- it gave me a couple minutes to putter around in my backyard. I discovered that when the guy from SBC telephone came into our yard (to put down flags--I have no idea why..the kids let them in the yard while I wasn't home..), he left my back gate standing open. That completely pisses me off...So I am rigging it in a way that will not allow them to get in again. If my dogs had gotten out, I would have been completely pissed off!

I found another really neat blog today! It was actually one that is in the magazine/book (it's in the magazine section, but at $14.95, that puts it in the book arena for my budget...) ARTFUL BLOGGING by Somerset Studio....there are many really neat artist bloggers in there, so this artist is just the tip of the iceberg...Check out Judy Wise and her wonderful blog!

Since I was actually hanging out and dreaming of creative endeavors, I decided to make the jump and order the artist's trading card kit from European Papers. I love ATC's but so far have been only dreaming of doing them...since they are small, I decided there really is no excuse not to jump in and DO IT! So, hopefully by next week I will be posting a couple of ATC's a week...

I am contemplating planting some morning glories around our patio area, but discovered I am going to have to amend the soil heavily--it is rock hard. I have the book "Lasagna Gardening" and I think that will be the perfect area to practice that theory. We've had a problem with the soil running down the side of the retaining wall and onto the patio. I was going to cement in the decorative rocks that compose one part of the wall and seem to be a primary point where the leakage is happening, but then I realize we have a colony of toads that inhabit the hole and chinks of the rock wall in that area. Now I am trying to come up with a plan b--I really like those toads and would hate to see them harmed or displaced because of my actions....I will start the lasagna garden portion an build a retaining area to keep the soil in while I am waiting for mother nature to do her thing and give me compost....Then I will plant a heavy spot of morning glories. Morning glories are best planted in a place where they are expected to be the only plant---ever. They take over completely and then continue to grow long after you decide to change out the flower bed. This I know from experience! I will probably do most of my planting after the heat of the summer. I am not a hot weather and humidity person, so I have not done any outside work to our new house. I will start my flower beds for next year when it cools off. That will allow me to continue to add stuff to the garden throughout the fall and winter. By the time late spring roils around, I can just plant as needed....

I found a really neat pen pal site last night http://feliciasullivan.com/?p=579#comment-22871 and had to put my name in the hat. I love writing letters! While computers are convenient and I love the fact that you can electronically connect with hundreds of people you wouldn't otherwise have the pleasure of running into--there is nothing quite like receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. It allows you to take a little time, sit down and connect...I love the writing part as much as the receiving. Unfortunately, most of my friends are not letter writers. I have been known to send 5 (and more) page letters....and most of them go unanswered...so hopefully by listing on a pen pal site, I can connect with someone who not only writes, but responds back as well..

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A little trip...

This weekend was a great weekend for a little trip with my friend Staci. It has been quite a while since we were were able to take one of our road trips together. We make a great team since she loves to drive and I love to ride. We have logged many hours on the road exploring little side roads and taking longer trips. Cute man is not much of a fan of meandering road trips, so having a friend like Staci has been a huge blessing! We met more than 8 years ago when we both worked at a call center in Wichita. Isn't it funny how you can run into a hundred people but one person just clicks? That's how it was with us even though we are pretty different in just about every way--we just clicked. And the rest is history....

Saturday we went to Newton, Kansas so that we could log a road trip and look in the quilting store they have downtown called Charlotte's..It is a fabulous place. I found some sunflower and wheat pattern batik fabric that is just awesome! Since this is Kansas and we are known for wheat and sunflowers, this fabric may just have to go into the quilt for my oldest who is Iowa. I am going to have to go back soon since they had a really great selection of batik fabric and some purse patterns that I likes a lot. Staci does not sew or quilt (YET) so I am going to make a purse for her from a pattern she found there. We also got to hit a couple of the shops there and found some real gems! I found an old copy of a candy recipe book at one of the used bookstores and it was only $2.00! I usually make a lot of candy for gifts each Christmas, so this is definitely something I'll use. There is a bead store downtown that also sells yarn...BE STILL MY HEART!!! I can't wait to get their class list emailed to me!

Unfortunately I did not get pictures since my camera batteries were dead again. I have a vivitar vivicam 8300s and I have to say I am really not impressed with it at all. If anyone has any suggestions on a good and reasonably prices digital camera, PLEASE let me know. This one is on my last nerve. I need one that doesn't suck the battery dry every day and doesn't have a time lapse from the time you press the button til it takes the picture.....

