Friday, September 4, 2009

Sunday Visit

On Sunday we went to visit Amy at college for the first time. She was feeling a bit homesick, we were missing her like crazy and she needed a light for her bike so we decided that sounded like a trifecta and off we went!

We were so excited to see her! And it was great to see how she has made her room look. It's awesome! Everything (on her side) is all organized and neat. She bought some posters and had one of the young men on her floor help her hang them. It really is starting to look like a home away from home.

After she put away all the stuff we brought that either a)wouldn't fit in the truck two weeks earlier or b)she had forgotten to pack, we decided to run a few errands. First up was Target to return some hangers and pick up a few things and then off to King Soopers for some groceries. We stayed in the older part of town and it was so cool to see a regular Target (as opposed to a SuperTarget) and the grocery store looked like the ones here in town looked about 20 years ago. It was nostalgic!

We drove around town for a bit and then stopped in at a cool bike shop just west of campus to get a bike light. Since none of us had eaten much for lunch, we decided to grab an early dinner. We got to Carraba's about 4 and seriously we were only the third table in the restaurant. We even beat the white-haired crowd! The food was awesome and it was so nice to have a meal as a family.

While at dinner, Amy came up with a great idea to go to the movies. There is a theater about five blocks from the restaurant so we went over to see what was playing. Unfortunately, we were about ten minutes too late for the show we REALLY wanted to see (500 Days of Summer) but we were about 15 minutes away from the next showing of Julie and Julia. It was just as good the second time seeing it!

After the show we took Amy back to her dorm. I had been worried earlier in the day that saying goodbye again was going to be as rough as it had been two weeks earlier. It was so much better this time! We had spent an excellent day together, having shenanigans and basically making her dad regret the decision to go for a visit. Just kidding but, really?, when we get together we tend to get a little silly and I think we embarrass him a little. It was pretty much a repeat of the time we were in Seattle and he about left us there. I know he really wanted to!

The visit refreshed all of us and made us realize that we can do this thing! We just need some little visits in between the big visits. And we are so grateful to be less than two hours away.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


During the four years that Amy was in high school marching band, there were several other moms that I got friendly with. I got to know some of them better by sitting with them in the stands for hours on end, some by standing side by side as we served food to 120 kids, some by the selling of various products for fundraisers, and some of them by a combination of ALL of those things! Most of the ladies that I got to know the best had kids that were either in my daughter's class or the class right ahead of hers. We were all going through the same struggles and triumphs with our kids; who had so-and-so for a teacher, who was dating who, what colleges did they apply to?

Two of the moms and I are becoming fast friends. We have gone to the movies and out to dinner, and I see one of them almost every day now that we have coordinated our gym time to ride the monotonous stationary bikes at the same time (it's amazing how much faster the time goes when you can just chat with a friend). But I wanted to make sure that I would somehow keep in touch with these other women. They mean something to me and so do their kids, many of whom I have known since grade school.

I had a feeling that all of us were going to be needing other moms to talk to soon as all of us had moved our kids in to various colleges within the last two weeks. So I invited 15 of these ladies over for a night of bunco and all but three of them were able to come. Guys? We had a blast!

We started off having some appetizers (way too many!) and some sangria and just talking about our experiences with our girls (and boy) and how they were adjusting to college life. It was so awesome to hear the stories and know that each and every one of them are going through the same sorts of things that my daughter is going through. I think every one of us was so grateful to hear that other kids were having some of the same struggles that our own kids are facing. And the conversation has changed a little bit from when the kids were in high school, but as I listened in on the stories, we all were asking the same questions. How is the roommate situation? Are the classes hard? Are they making new friends or hanging out with kids from high school? It was so good to not feel alone.

And then we played bunco! Some of us (like me!) had never played before and some had played a time or two and were able to help out with the first couple of rounds. We had such a good time talking, laughing, zinging each other in friendly competition. And drinking sangria. Lots of sangria.

I think everyone said that they would definitely want to get together on a monthly basis and play! So we are all set for September already and I am so looking forward to hearing from everyone again and finding out if M got a new roommate, if H is still feeling sad, if H2 is making more friends, if they have all escaped the H1N1 flu. And I look forward to hearing how we, as moms, are adjusting. Are WE feeling more confident, are WE adjusting to buying fewer groceries and doing more of our own chores around the house? And most of all, I look forward to laughing with my friends over three dice. And drinking sangria.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And She's Off!

