The Sugarplums are Dancing!!

So ... having ... too ... much ... fun.

Must go have more fun.

Happy New Year!
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There IS a Santa Claus!!

So ... contrary to popular belief, Santa doesn't just bring you presents to put under the tree ... he brings you the tree and a floor to put it on ... and chairs to sit on and admire it.

Thanks Santa ... you are the BEST!! Aren't you glad that I didn't make you put my present in the sleigh and stuff in down the chimney?

Now ... if I can remember how to cook, I'll whip you up some cookies that will make it all worth it.

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas Week. May exhaustion feel as good to you as it does to me.

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Wrap Music

So ... I am trying to accomplish as much as I can before the time comes (very soon) when I must drop everything to put my house back together and actually decorate for Christmas. Today I (nearly) finished the wrapping, and I just wanted to show off my tags. These are another one of the Target Dollar Bin specials where you get 8 of these for ... you guessed it ... a dollar.

I am quite enamored with these guys who have both glitter and felting on them. This is some serious (and seriously cute) quality for the ol' dollar bin. I really enjoyed the wrapping this year. It's a Christmas Task that I either love or hate depending on how on top of it I am in any particular year.

"Oh, what's this?" you innocently ask. "Why it's a corner in my family room bay window that just happens to show off my new floor and my new base boards. I don't know how it got into this post? Dear me."

So spill. Wrapping: Hate it or Love it? And while your at it, how much do you love, love, love my floors?
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Blatant Plagerism

So ... due to a lack of personal blog-worthy material ... plus the fact that I have the most intelligent/funny/creative/darling/slightly-weird children/grandchildren in the world, I am just going to direct you to go here so that you can lift your weary holiday spirits without further ado.

If you are not personally acquainted with my progenity, here are a few navigating tips ...

* The bearded Elf is my son, Sonny Boy and yes, he always makes those faces in photos. The fact that he didn't in (most of) his wedding photos was nothing short of a miracle.

* Yes, this is why I love my Sonny Boy so much.

* Mrs. Boy is the other adult who put together this bit of revelry and so it's pretty obvious why I love her so much.

* The two children involved are not their children, but they are knee-deep into a campaign to win the "Favorite Aunt/Uncle Competition" and this could pretty much cinch it.

*Miss Dub has her finger up her nose in the first video and has not mysteriously grown a trunk.

* Li'l Gee looks like two different children in the two videos, but that is just my multi-faceted baby boy.

So go. Indulge. Make yourself Merry!

Your welcome.


Don't think for one moment that I haven't started decorating yet!

So ... I am furiously working on the kitchen curtains ... Kevin is furiously working on the floors ... and some lady that I accidently blocked at CostCo is just furious.

Who cares!?! While I was there I picked up this scrumptious wreath with real greenery that is uber-fresh and smells like Heaven. I put it on the front door so it has some remote possibility of staying fresh, but I have already walked out there three times to take a little whiff.

I'll be honest. I would just love, love, love to have that aroma emanating from a real tree in my family room every year, but I got tired of going to bed at night wondering if it was really wise to have a tinder-box in the middle of my house. Seriously, I am somewhat of a paranoid person and my thought processes concerning the rapidly dying tree caused me to be uber-cranky.

I took the wreath that had been on my door and stuck in on the only available nail I could reach. What you aren't seeing in this lovely picture ... just to the right of the stairs in my entry-way ... is my stove. But that is wonderful news. That means my floors are completed in the family room and now inching through the kitchen.

While we wait for the official unveiling, let's dish. Real Tree or Fake Tree??

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Me? I wanna hoola-hoop.

So ... while the rest of the world is stringing popcorn and making cider ... I'll be sewing new kitchen curtains. It's okay ... really ... 'cause I'm quite excited about my new kitchen curtains. (See KC fabric, above.) And it's not like I'm missing out on any Christmas Spirit in the meantime. I am oozing with Christmas Spirit.

After all ... I have this basket of inspiration that pretty much smells like cider. And this weekend we put all the outside lights up, which includes a lighted tree that is right out of our family room window. So we get to absorb it's beauty in an inside-out kind of way. We also went to the ward (church) party on Friday night where we witnessed (among other wonderful things) 3 grown men dance around and lip-sync to "Alvin and the Chipmunks". I had a moment as I witnessed that where I thought ... "there is no other place in the world that I would rather be right now than here."

