Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crafty Project for You!

I'm so excited about this project that I just had to share this link with you. I saw it yesterday on Crazy Mom Quilts since I regularly visit Amanda Jean's blog, but when I saw the tutorial this morning on SewMamaSew I knew it was fate and that you had to know about it, too!

Photo by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts

If you're like me and you have fabric scraps, and you like to make projects that end quickly so you can see the fruits of your labor in an expeditious manner, then you will like this project, too.

Happy Sewing! And, thanks Amanda Jean for such a cool project idea!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are

On Sunday me and a good friend of mine took our kids to see Where the Wild Things Are. The Little Guy wasn't too excited. He thought it would be for the little kids, and now that he's 11 he's too big for such movies. He says he would prefer Paranormal Activity. Yeah, right.

The movie was good. But, I must warn you, it is a tear-jerker. It has a lot of depth to it. And it is a bit on the angry side, so I wouldn't recommend taking little bitty ones. The monsters and their battles will most likely spook them. Plus, they won't understand what Max is going through. He's definitely an emotional little boy trying to deal with the chaos inside himself.

Take a tissue or two. You're going to need it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Note to Self: Remember Sobering Thoughts

I've been dragging my feet at work today. Only because it is cold and wet outside and I'm fantasizing of being home, curled up with the pups and a good book. I don't know why I'm dwelling on such things. If I were able to leave once I got home I'm sure I would do something other than what I'm dreaming of. It usually works out that way for me.

I've also been dwelling on a human resource issue that I'm waiting to deal with at work. We have an employee who is chronically absent and will be put on disciplinary probation today. Our General Manager wants to wait until the end of business to conduct the meeting with that employee. In the meantime, I'm wishing we could hurry up and get it over with so I can move on.

And, I was just reminded by a coworker just how fragile life is. He stopped to tell me a story about a good friend of his and his wife's who just discovered she has bone cancer. It has spread to her lungs. A woman who is not even 30 years old and has two small children. And how she found out is mind boggling... she was changing her child's diaper and turned to place the baby on the changing table. Her leg broke and she fell. When she went to the ER she was told her leg broke because it was eaten up with cancer. She was given approximately five years to live.

As my coworker walked away he said, "Makes you live in the moments."

As I agreed with him I realized that I agreed with his words automatically, that I didn't feel the words. Then I let them sink in a bit. I talk about savoring moments with my family and my friends so often, and I've gotten a lot better at it. I was reminded to be more thoughtful of my time on this earth during the sermon yesterday, too. To be more prayerful, more devoted and disciplined. Be thankful of your health and your life, my friends. Draw near to those you belong with, and savor all that you can.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Haunted Houses Anyone?

Last night The Little Guy had a football buddy stay over. It was Hubby's idea that we all go to a haunted house after football practice and dinner had passed. I was supportive of the idea... while trying to block out that I hate being scared.

So at 9:30 we finally headed to Hangman's House of Horrors. There were four spooky houses to tour. And lots of spooky costumed characters roaming around jumping in our faces and blowing in my hair. Yuck. The Little Guy and his 11-year-old-self was certainly not entertained at first. He didn't want to go through any of the houses. (This was totally opposite from his behavior earlier... he couldn't wait to get there!) We started small and went into a blacked out labyrinth first, and he realized it wasn't all that bad if he kept his face buried in the back of Hubby's jacket. (He emerged from the tours with big smiles and lots of conversation, so I'm guessing he wasn't traumatized.)

So we toured the spooky trails in this formation: Hubby in front, The Little Guy, Me and Football Buddy bringing up the rear. FB was a great sport... he talked to the grizzly characters instead of being spooked. In the main house that we toured at the very end, an insane asylum which literally took 30 minutes to get through, the four of us were split into two about half-way through the house. That freaked me out. Big time. I had to play leader with FB's hands on my shoulders. I had to navigate through dark hallways with things hanging from the ceiling that touched my hair (major yuck) and be the first to get spooked around every corner. FB gave me a few pointers as we trudged through the mazes, telling me someone was coming up on the left or if I was going the wrong way. I was so grateful for his help! I kept thinking, as I was sweating bullets, that I couldn't wait to get through this place and out into the fresh air. Finally, we made it to the end, through the chainsaws being thrust around in the air by hillbillies, and I could remove my coat and let my sticky self breathe.