August 23rd? For REAL? What a crazy couple of months it has been. Work has been fairly busy and getting Amy ready for college was hectic too. And now fall is almost here. But you won't hear ME complaining about that! I LOVE FALL!

Anyway, the last few weeks have been spent making Target runs, setting up new technology, making Target runs, bra shopping, school supply shopping, and going back to Target for just one more thing. As if they don't have a Target anywhere but here. But the shopping is now done. At least for me.

Last Monday we took Amy off to school. The kids who are in marching band had to move in on the 17th instead of the 20th. Which is kinda cool because I understand we avoided all sorts of crowds by moving in three days earlier than the rest of campus.

The Plan: spend Sunday night at a hotel near campus so we can get an early start at 8:00, start moving in, Amy to run off at 9:00 to get registered for band and back at dorm by 10:00. Unpack from 10 to 11:30. Say our goodbyes in the dorm room. Amy to go to lunch with new band friends and report to the field at 12:30. Mom and Dad stay back to unpack a bit and then drive back home. Doesn't that sound nice? Carefree? Not too stressful?

Reality: spend Sunday night at a hotel near campus and got our early start about 8:15, fill out paperwork and pick up keys, locate room and hotel style baggage cart (good job with these, CSU! you have done this a time or two!) and start moving things into room. Rearrange furniture to Amy's liking. Start unpacking. Realize that bookcase is not going to fit. Start hanging up clothes to go in closet (that incidentally does NOT look like the one in the pictures and has a hanging bar at waist level. WTF?) and realize we don't have enough hangers.

Amy starts texting her friend at 9:15. Where are you? Friend won't be there to pick her up until 10. Keep unpacking. Ask Amy if maybe we should say our goodbyes then since it's going to be hectic. No, she will definitely be back at the dorm by 11:45. Off she goes to register. Dad does a Target run to get a shower caddy that will work, some shelves and some plastic drawers (refer back to the closet not being like the ones we had been shown). Mom keeps unpacking. Mom does a lot of wondering. "Where will this fit? Why did she bring this? For REAL?" Stuff like that.

Mom gets text that says Amy is still standing in line for a uniform. And several more during the next hour that are along the same vein. At 12:15 mom gets an actual phone CALL (you know it's bad when I get a call instead of a text) that says there is no way Amy is going to make it back to the dorm before she has to report to the field and can we please bring her her tennis shoes, a water bottle, something to eat since she didn't get lunch? And do all that and be across campus in less than 10 minutes so she's not late? Find all the above mentioned items including a slightly bruised banana that I'm so glad I didn't have time to eat, and fly out to the car. Drive down street with no outlet. Turn around. Wait in traffic. Drive to the UCA building but take two detours because of street construction. Find parking lot but no spaces and park in the fire lane. Run as fast as my knee will let me to where she is waiting (with a high school friend and her parents - thanks, Caroline and Rick for waiting with her). Hand her her things and give her a huge hug. Try to calm her, as she is frustrated, mad and sad. Hug her some more, kiss her head a million times, wipe away tears (hers and mine) and off she goes.

I like the PLAN version better. Although the dramatic movie version of reality makes for a better story. I'm sure I will find clever ways to embellish it over the years. :)

We spoke on the phone yesterday though and, while Monday and Tuesday were kinda rough, she is having a good time and meeting lots of new people. Classes start tomorrow and I know she's a little nervous about that but it will be FINE!

We have a mother/daughter blog in the works and I'll link here when we get our first post up. I hope we're as funny in print as we are think we are in real life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It Is No Fun Getting Old

Oh my gosh, guys! There has been much physical drama with me lately and I'm frankly a little bit sick of it!

I started having trouble with my left knee shortly after my daughter's graduation. If you have ever been to Red Rocks Amphitheater you know that is one gorgeous place and we were very fortunate to get to observe graduation there. But if you click on the link and look at the photos you can see that there are tons of stairs. In fact, the park is one of the more popular places around here to work out. All that running up and down the stairs and benches really works you out! So anyway, all that up and down the stairs irritated my knee.

