Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful That Christmas Trees are Done

Oh my, I'm getting tired.  A very content kind of weary.  I finished my Christmas decorating today.  I put away all the boxes and vacuumed and swept the mess left on the floors.  The only minor details left are some new fake poinsetta bushes for the window boxes outside the second floor windows and some adapters that are needed for the outside extension cords.  That's on my schedule for tomorrow, along with a haircut in the morning and Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping.
 There will only be four of us for dinner this Thanksgiving.  I usually have around ten to thirteen.  Now with son #2 and family in Spokane, son #1 and family in Germany for ten days,  Grandma and Grandpa now in the nursing home, that just leaves my Mom and Dad and My Bob and me.  The four of us are also leaving the day after Thanksgiving to visit the kids in Spokane.  Packing for that trip is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  My Bob suggested that with so much going on we should order out or eat out for our Thanksgiving dinner just this once.  I just can't do that! I love preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  I love the smells and watching the parades on TV while I cook.  My biggest challenge is going to be in trying to prepare small portions.  I'm not used to that.
Because of the Spokane trip is the reason I had to (wanted to) get all the decorating finished before we leave.  As I promised earlier, I have pictures.  I just have to say, though, that after looking at the pictures I don't think they do justice to the real thing.  It's hard to get a picture with all the lights lit and have it turn out good. 

This is my Victorian tea room tree.

My dining room tree - all crystal and gold

Angel tree outside my bedroom

Shoe and purse tree in my loft

Living Room tree in gold, burgundy and old fashioned blown glass ornaments.
(I think this tree is leaning now that I see it in a picture.  Note to self - fix that)

This is my foyer - with flash

Foyer - without flash

I didn't get pictures of the front porch tree or outside yet.  Not quite finished there.
So that's my Christmas tour so far.  Will show more of the tour later, that doesn't involve the trees.
I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I am very blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making a List and Checking it Twice

My "To Do" list is getting long.  I'm trying not to get overwhelmed.  My problem is that I'm slow.  What would take a normall person one hour to do, takes me three hours.  I am very particular, I get distracted, and I sometimes have what I call "paralyzation by analyzation".  I make lists to try to keep myself on track.  I wanted to write about it, which takes time, so decided to kill two birds with one stone and post my "to do" list.  That should really keep me accountable.

1) Finish decorating the last of six Christmas trees by the end of the day. (I'll have pictures of them all when I'm done)
2) Dust and vacuum as I go
3) Clean the guest bedroom and bathroom for weekend guests getting in tonight.  It's my cousin and family and I always enjoy when they are here. 
4) Buy butter for cookies I need to bake for girlfriend's clothing party tomorrow
5) Clean little powder bathroom - DONE
6) Make arrangements for dogs with doggy sitter for next Friday while we're in Spokane for a week. - DONE
7) Finish knitting neck warmer that's almost done and make at least one more pincushion for Open House art show on Sunday
8) Should brush my teeth and wash my hair just so I'm not so disgusting for hubby and guests.
9) Finish garland and lights on foyer railing
10)  Put away more Fall decorations.

OK, lunch time is over, so back to work.  This little list will help me.  I plan on the remaining 8 items being done before I go to bed.  I wouldn't normally be rushing the Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving like this, but we are leaving for Spokane to see Son @2 and family the day after Thanksgiving.  We'll be gone for a week and I don't want to have to do it when I get home.  I like it to be done no later than Thanksgiving weekend so I can spend the month of December enjoying my efforts.  I love to sit in the living room in the evenings in December, with a glass of wine, with all the Christmas lights on, a fire in the fireplace, and Christmas music playing.  Even if I'm all by myself, nothing feels more comfy and cozy and content.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's a Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want To!