Then we headed home. My shoulders ached. My neck was tense. And I laughed a lot the entire night. It was a lot more fun for all of us than we thought it would be. As it turns out I've entered a new level of tolerance for being spooked. Don't get me wrong, I still don't want the guys in my household jumping out of dark spaces causing me to dribble in my drawers. But, I think I can add haunted houses to my list of things to do before Halloween each year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Note to Self: Don't be a Mummy

So, I must admit that this post is not an original idea. I'm stealing from Karen, who has a great spooky story that you should check out, and she participates in a series called Group Blog Thursday. I would participate in the weekly series but I'm a bit on the non-committal side...

Years ago I served as a chaperon for the church that I went to on some youth group activities. We had some great outings... an all night lock-out was one of my favorite memories. But, the story that I'm sharing with you today is about the time that we went to the church compound out in the boonies for a weekend retreat. The cabin/building that we stayed in was divided in half by a kitchen and two large areas where you could play games or have study groups. And, on each side of this middle section were the sleeping quarters. The boys got one side and the girls got another. At the front of each sleeping quarter was a counselor section with a separate sleeping area just off the bathroom. There was a curtain that the counselor could draw for privacy if needed.

Since I was the only adult female I took the counselor area to sleep in, but left the curtain open in case anyone needed me. Like I mentioned, this place was out in the boonies so when we turned out the lights it was freakin' pitch black. I mean, can't see your hand in front of your nose kind of blackness. I remember thinking, geeze... I don't have a flashlight. Or a nightlight. But, my watch lit up so I could stare at the clock if I couldn't sleep, right?

I dozed off pretty quickly as it had been a full day of teen-filled activities that wore me down. But, I woke up around four a.m. and found myself quite alert. I looked at my watch and realized I was going to be really bored for about three hours before everyone else had to wake up.

As I was laying there, just staring up at nothingness, I saw a flashlight shining towards my face from about the distance of where that curtain was hanging. I immediately thought that one of the boys had snuck in to sneak a peak at the girls. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep.

That wasn't enough for the prankster.

He began to growl. And it didn't seem human. It sounded like a growl from a big angry dog that was about to have his bone snatched from his mouth. My heart began to race. I kept my eyes closed while the light continued to shine towards me. Then the prankster began to shake the light, trying to get my eyes to twitch, I guess. I stayed still until the light shut off.

Whoever the prankster was knew how to be quiet as a mouse. I felt as if this had been done before... the guy had some serious practice time with his stealth skills.

Needless to say I was frozen in fear. I heard one of the girls moving around in her bed. All of the matresses were of the lovely lined-in-plastic variety to protect from bed-wetters. Everything stayed silent and there were no more traces of anyone with a flashlight.

The next morning I went into the kitchen area and asked, "Ok, who was the growly prankster with the flashlight last night?" Well, the youth pastor, a young man in his mid-twenties overheard me and responded in a very serious manner with, "No one is supposed to go over there, and I'm the only one with a flashlight." Then he realized he didn't know where it was, so he went into the gentleman's quarters to find it. He told me that he found it was where it should've been. I told him the story of what happened, and I got a few smirks and comments from girls thinking that I had made it up. "the door would've squeaked..." But upon further investigation we found that the door to the sleeping area opened and closed without so much as a peep. A well-oiled door. Even the turning of the knob was silent.

The main doors to our building were of the loud commercial variety, the kind that have the big metal rectangular piece that you have to push to open. However, those doors were never locked. I reported the story to the head of the compound, but he responded with, "We've never had anything like that happen here before..."

I felt like a dummy for trying to report it. I felt even worse for sleeping fully zipped up in a sleeping bag like a mummy and trying to play dead when I was supposed to be guarding a room full of teenage girls. Note to self... don't sleep fully zipped up, without a flashlight, in case you ever need to jump up and start screaming at a guy growling at you in the darkness. And, keep a weapon handy... something long and stick like so you can swing like crazy and at least make contact once.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Just a note to say hello to all of you. I miss you and your blogs! I've been a bit side-tracked with work and while Hubby was out of town last week, which meant I had to run a household while working full-time. (thank goodness I didn't have to mow the lawn!) Quite a task when I'm not used to being in charge of almost everything on my own! (I had cereal for dinner three nights in a row...) But, that is over and Hubby is home now. I should be caught up and back into my bloggy reality shortly.