It wasn't getting better so I went to the doctor who sent me to an orthopedist. He diagnosed me with chondromalacia patella. Basically, I have blistered the cartilage in my knee. So he prescribed physical therapy and I went. I went three times, learned some exercises, she ran electricity through my knee (THAT was weird!) and then when I wasn't really improving she sent me back to the doc.

Last Friday, I made an appointment on Monday for a follow up. Then on Saturday I was in my basement and the doorbell rang. So I took off up the stairs to see who it was and got about four or five steps up when POP! I heard and felt it in my knee and I was down. Oh my gosh it hurt!

So I kept my appointment on Monday and basically, nothing new is going on! It's still the same old cartilage problem. They gave me a cortisone shot that they said would make things feel better (it does NOT!) and he prescribed riding a stationary bike four days a week. Guys? Can you think of anything more boring? I have GOT to get this thing healed! It is driving me nuts. I mean, going on two months of it not feeling well and I have a sinking feeling that I am in for a long haul. I am going to do exactly what he says to do but I'm really scared it's never going to get better.

So if you are the praying type, can I ask you to pray for my knee to be restored? And for blessings on my family who have been so helpful to me? Thanks so much!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Susan at Love, Life and Labradors posted this meme this week and I thought it was one of the better ones I have seen. That, combined with my recent laziness, means that you get to read ridiculous nonsense about me! Yay for you!

1. What kind of SOAP is in your bathtub right now? Bath and Body Works Island Sea Cotton and Lever 2000. For my 2000 parts. (Remember those commercials?)

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? No.

3. What would you change about your living room? I would like a new rug.

4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Clean. Yes, I know I should just empty it but it's my life's mission to make Amy do that each and every night after dinner. And since I only get to take advantage of that for 40+/- days I am going to milk it for all it's worth.

5. What is in your fridge? Plain low fat yogurt, 2% milk, black and red plums, pudding cups, hot dogs, cherries, limp celery and cheese. And leftover chicken pot pie.

6. White or wheat bread? Both!

7. What is on top of your refrigerator? A bag of potato chips, 1/2 a bag of tortilla chips, a Costco-sized box of hot chocolate and a 5 lb. bag of sugar. I hate that I have so little cupboard space in my house that things have to be on top of my fridge.

8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? Yellow, blue red and white stripes.

9. How many plants are in your home? Only one. The rooms where I have light I don't have flat surfaces for placing plants on.

10. Is your bed made right now? My "made" do you mean dogs laying all over it? Then no.

11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet.

12. Is your closet organized? Which closet? My bedroom closet is not a pit but I wouldn't call it organized either.

13. Can you describe your flashlight? Large, blue and metal.

14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Plastic for cold drinks, glass for coffee.

15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No.

16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered? The edges are a little cluttered but I can fit my car in there.

17. Curtains or blinds? Most of my rooms have warm window roman shades. Except my living room which has blinds for the time being.

18. How many pillows do you sleep with? Two, one for my head and one for my knees.

19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? No it has to be absolutely dark.

20. How often do you vacuum? Only about once a week. I only have one area rug. Now if you ask how often I sweep it's more like every other day.

21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard.

22. What color is your toothbrush? White with an orange stripe down the back.

23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? No.

24. What is in your oven right now? A piece of foil that contained the overspill from making chicken pot pie. I actually remembered to put it down first so baking my dinner didn't make my smoke alarm go off!

25. Is there anything under your bed? Two plastic containers for Tim's out of season clothes.

26. Chore you hate doing the most? Scrubbing the shower.

27. What retro items are in your home? My house itself is retro! Built in 1961 it is the epitome of the 60's ranch houses. And I have a 1956 Singer sewing machine.

28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Yes, the front bedroom.

29. How many mirrors are in your home? Six.

30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? No, just a change jar.

31. What color are your walls? Every room is different! Green, tan, red, blue, yellow and brown.

32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? No, unless you count my freaky black lab. She'll cut you.

33. What does your home smell like right now? Coffee.

34. Favorite candle scent? Aunt Kooks Apple Cider. Cannot. Get. Enough.

35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? None. But I would LOVE it if I had some spicy bread and butter pickles.

36. What color is your favorite Bible? Brown.

37. Ever been on your roof? No.

38. Do you own a stereo? Yes.

39. How many TVs do you have? Two.

40. How many house phones? Three.

41. Do you have a housekeeper? No. But I think about it every week!

42. What style do you decorate in? Casual with a touch of country.

43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Both. My current living room furniture has a print for the body and solid cushions. I love it!