And that's some mighty Christmas Spirit.

Also ... and you may need to sit down for this one ... I am almost done with my Christmas shopping. Seriously. I am totally on top of it. Wrapping? Eh ... not so much. No probolemo though. I'll get to it right after that other well-known Holiday tradition.

Making kitchen curtains.

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Brown Bagging It

So ... anyone who knows me or has been to my home knows that ... where decor/wall color is concerned ... I'm a white kind of gal. As opposed to cream or bone or eggshell. Swiss Coffee* to be exact. And that is exactly what our handy-dandy-man Kevin painted the family room and kitchen. No surprises there.

My home is one of those that is so open that one public area runs into another and so I don't have much choice but to paint them all the same color and I want them all to be ... Swiss Coffee*. The only exception to that rule is the Dining Room. The Dining Room is it's own room and I have always considered painting just that room a different color. I actually didn't know that Kevin the handy-dandy-man was going to be painting the Dining Room in this round of painting, but this morning he announced that if I wanted him to paint it other than SC*, I needed to pick that paint ... today. Pronto. Eeeek.

I can't tell you how proud I am with myself for picking so well under pressure. I actually brought home 3 different colors to sample, but it was immediately clear to me which one it would be.

When I tell you the name of the color, you will say without hesitation, "Oh ... of course ... that makes perfect sense." And that name is ...

Kraft Paper **

I am ecstatic. Giddy. Beyond excited. Thanks for being excited with me.

* I don't drink coffee, but I apparently like it on my walls.
** Paints by Dunn Edwards.

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Christmas in Kilarney

So ... I told you that I would give you the heads up when it was time to start listening to Christmas Music. Well ... ready, set ...


Yeah, you probably figured that out all on your own. The truth is that I have been listening to it non-stop since I declared that it was heresy to do so. Hypocritical?? Yes. Sanity-saving?? Absolutely.

Since I won't be able to decorate for at least a couple of weeks, I have to live vicariously through all those songs, through my strolls around Marshall's and ... through you.

So let's hear it. Have you started to decorate? Do you have pictures on your blog?

Are ya listening to some Bing?


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Not just for the Birds ...

So ... I can't say we had the most traditional of Thanksgiving dinners. As you can see it involved lawn chairs, a concrete floor, a make-shift table and a beautiful centerpiece (dropped off by some friends.) We did eat turkey and I did make a pie (lemon meringue). There were only 3 of us (me, PDaddy and Gin.) We talked a lot on the phone to the others ... some with video chats.

And ... as I'm sure is more than obvious ... we counted our many, many blessings.

And named them one by one.

How about you? How was your T-day? Mostly I want to hear about pie.
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Weekend Update

So ... let's just say that our weekend did not involve high society parties and thrilling adventures. I feel relatively safe in saying that our weekend involved:

* Dust. Yep, it still lives and thrives on every surface. Today could possibly be the last dust-inducing day and then it won't be long until the new floors begin to unveil themselves.

* Yuck. PDaddy feels like yuck. He's into his second cycle (of four) of this (which had always been anticipated to happen after surgery recovery) round of chemo.

*Yum. I am half way through reading this most delightful book. Absolutely yummy. If the term hadn't been overused and commercialized, I would even venture to say ... Yum-mo.

So ... how was your weekend? Do tell. We are more than happy to live through it vicariously.
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Patch Work

So ... while reading comments from my last blog (and I do read your comments ... and cherish each one) I came across this one from "ginny" which said:

"I'll be expecting my Cabbage Patch Kid from Woolworth's in the mail."

If you read that and were confused (what the heck does that have to do with dust or jury duty?) I am here to clear that up. If you didn't go back and read my comments, then you are probably ... a normal person.

Here's the story:

In the summer of '82 or '83, I was was the young mother of 3 girls ("ginny" amy gee and mrs. dub) and one boy (sonny-boy). I started out the summer with high hopes of organization and cleanliness. I made the obligatory "chore chart" and I attached a very large, very impossible-to-obtain prize to the other end of the bribe: If they did their chores regularly (made beds, picked up toys, kept all stray Barbie-body-parts out of the couch cushions) then they would receive the most coveted prize of all ... a Cabbage Patch Kid, heretofore known as the CPK. I knew at the moment I told them this, that CPK's were near to impossible to come by, but I didn't worry. Why not? Because the chore chart had been largely ignored to that point in their young lives, that's why.