I don't get down or depressed too often, but today I am a little bit.   I really have no reason to.  I'll get over it quick.  My feelings have just been hurt by my girlfriends.  I thought they were my best friends.  I'm probably blowing it way out of proportion and I'm going to be the bigger person about this, but my feelings are still hurt and I'm feeling a little sorry for myself.  Here's what happened and maybe some of you can help me look at this in a different light. (I'm going to use initials for names)
My birthday is next week and my very good girlfriend's birthday is the week after.  There is a group of five of us  "girls" that have been friends  for about 20 years.  We all became good friends when our kids all started the same school together about the same time.  Our kids now range in age from 18 to 33.  Over the years we have tried to celebrate most major birthdays, you know 40, 50, and now Ch's. 60th is in two weeks.  Over the years we would sit at the pool with all of our kids in the summer.  We all took skiing lessons together years ago.  We all took golf lessons together.  We would get together every Friday after work for wine.  We still try to do that on Friday's once in a while, but not near as much.   Now everyone's life has shifted slightly in one way or another with children getting married and grandchildren and some of us no longer work outside the home and some of us have gone back to work after years of staying home.  But we have all remained very good friends and talk and get together as much as we can.
Yesterday I was getting a pedicure and my friend, the manicurist, who also does the nails of one of the friends I'm talking about (keep in mind, this is a very small town) asked when we were leaving for Pittsburgh (100 miles south of us).  I told her I didn't know what she was talking about.  Then she didn't know what to say but I made her spill the beans.  I could tell by the look on her face that she now knew she said something she shouldn't have.  So she told me.  C. was in getting her nails done and told D., my manicurist (I only get my toes done about four times a year) that "the girls" were going to Pittsburgh on Friday night (tonight) to spend the night to celebrate Ch.'s 60th birthday.  Well, everyone in town knows who that group of "girls" would be and it usually includes me.  I knew nothing about it.  I was shocked and came home and called P., one of the other "girls".  Now P. is in Pittsburgh already because she travels for her work.  She hesitated when I asked her about it and I told her I wasn't angry mad, my feelings were just very hurt and I didn't understand.  P. told me that it was just one of those things that evolved into something other than what it started out to be.  C. wanted to take Ch. to Pittsburgh to dinner and shopping as a birthday present.  Then she found out that P. was there working, so she called her and told her she should plan on staying an extra day to go with them.  Then it was found out that F. was taking her mother back home to Pittsburgh today, so they called her with the same invite.  That's how the four of them ended up getting together tonight in Pittsburgh, so P. says.  I believe her and it's very possible that's what happened, but I have talked to Ch. almost every day this week and she never mentioned a word to me.  I didn't even care not being asked because I don't really feel like going to Pittsburgh, but why didn't they even tell me?
As Dr. Joy Brown would say, be cheerful and stupid, and just act like it doesn't matter and it doesn't affect you at all.  And that is exactly how I'll act and talk to them next time I see them, but my feelings are still hurt.
I hate when women, especially mature women, get catty and I won't be like that, but I've cried to myself a few times today.  My Bob doesn't get this kind of thing and he's almost mad at me for being like this.
The only thing I did do, just because I had to do something, was send an e-mail to the four of them and said that I hoped they had a nice evening in Pittsburgh and I would talk to them next week.  I wasn't mean or nasty ---but I hope they feel bad.
Thanks to all of you good friends out there for listening to my sad story - Ha!Ha! , I know it's no big deal - but I had to talk about it.   One more reason to blog. (See yesterday's post)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Do We Blog?

I told myself I wanted to blog everyday.  I decided that if I would do it first thing, while I'm sitting with my first cup of coffee, before I checked email or Etsy, that would work out great.  I got up at 7:45, not bad, let the dogs out, fed the cat, made the bed, threw in a load of laundry, emptied the dishwasher, took a few pictures to download, got My Bob out the door with his bottle of water, apple, cell phone, and a package to deliver, now I'm ready and it's only 9:45.    I'm making progress.  The best news in all this is My Bob is on the road for the day.  You know how I love the day to myself. 
So here I sit at my computer, in my little kitchen office, and I'm so happy.

