Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Reality TV Week











This week's entertainment included... turning that big play box that I was tripping over LAST week into a puppet theater. Yes, it is still in my living room. 2 brown paper bags and a few snips of construction paper later - we have a cat and puppy puppet. Let me tell you, this has entertained Little Boy to no end. And - we have had more snow. Despite the snow, it "feels" like spring might be right around the next corner and that got me to looking at the old remnants of the garden poking through that snow. Little Boy is pretty good (with supervised help, of course) with the garden shears so I let him trim off some of the old growth.
*
Oh but wait - I wanted to blog about my week of watching Reality TV - it isn't often that I even watch TV, but for what it's worth...

Interestingly enough, I have watched very, very little TV in the past 4 1/2 years. Yup, true. Doesn't really bother me all that much - I grew up without TV. Mom rented a TV so we could watch the winter Olympics... I remember when Mary Lou won in gymnastics and Katerina won iceskating. Once a TV was rented when my brother had very bad ear infections. Otherwise - no TV. It all happened when my older brothers and sisters were little - Bozo the Clown came on just about supper time. Mom got tired of competing with Bozo and she told Dad - "TV or me". The next morning Dad got up for work, kissed Mom goodbye, and walked out the door with the TV. It wasn't until Mom had cancer that a TV came back into the household. My brother has a different take on TV. When his kids were little - they only had TV in the cold winter months. Come Spring - the TV was unplugged and put out in the garage! And me, well I don't want my son to see news/adult programming. So obviously - I can't watch a show that might even remotely interest me during the day.

*
But this past week, I've been super unmotivated to do much of anything at night and after Little Boy is asleep, I've been watching a bit of reality TV combined with Miami CSI (I love the scenery shots they give you on this show). No excuses, but it sure is warm and cozy under my down comforter on the couch! Probably because I haven't watched TV in so long, I am entertained... for the time being.

*
Here's my take on the shows I watched this week:

*

Project Runway - fairly fun. But designers aren't really super great sewers. And it seems like they do all their design work by draping on the dress form. I haven't seen a single pattern drafting tool/ruler/shape yet. Alot of successful designers come up with timeless, classic designs and use those elements over and over again... think Coco Channel and Valentino. I think that this show could have better garments if everything wasn't so rushed. Good fashion and finishing techniques takes time! Oh wait - maybe it isn't really all about the design - it is the drama people! I watched the prom dress episode. Not sure I would watch again.

*

Iron Chef - It isn't all about the chef - these people have incredibly skilled teams working with them. If nothing else - it was fun to watch to see the super well equipped commercial kitchen. And I like food. And cooking. So, it was fun to see what they came up with - even if it was a little over the top.


*
Another cooking show, but I don't know the name! It was about a chef that was catering a big wedding. It was a BIG deal and lots of dishes/courses and he pulled it all off very nicely - with a huge staff. He was always very nice and cordial to everyone who was working with him, so I couldn't help but to like him. A good attitude goes a long way! If I was channel surfing and came across it again - I would watch.
*

OK - so I like the cooking shows! Yet another - Restaurant Make-over. The show matched dollar for dollar in renovations with the owner. The show I watched - the owner was really counting on the renovations to help her business. But, in my opinion, her restaurant looked much homier and inviting before the renovations. And, the estimated budget was w-a-y over (only because they guessed prices, started demo and then got quotes, duh!) so the designer had to keep cutting back planned elements, cutting corners and not doing as good of a job as expected. AND, the poor contractor was putting in very late nights. If it were me, I would rather my contractor NOT be working at 2 am - the man needs a good nights sleep in order to do his best. They took out a beautiful old stained glass wall too - almost a crime, in my opinion. And - because they spilled the stain for the dance floor, they ended up painting it. Excuse me? Yeah, it looked good for the show, but what is that floor going to look like in a few months. Really poor judgement all around in the design department, I thought. But what kept this show fun is that a famous chef (Laura???) who is really, really nice was helping out in the kitchen. She was working with the long-time chef of this restaurant to update/upgrade their signature dishes. Just to watch this chef in action was worth suffering through the design fiasco (which the owner said she liked, by the way). But, I doubt I would watch it again..

*
Say Yes to the Dress - Drama in a well-known wedding dress store. Pah-lease! $5K and up for a dress? Oh the drama. I watched about 1/2 of this show and didn't see that it merited any more of my time.
*

Rich Bride/Poor Bride - A show where the wedding budget goes w-a-y over. As in say... 10K over when the budget was already in the mid 20's!? Come on. I found it amazing that some of these grooms actually went through with the actual wedding ceremony when their fiancees turned into bride-zillas. Secrets and overspending - not really the best way to start a wedding. If it were me - I would rather take the $$$ and make a down payment on a house, but that's just me. No princess fantasies here. Probably will never watch again! Watching self-centered spoiled brats plan a wedding and get married - not my thing. I just had to watch it this once though because I was so positive that the wedding would be called off.

*
Newly Wed and Nearly Dead - Who raised these people? Can't cook, can't clean, can't communicate, can't function as adults, can't function as a couple. Except somehow they think that by getting married they will get June Clever for a wife or the perfect husband. Ouch. The only good thing I could see coming out of this show is that the couple gets marriage counseling along the way and hopefully that will improve things. A good cooking class would probably do wonders for 1 of the couples that was on the show. Good grief! Even my own Little Boy knows how to read the back of a brownie box.

*

Til Debt Do Us Part - Debt counseling for couples in trouble. I watched a family and it was pretty interesting - to a point. HE wanted HER to go back to work, but after they factored in the cost of her working (child care, car/gas, work clothes, etc., etc.) her take home pay would be very, very little. And she really wanted to stay home with the kids. But she spent lots of money shopping and doing things with the kids. The debt advisor gave her a challenge of finding FREE things to do with her kids and to pack a picnic everywhere they went. She just about choked. Yes, hello! There are lots of fun, free things you can do with your kids. And... doesn't everyone pack a cooler everywhere they go??? I mean - kids are going to be hungry as soon as you are out of sight of your own fridge. Shop, shop, shop. Her other challenge was to go shopping just 1X a week. Oh the hardship. Snicker. She should try living miles and miles away from any shopping. I don't think I will watch this show again. The big payoff? If the couple followed all the advice and met all the challenges - they got a whopping $5K to help them pay off their debt. No wonder why TV loves Reality TV - I bet Jerry Springer gets paid $5K for every MINUTE.

*

Small Space... something or another... Detailed looks at small houses and how the people have customized their space to get the maximum out of a small square footage. Pretty good, but I would only watch it 1X. Lots of custom work, big $$$, etc. So, I got to see some nice, small houses. My house will never look like that! Next...

