Going Green

So ... I like the Planet Earth.

As a result, I am doing two (count 'em 2!) things this week to help the cause of all things green.

#1: I am in the market for a new car and I plan to buy one with better gas mileage than the last one (which wasn't exactly a Hummer in the first place) and ...

#2: I am making a quilt with a rainforest theme.

This particular quilt will be a gift for my first grand-nephew who is due in February. When I asked his Grandma (my SIL) what colors to go with, she simply said ... "rainforest".

I had tremendous fun invading The Stash to find the fabrics. As you may or may not know ... I only sew from my stash. It surprised even me how many choices I had. There are 3 other theme fabrics with equal fun, frivolity and ... ecology. I will show off the finished product ... hopefully ... before this baby makes his debut on Planet Earth.

* BTW, I also plan to replace my lightbulbs but had a bad experience the first time I tried. The new 3-way swirly-bulb was too big to fit under the "harp".
** No secrets were exposed in the making of this post. SIL and niece are not bloggers.
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I Wish it was ... NOW!

So ... I had some stresses last week. There was the "lost checks" debacle, which ... incidently ... is not resolved, but I have not given up hope. Then topping the list with sadness rather than stress, was news from my dear daughter who teaches me volumes about hope. In the midst of all of that there was the "big project" ... the kind of thing that makes you only hope for time to pass until it's over.

PDaddy and I had been asked to put together a game-show format for a church Youth Conference. I won't go into all the details, but it eventually involved a power point presentation with 45 multiple choice questions (We're talkin' Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ... or as we preferred to call it ... Who Wants to Be a Millenial Heir.) PDaddy did all of the difficult technical configuring and I helped come up with questions and did the data input. Oh ... and I got to be Meredeth Viera.

As the week progressed, I just kept thinking about how great it would be "when it was over." Even when I woke up on Saturday morning and everything was completely ready, I had the thought, "In six hours this will be done." The interesting thing was that once we were actually playing this game, I never thought of it once.


Because we were having a fabulous time, that's why!! The kids were smart and paid attention. They earnestly wanted to get the questions right and often cheered for people on opposing teams. When it was over my first thought was "Why was I so anxious to have this over?"

And then last night we received the news that our dear prophet and President of the Church had passed away. President Gordon B. Hinckley was 97 years old. He lost his precious wife and faced serious health issues and yet continued to travel the globe and direct the church until the very end. He could have wished it over, but instead just wished it ... right.

I guess I am just very grateful that I had the chance to learn so many invaluable life lessons at once. Since this nasty habit has been a long time in the making, it will take some work to overcome.

But ... there is always hope.

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Lost: One Mind

S0 ... I spent no less than 5 hours yesterday looking for some paperwork (checks to be exact ... money ... moola ... you get the picture) that I have ... misplaced ... shall we say.

Let's just say that a lot of other things in my home are now cleaned, straightened and weeded out. Those things were not on the original agenda for last night, by the way.

I have not given up hope. Who could give up hope when they have the help of the above two darlings? L'il Gee is scouring his toybox for me and sweet Miss Dub is enlisting the best help possible.

I'm going to look through yet another bag of trash.

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Nesting Instincts

So ... my mind is rather scattered at the moment, but I will try and pull some coherent thoughts together.

I like birds.

I know that they are ... like ... all the rage right now as a decorating devise. And I am pretty certain that I like them more right now because ... I see them more right now. Is that how it works? However, I want it on the record that I purchased the above pillow about 8 years ago. So, I am ... like ... way ahead of my time.

One more thing. I really, really like my own baby birds. The fact that they have flown our nest to other nests in scattered parts of the country doesn't mean that I still wouldn't personally catch worms for them. Or sit on them.

Or even applaud them for flying.

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a little somethin' to chew on ...

So ... do you remember this little quilt that I made for my precious grand-dog, Asher?
Five months ago.
And do you remember that you secretly scoffed at me for making a quilt for a dog that you were absolutely certain he was going to chew up and spit out ... even though I did hand binding on it?
So ... here is a picture of Asher at Christmas holding his precious quilt.
That he sleeps with every night.
And has never chewed up.
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Bugs in my Brain

So ... it's time for another True Confession. Number Five, I think .... but honestly who is counting? So here goes:

I am really ... really .... fickle.

I change my mind about things about as often as I change my clothes. For instance ... I change my mind about the style of clothes I like. And then I think that I will never ... ever ... again go back to my prior way of thinking. And I don't.

For about a week and a half.

This applies to particularly to styles in decorating and sewing. Right around Christmas time I always get the bug to simplify, simplify, simplify. After removing the decorations I remove all other ... frou frou ... and vow to never again adorn my home with a ruffle. Until I see a really ... really ... attractive ruffle and then I am all about ruffles.

About two weeks before Christmas this year, I went even further. I resolved that in 2008, I would do little or no sewing. I convinced myself that I was spending way too much time (not to mention money) on something that was not solving the ills of the world ... or my family. I actually stuck with this one a tad longer than usual. I breathed a sigh of relief when no one gave me sewing-related gifts. I threw away any JoAnn's coupons that came my way and opened nary a quilting book or a magazine for quite some time.

