Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Handmade Christmas

I just love handmade things. Years ago, I went on a Christmas home tour in Florissant, MO. The homes were filled with gorgeous hand made things. I remember thinking that some day, my house would be filled with handmade things too. And it finally is. Here are a few pictures of my needlework. All are 3 diemensional. No one better dare sit on those pillows!!

Handmade things from other people are especially precious to me. Steph made this tree for me a few years ago. It has tiny photo ornaments on it and is just plain adorable in every way.

The tree with the snowflakes are made with vintage buttons, yo yo's taken from an old quilt and old milkcaps. I used these as my "gifts" to my day group friends last year.

The picture with the Christmas pins is anidea I got from Mary Englebreit a while back. I had planned to make many more as gifts, but never got around to it. Someday....

The tree jammed with ornaments is the one I made last year with Connie, Amanda and Stephanie.

The handmade angel and Nativity scene are from Morgan. There is just something so sweet and precious in its imperfection.

The counted cross stitch is from Sandy---done over 10 years ago. It is so involved, I still can't believe she gave it to me. Truly a treasure.

The button trees are as much fun to look at as it was to make them. Just styrofoam cones and colored pins---and of course buttons. Now you know why I have to wash mine.

And lastly, a few things that my mom made. I was just remarking to Jeanne that all of a sudden, these
that we so took for granted have taken on a whole different meaning.

I've referred to the yarn covered hangers before---I had yellow ones, while growing up to match my room.

Mom made all of us girls the granny square Christmas tree skirt about 25 years ago. I haven't used it for at least 20 years as I have one I made myself that I like. This year, I'm using mom's. When Butch saw it, he said, "oh, this is that extra tree skirt---we should give it to Mindy (she's using a towel)." I got all haughty and indignant and said, "NO, my mom made that!"

See what I mean, "things" she made have taken on a whole new specialness! I miss her.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Continued

Just wanted to show you a picture of the pumpkin floral arrangement that Jeanne sent me for Thanksgiving. You can't tell, but the pumpkin is beaded---and I know just what I'm going to use it for next year---just wait and see!!

On to the rest of our weekend. On Friday, the ladies that do the outside of our house came. I like to be out of the house, so I took myself to Hobby Lobby, an antique mall and then to meet Steph and Mindy for lunch---they were both working. We had dinner with Jack, Connie, Nancy and Bill at Antonio's. I told them that the Italian dinner they would be having at our house this Friday would be better! Really, the food is great there.

Saturday, I hired the little girls to help me with the decorating. While they were there, I didn't think it was going so well. I kept having to go behind them and "tweak" everything. Butch said that was no big surprise. I'm just sooooo, I don't know what the word is....Anyway, it wasn't until after I took them home and came back that I realized what a huge help they really were. Just hauling all the stuff down was worth it. Butch left to meet up with Steph to get the real trees. That's how I really like it---time to myself to do the decorating (read that to mean---no football blaring from the tv---just me and my Christmas music). It turns out that with the pre-work the girls did, it only took me about an hour and a half to finish it up. Much easier and fun.

Now I realize what it is that I "hate" about the decorating---it's what it leads to. I have to wash and dry everything! I ended up taking everything out of my china cabinet and cleaning it all, plus the china cabinet itself. A lot of work, but once I get started I can't stop. I love everything so sparkly and clean. I still have my Waterford chandelier to do.

On Sunday, Butch and I had planned to go to Mindy's to help her "fluff" her tree. Before that, I had gotten up really early and worked in my office, paid bills, registered my Cricut cartridges, messed with pictures and cleared my desk. By 9:30 we decided to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast before going to Mindy's. Her salivary glands must have kicked in because she called us when we were about half way there. We invited her along---she's not one to ever pass up food. She called back to say that we needed to pick her up as she'd left her car the night before and "cabbed it" home. We had to take her to get her car after breakfast. This was turning into a much longer process than we bargained for. As it turns out, Mindy's tree is a thin, 6.5 ft. pre-lit. I brought her box of ornaments from when she was a kid along with a few other things. It only took about an hour to get her set up. Butch watched the Titan's game.