*

What Not to Wear - I watched an episode where a young military wife/mother gets a make-over. She looked great, true - nice haircut, make-up, new clothes. Oh - and a trip to NY sans kids. But, I have a BIG problem with them making her throw out her entire wardrobe - in order to buy a new one. She got $5K, but she had to shop at very trendy NY stores - over $400 for a trench coat? Let's not even talk about the cost of the shoes. I just think it was too impractical and this girl is going to need more clothes very soon. Very, very soon considering she threw everything else she owned away. And the 2 hosts kept making snide comments about her - I'd like to see them cope with her - what 5? - kids and then see how perky and glam they looked at the end of the day! And obviously - the hosts have no idea, no idea at all how small a military income really is. Do they even know what a budget is??? Grrrrr. Will-not-watch-this-show-again! Oh wait! The sweet moment here -the girl sits down cross legged in the dressing room to make sure she can sit down on the floor and play with her kids in a certain pair of pants. That earned her eye rolling from the hosts, but good for her!

*
Swapping Spouses - Meet Your New Mom - Now this would have to be the show I had the hardest time with. Mind you, each family involved will get $50K for swapping for 1 week - but the other woman gets to say how the $$$ is spent. I watched the episode where the rich lady from AZ swaps places with a rural organic farmer. The farmer husband was really worried that she wasn't out there with the rototiller because it was critical to their income - I don't think she got it - she was just in too much shock from such a drastic change in environment/and yes I mean income level too. Sad, sad, sad - bet the cost of the private piano lessons her own 2 boys got at home would support the farm family for a long time. Now, the farmer wife was a BIT quirky in her own way, but obviously a very nice, caring person and very, very loved by her husband and son. It was sweet to see them interacting together at the beginning of the show. I don't know what will happen - the 2nd (ending) episode is this week and I don't know if I will be able to watch it. BUT - judging from the previews - it does look like the AZ woman snaps out of it and sets to work like fire organizing the small business files for the farm couple. That would probably be a great thing because I am sure that this AZ woman is a good business woman. And the farm wife - how can she be thinking of paperwork when she is on her hands and knees all day long in the dirt and working so hard? So, I am hoping that something good comes of this show. And who knows what will happen to the other family - constantly driven to be the best at everything they do by their super perfectionist Dad? I think I watched a fairly tame show - everyone seemed to be very polite to each other... but I am sure that there were much more explosive pairings with other families. I have a BIG problem with people allowing other people who they don't even know, don't know the values/religion/personality/etc. to come into their homes and take care of their kids for 1 week. Mind you the husbands are still home and they are surrounded by camera crews, but - No way, never, ever, ever would anyone talk me into leaving my son with a stranger. Nope. NOT going to happen. Ever. Period. I don't care how much they are willing to pay me. It is just wrong. Period. I won't watch again unless I catch the 2nd episode of the one I already started watching - just don't want to support a show that I feel is so wrong.
*
I think I've got my fix of Reality TV for awhile now - it has been a year since I last watched any Reality TV! That was about 5 1/2 hours for me this week - sometimes you just need to chill a bit, you know?
*
Last Spring I watched 1 or 2 shows where people came in to the house to help de-clutter. I don't remember the name of it anymore. De-clutter? Gosh, it was a wonder that you could even walk through the house these houses were so piled up with s-t-u-f-f. And these people had kids too, mind you. If social services ever paid a house visit before all the de-cluttering happened - makes you wonder if these people would be allowed to keep their kids? Ummm - where is their bed? Where is the dining room table? Or - where is the floor? I kid you not. Oh I know, I know - I am just way too opinionated to watch these kind of shows. Or - maybe they just borrowed all their neighbors stuff - threw it all into 1 house - and made a "reality TV" show out of it? Hard to know exactly what is true and what is not in these shows. The show is probably history - I know I wouldn't watch it again!
*

And last year I got to watch Paula Dean's cooking show too - that was really fun. I love her recipes. I would definitely watch this again, but I haven't seen it on the schedule this week. Whaaaa.
*
For the most part - I think Reality TV is pretty cheesy, especially the shows that seem to be "helping" people out but are really taking advantage of them.
*

OK - I am going back to my own life now (oh, except for a little bit of CSI Miami). If Little Boy and I don't make a trip this week we have plans to start our basil and tomato seeds, make a pinata and little Mexican flags, have tacos, make some puppets - just the usual assortment of odds and ends. Normal. I embrace being just normal.
*
In the meantime - my Reality TV is all about making puppets out of brown paper bags. Meow! Woof! Meow! Yup, Little Boy is getting really good with his lines! LOL. But if he wants to be an actor - hopefully it won't be on Reality TV - nothing wrong with what Jerry Springer earns - IF you ARE Jerry! LOL! OK, OK - that is all I will say about that!

Coloring speed limit

Little Boy loves to color. Very fast. Very intently. All over the place. He proudly puts his work on the fridge. We tell him all the time he is a great artist and what a good job he does. And he says... "Thank you, thank you. Yes, I know!" I make extra sure he gets lots of praise because sometimes at pre-school they try to get him to color in the lines and that makes him sad and then he brings home an incomplete paper, is frustrated and doesn't want to finish it. I know the feeling - I did nothing but struggle with D's in Art. Ugh. I've told the teachers - let him color how he wants - when it clicks, it will click. Why take the "thrill" away at such a young age? After all, he is a June baby and the kids who were born... say in December... are a full 6 months older than him. And 6 months is a BIG age difference in this age group. I also keep in mind that he is a very busy boy and also that his mind is usually going 100 miles per minute. Learning to slow down a bit will take practice, and we practice that at home, without the distraction of 23 other kids. Well, yesterday - it clicked for him!
*

This week I had to go to the hardware store for some new files for my office and while there - we picked out a new pink highlighter for him. He has been having the b-e-s-t time with the new highlighter - definitely worth the 79 cent investment.