Until I remembered that I needed to have a sample of a project for the February meeting of Grandma's Club, to show at yesterday's meeting. I mumbled under my breath at the obligation of it all ... because remember .... I was not going to enjoy sewing in 2008. While blinking through some blogs I came across this lovely free pattern for this lovely little quilt on this very lovely blog. I gingerly ventured into the sewing room to pick out fabrics for the sample. I breathed in the heavenly scent of my Bernina. I layed out a dozen fabrics on the table and may or may not have been in some kind of a trance.

I don't know when the last time was that I enjoyed a project so much. I loved the cutting and the piecing and the quilting and the binding. The fact that I did all of those things in the short span of a few hours just increased the euphoria. I removed the 2008 ban (although I am still trying to cut down on the spending part ... or I was trying ... until yesterday ... and today.)

So tell me, please ... Is anyone else as fickle as me? Do some people actually choose a style and stick with it ... always?

And I really ... really ... need to let PDaddy know that my fickle ways do not apply to him.

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Do me a Favor ...

So ... here is a picture of the infamous "favors". Pretty much I have Martha and Michaels to thank ... and The Stash. Oh, oh ... and the fact that Valentines is just around the corner and pink (and brown) candies are in abundance. Oh, oh, oh ... and the fact that for some bizarro reason, these particular pink beauties were on sale for 60% off ... even though (as has been previously mentioned) ... Valentines is just around the corner. Call it Kizmet, call it Carma, the "sale-fairies" were working for me that day.

But enough of all that. Let's discuss Martha. I've gotta tell you that I'm not a big fan. I don't like her magazine because I want my magazines to have full page pictures of real-life homes. I'm looking for inspiration in a magazine ... not necessarily step-by-step instructions. And I have never even seen her show.

Is that heresy? (Not to be confused with 'hearsay' ... 'cause it's the honest truth ... I've never watched her show.)

I really like her stuff at Michaels, but I like it best at 60% off. I spent a large part of my day on Christmas Eve touring some of her homes in Southern Cal and I really liked them. (As does this daughter ... and I sure like her.)

So ... let's take a vote: Yeah Martha. Boo Martha. Or ... You-can-come-to-my-home-and-bake-me-something-but don't-ask-to-be-my-best-friend ... Martha.

Let the voting begin.

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just tryin' to absorb the vibes ...

So ... in preparation for the baby shower I was hosting in my home on Saturday I ...

a) Had my carpets cleaned.
b) Purchased the lovely pink roses pictured above, and
c) That is pretty much it.

You see, I was giving this shower for the daughter my my good friend, Kelley ... aka Glamma Fabulous. It is probably not neccessary to mention that she is ... Fabulous. And Talented. And Crazy Creative. And ... Generous. Let's just say that two of her five daughters catered the event and she provided all the centerpieces. I pretty much had to show up, which wasn't really hard because ... I live here.

These centerpieces were so very ingenious and there were not one, not two ... but three of them. Aren't they ... fabulous?

Let me also mention that she has five daughters who have inherited her wacky, wonderful ways. D#5 embellished these binkies and the diaper-wipe box.

Puts a touch of elegance into the art of dirty diapers, wouldn't you say?

We sat around until 4 in the afternoon, largely entertained by the antics and impressions of D#1 who had us laughing so hard, I'm suprised D#4 didn't go into labor ... right then and there.

So ... thank you my fabulous friend. And I just want you to know ... I did put those flowers into a vase all by myself ... really I did.
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Shakin' it up a bit ...

So ... I thought I'd try something new with the arrangement of the furniture in my family room. (I have been a furniture re-arranger from waaaaay back. I have actually cut back on it since we moved into this house.) So this time around I took all of the furniture and ... smushed it into the kitchen.

How do you like it?

Truth be told, I had the carpet cleaned today. And the blue print chairs. And I am having a baby shower here on Saturday, so you pretty much know that I was not self motivated into organization and spit-polish.

And my whole house smells like chemically produced citrus.

And I did lay down and read a magazine on the love seat (on the left above) in that very position and found it quite delightful.

Thank you Chelsea for having a baby before my carpets self-destructed.

And my blue print chairs.
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Sunny Delight

So ... in case you were wondering ... "light deprivation syndrome" is a real disease indeed. Like homework allergies and chocolate dependence.

Only real-er.

I grew up in Utah and lived 4 years in Maryland and I survived weeks on end with nothing but gray to look at. I have now lived in Arizona for over 27 years. Somewhere after the first ten, I developed an absolute dependency on clear sunny skies. This has nothing to do with the temperature mind you ... even at 110, I prefer my skies blue.

I am not unaware that we are in the middle of a drought. I have prayed for rain with the rest of our fair state. I have recognized the blessings we have received over the last month when gray skies and flooded streets have abounded. As usual, when the rains first arrive, I feel all warm and fuzzy in my sweaters with a fire in the fireplace. There is nothing like rain to bring out the need to read and sew. And for a day or so, I revel in it until ...