44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Three of them actually.

45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you only could make one quick trip? My dogs, photo albums and computer. That is assuming the rest of the family is helping with this quest.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Wow! I cannot believe it's been over a month since I posted last. It's been very busy and I have been very lazy. Oh, I have been READING blogs just not creating posts for my own.

Anyway, back to where we left off......

Amy graduated! Aww, yeaaaah!

Graduation was held at Red Rocks Amphitheater and we were hoping that there would be no reason for the park to be closed so that it could go on as planned even if we had to bring umbrellas and ponchos! But the day was perfect, some clouds in the morning and early afternoon gave us enough shade to not roast once the sun poked through.

I must brag on her just a bit and announce that she graduated 7Th in her class of 395 with a GPA of 4.13. I am just a BIT proud I guess!

I cannot say enough nice things about this kid. Even if I were not her mother, I would like to hang out with her because she is so funny, sweet, and clever. And did I mention funny?

Congratulations, Amy! We are SO proud of you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mutha's Mother's Day!

I hope you all had a very happy Mother's Day! Mine was pretty low-key but lots of fun.

I ended up ditching church because Amy and I stayed up way too late on Saturday night watching SNL with Justin Timberlake. OMG! He is so funny! Anyway, Tim (my personal alarm clock) was working on Sunday so I didn't get up in time. I went to Michael's to get a few supplies I needed to finish a project I am working on for Amy's graduation and then stopped at Starbucks for an americano and a rhubarb crumb cake on my way home. Yum!

In the afternoon, we went to see "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past". It was a pretty good movie and we enjoyed ourselves. Being as it was a chilly/rainy day here, lots of other folks had the same idea!

For dinner we had our leftovers from our Saturday Mother's Day dinner out at Macaroni Grill. After Tim got home I opened up my cards and gifts and was surprised with a really pretty silver ring necklace from Tim and an Amazon gift card from Amy. It was a great day. Oh! I almost forgot! Amy made me a cake. It was a very special cake. Have I mentioned before that she has a really fun sense of humor? One of her favorite blogs to read is Cakewrecks. She was inspired by THIS POST to create me the the most spectacular Mother's Day cake imaginable! In true Cakewreck fashion, I present my Mother's Day cake, 2009 edition, complete with uterus, sprinkles, squished ovary and the famous misspelling of mother. I am so proud!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shameless Bragging

Tonight was a bittersweet night for us. It was the last high school band event for Amy. She has been in the music programs at school since she was in fifth grade and is quite an accomplished flutist. But tonight she received a HUGE honor! Presenting the 2009 GMHS recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award!

"The John Phillip Sousa award is the pinnacle of achievement for high school band students. The award honors the top student in a high school band and recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication." And my little baby won! Congratulations, Amy! We are so proud of you!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wow! Thanks!

My first blog award! I feel like Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk". "The new phonebooks are here! I'm SOMEBODY now!"

Thank you to Lisa from Yeah, I'm Still Here for my very first blog award! Even though I mainly blog for myself, it's so fun when others read and comment.

So now, I need to award this same award to 15 recently discovered bloggers. Now, I hope they mean blogs that I have recently discovered because I'm sure that several of these have been out there for awhile. But here are some of my favorite discoveries from the recent past.

Vivienne at The V Spot

Jamie at Something To Do

Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

Tim at The Remodeling Guy Do guys like blog bling?

Sarah at Create Studio

Jennifer at The Craft Patch

Okay, now this is getting ridiculous! I have over ninety blogs on my Google reader and for good reason. It's because they are my favorites and they are other people's favorites too. And either they already HAVE this award or have already been named by other award recipients. And I am reluctant to tag them again because then it's kind of like when you host a Pampered Chef party. All of your friends are excited about it and you swear to them that if they host a party of their own (to get free stuff because they really do have the best hostess program, but I digress) you will come! To support them! And buy stuff! And so they have the party. Several of them have parties. And you go to all of them because that's what friends do. But now you have WAY too much Pampered Chef stuff and you run out of things to buy. Then what?

Where was I? Oh yeah. Anyway, this is all I am able to name because I am sure that Jill from Controlling My Chaos and Lisa from Yeah, I'm Still Here do not really want to do this again. And I want to read more of their good blog posts!