He started out, fast and intent as usual. But the highlighter went a bit dry on that super absorbent coloring book paper. I told him - put the cover on and give the highlighter a rest and then try again - slower though so it doesn't dry out. And gently. He did. And he discovered something VERY exciting for a 4 year old...
*

In his little high pitched voice - "Momma, I can color inside the lines if I give my hands a speed limit! "
*

Yes indeed, look at what a difference a "speed limit" makes! Click. I am thinking that this coming week, when he brings home a letter worksheet, he might have even traced the letters out. Oh how fast they grow up!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heart Blocks progress


Well, I think I am out of fabric!!! Oh, no, no, no - not fabric entirely, silly - I am just out of the batik fabric that Susan sent to me! I got 67 6.5" hearts altogether and saved all the larger triangles from trimming and made the other little units. So, this is what it looks like - all laid out on the floor set 8X8. I put the odd 3 hearts in the corners - the 4th corner is a HST segment. It won't be the final layout - NOT that this is bad - but I already know that if I do this setting it will be 1 row narrower in order to get extra length. The batik fabric is so pretty I am thinking of a simple setting should be used... maybe sashing each heart with more batiks. I have to buy fabric to finish it off anyway! I could get some more colors and then alternate them around. That plan would definately help "grow" the top some more! That's the thing about being tall - you like your quilts a little longer!!! Soooo.... I've reached a stopping point until I get more fabric!

Santa Sends Thank-You Letter!

I've been meaning to blog about this for at least a month, but gosh, time sure does go by fast when you are so busy!!!
*
Remember when Little Boy sent out Thank You cards for his Christmas presents? Well that day he was in the kitchen rummaging around... being extra quiet which always makes me investigate! He was sorting through a box of European chocolates and putting a select few in a small gift box to send to Santa - as a thank you gift in return for all the wonderful gifts he got. What is a Momma to do? Kiss the European chocolate goodbye!
*
Anyway, in a few short days, Little Boy received a thank you letter from Santa! How exciting!!! Here is a photo of Santa's stationary. It was actually a fairly long letter and obvious that Santa really "knew" Little Boy. And - 2 small photos from the envelope - the 1st is the reindeer stamp with a postmark from... The North Pole. The back of the envelope statement says that the letter is brought to you by the volunteers at Canada Post. Also - it tells you that Canada holds the Guinness World Record for the most Santa letters received and replied to. How cool is that?
*

This Momma just so happens to have insider information that the post mistress really enjoyed those European chocolates too! LOL. She has been with the post office for years and she told me that it was the 1st time she could think of when a little child sent Santa a thank-you gift!





Monday, February 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday









Every Monday over at Organizing Junkie menus are posted for the week. Go check it out (www.orgjunkie.com)! I've gotten some great recipes from this group!!! But, I've never done my own menu plan, until yesterday, that is!
*

We've been a bit disorganized around here with menu planning, so yesterday I sat down with DH, clipboard in hand and came up with a menu plan for the week. The grocery shopping list for items needed was written at the same time, with Little Boy adding apple juice, pizza and watermelon - and then he got really silly so that was the end of that. But at least he did help contribute and he knows ALL about not buying anything at the store unless it is on the list.

*

Having a pre-schooler to feed can be tricky! I am lucky because mine loves fruits and veggies and just about any starch. Meat? Not so much. BUT - he will eat pork/chicken as long as it is cooked as weinerschnitzel. As a matter of fact - it is the entire weinerschnitzel thing that got me to thinking we really need to have a menu plan. This past week - it was his most asked for item for... breakfast. And dinner. And supper. And he likes to dip it into horseradish cream sauce - his Omi just sent him some more from Austria. Getting him to try new foods can be accomplished by combining the new item on his plate with lots of things I know for sure that he does like.

*

Seeing that this is our first week doing a menu plan, I kept it very simple. Pasta on Wednesday, fish on Friday, 1 night of weinerschnitzel, 1 night of stew (this week it will be chili) and 1 night of pizza. Since my son eats a bit differently than we do, I tried to incorporate what we are eating into his meal, but made his "kid" friendly. The object here is to get him to eat a variety of foods, not eat like an adult! OK - so that does not leave that many more spots and this is what we all came up with, together, as a family, keeping in mind that we have some ground meat in the freezer to use!
*

MONDAY

Chili - http://starfishyskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-chili.html
Rice
Cornbread http://starfishyskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/sweet-corn-bread.html
Green salad
Grapes

My son will have
Hot dog
Mashed Potato
Carrots
Grapes

TUESDAY
Weinerschnitzel
Pan-fried potatoes
Carrots & cauliflower
Whole cranberry sauce
Watermelon

My son will have the same thing

WEDNESDAY
Speghetti with meat sauce
Garlic bread
Green salad

My son will have
Plain speghetti with milk/butter
Meatballs on the side
Hot buttered bread
Watermelon

THURSDAY
Beef stir-fry over rice
Pineapple
Coleslaw

My son is having
Ham Steak
Pineapple
Rice
Brocolli

FRIDAY
Baked fish in paper
Couscous
Green Salad
Cantelope

My son is having
Baked breaded fish filet
Couscous
Peas & Corn
Cantelope

SATURDAY
Meatloaf (DH's request)
Mashed potatos
Carrots
Green bean casserole

My son is having
Lentil burger
French fries
Carrots
Watermelon

SUNDAY
Pizza
BIG green salad

My son likes pizza too! Plus cantelope.
*

We tend to eat very early so at about 6:30 or 7 pm my son likes to have toasted rye bread with peanut butter and fruit for a snack or milk.
*
As I go along, if I make something I will try to pay attention to how I make it - so I can post the directions! Directions will be posted on my cooking blog - Starfishy's Kitchen, which is on my links in the sidebar. Also, I will be making extra chili, meatballs, lentil burgers and meatloaf for the freezer. I am hoping to get some foods pre-made and frozen for later. Yesterday we had frozen shepherd's pie I had made awhile ago and it was really nice not to have to prep an entire meal - just had to make the mashed potato! As a matter of fact - if there is any left-over ground meat I will make up another batch of Shepherd's pie mix for the freezer.
*

Now, the plan is posted on the fridge, and I don't care what - that is what we are eating this week! And it is already working!!! This morning Little Boy KNEW that he was having grapes tonight with his dinner. Yes, oh yes!!! No more discussions. Just look at the chart and there it is - all spelled out. What do you all want to bet that he is going to be even more interested in the menu planning/grocery list next week?


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine's aprons!



What to do with this Betty Boop fabric? I bought it with a quilt idea in mind - but it wasn't going to work. Nope, no way. But I knew that if I didn't find a use for this fabric - it would sit on my shelf, and sit and sit.
*
I wanted these aprons done for Valentine's day dinner so last time I was away shopping I picked up the fusable interfacing. The bistro apron is fused on one side with lightweight fusable interfacing - the back is ALSO Betty Boop fabric. The bib apron - I only used the fusable interfacing to "glue" the heart down. NOT thrilled with the fit of the bib apron (Simplicity 3949), but for a holiday event, it was fine - and maybe it will fit one of my sisters better. The bistro apron is my own "design" if you can call it that - I just cut a big rectangle, fused 1 of them, layered them together and put binding all around. Extra long binding ties across the front.