... until I think I will be unbearably sad or stark-raving crazy ... whichever comes first.

I am not entirely aware of this at the time. I just feel blue and I try to shake it off. I don't truly appreciate the depth of my dependence until I wake up one morning (a morning like this morning) and I see the sun in all its glory. And I want to cry out of relief and happiness or run outside and dance in it.

Whichever comes first.

So ... I cannot tell a lie. I know we need the rain, but I am thankful ... no, truly and deeply grateful ... for the sun.

And chocolate.

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There Ott* to be a Law ...

So ... sometime back in the last century, Mrs. Gee was living at home while doing her student-teaching. We hung out a lot because ... well ... she is just a barrel of fun. During the course of that semester she introduced me to a new and all-consuming habit.

Crossword Puzzles.

Oh, it's a puzzle all right. It's a puzzle as to why I would devote valuable hours every single day to this ... vice ... that as far as I know, does not have a 12-step program to help its victims. It's a puzzle as to why I suddenly have added words to my vocabulary like ilk and alee and Mel Ott*. It's a puzzle as to why I cannot ... repeat cannot ... consume my daily dose of cereal without my daily dose of words.

In my defense I will offer two excuses: A) Somewhere, sometime, someone did a study that said that doing crossword puzzles will help to stave off Alzheimers. (What that probably means is that when I am old and rambling off about nothing in particular, it will include an imaginary conversation with Mel*.) B) I consider it a virtue and not a vice that I can walk away from an unfinished crossword, when I have reach an impasse and my cereal is gone. PDaddy cannot say the same. But then PDaddy has so much information floating around in that brilliant head of his that he seldom reaches an impasse.

Two last notes: A) I don't ... I repeat I don't do Sudoku. Don't even try to get me started ... and B) Mel Ott* played baseball for the Giants and was the "First National Leaguer to hit 500 homers".

I learned that just yesterday.

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Feel free to laugh AT me, not with me.

Warning: This story is not for the faint of heart nor for the tight of pocketbook. This story involves waste and poor choices. This story involves the vision of sparks flying and possible electrocution. Needless to say ... this story involves ... me.

Remember when I so proudly blogged about my new LED tree lights? Remember how they took many hours to attach to the tree and I took a lot of Advil and in the end I didn't care? I may or may not have mentioned that I knew these lights were the kind to attach and unattach each and every year. I figured the "unattaching" portion would take less time than the "attaching" portion.

Oh ... how I lied.

Yesterday I awoke bright and early to finish the "undecorating" ... something that may actually give me more peace and satisfaction than the "decorating" part. There is nothing like breathing in all that extra space that has been hidden behind a myriad of Santa's and 15.45 pounds of Stale Christmas Goodies. I had started this process the day before and just had the tree to undo and pack up. That's all. Just the tree.

The ornaments were off in a jiffy and I started removing the lights. I had forgotten that part of my problem in the "attaching" process was that each string of lights was 50 feet long. The first strand came off with some difficulty and and the second one brought me to the brink of tears. At that point I figured out how I could recoup my investment by selling them on Ebay or pawning them off on unsuspecting friends for a fraction of the price that I paid for them. (And I'll be honest with you, I paid $9.95 for each of the six strands.) They were becoming so increasingly entangled on the tree as I tried to remove them that I got the bright idea (oh ... no pun intended here ... nor any humor in any form at all ... intended in any way) to just pull them off the branches and let them ring around the bottom of the tree. By now over an hour had passed. I now began to untangle the third strand.

At this point PDaddy entered and could tell right away that things were not going well. I told him how the lights were a complete waste and how I was not going to put them on the tree again next year. In true PDaddy spirit, he immediately pointed out that they would be much better lights for the outside of the house (and they would.) We then figured out that we would need 3 strands. In another 45 minutes, I recaptured a third strand. My sanity however was nowhere to be found.

PDaddy had left for work and I needed reinforcements to somehow rationalize what I knew I was about to do. I knew at this point that my plan would involve wire cutters and a trash bag. I knew that it was an ugly scene indeed. Most of all, I knew that I was throwing 30 bucks straight into the fire ... and I have a really, really hard time with that. Ms. VespaEsq came through (on the phone) with flying colors. She pointed out that if I had actually purchased a live tree, it would cost much more than $30 and that at this point, I would indeed be throwing it away. (My current plan didn't involve Boy Scouts, but I was able to get over that.) I'm thinking Ms. VE should start a website devoted to helping people rationalize. She has the gift.

So ... making very, very ... very sure that the remaining lights were not plugged in, I set out to snip them at the base of the tree. This part of the job was much more difficult than I had anticipated, but I had renewed strength and I perservered. I put them in a dark plastic bag and snuck them out to the trash. I felt a little like I was putting them into the trunk of my car to be taken out into the desert and buried in the middle of the night.

This morning when we took down the outside lights, I did the math and figured out that we will only need the first two strands when we hang them next year.

I'll try to keep you abreast on how my therapy is coming.
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