Upon further consideration because I was clearly not awake yesterday, I have added more blogs below because even if they don't want to accept it I still want to give it in the spirit it was intended. So without further adieu:

Lisa from Yeah, I'm Still Here

Jill at Controlling My Chaos

Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee

Liz at Mabel's House

Susan at Love, Life and Labradors

Kim at Petroville

Laura at The Wooters Family

Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom

Melissa at 320*Sycamore

Chickadee at A Familiar Path

Thanks for the award, Lisa! And I hope you all enjoy these blogs as much as I do.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Furniture Is Here! The Furniture Is Here!

I am so excited! I finally have my living room back! Even though it has not taken nearly as long as it FELT like it took (no, Amy, it wasn't four months) it is so nice to have it done. Wanna see some pictures? Even more than you bargained for? If you make it through to the end you can even give me your opinions!

First we have a full on view of the sofa. The body is the diamond pattern and the cushions are solid velvet.

Here is a kinda side view. In real life there is just a very subtle sheen to all three fabrics, but when I took pictures all of a sudden there was this LIGHT everywhere! It's crazy!

Here is the best chair in the world. When it finally wears out and can't be revived with any more batting or slipcovers I don't know what I will do. Seriously it is the best thing ever. It's so deep and wide and my very favorite place to sit in the whole house. Everybody likes it, including my dog, Molly. We have to puppy-proof it when we leave so she doesn't get up on it. This involves putting the back cushion sideways on the seat cushion and putting hardback books on both the chair and the ottoman. She's a little thick and can't get it through her skull that just because we aren't here doesn't mean she gets free reign of the furniture. Goof.

Here is a closer shot of the arm of my favorite chair.

A different angle which includes a book and my glasses. Stupid over 40 eyes.

Here is a close up of the ottoman fabric. It's the same fabric as the cording on the cushions. And the cording of the ottoman is the diamond pattern.

Here's a shot from the doorway of the dining room. My entertainment center needs to stay on that wall because it's about the only place it will fit. But if you have any suggestions on other furniture placement, I'm all ears.

A couple from the front door area.

And here's one from the corner looking towards the dining room.

And here's one of the whole wall where the couch is. I would love to do THIS behind my couch but it would make it come too far out in the room and would block my access to the bookcase in the corner. Unless I figured out a different place for the bookcase or moved the couch down toward the dining room doorway a bit. Or moved the couch to a completely different area. I also notice that the green(s) of my walls look so much different in real life. Do they "go"? Should I paint them more of a neutral?

Thanks for looking and visiting me in my home!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paper Clutter!

OMG! I am buried under paper clutter and don't know how to get out. Well, okay, I know how but I don't take my own advice to throw stuff out. I mean, what if for some reason I need to see my check stub from January 2008?

Today is my day to sort through stuff that has been sitting on my desk for a few months. And, honestly, I bet I could shred the whole stack of stuff and never even miss is. But instead, I am going though it piece by piece and deciding what should happen to it. Ugh.

I need to remind myself that going through my files at the end of each month would solve most of this problem. But old habits die hard! And the fact that I love all the file folders, staples, cute paperclips and other "file organization" ephemera doesn't help me. At. All. I would much rather make labels, file folders and filing systems with all the cool toys than to actually file stuff away.

Do you share this sickness?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prom Update

I have had a couple of emails asking about what Amy decided to do about prom. And since I can't think of anything else to blog about at the moment I'll give you an update!

She has totally decided to go visit her BFF at college this weekend! She is using some of her birthday money and she and her friend are planning a grand adventure. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to tell you the truth! One of the other benefits (for me anyway) of her not going to prom or after-prom is that I won't feel obligated to work at after-prom. Anyone who knows me knows that I can get a little (okay, a LOT) cranky if I don't get enough sleep. And a party that starts at 11 and ends at 4 a.m. is NOT going to end with a happy Kristi.

I think that this was the right decision for her. Amy is really suffering from senioritis right now. It's not the classes or work that is getting her down. It's just that she is so over all the drama and bitchiness that everyone seems to be exuding right now. She is done with high school and ready to move on to the next step. It's such an exciting time for all of us!