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoying some cool fall weather! Are your leaves changing yet??? (while Hubby was out of town he drove through Arkansas and I kept asking him about the trees... ' do they look like the commercials on tv?' They weren't quite there yet, still green.) The trees in Texas are still green, too. I'm so ready for orange, red and yellow!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A new spin on 'Save the Dates'

Silk screening on vintage hankies...

This is what my sister and I worked on most of the day on Sunday. And this next Sunday we'll begin again. Thank goodness she's been working on mastering the best way to keep the ink from bleeding so we'll be able to really make a lot of progress this weekend. Click on the link to see her recap of how this was created.

Great job, Sissy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where is October?

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I was so excited Fall had arrived and October was upon me. Now I'm in the middle of the month, don't have all of my Halloween decorations up yet, and am getting to the point where I'm thinking why bother. Plus my blogging has been way too intermittent.

What's my problem???

Procrastination... too much pee wee football... too much rain!!! We have had two dry days in the past 29 days (or something heinous like that is what the weather man reported). Overcast skies have really dried up my passion for this month. Today the sun is peaking through again, and I'm hoping it is able to stick around for good this month. But, the temperatures are back up to the 80's.

Lovely Texas weather. Unpredictable. But, I'm trying to work up the oomph to get excited about my evening today and get some serious crafting and decorating done. I'll keep you posted on any progress I might make. Cross your fingers for me, please.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We got to see Nie!

What a wonderful show... a repeat episode aired last night that I was able to see. Hubby and The Little Guy watched with me. I sat in front of them so they couldn't see just how many tears I shed. I had to hold it together enough so I could hear Stephanie's voice. (Be sure to click on the last link on her page to see the full account of their story if you're not familiar with them.)

Such a blessing to see and hear her. To see her and Christian. They still have googly eyes for each other! Another blessing. I told my son that is the type of love he should strive to find when he's an adult, and not settle for less. I hope that he can see that kind of love within me and Hubby, but honestly I think we are too consumed with everyday life to let it show often enough.

I had such a whirlwind of thoughts for the rest of the evening. I cried more. I gave thanks for the blessing of this family in my life, even if they have no idea who I am. I know I'm not the only person touched by the Nielson's. There are so many. I also prayed for their safety. Now that they've made it onto such a nationally syndicated talk show I prayed they won't be stalked or harassed.

Wow, what a night it was. And what a morning it is now. Today is my 5th anniversary being married to Hubby, and I'm very excited about it. We exchanged sweet sentimental cards this morning, and we plan to go out to eat with The Little Guy to celebrate. And in the coming weeks we plan to plant a tree in our front yard. (We found out that a traditional gift for the 5th wedding anniversary is paper in some form, so we decided to plant some paper!)

So, even as thunderstorms and heavy rains roll through my neck of the woods today I will give thanks. Thanks to God for my marriage, for my son, for my family, for my job and friends (including you guys), and for the blessings that the Nielson's are giving to our world. As we say in our sanctuary, "Thanks be to God!"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I want to watch!

Today is a big day on Oprah. At least in my opinion. Do you remember the posts I've made about Stephanie and Christian Nielson? They were tragically burned in a plane crash in August of 2008 and have been surviving and recovering ever since.

Today they will be on Oprah telling their story. Please watch it. I'll have to catch it as a rerun online as I'll be at work. (Boo hoo....) There are thunderstorms in our forecast, so I guess I could pray really hard for a major power outage that would send everyone home. Despite the mileage between my office and my house it would be my luck that there would be no power at the hacienda, too. Or the weather would disrupt the satellite feed...

So, I'll just look it up online later tonight. Either way, I can't wait to see this beautiful couple tell their heroic tale of survival, sacrifice and eternal love. This woman has been a huge influence in my life over the past year. (Periodically I'll send her emails and tell her that, but I wonder if I sound like a complete loon. Perhaps she is used to such rambling on from lots of women in our blog world.)