From there, we went over to Steph's because I don't want her to feel like we do everything for Mindy! I helped her decorate her stairwell, the living room and dining room. She had just a little other stuff plus the tree when I left. By the time we got home, it was 3 p.m.---just about the whole day---and we still had our live tree to do. You can see Butch below stringing the lights. I pretty much stay out of his way. He prefers to do it himself. If I do help, he treats me like a little kid and moves every ornament I put on. I think he put on that Nike t-shirt to encourage himself to "just do it."

The rest of the pictures are just a few shots from around the house. Now I can sit back and enjoy the season. I've even set up a play date with my friends for next Monday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Rundown

On Monday---since our garage door openers weren't working* (see story at bottom)---I walked through Butch's workroom in the garage and saw 2 large mirrors sitting in there. I asked him about them---I thought I had more mirrors than the ones we put up, but told myself that I confused the number of mirrors with the vintage frames I'd been collecting too. He said that he told me these were in the garage. He never told me---or at least don't you think he'd have mentioned them again when I had him hanging the first ones? Anyway, my mirror wall is growing and I love it.

While Butch was in the "hanging mood" (apparently all of the picture frames didn't put him over the edge), I got him to move a few things around upstairs so I could hang the Zimmermann family portrait. I must admit, having him around has made me a bit lazy. It's true that getting up on a step stool makes me dizzy, but still that would never stop me from doing what I want to do. Since he's around, it's just easier to get him to do things! He's such a good sport---he's gotten so much more patience with retirement. When I told him how much fun our recent trip to Sandy's was---specifically, the car ride---he acted a bit offended. I told him that he used to just complain about how far and how long the ride was. Now he just goes with the flow. But, I digress....

Thanksgiving for us starts on Tuesday. I went to lunch with Connie and Nancy and to a movie---"The Next Three Days"---worth seeing.

When I got home, Butch told me that Steph had called and wanted to have people over to play pool. He agreed. All I could think of was "oh no, now I can't get in my pajamas!" The plan was that all of the girls (Steph, Jordan, Morgan and Mindy) were planning on spending the night so we could watch the Macy's Day parade and have bloody Mary's together. All of that was going to start later after everyone got here from their evenings out. Now the evening was going to start earlier than I thought. Steph's friends started to arrive around 7---and plopped down in the family room to chat. Her friend, Nick was in from California. One thing lead to another and we wound up in a poker game with all the 30-somethings and Mindy. Again, I'll never turn down any of the kids if they think we're fun enough to spend time with!!! Still not exactly the relaxing evening I'd looked forward to.

We played Texas Hold 'Em and it was like taking candy from a baby. Let's just say Steph's friends poker skills haven't quite developed yet. Butch and I just kept snickering all night as we took them to the cleaners! He took first while I took third (I was in second for a long time, but started to get tired and just wanted to end it).

Thanksgiving turned out to be a beautiful day. Nicky, Steph's friend from 2nd grade and now her boyfriend, made us the best bloody Mary's---his specialty. We've already signed him up for Christmas. We snapped a few photos before going to the club for Thanksgiving dinner. I put a turkey in the oven for sandwiches later.

After lunch, the girls had volunteered to help me polish mom's silver. Carson joined in the fun. It wasn't that bad, but it sure looks nice when it's all shined up. I plan to honor mom by using it throughout the holidays.

Steph had to program all of the cars for our garage door openers. * (Story below).

We played a new game that we learned at the Lapps' last week. It is so much fun---Hed Banz. It's sort of like Indian poker where each person gets one card. Everyone can see it but him. He then asks yes or no questions to figure out who he is. Butch didn't want to play as he was watching football, but he kept adding his 2 cents---that's misleading, no, that's not a mammal, etc. We'll be playing more of this game at Christmas as even the youngest kids can play.

The rest of the day consisted of naps and tv. More on the rest of the weekend later...

*Garage Door Opener Story:
We have been juggling all of the cars in our family (including Mindy's and Steph's) for weeks now. Each one needed something---tires rotated, oil change, body work, etc. We like to rotate them in and out---pick one up, drop the next off. We had finished everything with Mindy's car. I suggested to Butch that we should program her car for our garage door opener. Of course, that's a two person job. Training children is easier than training a garage door opener!

Butch was on the ladder in the garage. I'm in Mindy's car---holding 2 buttons at the same time until it's says "cleared", then holding the same two buttons while it says "training". This sounds easy, but you try holding in two buttons for 3-5 minutes each time. Your fingers start to cramp up and your arm gets tired. It looks to me like the easiest job is sitting on the ladder and pressing one button once and release! Each time (and we tried it about 6 times), we kept getting the message "did not train".