The only part of this year end stuff that is freaking me out a little bit is this: you know how fast time has gone from January 1st until now? That is the same amount of time I am looking at until she is at school. I don't know if I'm ready for this......

Monday, March 30, 2009


So my daughter is having a dilemma and I thought I'd blog about it and see if I get any fabulous advice to pass along to her!

This is her senior year of high school. It is prom time. For the last few weeks she has been planning on going as a single but with a group of friends who were also going as singles. But just within the last week or two the group has started to fall apart. Some of the kids have coupled up with other kids, some are going with different groups, etc. So now she is trying to decide if she still wants to go at all. The group as it is right now is full of kids that she knows but she is not close to any of them and it's not like any of them run with the same group. It would not occur to any of them (including my daughter) to call any of the others up on a random weekend to just go hang out.

She did go to prom last year, and while she had a good time it wasn't as fun as she thought it was going to be. Her date and his group of friends were pretty new to her and it was just a little awkward. So it's not like she would look back and say "Gee, I never even went to prom!". But she is having feelings like if she doesn't go that she is going to feel guilty.

She has thought about going to visit her best friend that weekend. Her friend is a really good girl and I have absolutely no qualms about her going. The friend attends the same college that my daughter will be attending in the fall so that would sort of be a fun weekend since they'll get a bit of a preview of what next year could be like.

So, should she go to prom with the group (even as it morphs into something else yet again)? Or should she have a girls weekend with her BFF?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back in Business

I am back in business with my slipcovers! Remember the very sad tale of how the fabric store didn't have enough of what I needed? I had picked out two fabrics and they had enough of the accent fabric but not enough of the main fabric. So I ordered yet MORE samples from another company. Those came in and I just wasn't in love. BUT! I did what I hadn't thought of doing before and just switched out my fabrics. So my accent fabric is now the main fabric and what was my main fabric is now my accent fabric. Duh! Why did that take me two weeks to figure out? Anyway, I ordered it up and the warehouse was even kind enough to give me free shipping since that was the promotion going on at the time I originally ordered the fabric. Whee! It came in this week and I called the seamstress to let her know it was here. She came over to pick up the fabric and my chair that afternoon! In two weeks I should have all three pieces completed.

The only "problem" is that now between the couch, chair and walls I think I will have way too much green in the room. So I am going to repaint my walls a light gold/tan color. Of course this part will need to wait until Amy has left for college because I really don't want to hear all the bitching about home improvement projects. The girl has no use for re-decorating. She is under the very false impression that things around the house are ever done. Nothing is EVER done, right? It's constantly evolving, right?

Anyway, I think I am going to repaint the living room (and you know I means Tim right?). But if you have ever been to my house you know that there is no way to paint the living room without painting the dining room and main hallway. And in order to paint the dining room I am going to have to remove wallpaper. I am also starting to think crown molding. Or is it moulding? So I am thinking this will be a great project for those first few weeks of fall when I am dealing with an empty nest and wondering what to do with myself.

I will start posting pictures when I start getting my furniture back. I can't wait!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reading Memories

I was feeling a little crafty today! I love when that happens. I was recently inspired by this post to create and keep track of the books I read so I created this:

Now I know that Shelfari is a great resource and I still plan on keeping track there as well, but there is something satisfying about actually writing down the name of a book that you have read and when you read it. I am planning on also writing down the books that I begin but don't finish because I am a big believer in the fact that there are way too many books in the world that I WILL like to force myself to read something I am having a hard time getting into.

I chose the paper for the cover of this notebook because it reminds me, for some reason, of my childhood. Probably the colors and flowers since I was a child of the 70's. I'm surprised it's not paisley since that is what my mom always insisted on dressing me in. It was not until about eight years ago that I could look at paisley without whining about it. Now I like it again, go figure.

While I was creating the book for my books, my childhood reading and book memories came flooding back to me so I figured I might was well write them down!

I was a very early reader. What I think happened is that my older sisters would read to me and I started following along and recognized words that kept showing up. It's the same way my daughter learned to read at age 3.

Anyway, I remember that I would walk to the library with my sisters. It was a little over half a mile from our house. A lot of people wouldn't let their kids do that now. But off we would go, with books to return and hopes of what new books we might find. We probably made that trip once every two or three weeks. Sometimes our mom would take us, but most of the time if it was nice out we would just walk.