*
A quick and easy way to do machine applique - I cut fusable interfacing 1/4" smaller than the piece to be appliqued. Put the heart wrong side up, put the fusable interfacing - sticky side UP. Very carefully iron the edges of the heart onto the sticky part of the interfacing. Now - position heart on bib and FUSE in to place. Blanket stitch around the heart. No raw edges. No pinning. No slipping. Crisp edge. I LOVE this technique! Here's a close up of the heart - the green is actually a very bright, shocking green.

















Not much of that green fabric left - I really like how it POPS right out at you so will probably cut the tiny bit left into little squares - to be used here and there. And, I used up almost ALL of that Betty fabric - although there is enough to make some more hearts - next apron will probably be a carpenter's style apron with a heart fused on, but I have a whole 'nuther year before Valentine's Day rolls around again.
*
Which might be a good thing, considering we had a blow up in the kitchen this year and things were very hectic to say the least. A word of warning - never, ever, ever put a glass pyrex dish on the stove - this is what happened (nope, not me)- and the thing exploded with a huge BANG and sent glass pieces everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Blessings though - no one was in the kitchen, phew, because if you could have seen the glass - if someone was in the kitchen they would have been hurt for sure! Alot of the do-ahead prep work had to be thrown out, yikes! But in the end everything was fine, no one got hurt and everyone said their dinner was very good. So, still a success. Although I must admit - Friday was a bit of a bust because I was super tired.
*
My Sunday Stash-busting report is Betty Boop. And yesterday I spent 1/2 an hour at the machine chain piecing HST's. That's it! But, it was fun - a great use of that fabric!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Indoor doings























First things first today - I needed a 30 minute sewing fix. My sewing machine went onto the spare table for a bit and Little Boy was happy to color on my rolling "typing" table -it is an old table for a typewritter and it is a perfect "spare" table because it is short enough to store under my regular table - makes a good art area for him when needed. My sewing machine might just live in this room for the rest of the winter - trying to heat as few rooms as possible. Last month our electric bill was $674!!! Electric heat, blah. And it isn't like we have a McMansion to heat either. Our bedroom - usually we turn the heat on 1 hour before bed to high and then turn it off when we go to bed - usually at 4 am I am cold so get up and turn it back on. Even though Austria is probably colder, our apartment there is warmer - surrounded by other apartments, on the 5th floor and facing - south - we opened our windows on a sunny day! Anyway - I am trying to consolidate our activities so we can close the doors to some rooms. So maybe this entire office re-organization is very timely! The good thing about my office is that it is upstairs so the floors are warm! Just ignore all the piles - I am still sorting!!!
*

Today I finished putting together a filing cabinet that I started this summer, except this summer I wasn't feeling well and just ran out of energy 1/2 way through the project. Here's a photo from after I got some segments together - still lots of pieces to go! Well, it was nice to have it 1/2 done when I started because it took long enough as it was! It is going to be put to immediate use. I won't have to put last years files up in the attic - they will go in the bottom drawer of the new cabinet. All my "personal" files can go in the top drawer. And my other filing cabinet will be my working files. It will be nice to have everything organized like this because sometimes I need something that is up overhead and hard to access. AND - it is important to have a seperate drawer for your own personal files when your office is in your home. But let me tell you - this took a bit of time to accomplish - even with the help of my "helper"! If you "set" the nails for him he is very handy at hammering them down! Here is the finished cabinet - fits perfectly in the closet! I USED to have a bookcase here, but that has been moved into my son's room as he likes to have his own area for his books.

*
Our week is a bit off - Little Boy had that huge fever on Wednesday... and that meant we did not get to the library Wednesday night - we went yesterday instead (they are closed on Sat. and Sun. and Thursday wasn't an option because of work). I got 2 books about scrapbooking that I am looking forward to looking through. I was anxious to get to the library yesterday because the weather forcast was c-c-cold and true to their word - it is hardly a tropical day out there... I hope to have everything sorted/organized come spring because when warm weather hits - I will be outside again! I have said before that I would like to get my photos a bit more organized this year. This week I managed to crop and frame 2 photos of one of my niece's - from oh about 25 years ago - and mailed it off to her Mom (one of my sister's). Not a HUGE dent by any means, but certainly having them framed - those photos will be enjoyed much more than stuck in one of my boxes. I even walked down to the post office in the freezing cold - sometimes you just need a bit of fresh air - oh, and I went by myself so I got to walk extra fast - which kept me warm so it wasn't that bad.
*

Thank you for all your well wishes for my son - he was fully recovered by the next morning. As a matter of fact, by 9 am he was at pre-school - although the teachers were told that he had a high fever the day before and to call right away and he would be picked up and he got sick again. But honestly, he was perfectly fine and I thought it best for him to go seeing that he was bouncing off the couch like a yo-yo at 8:30. And - he had been looking forward to the Valentine's Day party. They played musical chairs, had treats, glued hearts onto brown paperbags for art - for the cards - and came home with a bag of Valentines. No outdoor play time because the playground is sheer ice. What more can you do in 2 1/2 hours? Maybe they did more stuff, but sometimes I don't get the full story from that boy! There are 23 kids in his class (3 teachers) and he was the ONLY one who made his own cards. Hummm. Not that I am bragging or anything - Martha Stewart I am NOT, but he had a very good time making those cards and delighted in giving them out (1 went to the library). And the cards he did get - they are TINY - the companies probably get 8 or more cards to a 8.5" X 11" sheet of paper. Just curious if anyone else makes their own cards anymore???
*
*A SCARY moment -

As I've mentioned before - my son loves to play hide-and-go-seek. What child does not? His very favorite hiding spot is big boxes - and look at the BIG one we got this week. Since this photo it has been poked full of holes and turned into a "spy" box. Next trip to the dump - it will be out of here... but it has been fun. But poor me - I had a big scare this week over hide-and-go-seek. While I had my eyes closed and was counting - he went behind the couch and I heard this rustling around - so I investigated - he was trying to get into a big, black plastic garbage bag that he got out of the kitchen. I thought I would just about faint and then got to crying because it just hit me all of a sudden - all the very careful parents who lose their precious children to awful accidents. What if he had been playing with other kids instead of me? I explained all about breathing and air and everything and hence the holes all in the box - "so you won't cry when I hide in there Momma". So not like me to cry over something like this, but I think I was just in shock a bit. I remember when we were growing up my Mom would tell us not to hide in the fridge because it was one of those old fashioned ones where you pulled the handle to open it - you could get trapped in there! They don't make them anymore - probably for that very same reason - but they sure do make garbage bags. And just this summer I read about kids who hide in the car trunk and died. After I read that I started to keep the truck doors locked all the time in my own yard - just in case he decided to wonder out there to get something out of the truck and got stuck in it - without me knowing. It happens. My box of garbage bags have been moved to the very TOP shelf. Out of reach. So - just thought I would share in case any of you have little ones underfoot - move those garbage bags UP. I never thought I would turn into a worry wart, but it has happened. Amazingly enough, I escaped some interesting feats when I was a kid myself - one being jumping off the roof with an umbrella - with my nephew - thinking we could fly like Mary Poppins!
*