Why do I feel this obsession to blog?  I've been thinking about this.  Of course, anyone reading this is also most likely a blogger (still don't like that word, it isn't pretty).  Why do we do this and why do we love it?  I feel good after I write.  I feel more organized in my head.  So I guess one answer to this question for me is that I like to write.  That leads to another question:  why not just write in a journal and keep it to ourselves?  Why do we feel the need to put it "out there"?  We have strangers read about and look at our lives.  Now I don't feel like you are all strangers.  In fact, some of you are like good old friends and I love "talking" to you.  Is that why we do it?  To make new friends?  That wasn't my goal at all.  I even tell myself sometimes that I don't need any more friends in my life.  I enjoy my cyber friends now as much as my tangible (for lack of a better word) friends. I miss you if I don't hear from you.  Do we do this in order to stay in touch with family?  That's not it, either.  My immediate family doesn't even know I do this.  For some reason, I don't want them to know right now.  Maybe some day I'll surprise them with it, but not now.  Why?  I don't know.
Is this maybe like our own little reality show?  Maybe.  Although I would never want to be on one of those.  Why do people do that?  For the money would be one answer.  Well, that's certainly not the reason for blogging.  I guess there are some that actually do make money through ads on their site, but that's not happening for me right now either.
For me, I think the two reasons I do it is because, 1)  I like to write and "they" say you should write about what you know.  I know me and my life.  2) It is cathartic.  It calms and relaxes me and organizes all the thoughts in my head.
My other blog is for different reasons.  It's about my art and crafts and creations.  I like to share this.  It also keeps a record of what I'm doing from start to finish through pictures.  I then go back and look over my own blog to see what I've done, because I'm getting very forgetful the older I get.   Especially if I've sold something or given something away.
Here's my studio that I promised to show.

 Sorry these pictures are a little dark.  I should have edited them a little better.
This room gets very cluttered and it's the only room in my house that I feel good with the clutter.  I'm very much a neat freak in the rest of my house.  These pictures should also go up on my other blog, since this is where I make the things seen there.  I'll do that later.

As far as reading blogs, I know exactly why I like that.  I am amazed at the interesting and talented people out there.  The writing and pictures from most of you is better than most magazines and books. I love the insights, thoughts, and life coping skills that I read about.  I love seeing pictures from other's lives and pictures of other's homes and creations.  I feel like this is a secret little world, well, not so little, that those that don't know about are really missing out on.

So why do you blog?  And is there a different word we could use for it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed today.  Don't know why, exactly.  I have this constant struggle between doing what I want to do and doing what I need to do.  I try to keep a balance, but it's hard.  Today is my grocery, errand day.  But I feel like sitting at the computer and catching up on my blog, my Etsy shop, and maybe working in my studio.  I'm trying to do a little of everything.  This is where my time limits come in.  If I don't put time limits on myself I would completely blow off groceries and errands and go upstairs to my studio and putz around.  I usually don't allow myself to go upstairs until evening.  Otherwise I would not clean, cook, brush my teeth or wash my hair.  My studio is where I love to be.  I need to take some pictures of it, but that's not in my time schedule for today.   I'll do that later so I can show.  I used to call it my sewing room, but I actually now do a lot more than sew in there.  It's where I knit, craft, quilt, and sit with my dogs and watch TV.  I sometimes just go through quilting and knitting magazines, or look through fabrics and supplies just to get ideas.  It is "my space" and sanctuary and I have it very cozy and a little cluttered. 
I also really enjoy blogging.  I would love to post every day and I get so distracted with our financial business and emails, mailings, bookkeeping, etc.  And Etsy has really taken up a lot of my time, but I love it.  I'm very passionate about it and constantly trying to make the shop look better and want to just work on my creations and my shop all day.  For those of you that may not be familiar with Etsy, you can click on my shop in the sidebar. 
With the recent time change I was getting awake naturally at 7:00 am and getting so much done by 9:00 am.  My body clock has re-adjusted, though, and this morning I got up at 8:00.  Darn!!  I was hoping that wouldn't happen.  I need that extra hour.  I may have to force myself to get up at 7.  Just think what I could get done if I would get up at 6:00 am, but that's not going to happen.
My time limit for blogging is almost up and I really feel much better.  I've rambled and it's actually done me good.  See, this is why I need to post every morning.  It kind of organizes my brain.  So now I'm going to brush my teeth, wash my hair, change out of my Betty Boop fleece pants, and get my groceries and errands done.
Oh, I also want to thank all veterans and current military today.  Which reminds me, Austin probably has the day off since he's an air force recruiter and his boys are probably home from pre-school today.  Uh-Oh! What if they call me and want to come over?  I don't have time!  I love them, but they are not in my schedule for the day.  I better hurry up and get out the door!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We're Expecting Another Baby!