When they (and by "they" I mean the 3 girls, Sonny Boy was the size of a CPK at the time) got up the next morning and promptly made their beds, I wasn't worried. One week later when the Barbies were fully ambulatory, I started to panic. At this point I knew that the only way to be able to purchase a CPK was to be inside the store at the exact moment the shipment arrived. And at that ... blood would probably need to be spilled.

I put in calls to relatives in several states to be on guard and then proceeded to pray. One unremarkable, hotter-than-hades afternoon, I received a call from PDaddy. He was downtown Phoenix ... on jury duty ... and had gone into a Woolworths at lunch to buy gum, when lo and behold ... the shipment. He was calling to tell me this because he had walked to the Woolworths and he needed me to meet him on the street corner ... STAT ... before his lunch hour was up. I told the girls, who immediately started sobbing as we buckled ourselves into the car and sped off at the speed of light. At the first stop-light I looked down and realized I had no gas. Prayer to the rescue once again. The girls continued to sob while Sonny Boy innocently played with a toy, not realizing that his status as "most fun play thing in the house" was about to go up in smoke.

When we got downtown, there was poor PDaddy holding not one, not two, but three of the gargantuan boxes that held our new grandchildren. He threw them into the car (I believe some injuries were sustained from the sharp corners) and literally sprinted back to the courtroom. How the girls managed to open those boxes is still a mystery, but before long each double-named doll was eternally bonded with her mother and life would never be the same again. (Help me out with the names here girls ... I know that two of them had the first name "Naomi".) Once the dolls were easier to come by, a few more joined the family, but none held places of honor like those first three.

So ... that's what Cabbage Patch Kids, Woolworths and Jury Duty have in common. (I know it was bugging you.)

What's your CPK story?

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Dust a Move

So ... we're living in a dust bowl. Right now we can sit on our bed or in the office ... or on patio furniture in the middle of the family room. The living room and garage are full of furniture and everything ... from the countertops to the tops of cereal boxes ... is covered in silt.

Our tile has been removed and it didn't go out without a fight. Our tile was tough. Ask Kevin, our super-handy-dandy-man. I'm sure he wishes that our tile had been wimpy.

It will all be worth it, I promise. Just wait until you see the final results. In the meantime, there might not be much blogging going on. 'Cause let's face it, I can only take so many pictures of dust.

And to add to the fun I'm headed off to do Jury Duty tomorrow. My first time ever. Someone tell me what I have to look forward to.

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smashing pumpkins

So ... my picture here has nothing to do with the subject of my post, which has nothing to do with pumpkins ... which is exactly my point.

Are you following so far?

My point is this: Last weekend (that would be the first full weekend in November) both of my favorite radio stations went to "all Christmas music ... all the Time". Last year they (and there was only one then) started the weekend before Thanksgiving and even then, I thought it was too early.

So this year they moved it back not one week, but two. I can only respond to this with one word:

I'm sorry people, but this is just plain wrong. And do you want to know what is wrong-er? I'm listening to it. Yep ... singing along. Oh yes ... and to top it all off, I have started my Christmas shopping as a result! (That last one is actually a plus, but I threw it in for effect.)

I tried to find another station, but it was too hip for me and I was afraid it would make me more hip than I already am, and the non-hip woman you have grown to know and love would fade into the background.

In the meantime, I'll try to squeeze some more juice (figuratively) out of my pumpkins for a couple more weeks. And when the time is right ... Bing and I will tell you when it's okay to begin to look a lot like Christmas.

So let's vote:

A: Heresy.

B: The Economy needs it, let's face it.

C: Bring it on and make sure to include The Chipmunks, Snoopy & the Red Baron and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."

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On the Fringe ...

So ... in customary fashion, as soon as I got done with the PPC Quilt, I wanted a break from cutting up fabric into two inch pieces. Which naturally took me in the direction of ... pillows. (Duh.) As you may or may not know, my name is Mary and I am a pillow-holic. As part of the 12-step weaning process, I now only make pillow slipcovers.

I purchased the fabric and fringe for these beauties -- and sewed them up -- in just a matter of a few hours. I payed three times for the fringe than I did for the fabric. I broke one needle in the process. Still and all, a lot of bang for my buck.

I will be happy when the fringe settles down a bit. I probably need to wash them, but I'm putting that off because I am too busy enjoying them.

I can think of many obsessions that are less healthy than a pillow obsession, can't you?