All in all it was a good day Saturday. It got the itch out of my traveling feet and Staci and I got to spend some time conversing. Staci brought along her 8 year old cousin, Paige--who was one of the best behaved 8 year olds I've met. I know she must have gotten bored, but she never complained.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

pictures from my weekend

Cute man and I went to Beaver Lake, Arkansas this past weekend so he could do a little scuba diving with a dive club. I tagged along as a non-diving spouse. I figured I would get a little practice in on the applique quilting techniques I learned on Thursday. Usually I over pack with tons of stuff to keep me occupied and never get around to using most of it. This time I packed really light and really wished I had brought at least one knitting project....I haven't actually pulled out the needles and completed anything in quite some time and I am starting to miss it. However, the water was really clear and the weather was beautiful, so it was a great trip. I had forgotten how much of a flatlander I was though. I wish I could say the scenery was the only thing that left me breathless--it was mostly the ride to the cabin once we got into the mountains..the realization that there is no guard rail and a 7 story drop is a pulse racing experience!!! I do want to go back with the kids so we can fish...
I am in the process of going through the daily reading of "Simple Abundance" again. this book came out in 2000, but it arranged by days of the month. Except for a couple references to the millennium, it is a timeless classic. You really owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. I try to do a daily reading every morning or late at night when I have time to think about her entry for the day. July has been about finding time to pursue personal past times and making time for what you desire in your soul. Not material want, these are soul desires.... I have picked up my paintbrush again. Not for huge, sweeping picture--I get white paper anxiety and never can make myself touch a pristine sheet. I tend to have a harsh critic...no, these are small, no pressure pages. I am trying to make myself turn off the inner critic and JUST DO IT!
When I started working at the law firm, one of the attorneys had an old retro 50's/60's couch in their office that had seen better days. Yesterday they decided it had to go. I offered $20 --they had a silent auction to keep it fair. I guess nobody loved that couch as much as I did, I got it for $20. I had the upholsterer pick it up yesterday. I guess he isn't used to someone telling him to come pick it up without him coming out and giving an estimate...I went by his shop today and actually picked out a suede like microfiber in a neutral color. All told, I will be spending $400 to get new foam (the good foam, not the cheap stuff that breaks down) and everything else. Considering most of the couches we looked at were at least $600, and I got what I wanted (plus this couch is really cool looking!), I am happy with the price. I had originally considered the same microfiber in a reddish, wine shade but he did point out that it would be an awful lot of red and that I would probably like it just as much in a neutral shade and get accent pillows in the red. I'm glad he pointed that out..it seemed like a good idea at the time....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, Monday

Just a quick post before I toddle off to work. I'm still feeling a little sick from the staph infection I contracted, but it is going to take a while for it to get out of my system. I think the antibiotic cocktail is what is knocking me off my feet.....

The neighbors were out planting stuff in their yard this weekend and I really wanted to join them in the planting spree, but maybe next weekend. I did go buy really cool flower seeds at Target--does that count? I want to get some rather large pots for the front of the house. It looks blank out there.

I am going to start a second quilt this evening. My first one is still over at Sue's waiting to be stitched. It seems like we just haven't been able to get in stitching time lately. I may have to pick it and my other machine up so I have everything here and she can come over here to stitch.I'd like to finish it this summer. The project quilt will use a couple charm packs (A Little Romance by Moda) but will be joined by 2 1/2 wide strips in between. The charm squares are pretty pastel, which is not something I usually go for---however I am joining them with a clear vivid yellow. You would think it would be too bright, but it actually works really well to bring out the colors in the charm squares.

Gotta run off to work. Have a great day!

1. My family
2. A bigger home
3. My health (even as shaky as it has been lately)

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Here are a couple pictures from the Cessna open house a couple weeks ago. As you can tell, one of the boys didn't want to be in pictures. We finally got him to turn around, so the face you see is the result. I like going to these every year -- we see all the models from the very beginning Cessna (the all red one at the top), to the jets. The one on the bottom is a smaller plane than what we fly around in. Hubby is also a pilot, which is a perk of working for Cessna--he is a member of the employee flying club, which allows us the opportunity to rent planes at great rates. That is just one of the perks of working for them, they really are good to him, which is why he loves his job.
I am really looking forward to the trip to Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Even if the non diving spouses don't get to go into Eureka Springs, I will look forward to having time to just sit and quilt. I need to make a quilt for my sister in law who lives in Little Rock. She is pregnant. I feel bad because we really don't live too far away anymore since she moved to Arkansas, and yet it seems we still don't get to talk or visit. We really need to change that! I'm not really very good at keeping in touch, and that really needs to change! I have a sister and another sister in law in Texas also that I should stay better connected to! I guess that would be a good goal to work towards...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back in the Saddle?