Stephanie, if you are reading... I can't wait to see you on television. And, I'm so thankful for your survival and for Christian's survival. You guys are a true inspiration to so many. Thank you for sharing your lives.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In the words of a dying old lady

If you're like me, when you read something you try to take on a bit of the person's character you're reading about. You know, hear the actual voice of the personality that you're reading about. Or is that just me?

Anyhoo, try to hear this voice in your mind as you read on... the voice of a seventy-something disgruntled and miserable elderly woman who has the most raspy smoker's throat you've ever heard.

Grandmother: "Well, I think I am at the end of my road."

Mom: "What is that supposed to mean?"

Grandmother: "Well, I just can't breath and I am out of oxygen, and Gene [my common-law husband of umpteen years is at work doing his greeter job at the Wal-Marts], and no one else will [drive hundreds of miles to] rescue me with a new bottle of oxygen [so I can keep smoking my cigarettes]. So if I die you just don't worry about it, I will just lie here until someone finds me."

A crotchety old lady wanting anyone and everyone to feel bad for her for since she's been smoking since she was a teenager and is now suffering with failing health. Sorry folks, I just don't feel bad for her type. Especially when she's always been a mean old lady! (And, yes... that is my grandmother I'm quoting. And, yes.... that's what she made me call her growing up, "Grandmother." She had deluded visions of grandeur which never materialized.)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How Old Am I?

My family has always given me a hard time about having habits that are for old ladies. I love to crochet, to sew, to read, to listen to talk radio... I've recently been working on a 1,000 piece puzzle with Hubby. I like things to be quiet. Loud cars with boomin' systems make me crazy. I drive a Camry Hybrid. Last night I got excited because Hubby and went out to eat, had a couple of beers with dinner, then hit up Borders bookstore. We sat in the floor of one section and I flipped through crochet and sewing books while he flipped through his new action packed paperback. As we sipped our coffees.

But, yet my favorite music is alternative/punk rock. My favorite magazine is Nylon. I love trying to come up with crazy funky outfits to wear. I love tattoos, wearing skulls and rockabilly styles. I have quite the potty mouth some days. I'm a liberal, but I love my Episcopal church and its old-fashioned Anglican medieval traditions.

In the words of Green Day, 'I'm a walking contradiction.' But, I like me. Most days.

What are your personality contradictions?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Can you change this?

There are lots of things in our lives that we can't change. So we muddle through, work around, and just plain deal with what Life brings our way, right? But there is always one thing we can always change and that is our expression.

I find that I am constantly in a mental battle over positive and negative thoughts. Sometimes the negative ones win, but only temporarily. More often than not I try to be in control of my thoughts, in control of my perspective, and in control of my expressions.

Have you ever noticed what a smile can do for you when you're out in public? When I walk around with a frown I notice that people definitely leave me alone. And, honestly I like being left alone most of the time. However, I also like looking my best, and a frown doesn't go well with looking my best. So, I try to smile. A lot.

The positives from smiling? I get a lot of smiles in return. I get some 'hellos' here and there, and sometimes an occasional 'how are you' in passing. While I'm driving in residential areas I get a smile back sometimes or a little wave. I like that. It gives me a good feeling. Even if I don't get an instant smile return I like to think of that person saying to themselves, 'oh, I guess I should've smiled back there.'

But, there is a negative to all this smiling. My laugh lines!!!! Oil of Olay, you need to kick in a little harder, ok? I'm trying to change the world one smile at a time, but I don't want to become a bag of wrinkles in the process.

And, on a more serious protective note, being smiley doesn't mean to forget there are tons of weirdos out there that can do a smiley girl some harm. So keep your on-guard stance well practiced just in case you have to throw a foot in somebody's gut. Hey, a smiley girl's got to know how to protect herself, right?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Take a Trip With Me Today

And check out my guest post on Mormon Mommy Blogs. The material might be familiar to you, but feel free to wander through the entire site. There is some great stuff there! And great women (and their blogs) to become familiar with.


And I would like to send a HUGE 'thank you!' out to Mormon Mommy Blogs for featuring me as a guest, as well as trublubyu, because none of this would've happened without your intervention. I am truly, truly honored!