In my "free" time I have been studying this book... playing around with PowerPoint. It is very good, lots of pictures and easy to follow. ISBN # 13:978-1-59863-378-8 if anyone is interested. Oh - and I've been playing around with my blog format a bit! Hopefully in the next day or two I will figure out how to get Judy's weblink back in place - she e-mailed members a new code not that long ago, but for today - I am out of time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Re-organizing my work space


While I do a good job of keeping the rest of my house neat and tidy... my office is another story! But, I'm working on that. I have lots and lots and lots of paperwork. Here we go - see my desk? I don't like "office" desks - instead I prefer a cheap-o table and set of drawers combined with the smallest, cheapest computer work station. My 1st desk was actually an old door balanced on file cabinets. Worked fine. I also do not like office chairs - I like my 2 straight back chairs (just ignore the fact that the seats need to be recovered, ok?). I was just in the middle of a BIG sort when I took this photo - right before I decided to re-organize my office. So, yeah - the table is crowded, extra stuff to sort is on the floor, the file cabinet is open... I have 2 computers because I use both of them - really need to get the stuff moved from one over to the other because right now I have to switch the wires back and forth. I know, I know - you techies are rolling your eyes. But figuring out these things takes time and I don't always have time. So, I switch. Back and forth. Which surely does not take any time at all.

*



Over along the wall I have/HAD this great row of cabinets. There is an empty tub - ready for a big sort in the corner of the photo. Can't start any big sort without empty tubs, you know? Several. Actually, the cabinets are pretty empty too. I like to SEE my stuff, which means I tend to use my surface areas more than my storage areas. Except I don't really like to SEE all my stuff, that is just my system and it can be a bit overwhelming so I am really working hard on creating files for everything and filing instead of piling. Now the pilers amonst us probably take pride in the fact that they KNOW where everything is and in what pile. That is me. That's my system too and it works great... for me. But what if something every happens to me? Think anyone else could ever make sense of my system for organization? Doubtful, very doubtful. So, I've been working on filing. And I am actually seeing progress. And I am actually looking forward to the day when I step into my office and am greeted by a nice, clean, CLEAR work surface. Not sure what is going on here but my ways of thinking have been changing alot lately!

*

So you can see, I have a nice, bright, sunny office. Yeah, but THAT is a big part of the problem. SUNNY!!! Constant glare. Gives me a headache. Ah, yeah - maybe the paperwork contributes to the headache, but it really isn't that bad if I can keep on a schedule. But it is hard to come up with a schedule between all the other things I need to do and the SUN, not to be confused with my SON.

*

Add said son to the office mix and things can get hectic - especially if I am trying to wrap something up and all of a sudden he is interested in the shredder (which is kept unplugged at all times, but... well you probably get what I am trying to say here). Before he was born I used to rent office space, but that was a different business, a different country, but still - it was nice to have a seperate office. I went to work, was focused, left work and was done. Ah, but working from home is different - you grab bits of time here and there and your personal stuff tends to blend/meld with your business stuff. It is a bit of a juggling act, but it is handy to have the office at home.

*
Then again, all of a sudden I am trying to do paperwork AND supervise/entertain my son. Now, that is a challenge!!! I've tried the little desk for him in his own area. Does not work out really well - before I know it he has my highlighters, the tape, the stapler, whatever. And if he is making a BIG mess then I have a very hard time concentrating on my own work - oh gee - what is he cutting up? Have I mentioned that he is pretty good with scissors? It works sometimes, but not all the time - like the times I need it to work! All this leaves me the option of getting up super early to do paperwork or... late at night. Neither of those options are ideal. I consider early morning "MY" time and late at night - sorry, but my brain just won't work. But - I do have some time during the day when I could be very productive at my desk - except - that would be when the sun is shining right across all my work areas. That is when I tend to just open the door and throw things on the desk. Oh so not good when there are deadlines and other important stuff in those envelopes. Which means I am giving up "my" early morning time or working late! Obviously something needed to be done.
*
So, I started out this week by emptying what was in those cabinets, purging, re-organizing - and MOVING them over to the other side of my desk - or at least 2 of them got moved there. The other went somewhere else.







And here is what I came up with - feeling fairly smug with myself - got my computer desk moved away from the window and into the back corner. Oh, except for 2 little tiny problems - the afternoon SUN hits that corner - I had never noticed before. That is, not until I moved my computer. No good. And see - I have 2 printers - 1 is a printer/copier/fax and the other 1 is an older color laserjet and they don't make the plug anymore and the cord/plug I have is not long enough for this configuration. Sigh. Besides the fact that my filing cabinet isn't really convenient. And I would have to move my chair back and forth. Still, my table is looking lots better - only have the stuff that needs to be tended to by weeks end on top. Oh and look there on the back side of those 2 cabinets (which are STILL almost empty) - I was able to create an additional work area - still thinking if I am going to keep that there or not, but for now it can stay for a bit. That little cabinet of drawers is empty. The totes are 1/2 empty, but each holds different things... Little Boy has been fairly happy here coloring and stuff...




















DH to the rescue! Me snapping the tape measure and him begging me to just put it away and trust him... I can not visualize anything - I like to move it here, move it there -try it over there. DH does not work that way. He sees something in his mind and then goes to it. We had to move my computer station to a different corner - where the sun won't hit it. My BIG printer is located at the end of the table - so the cables reach. Lamp all plugged in. 10-key in place. Phone now fits on my desk (wow!). Scanner is on the table. Label maker fits on the bottom shelf of the computer desk. Computer hooked up. Can you see that DH has already secured all the wires along the wall!!! Unfortunately the BIG heavy printer is in the middle of the floor and we try to keep the weight to the sides. I use that printer all the time so it is needed. I just wish it were about 1/2 that size. And 1/2 the weight because now I am wondering about that much weight in the middle of the floor. Because I worry about stuff like that. Only because the floor already slopes a bit. But truthfully, it is very, very doubtful that it will bring the floor crashing down so I should stop fretting about it.