We finally got everything out of the old house and into the new house. FINALLY! I was shocked at how much we threw away that should have been discarded or donated when we were in the old house....and we still have more to go. I have a donation box going as I unpack. It was weird looking at the old house completely empty. I have no idea how we got 5 people into that place--it is really small, even completely empty! And to think we were there for 11 years!

I have discovered that I really am a creature of habit though. We have changed a lot of our routine and it really has me off guard. We can't find everything, it took forever to get them to connect the phone-which meant no Internet...etc. It was a little unnerving. No, it was completely unnerving. And the animals are not sure either.....One of the cats walks from floor to floor calling for someone. I'm not sure who since we are all accounted for. Another cat has not ventured outside my son's closet since we brought him over. He has this wide eyed meth monkey look....I am looking forward to getting back to normal..or whatever version of normal we had before. Oh well, the only thing constant in life is change.

On the creativity side, I have been looking through several books to get some ideas for quilts. My oldest is going to be moving to Iowa in less than a month, so I would like to make him something to take with him. Jo-Ann's crafts had a 50% off coupon for fabric this week, so I picked up 5 yards of a really interesting Kanji print. Like a lot of kids right now, he is into anything Asian. I had snagged a couple of the 50% off coupons and payday is a t the end of the week, so I'll have to pick up more on Friday. I am going to have to take out my sewing machines and get something started soon. I guess that is the nice thing about this place--there really is more room.

I guess it is time to head to work! That is my only normal routine right now!

Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hi! Welcome to Wal-Mart hell!

One more reason I usually avoid Wal-Mart in favor of Target or local grocery stores. They are doing away with the fabric departments in most of their stores, except for one that has a history of crime in their parking lots and doesn't have enough parking.....it was bad enough when they did away with lay-away, which was the reason I bought big ticket items there...Now, add to it the repeated bad customer service of cashiers...Friends and I went to the Wal-Mart on East Kellogg street this weekend and I picked up a box of Flavor ice pops. When I got to the register, I noticed the floor under my cart was a little wet. One or more of the pops were leaking. I got to the cashier (named Victoria) who was not the picture of even barely passable customer service. When I told her the box was leaking, she cut me off and said "So do you want them or not". I was a little stunned as were the other shoppers in line. I said "no" to which she ripped open a shopping bag on the carousel and slammed them into the bag. Everyone looked at each other. That was topped by her dropping the box to the floor in front of her. I hope it broke more of them...and top it off with not even a "SCREW YOU FOR SHOPPING AT WAL-MART". She just turned and scowled at the remaining customers that had not fled her line in fear....Is it too much to ask for a little courtesy? I understand that weekends are busy and hard when you are a cashier, but please keep in mind, the person you piss off is likely to take her next $300 shopping spree to Target (which I will do this week!). I found an armoire at Target and one at Wal-Mart that I like. Guess who is getting my money?!
OK, I'm done......

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Long Weekend....

It was a long week at our household, so I am presenting a picture of my rose bush at the side of the house. Yes, it is coming with us when we move--I just haven't figured out how we are going to move it with as little bloodshed as possible. That thing has serious thorns!!!!

On Wednesday, the boys called me at work and told me Charlie aka. "the $400 stray cat" was sitting in the floor, meowing if you tried to move him. I came home at 5 and he was lethargic. Hubby and I decided we would wait until morning to see if maybe it was something he ate. By 1 a.m, it was obvious something was wrong. At 7:30 am hubby bundled him up and took him to the vet. His kidneys had shut down. The vet hooked him up to an iv and did blood work. On Friday I stopped in before going to work. Charlie was completely unresponsive. I cried--it did make me feel better that he acted a little more responsive after I nuzzled him a bit, but I was so unsure. How do you decided whether to keep going or whether they are in pain? The vet couldn't tell us whether he would get out of the woods....I certainly didn't want to be selfish and keep him alive if he were in pain and not going to be better. The vet called Hubby at work and said his blood work was way off the toxic end of the chart....I stopped back by after work and he purred when I nuzzled him, so I was feeling hopeful. This morning the vet said he'd seen improvement and just got the second set of blood tests back...they are much improved but he is not out of the woods. He was much more responsive today, which really gives me hope....There will be more blood tests on Tuesday....All told, if we get him through this, Charlie will now be know as the $1,000++ stray....but worth every penny....