Once when I was about five, the three of us went and I was looking through the card catalog to see what I might want to read about. One of the librarians came over to me and said "All the books for children your age are over here.", and led me to the picture books. I waited until she turned away and then went back to the catalog. She came back over again and told me to quit playing around with the cards. I mustered up as much courage as I could, put my hand on my hip and told her "Those are BABY books and WAY to easy for me!". Luckily, about this time Kathi came over and told the lady to leave me alone and that I knew what kind of books I wanted and that if I needed any help I would certainly ask for it. Then she went with me to pick out some not-too-easy books. (Thanks, Kath for having my back even then!).

Walking home from the library was the worst because I would have a huge stack of books (wow, nothing has changed in 35 years!)tucked up under my chin and would have to walk home like that! I imagine it was probably only ten or so books but holy cats! Not moving your head or your arms for a half mile walk was torture! I don't know why we didn't bring a book bag with us. And I don't remember walking TO the library like that so I have no idea how that all went down. I mean if I brought them all HOME with me I must have had to take them all BACK too, right?

I also remembered trying to teach my friend Aleah to read. We were just in kindergarten and back then they didn't start teaching reading until first grade if I remember correctly. But since I already knew how I thought I would teach her. Everything went great on some words like dad, mom, tot, etc. But all the other words she was getting WRONG! I couldn't figure out what was going on until I realized that she was reading from right to left and not left to right. She was Pakistani and that was the way she was taught at home. It was one of my first cultural lessons,(the first being when my neighbor said something about my "little black friend" and I told her that Tonya wasn't black, she was brown.)

So it was an afternoon on memory lane for me. And now I am going to go try to fill that book up. I am reading "The Third Angel" right now and so far it's really good!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Need a Maid

OK guys, I am trying to get organized here. I always feel so much better and calmer when my house is organized. And I love the way things look when they are tidied up. The problem is that I don't like to spend all my time cleaning. And face it - - it is NEVER ENDING! Gah! I wish we could just all go naked one day so that I could say that every. stitch. of. laundry. was. clean. And I wish that my family (including myself) did not feel the need to sully every flat surface in the house with junk. And I wish that my 17 year old did not use my dining room as the receptacle of her coat(s). And shoes. And flute. And backpack. If I could train her father to hang his jacket up in the closet instead of on the back of the chair, it would be a miracle. But it's so FAR to walk to the closet! It's a whole six feet away from the chair! Did I mention that he actually needs to PASS the closet on his way to the dining room chair? Deep breaths. . .

I have been trying to follow the Motivated Moms chore system. For only $8 you get a download of daily chores with nice little checkboxes (love those!) to check when you have completed an item. It's a good system because eventually you will get to some of the tasks that never seem to get done. Like vacuuming your curtains or furniture and cleaning off the top of your refrigerator.

I struggle with some of the daily chores though. "Make the bed" is tough because there is usually either a sleeping human or two sleeping dogs (or both!) there when I leave in the morning. And I just don't really think about it again until it's time to go to bed. And when I try to "read to children" she rolls her eyes at me at tells me that I have issues. When "clip children's nails" comes up on the list, she tells me, "That's gross!"

Oh well, at least my trash cans will get washed out at least every six months or so and my stress levels should start to go down a bit as things get neater. Speaking of which, I better get off the computer and start tackling some of those flat surfaces!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Back to Square One

So you know the slipcovers that I am having made for my couch and chair? Remember how excited I was to have found fabrics that I liked and that were in my budget? Okay, well maybe you don't ALL know because I neglected to actually blog about that part. But if you know me in real life you know that I chose three coordinating fabrics, super cute and that I was excited! I bought eleven yards of the seat fabric already and then ordered the other two fabrics from an online store.

*********grinding halt******** Um, yeah. About that? The main fabric that was to be used on my couch and chair for the main pieces? The store only has nine yards. And I need at least twelve. And it is no longer being milled so they cannot re-order it. Dang!

So it is back to square one. But the hard part now is that I already have the cushion fabric so I am sort of penned in to making it work. I think I found a perfect solution from another online store so I have ordered up a sample. And at the time I ordered the sample they had 50 yards of the fabric in stock. Keeping my fingers crossed for a perfect match!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Can't Believe I Did That (Again!)