No, no, no!  Not My Bob and me, but our son and DIL, Austin and Melissa.  This will be their third and they tell me, final.  They would like a girl, since they have two boys, and they seem very happy about the prospect.  Bob and I are also excited, even though we always have our concerns.  Austin and Melissa  seem to already have too much going on in their lives and never seem to quite be settled.  Austin told me that he wants a third child and is happy about it, but he also wished that their lives weren't so chaotic.  I told him at this point he better just go with the flow because it's probably not going to get any less chaotic for the next 18 years or so.
They are back to thinking they should now move closer to Austin's recruiting office.  They had given up on that idea and he had decided to just stay in their house here in town close to us, but now he feels he should live closer to his office with Melissa being pregnant and the new baby due in July.
Melissa quit her job about a month ago in order to stay home with the boys.  So this news didn't come as a complete shock to me.  Especially after they laid eyes on their beautiful baby niece, Riley, after she was born in May.  I could see the look in their eyes then that they wanted one, too.  But Melissa just signed up for the Air Force Reserves.  Since she was already in the Air Force about five years ago, she's now in the reserves as a photographer, which is what she started out in.  She signed up for the reserves, though, before she was pregnant and this is her first weekend of training.  She will be gone one weekend a month.  So we'll see what happens.  I have nothing against her being in the reserves at all, but see what I mean about just adding to the chaos?
I'm getting better at telling myself it's their life and that's my constant mantra right now.  I just keep busy with my own life and hobbies and I'll help whenever I can.  I certainly can't take on their hectic lives. 
One thing I know for sure, My Bob and I can't wait to hold another new baby that just amazes us with the love we feel for them.
Speaking of beautiful grandchildren that we love, here is the most recent picture of Riley in her high chair for the first time.

Is she a princess or what?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary -- to us

Today is the 30th anniversary of the day back in 1979 that My Bob and I eloped.  And "They" all said it wouldn't last!!  Proved "Them" all wrong, didn't we?  We were very young way back then and we both had jobs, although not great jobs.  We found a cute little apartment that was brand new and way outside of Cincinnati so we could afford it.  We had one car and drove together every day to work in downtown Cincinnati.  And we were very happy.  I shouldn't probably admit to everyone, but we were already living together and that bothered us a little.  So one day Bob came by my office at lunch time and said, "Let's go get a marriage license and blood test", and I was game for the adventure so that's what we did.  I think it was three days later, we went to a Justice of the Peace in Covington, Kentucky, paid him $25.00 and we were married in the living room of this drunk JP, while the Bengal game was playing on his TV.  Took all of about 10 minutes.  Then we went to dinner,  went back to our cute little apartment, and back to work the next day.  (We love to tell this story, it's true)  I don't think we told anyone for two weeks, but we felt really good about our little secret.   But the more time that went by, the guiltier I felt for not letting my mother and dad know.  Then the longer we waited, I started to become afraid to tell them.  We went to my mother first when she was alone and Dad at work as she was less intimidating than Dad and her reaction wasn't too bad.  At least she acted just fine.  I'm sure deep down she was a little upset that her only daughter didn't have a wedding and a wedding dress.  Heck, I didn't even have an engagement or wedding ring!  After hugging us and welcoming Bob to the family, we asked her to please tell Dad for us.  That was a no go.  She wouldn't do it and told us we had to tell him ourselves and we had to do it that night.  We stayed for dinner and when Dad got home we broke the good news.  And guess what?  He was wonderful, too.  (At least on the surface).  He hugged me, shook Bob's hand, and welcomed him to the family.  Mom and Dad then insisted that we have a large reception that they would host and pay for.  For over three months we planned a very nice event with a Valentine theme and on February 9, 1980, our wedding reception took place.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.  We saved ourselves and my parents a lot of money.  We figured being married is being married.  We're not big party people.  Mom and Dad still rub it in once in a while on our anniversary.  They tell us they don't remember the date very well because they weren't there.   We feel we got married for all the right reasons.  I wasn't pregnant, we didn't feel we had to wait until we had some money or a big house or another car, and we loved each other.  And here we are, 30 years later, a big house, two cars, two wonderful sons,  three beautiful grandchildren, and we still love each other.  Isn't that what it's all about?
Now a lot has happened in between November 3, 1979, and November 3, 2009, for good and for not so good, for better and for worse, through sickness and health.  But again, isn't that what marriage means.  You stay together for the bad, worse and sickness.  I tell young people that will listen, that each hurdle and obstacle you work through and make it over, you are stronger and more in love on the other side of it.
I have to give some credit to the wonderful role models in my life, my grandparents, married 73 years and still living, and my parents, married 53 years.  Setting a good example sometimes says a lot more than words. 
We're not doing anything special today to celebrate.  Just like out wedding, why spend money on something that's not necessary.  Mom and Dad are taking us to dinner.  We're saving our money for our trip to visit Brandon and family in  Spokane the end of this month and for home improvement projects on our short list.  Home and family is what's important to us now.  I don't need another diamond ring. 
30 years!! I feel pretty safe in saying we're in it for the long haul now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Bad Ghosts or Nasty Witches at Our House!