On the lighter side, we are preparing to move next week. I am really looking forward to it. It will be wonderful to have so much more room (over 1,000 square feet more than what we have now). However, boxes are starting to pile up and make a small space even smaller! I know cute man wants it ALL packed by moving day, but the reality is that we might still have a portion unpacked on moving day. Luckily we are only moving a couple blocks away, but once all the furniture has been moved, it should be much easier to get to everything! I have realized that I apparently really love community cookbooks---I have a ton of them! Along with every other kind of cookbook known to man! Once we get to the new house, I will take one cookbook and cook a complete meal (appetizer to dessert) from it for 2 weeks, then move onto the next. Almost all of these cookbooks have some really good recipes for what we call congealed salads...otherwise know as jello salads. I love jello salads. Probably from the time spent growing up in the South, but they are a mainstay in my memory of church suppers when we attended church in the South....I love them! When I attended a friend's family reunion almost 5 years ago, one of the members prepared something called "pink stuff"---it was delicious. I got the recipe and promptly lost it....I have been searching for it and may resort to calling my friend and begging her to contact the cousin to get me the recipe again. I will have to share recipes as they are tested. If you haven't had a jello fruit salad, you have soooooo been deprived. I will assist you in seeing the light!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hump Day blues

And a good morning to you!
I am having serious issues waking up this morning. Oldest son was out with friends last night and when I woke up at 4 am, he was not home. This left me concerned so I called. Yep, he's 20 and I'm still one of those moms....however, it would have been nice of him to tell me not to expect him until morning so I didn't worry.....What did parents do before cell phones?! So, I am dragging this morning wanting to sleep in. Even though I have at least an hour before I even have to leave, if I lay down, I will not wake up in time.....damn! Although even when I am dragging and wanting to sleep in, I still love being at my job. I starting thinking last night that I have been there two years already and I still completely love it. Actually at one meeting we were going around the room telling how long we had been there and I honestly couldn't remember. Luckily the office manager knew. I like it there so much, it never occurred to me to count the days/months....

Before you read this, the disclaimer: I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice--simply my observations.....

Thought for the day: If you are going to court, do not go ProSe.
Otherwise stated: Everyone benefits from advice of counsel!
Or: A person that acts as their own attorney has a fool for a client.

I fill in sometimes at the city occasionally when our victim's advocate is gone, and I see a small portion of defendants going ProSe. I just have to shake my head. Even though everyone has the right to represent themselves, there is that slight fact that they are going up against the city prosecutor, who unlike them, has a lot of experience and a law degree to boot. I haven't seen it turn out too well in most cases.
Oh yeah, and just because you are representing yourself, don't make snide comments towards the prosecutor. It will not be good. It's kind of like teasing a tiger-he/she may look like they are relaxing but you stand a really good chance of getting mauled! Other attorneys may do it, but you are not an attorney.
I really like filling in over there-- It is interesting to watch trials. I have quite a few hours of law classes under my belt with my paralegal degree so it is interesting to me to see the process in action and the end result. Actually my take on any legal action is always get an attorney if you are having to appear in court. It may be from working in the legal field, but when I hear people gripe about legal fees, I just have to think they have no clue as to how well spent that money is.

I guess I'd better go!
Good coffee and a great day to you and yours!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

$3.19 a Gallon---WTF?!!!!!

Gas hit $3.19 a gallon this morning in our town. Good Grief! Talk about me having to make plans to conserve gas! I have a mini van that gets OK gas mileage, but I still hate the thought of burning money in a gas tank. I have already told the boys that instead of running down the street to the video store in our car, we will be using our bikes and I will be bundling any errands and making really hard choices on whether trips are necessary.

For example, I was going to run to Michael's craft store to use my 40% off coupon on a quilting book I adore, but found a used book on Amazon. Even with shipping, it still costs less than having to run to Wichita, even with a 40% coupon. There will probably be lots of things we end up buying online instead of making special trips for them.....I think a lot of people are going to have to make hard choices on how they spend their money now that gas is so expensive! If we had public transportation from Haysville to downtown, I would seriously consider taking the bus. Instead I will have to find creative ways to buy items I want. I have a feeling this gas situation is going to really take a bite out of retailer's bottom line. I already made a choice today to spend 17.00 (shipping included) at Amazon for a book as opposed to driving 15 miles to "save" 40% off a 25.00 book at a local merchant (not to mention it would have been 15 miles back to my house.). The gas would have eaten up any savings from the coupon! If I had other errands in that area, I would have used the coupon and went there, but I didn't.