Next Butch says we need to do it with the garage door openers. He tells me to hold the garage door opener 4 inches from the two buttons, press everything at the same time and hold them for 2 seconds, then release. I do it and he says, "did you hold them for 2 seconds?"
"Yes," I say. He says, "well, that didn't seem like 2 seconds. You went "ba ba" when it should have been "boomp boomp." (I swear to God---he said this) I didn't say it, but I thought, "well, I'm used to "one mississippi, two mississippi." We continued on like this for another 10 minutes or so until he gave up. To make a very long story short---ALL of the previously programmed cars and garage door openers no longer worked. The photo above shows Butch's note to Steph along with the garage door openers and instruction booklet. I don't think she even looked at any of it. I always knew she'd be good for something!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New E Magazine!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Here's a little something for you!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Honeymoon is Over!

This is what I encountered when I went in to take my shower on Wednesday morning. Right away I about freaked out. I ran back to the kitchen to grab my camera and yell at Butch, "the honeymoon's over!"

Mindy comes
over every day. I've already said that. And most of the time, it's twice a day. And sometimes, it's three times a day. She's been coming over in the morning around 5:45 to work out and get ready here. She said that getting ready at the Y with women blow drying their hair in their "granny panties" is just plain creepy. She works 5 minutes from our house (okay, 6, but who's counting). Usually I don't mind. But I was just telling Butch that I don't seem to have any time to get my things done around here. Being interrupted multiple times a day plays "hell" with a work schedule. On this particular day, I was in my office by 5 a.m. working on estate "stuff". Mindy came over soon after---she's actually admitting that she likes being a morning person as she realizes how much she can accomplish by getting up early. Plus now, she's training for the New Orleans marathon in February. Her "good morning" greeting was the first interruption. She went out for her run, then came back into my office for another chat before showering for work---interruption #2. Still another interruption before she went to work. By that time, it was time for me to get ready for my day. I didn't get nearly as much done as I had planned. I guess I need to get used to this---I wished for her to move back! I'm really not complaining. But I do believe she has moved back home. More in my next blog entry.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Year of Memories---November

First off, I have to say that I forgot my camera. I had a friend take these and email them to me, so I don't know if the pictures turned out bad, or they're just bad through emailing them. Shoot---I have a new camera too.

Anyway, the assignment this month was to scrapbook something you are grateful for---but to think deeper than "family, friends, or health." I challenged them to do their journaling in a letter format.

1. "Thankful for the Warner Parks"---Susan wrote her letter to Percy and Edwin---the men who donated the land for the parks. She talked about how much she has enjoyed having them right across the street.

2. "I am Grateful for This"---Karolyn is grateful for the bbq's and special recipes that are in her family. She has several pictures throughout the years of the grill and the recipe for green chicken is in the pocket. Her letter is to her mom and dad.

3. "Thanks" is by Pam---she figured out an unusual way to make it about friends. She wrote a letter to her realtor thanking her for their house in Devon Park which introduced her to all the friends she has today.

4. "giving Thanks for ChapStick"---is Stephanie's layout. She did a little research and wrote her letter of thanks to the inventor of ChapStick. She went on to journal about her obsession with this handy little, chapped lip preventing ointment. She has tubes of it EVERYWHERE!!!

5. "Dear Pedro"---is Jeanne's layout about her co-worker who has become her friend. We got several chuckles out of her "politically incorrect" journaling. By the way, her picture is good---and she emailed it to me.

6. "I'm Grateful NOT to be Raising Kids in 2010"---my layout about the challenges parents face today with the internet, tv programming, lewd music and bullies.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Layouts from Scrapbook Weekend in October

I can't believe that It's been a month since I went on this retreat---and I finally got my stuff unpacked this weekend. I snapped some shots so you could see what I worked on. I scrapbook whatever I want. I have about a dozen albums going at one time. The pages here go into 6 different albums. I have a huge stack of layouts that need to go into albums.

Since this is my busiest week of the year (Thanksgiving and holiday decorating), I doubt I'll get to that anytime soon.

Who knew that Starbucks would share my philosophy!