*

My office is looking better, more functional and actually gives me alot more floor space (beside the fact that I moved 1 of those cabinets out of the room altogether). This is acutally 1/2 of my office room - the other 1/2 I try not to use for work... except right now everything is co-mingled as I get this all sorted out. Fingers crossed that this new arrangement will help me be more productive and I will be able to get things that need to be getting done - done. I actually got some things done today that needed tending to... without the sun in my eyes. Oh, it is so nice to do paperwork without squinting. Everything is still in progress, but I will post photos as I go along.

*

NOT sure when that will be because tomorrow is going to be a very busy day with the food 'biz seeing that it is Valentine's Day and all and then look who all of a sudden came down with a fever of over 104 today... ALL work came to a sudden stand still because a sick boy wants 100% of Momma's attention. But I did manage to knit about 8 rows on my scarf while sitting on the couch with him. As difficult as it can be some days, I am really thankful that I have a fairly flexible schedule... this little someone will NOT be going to pre-school tomorrow (he only goes 3X a week for 2.5 hours anyway, but that is usually my BIG chance to get things done!). And me, well I am going to set the alarm for every few hours so I can keep checking his temperature although thankfully it does go down with a dose of children's tylenol...and that dose will wear off sometime in the middle of the night, so I will wake up and check. Still - if he isn't better by morning - add a doctor's visit to our list of things to do tomorrow.



*


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Stashbusting Sunday




















See my heart blocks? ALL from fabric that Susan sent to me (except the background). How special is that? I didn't even have to go to the store, look, decide - nope - there it was, all in a box for me - ready to use.
*
Here is a close up of some of the batiks in the blocks. If I had just put this fabric on my shelf - it would be special. But - it is even more special that it is being made into blocks. And it will be still even more special once it is a finished quilt. To me. And look how perfectly all those fabrics go together! I just love all the different color variations - I would have never picked them on my own, but altogether - they work!
*
If you were to die tomorrow - do you think that your family would cherish your fabric stash, your stack of UFO's or your finished quilts? Or do you definately think that they would most value your huge stack of magazines? LOL! Can you guess what they would donate, yardsale, throw out (gasp) or keep. Bet you they would keep the finished quilts. Everything else is questionable.
*
I don't know why I think like this, honestly I don't. But - it does motivate me to finish my quilts. "Finish" them all the way to the binding. The label part - well I really, really have to work on that aspect. I can't handquilt myself - I have carpal tunnel and quilting bothers it. And most my quilts are rather large so would be difficult to push through my sewing machine. So instead of spending money on more fabric for my shelf, I save it up for long arm quilting services (currently I have 3 out right now). And my quilts get finished. They get put on my beds. They get snuggled under. Some get given away. Some that are not my favorites when they are tops become a favorite once quilted. And the flannel backed quilts - oh so snuggly!!!
*
I will be the first to admit - some of my quilts take FAR longer than others to finish, but eventually, they all do get finished and really, I don't have a huge amount of UFO's. And when I am tired and really feel like I haven't accomplished much for the day it is great to walk into my room and see my quilts. My finished quilts. Because maybe if I didn't get everything done that day that I wanted to - my quilts are proof positive that I do get things done, if not today - then eventually. Unlike housework which has to be done over and over and over again - once a quilt is made, done, finished - it stays that way!!!
*
What have I done, sewing wise this week? I've continued to work on my batik hearts and have lots of those blocks done. Also, there are 6 more Wondercut Ruler stars added to my collection - I had enough fabric to make more, so I figured why stop at 12 - and now I have 18 blocks. Settings always seem to slow me down, but here are photos of 3 options - only 1 uses all 18 blocks so that is probably what I will go with. This project is now up to the "need to buy background fabric" stage. On my current knitting project - I've knit 1 skein of yarn. Oh - and I've spent equal amounts of time cleaning as sewing. Yup. If there is sewing going on, you can just bet that my house is all sparkly clean too. Maybe it is my subconcious way of pitting things that stay done against things that don't.
*
Otherwise? I've been busy! You all know that I don't blog much about w-o-r-k, but believe me - it is there simmering away (or even boiling!) in the background!!! And of course, let's not forget that 4 year old certain somebody! Who, incidentally, thinks that his Momma makes the best chocolate cake in the world! I made 3 different versions this week trying to come up with a favorite... he likes the job of taste tester!





Friday, February 08, 2008

50 book limit and other doings


We go to the library at least once a week - usually on Wednesday night. It is a nice little library and we enjoy it! They have a 50 book limit - and believe it or not, Little Boy and I hit the limit this week! He likes to keep back his favorites for an extra week - kids enjoy having the same story read to them... over and over and over and over again. So we usually hold back maybe 10. There is an entire collection of Clifford books and usually 5 will come home with us. Then there is the collection of Tonka truck books. An assortment of picture/story books. The non-fiction section comes next and this week the selections were monster trucks, motorcross bikes a WWI pictorial, a book about how the Canadian flag came into being and a biography on Benjamin Franklin. His interests vary widely from dinasaurs, the solar system, battleships, the Titantic, submarines, gardening, insects, etc. Next - the chapter books. His very favorite are the Magic Schoolbus and Scooby Doo (oh my poor voice - I will only read 3 chapters max at a time!). And then Momma usually has about 5 books too. Plus 1 video. So, 50 isn't a hard number for us to hit. ALL of my son's library books have to go in that little pink basket next to the couch - so far, we have not lost 1 book! When we are done with a book it goes into a pink bag (our library bag) in the closet - to be returned next trip. I usually read him 3 shorter books every night just before bed. The simple, entertaining books. The other books are read/looked at during different times of the day when he isn't tired.
*

Here are 2 fun photos from an entire week of making paper airplanes - instructions from a library book!!! I gave the book to DH with a pile of paper and set him to work, LOL!!! After the planes were sufficiently "test flighted" they were then decorated with crayons, markers and stickers. The simpliest toys are usually the most entertaining. He is wearing a NEW pair of PJ's that I made for him. I don't always get a chance to blog about all the other little sewing projects I do on the side - but I am usually making clothes here and there - behind the scenes! Little Boy will only wear PJ's that I make for him and right after Christmas he started tugging on his sleeves - getting too short. So, here is 1 pair the next size up and I still have to make the 2nd pair - he gets 2 pairs at a time. And, YES, I did make those pant legs nice and long!