I see lots of home activites in our future...

My oldest is planning to move to Iowa to live with his girlfriend. I think parenting gets harder as they get older and ready to fly the nest. Hubby and I have emphasised he REALLY needs to complete his education---luckily the University of Iowa is up there, so hopefully he doesn't get sidetracked. I haven't met his girlfriend yet, I am hoping she is nice. Iowa is an awfully long way to have to drive to pick a kid up.....

I am really starting to get excited about moving. It will be so nice to have all that space! Several times today I felt the urge to get out my watercolors and paint or sew another block of the paper pieced quilt I started, but there is simply no room to spread my stuff out. I will pull out my featherweight tonight and pinprick the pattern pages, but as far as cutting and piecing the fabric, that will have to wait. I am excited about having space to quilt and spread out my various creative endeavors....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day of Rest

Today it seems like I am tag team blogging between this blog and my other one.

I ended up using my last comp time day and sleeping the whole day. I felt seriously like I had a hammer in the left side of my face! I know it is just gunk from the weather change and sinus issues, but it is not a good time for me to be sick. There is too much to do!

It has been a good day in terms of extras though...I had ordered a 120 set of Prismacolor pencil from a merchant on Ebay and included was a set of 12 markers and an 11"x14" drawing pad--all for $69.00, which is an outrageously good price. When it arrived today, the set the merchant sent was the 132 color set! AWESOME!!! This is one of the sets in the tin, so it even has a pencil sharpener in the tin, which is great to be able to keep it with the set....I was so happy! I have loved Prismacolors since I used them in college when I was an art major (before I got pregnant with Brandon and then on the bad advice of others, changed majors)....

The owners of the house we bought asked our realtor if we'd like to buy the washer and dryer set currently in the house --another awesome- and the dining room table. While we have a table we want to use in the dining room, the existing table can be used downstairs as a game/homework table. Blessings all around! We were going to have to replace the washer and dryer we have now since they are literally on their last leg..actually the dryer died last week.

I am sitting here listening to the band Mercy Me--their new album "Coming Up to Breathe" is completely wonderful. Even if contemporary Christian isn't your cup of tea, give them a try. It is really an incredible album!

On the religion side, our large church (700+ people) recently took on a satellite location when the members of a smaller church decided to merge with us. Zion Methodist has 40 members currently and they are looking for Asbury members to move to that branch. I am thinking about making the move since it is a lot smaller. My boys will continue to go to the Wednesday night services at the Asbury campus. They have an amazing ministry for teenagers and college students. Plus Jeremy is really attached to the senior pastor (Dennis) since he hunts and that give Jerm someone to talk hunting with. Dennis's sons (Ryan and Aaron) run the middle school and older programs, so it really has a good foundation. It would be nice to go to a smaller church so I might have to give it a try. I drove over to it a couple days ago--it is a really pretty old fashioned styled stone church. It has a good feeling to it, so I am going to attend Sunday if I feel better.

Blah Humbug!

I got hit again this year with sinus issues ---it seems like every year for the past 4 years, I have had some kind of gunk in my chest due to the weather. Today my eyeball feels like there is a band playing at 10 decibels! And just the left eye, which is extra irritating. I guess I should be glad that I'll at least have one eye to see out of at work today....I didn't have to work the past two days as comp time when I worked mega hours at the courthouse.

Unfortunately, it was not a situation where I got to stay home and sleep. I had errands and projects that had to be done/run in time for a quilting class I took with a friend last night. I have become pretty obsessed with quilting lately, so I am taking classes to teach me how to quilt and how to piece a quilt. Sue and I have each completed one lap quilt top and we were in a holding pattern waiting to take this machine quilting class to figure out how to machine quilt (neither of us have husbands that would appreciate a hand quilting frame taking up space in the house for months)..it was very informative. And yet again, I get to the class and at some point my machine has an issue. Last time I took a paper piecing class and the machine I brought (Sue used it for last night's class ) had a goblin possess it...I had to use the instructors 1940's featherweight----which worked so well, it became a conquest for me to get one (more on that later)----last night my Janome worked great (as usual) but the hang up was the dealer gave me the wrong free motion foot and it did not fit my machine. Partially my fault for not trying it on the machine before class (PREPARATION? WHAT'S THAT?!) ...but I was still not amused. This time I used the shop's Bernina. It was OK, but I like my Janome 6260 and my Brother NX200. Sue doesn't have a portable machine, so she uses mine when we quilt. I guess I ought to acknowledge that I am spoiled and blessed. I am going to be really happy when we move to the new house and I have room to set up a quilting area for my machines.