Eh, too bad I have some of those obsessions too.
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So ... remember how I won another GiveAway from the Jolly Jabber (aka the Fat Quarter Shop) and then I never checked back to see if I had won, but she hunted me down and then I couldn't wait until it arrived?

Well ... yesterday it arrived and since I was expecting some "charm packs" or even "jelly rolls", I couldn't figure out why the package was so dang heavy.

And then I opened it. And then I gasped just a little. Drool may or may not have been expelled.

What you see here is forty-two (count em, 42!) fat quarters from the newest* line "Aviary" by those secretive, yet talented 3 Sisters at Moda. I am stunned. I am excited.
I am very, very grateful.
Thank you Jolly Jabber. And for the record, I want you to know (somewhat sheepishly) that I did go back to your blog ... I was just so busy looking at the pictures that I never read the text.
And that, my dear friends, is a serious True Confession.
* I'm not even sure it's out yet.
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helpful hints up the wazoo ...

So ... I am finished with the Patchwork Pilot Club quilt ... finally. Keep in mind also that I started this particular project when it was over 110 degrees. And now it's almost down to the 80's! Sheesh. That is a long, long, time.

But my point is this: Study the first picture and tell me what is weird about it. (Other than the fact that none of the fabrics in the border would appear to go together. That's the point, people.) No ... what I am trying to point out is that I am quilting on it and the binding is completely attached. What the heck!?!

Helpful Hint #1: I was furiously working on the quilting and had all the straight lines (around the sashing strips) done. Then I desperately needed an all-day-hand-project. So I applied the binding, sewed it down as my project-du-jour and then went back to the quilting. Can I tell you how easy it was to do without all the extra flaps on the edges? Sooooo much easier to work with.

I would definitely do that again.

Helpful Hint #2: If you think that another advantage was that I didn't have to deal with any pins ... well I never had to in the first place. I never baste my quilts and I never pin-baste my quilts. I use 505 spray to get those 3 layers to stick together. Always have. Always will.

And Helpful Hint #3?: If you live in the western US and haven't voted yet ... get out there NOW.

So ... I hope your wazoo isn't feeling too cramped.
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bloomin' fun

So ... as you may or may not know, I don't have much of a green thumb. I'm over it. However we are often the recipients of some very lovely arrangements from very lovely friends. Just this afternoon the doorbell rang and a sweet young family from the ward (church) brought by this arrangement (made by their daughters [with a wee bit of help I suspect] who are both under 10 and already have more in their tiny little thumbs than I do.) They also brought by some peanut-butter brownies.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the brownies, but still ... are these flowers not the most delightful things ... ever!

So ... how was your weekend? Did you have many trick-or-treaters?

(We had almost none, so along with brownies, I have a plethora of tiny candy bars. This is not going to be a good week.)

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Ooh, Woohoo and ... Boo!

So ... it's been an eventful couple of days ... busy ... exciting ... somewhat humiliating ... fun ... and downright scary.

#1) Before I forget ... Happy Halloween. I wanted to show off these darling treats that I received from my friend Louisa, just because she apparently likes me and she thought they would remind me of Mr. Gee and Miss Dub. (Which they do of course, because they are cuter than words.) The odd thing is that she brought them over yesterday, which was her birthday. I would hang my head in shame (no ... I did not have a little something for her) but I am too busy planting little kisses on these two.

#2) I won another Give Away!! Yeah! From those sweeties over at Jolly Jabber who are the queens of Fabric Fun! Here's the bad part: I won this ... um ... last week and didn't know it until she hunted me down. If you are somewhat new to this blog you may not know that this is the second time this has happened to me. Yep. That's twice this year I've been in need of a good finger-wagging. Aah ... who cares. I Won! And it's fresh new stuff from the Quilt Market in Houston.

#3) Last night, say ... past 11 p.m., as the PDaddy and I were just about to settle down for a long winter's nap, we heard what can only be described as an explosion at the window which was about 2 feet from my head. I had already gone about half way to sleepyland and I nearly bolted across the room. After some careful detective work we were finally able to determine that the tension hung window ... had blown the tension rod. We may not sleep again for years to come.

But that's OK, because I won some fabric (did you hear?) and I'll be playing with it all night long.

And just so you know, I have officially decreed that Halloween (or the day after) is the day to get out last year's Christmas magazines for dreaming and other practical purposes. I thought you'd want to know.

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