It's a beautiful Monday, I got some much needed sleep last night, and I'm home alone today.  It's a good day.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I get so much more done when My Bob is on the road and out of the house.  I love him dearly and don't mean this in a mean way, but he gets on my nerves when he's working at home.  Love him dearly, though, just want to emphasize!! (in case he reads this)
We had a nice Halloween weekend, but we were both so exhausted yesterday.  For me, it was more of a bone weary tired, not a need to take a nap weary.  There's a difference for me.  I don't like to take naps because I have too many things to do, but sometimes I just need to sit, knit and be alone.  Sit and knit is how I felt last night.
I know you all want to know how the Candy Corn martinis turned out. (see last post)  Well, they were good, but wayyyy tooo strong.  It struck me after the first sip that, "Hey, these are all alcohol!"  If I added more ice and let more candy corn dissolve in it, it was better.  I would play with this recipe next time I do it by adding something non-alcohol to cut it down a little.  The cupcakes turned out very Halloweenish and tasted good, too, as did the sloppy joes.

The grandsons looked adorable and loved the evening.  Logan was black spiderman and Landen was the Joker and looked like a little midget. 


                               Here's Logan casting his web

And I was complete with my annual cat ears and fur collar and my little Fergie the pumpkin head with my dad, dressed as my dad.

The boys were very hyped as you can imagine and Austin and Melissa asked if the boys could spend the night with us because they were having a few friends over for the evening.  Of course we agreed and love to have the boys, but way too much sugar for them was very tiring for Nina and Bobby (that's what they call us).  They didn't want to go to sleep, but finally after two movies fell asleep around 10:00.  Awww! Rest!  But not for long ---- they were awake at 6:00 am, which was now 5:00 am.  And they would not go back to sleep or even quit talking.  So up we got, no choice.  I don't remember by own two boys being quite this active and loud, although I'm sure they were.  It's funny how 25 years of age makes things seem louder and busier.
Their mom and dad came for them around noon the next day and that was none too soon.  My son walks in the door with a big pumpkin/flower arrangement for me.  It had been a stressful couple of weeks for Austin and Melissa and I had  a long talk with Austin on Friday night and then a long talk with Melissa on Saturday.  Melissa and I don't always see eye to eye and can rub each other the wrong way, but I think we both felt better after our talk.  I walk a tightrope between trying to be helpful and minding my own business.  I know I fall off that tightrope often, but sometimes I can't help myself.  I guess this was a time I must have got it right.  The card attached to the arrangement said, "We don't tell you often enough what a wonderful mother, grandmother and friend you are.  Thanks for everything, Love,  Austin, Melissa and boys."  Made me want to cry!

It's a real pumpkin and real flowers!

Then Austin handed me a couple of his Air Force uniform dress shirts that needed stripes sewn on and some buttons fixed.  But I don't mind at all.


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