There is just something special about a quilt. I am looking forward to completing a 9 patch. It is a really simple pattern (supposedly), but it will help me work on getting my seams to match. One we get to the new house, it will be my first big project. Ideally I'd like to complete one before the summer is over. My son is moving to Iowa to live with his girlfriend (don't even get me started on that) , and if it lasts for the summer (we all know that talking over the phone and the reality of 24/7 can make or break a relationship) I would like to make some quilts for them and the boys I have at home.

It is getting to be time to head to work---have a great day!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Weather, Life and Everything in between

Today I pulled out the little Singer Featherweight machine I bought a couple weeks ago. I used one at the quilting class I took at Sunflower Quilts in Derby a couple weeks ago and fell in love with it. I am fascinated with the time period from 1920-1950 anyway, so this machine is right up my alley. If I remember right, according to the serial number, mine was made approx 1948, but I am going to confirm that once we get to the new house....I am so happy we will have room to put out my machines so I can use whenever I get the urge. The only other thing I have my eye on is an embroidery machine, but with the expense of closing on the new house and having to buy furniture, that is out of the question for now....oh well....

I am looking forward to having the space to work on the quilt I started from the paper piecing class. It is actually a lot easier than I thought in the first 2 hours of the class (I was ready to throw in the towel within 1 hour, the instructor was (THANKFULLY) insistent that nobody gets to quit--by the 2nd hour, it clicked). It is going to be pretty easy to piece together the blocks a little at a time using scraps until I have enough to put together a queen sized quilt.

The weather today is pretty strange feeling. I am not sure how to describe it, but it feels like the kind of weather that can birth a tornado in the flick of a wrist. There is a pretty healthy wind going to. Hubby took Mark to his soccer game, I am taking Jeremy to his pottery class and our oldest (Brandon) is at a college study session, so the animals will have to figure it out if the sirens go off...Hopefully that won't happen...... There was one that leveled Kansas town yesterday about 110 miles from us. Although that sounds like a good distance, tornadoes are fast moving and it does make me nervous...When we were looking for houses, a basement was a requirement. The one we bought is a walk out basement, not completely underground, but the laundry room and the bathroom are set into the ground, so we are glad...I guess in reality they don't hit the ground very often, but when they do, you really want to be below ground level.

I'm still looking for the cable to my camera, so no pictures yet...in the near future, I promise!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good Book

I got a really interesting book in the mail today from Amazon (damn enablers that they are!)--it is called The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. It is a Christian based version of The Artist's Way (as a matter of fact, she names that book as her inspiration). I have thumbed through it and really think it has a lot of good things in it, so I will be going through it and sharing it with you. Another book I am digesting is The Thirteen Petaled Rose by Adin Steinsaltz. This one is a philosophy book in a way--it has really good discussion about Jewish beliefs. Although I am not Jewish, I love reading Jewish teachings....this is one of the first books that I've read that actually encourages one to question their concept of God in order to gain a better understanding of God. It is a reasonably thin book, but I can attest that it takes you a while to bite into it and digest it. I also have another one of his writings which I will introduce and discuss at a later time-after I have time to REALLY read and think about this work...

The Creative Call is part of my endeavor to actually start honoring my talents and making time to practice them. I love to watercolor and draw, but have problems actually displaying any works that I finish. Why is it that we think you have to hang in a gallery to actually be able to claim yourself as an artist. When we move to the home we bought (we take possession June 2), I will finally have enough space to set up my watercolors and art supplies. There will also be room for my yarn and my quilting---I am pretty excited!


It has been forever since I posted anything on this site, and the guilt has been quite healthy! I have one site for a lot of knitting content and this one was originally supposed to be animal related, but so far it has not worked out that way...So I have decided that this site will be my "creativity" and art site, containing quilting, painting and general life. Since the animals are often a source of my creativity, rest assured, they will be included as their role of muses....

Here's to fresh beginnings!