Here is a photo collage of some of our activities this week. Painting is always a favorite past-time - and you know those old desk calendars - the backs make GREAT painting paper! He is wearing a $3 from the "dollar store" - the adult size makes a perfect art smock. Bella the bear - I made her before my son was born and several months ago he had me take her down from her high shelf perch and has been loving her ever since. I figured that since he is dragging her everywhere it was high time I embroidered her nose on over the nose template. I got it 1/2 done and poor Little Boy was beside himself because that just isn't the way Bella is supposed to look. OK. So - I have to take off the embroidery and re-glue the edges of her nose template - he loves her just the way she is! My heart blocks progress - got all the big bottom squares - which become triangles when you trim them sewn on and all the little ones (on 1 side) positioned. And the box? Well - don't you all know that a BOX is a very favorite toy. This is the box that Little Boy's new booster seat for the car came in - and he has been having the best time playing hide-and-go seek in it! He and DH have a rousing game of some sort that involves that box too. A funny thing about that seat - he insisted that we get the pink one with flowers because it is soooo beautiful and don't I know he loves flowers? He was soooo excited because it was the ONLY pink seat with flowers. I sure hope he still likes that seat in another few years, LOL!!!
*
And just because I couldn't resist a fun little collage of what we do when the weather is just too cold outside and I am plum out of ideas for entertaining my son. Nothing a LITTLE bit of Spic & Span won't cure. What child doesn't love to play in water? Ummm - his bucket has maybe 1 TBS of S&S while mine is the full dose! And, we have nice clean walls for all our efforts. Now - a bit of warning about wall washing and kids - I don't recommend you let them wash the walls where you have carpeted floors! And - watch out that they don't decide to "wash" your laptop while they are at it - close call in that department in my household! He is wearing those terry sport bands - they keep the water from running down your arm when you have your hands up over your head. Ingenious, huh? TOLD you that I like to clean!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Valentine's are done!


*

*

*

*

*

*

*
Every Tuesday, I am inspired by "Tackle it Tuesday" over on http://www.5minutesformom.com/ (see if this link works... http://www.5minutesformom.com/2931/tt-christmas-thank-you-cards/ ). You can check out what other Mom's have tackled this week. Each small step in getting something done is a victory!
*
On Tuesdays I usually really try hard to get something "additional" crossed off my list. It works remarkably well - getting me to get in gear to get ALL the Christmas decorations put away right after Christmas, sending out Thank you cards, clean out the toy box, etc. and now... this Tuesday - my objective was to get the Valentine's Day cards done. Last week I bought the piece of posterboard at the Dollar Store. Yesterday I traced the hearts and gave 1/2 to DH to cut out and the 2 of us sat at the table cutting away. Then - Little Boy was set loose with the tubes of glitter, Elmer's glue, paintbrushes, and those glittery things we used as decorations. Believe me - I was very anxious to use those things up - they had come in a little bag and my son found them about 2 weeks ago and they ended up getting strewn all about the house. I've picked them up a few times - vacuming any that I missed. So, yesterday I was really determined to use them ALL!!! Here is a photo of our combined efforts - me working very quickly beside my son to make sure that there was enough glitter to go on all the cards and moving each heart out of the way to dry as it was finished. FAST can be important when working on a pre-schooler craft project. The more you can have done ahead of time - the easier it is! Oh and one more piece of advice - DON'T go for the Martha Stewart look, LOL!!! As for the glitter - we get tubes at the dollar store, but they don't have a shaker. You can get a spice shaker at the dollor store too and just move the glitter into the shaker jar - as needed - believe me, it will last much, much longer in a shaker jar! Anyway - that project is now complete, the table cleaned, the floor vacumed... and it feels good to know that I won't be worrying about it next week!

*
As for my own heart project - here is a peek at 4 blocks I made up. I cut all the background squares out and DH marked the diagonal line on each one for me! Not only that - I gave DH a pair of scissors and had him trim all the dog ears on the bonus 1/2 square triangles! I'm always happy to have help. The background squares are cut 3.5" and 2". I have the link to the pattern, but will have to post it on another post since it is bookmarked on a different computer.
*
And here is a photo of the stack of bricks, with the 1st big square positioned - ready for sewing. I seperated the bricks into 2 piles and then placed the squares - that way I would be sure to sew 1/2 of them to the right and the other 1/2 to the left to get the heart shape on the bottom. There they sit - all ready for whenever I have 5 minutes here and there to sew. Here and there - sure adds up!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Test Blocks


Laurie made a comment that she finds it hard to cut into batiks. And if it weren't for her comment - I probably would have stuck that great pile of batiks Susan sent to me on my shelf - to "age" and be pulled out occassionally for fabric petting. Oh the possibilities of uncut fabric! But then again, with Laurie's "warning" fresh in my mind I decided that I must cut right into that fabric and get the "hard" part over with! Ta-Da!!!



One thing about batiks - many have great designs... so I didn't exactly want to start out by cutting those fabrics down into strips for the strip bins - to be used "someday". Nope, I wanted to find a pattern that would showcase their beauty, where I could use them ALL and have a nice project to work on here and there (believe me, here and there does add up!) . Keep in mind - the fabric sizes varied - a few fat quarters, and a bunch of long strips anywhere from 4.5" - 9" by the width of the fabric. Hummm, what to do? What to do?


I've been wanting to make some heart blocks and just so happened to have the cutting directions for 2 different heart blocks on my table. So, last night I made "test" blocks of each size just to see how they made up. 8" and 6" finished. I like to make a test block or 2 before cutting all my fabrics up - sometimes I really don't like how a test block goes together. One block - no harm done, right? Quick lesson. Not s0 if you cut enough fabric for an entire quilt and then learn you don't really like working on a particular block. A test block is well worth the little bit of extra effort!!! DH and I both liked the 6" best - and the 6" block makes much better use of the fabric seeing that it is just 3.5" X 6.5" batik bricks with no other pieces to cut (other than background), doesn't "cut" up the batik design with seams and is an easy block! And, since 2 different heart halfs are joined together - it won't matter that each fabric yielded a different number of bricks - it is a mix and match type block. With a bit of careful cutting - altogether I managed to get enough bricks to make 67 of those 6" heart blocks!!! The background will be a pale solid yellow I have on hand.
Did you notice the "bonus triangle squares in the test block photo? The 6" block gives me those itty bitty tiny 1" squares - I won't make anymore of those because honestly - I think they are too small to justify the thread usage! But - the block also gives me a larger, more usable unit as well (the medium sized one). The largest one is from the 8" block.


And look there - I have a great little collection of new scraps from cutting the bricks. Little scraps mind you - I used almost every bit of the fabric in cutting the bricks. Still - enough scraps to include in a bars quilt or string stars, or postage stamp, or, or, or??? I love scraps! Not sure when these heart blocks will be done, but the hard part is over, right? Pattern selected and fabrics cut. Yippee!!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Stashbusting Sunday Report

Grandmother's Choice - currently measuring 85X66.5" I have a beautiful bed with curved headboard and footboard - so I like to make my quilts to fit across the opposite way most people do. A pillowtuck simply does not work for me because - well, I usually have 6 pillows on the bed (removed for the photo!). And - I don't want to jam the quilt down into the footboard - which would likely cause permanent wrinkles. Many of the quilts my Nana and Great Aunt (on my Dad's side) made had the bottom 2 corners cut out to fit the 4 poster beds - and they were all that funny 3/4 bed size that they don't make anymore. That is the great thing about making your own quilts - you can make them to suit yourself as you go. Well, in anycase - this is what Grandmother's Choice currently looks like on the bed - technically it could be finished at this point. Except I want it to go a bit further up under the pillows (in the photo you can see the top of my Bars quilt - that row of squares running along the top - NOT part of Grandmother's Choice quilt). And, I have plenty of that blue fabric still left - so I might as well go ahead and make 2 more rows of flying geese to run along the top and bottom. I think it will look interesting because of how I already added 2 rows of flying geese then the borders all around and then there will be 2 more rows of flying geese. Maybe this photo will better show what I am talking about... Then again, I might just add a row of triangles or something. But, I do have to say - I really LOVE how the flying geese run along the length of the bed drop on this.
*
And - nope! My geese do not perfectly end at the end of the row - I just added a bit of matching blue and called it good. I am not going to spend hours agonizing over math when a little snip of matching fabric does just as nicely. You don't even notice when you look at the quilt top as a whole.


But lookie here - what do I see? A box filled with NEW to me fabrics!!!!
Susan over at Desert Sky mailed me this goodie package! Look at all these lovely - and a big variety - of fabrics. Lots of batiks, which I have maybe only 1 or 2 so it will be fun to play with these, dark country colors -which I tend to use alot, some fun novelties - just wait until Little Boy sees those! The timing on this box was especially nice because I had hoped to get some fabrics at Marden's this past trip - and drove right on by in order to beat an approaching storm home. I hardly EVER get to a fabric store so you can imagine how much I really wanted to stop. But - better safe than sorry. Except - I am not sorry at all because in the end I do have NEW fabrics, yippee! Thank you Susan!!!!









Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ship bones trip


A winter storm washed these ship bones up on a beach on Cape Cod. JUST so happens that Little Boy and I were close enough to go take a detour for a look-see for ourselves. Isn't the beach beautiful? These are believed to be the remains of a late 1800's schooner turned coal barge and probably sank sometime in the 1920's. It was fun to see the wooden pegs - which do have a technically correct name - just can't think of it off the top of my head. Now if a winter storm would just very kindly wash up a pirate treasure chest while I am in the area - that would be even more exciting, but I will settle for these ship bones for now.
*
Yes, Little Boy and I got off for our winter visiting trip, but it was cut way short. 14 hours of travel to get there (that involves a hotel each way) and we ended up spending only 3 days. Still, it was great to see my Dad and 2 of my sister's and Little Boy had fun playing with one of his cousins. I had a bit of 'biz to take care of as well. But, alas, the weather forecast started predicting bad weather so I quickly packed up and we hopped into our truck and zoomed off in the night hoping to beat the storm, which we did. Anyway, I was just as happy to come home. I've turned into a real home-body somehow this last year! No sooner do we arrive safely at home and within about 10 minutes big icy pellets started to fall from the sky.
*
We stopped at a Motel 6 this trip and it was only $40 - free coffee in the lobby in the morning too. Wow! I had hoped for a nice hot shower after Little Boy was sleeping, but no hairdryer in the room. Now, I had one in the truck but I won't leave him by himself so... no shower. No clocks in the room either. But - hey, for $40 - we will definately be staying there again and I will just bring in my own hairdryer and travel clock. The very best thing - my favorite type of hotel where you have to enter through a lobby instead of outside doors. Neat and clean too.
*
My travel tips? I often travel long distances with just my little son. I always keep at least $100 in my shoe. If I lose my purse we still have gas money not to be stranded. Now, if I am further from home, then I just put money in both shoes! Just remember it is there when you take your shoes off at night - wouldn't want to accidentally kick it out!!! I also usually wear a t-shirt with a zipper fleece jacket - these jackets have zippered pockets. I zip a bit of money in one of those pockets too. BUT- I also zip in my spare key. If I ever lock my keys in the truck - I have the spare in my jacket pocket. In the summer when it is hot I clip the spare key onto my pants belt loop, but in the winter - the fleece jacket doesn't come off. Once my son locked himself in the truck before he was old enough to figure out how to UNlock the door - so the spare key came in very handy that day! Oh - and I avoid sugary foods, trying to snack on healthy food that will give me energy and no sugar high/crash. Very important when you are driving!!! Of course, we don't go anywhere without our big insulated cooler bag packed with good eats.
*
Shopping wise - we stopped at Kohl's on the way there. I got Little Boy pants for cheaper than I could make them, plus I picked up a dress for myself for $5 for our June party. I know, I know - a long ways off, but it was a summer dress and marked way down AND I already have sandles that will match. Ha! It is all about the shoes, you know? And I hate buying shoes. And Little Boy got a set of airplanes to keep him entertained during the trip, which they did and he is still loving them.
*
I made it to my favorite yarn shop and got some yarn to knit a little bargello style jacket. I love this shop because the lady even knitted up a swatch for me to check the guage - can't beat that! And, Little Boy picked out 2 skeins of yarn for socks, ummm for me to knit for him - his faith in my is never-ending! My yarn order from Knitpicks was in the mail too - for a scarf. So knitting wise - I am all set for awhile!
*
On the way back we stopped at Wal-Mart and I got my much needed thread - not my favorite, but Coats & Clark will do in a pinch. Plus - the fusable interfacing I need for the bistro apron. And a new leave-in hair conditioner. Little Boy got a new movie, new (bigger) sippy cups, a bath toy and a new booster seat for the car.
That's it. We were in a rush to beat the storm - I drove right on by Marden's (whaaaa!!!). And we never went to Joanne's. My fabric shopping list will keep for the next trip though - best to be safely home than shopping. NOT that I am without new fabrics - Susan (of Dessert Sky fame) had posted me a box of fabrics which I picked up this trip and did not open until I got home. How fun!!!
*
So, today I am home and being very lazy. Photos to come later, I promise - after I rest a bit.