Note to self: When you buy the huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner from Costco to re-fill the smaller bottles you already have PLEASE remember to check to make sure you are putting conditioner in the conditioner bottle and shampoo in the shampoo bottle! And if you think you checked - - check again! There is no money saved when you make this kind of mistake. That is all.

(Yes, that is TWO, I repeat, TWO times I have done that now! Geesh!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Much Randomness

So much randomness I don't even know where to begin. So let's start with something I am making! This will be a scarf. It will be a scarf because frankly? that's all I know how to knit. Except for the back of a baby sweater that was for my nephew who is now four. Oops! I really need to learn more. My friend Jan has invited me to a class at the knitting store she works at one day a week but I just haven't had the time. So I keep knitting scarves. I now have five.

These are some of the fabric samples I ordered last week. I am having slipcovers made for my couch, chair and ottoman. I am so excited to have them done. But first I need to choose a fabric. It has to be the right color, the right weight and the right price. When the lady who is going to sew them for me came over with her sample books, Tim and I found one right away that we liked. But when we checked on the price it was $40 per yard! And no, it was not lined with gold. Just priced like it was! And that was the low end of that line. But to add insult to injury we need 30 yards. Um, even the designer said "No, that is WAY too much money!" for which I was grateful. So she turned me on to a couple of websites to order some samples from. So far in this batch there are three that are contenders and they are $12.98 per yard. So now I just really need make some decisions: should I do all the pieces in the same fabric or mix it up? do coordinating piping or matching? So many choices!

Here is what I have been eating. And eating. And eating. And now I am almost done with them and I need to start stalking the Girl Scouts at the grocery store. I think they may be laced with crack or something.

Here's the girl I get to spend the next two nights with in Greeley. Isn't she cute? She made All-State Honor Band and was the only one from her school to do so. I didn't really want her in a hotel room by herself so I am going too. I don't know why I am worried about her being in a room by herself because next fall she will be off at college doing all the things that college kids do. Wait. That may be why! Yes, yes, I think I'll keep her just to myself for the next few months until I have no choice. While she is at rehearsals I will be holed up in our room finishing (starting!) our scrapbook of our vacation last June. My scrapping mojo has been missing in a big way so I don't know how this will turn out. But I am bringing Firefly Lane with me so I will totally have something to do if the scrapping dries up. Or I run out of adhesive.

And lastly, I cannot BEGIN to tell you the number of jokes the above pictured girl can make about this little item. It is a bone folder. That is all. But oh NO! It is so much more. Go ahead and scroll back to look at that face..... yep! That sweet little girl makes way inappropriate jokes. For which I blame her father. She sure didn't get it from me! Ok. Maybe a little.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things - Week 2

Here are five things I am grateful for right at 4:11 on Monday:

1. A healthy child.

2. Two lovable dogs. Especially the yellow one.

3. High school band music.

4. I got off work on time today!

5. LoneStar ranch dressing on my fries at lunch today.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I Love My CPA

Once upon a time, I was very excited to get our W-2's in the mail because that meant I could sit down at my tiny, green octagonal kitchen table with my sharpened #2 pencil and a calculator and do my taxes on the 1040EZ form. After filling the initial one out in pencil, I would do it again to make sure I got the same numbers and then copy over my pencil markings in pen, the way I imagined the IRS people wanted it done. And then I would mail it off and wait for six weeks for a nice sized refund check to be mailed to me. That day was always like a second Christmas because that money was not earmarked for rent, utilities or gas. It was "free" money and I spent it with abandon; dinner out, new shoes, books, new shoes, makeup at the Clinique counter, new shoes.

But times changed. We bought a house, we had a child, we were adults. And I still did my taxes the same way, albeit at a newer white farmhouse table. We had way more W2's because we both had two jobs, and I couldn't use the EZ form anymore because we had mortgage interest (in the late 80's - yikes! I can't believe everyone told us what a great rate we were getting at 9.3%!), child care expenses, flexible spending plans, education credits. It was time consuming, but I did it! And when we got our refunds, we spent them on things like tuition, car repairs, house repairs, car repairs, child care, car repairs.

Every year it was the same except I started using my computer and a purchased tax program to figure everything out for me. And I didn't wait for a check anymore. They direct deposited into the account that I had specified. And I adjusted my withholdings so that we had our money ourselves all year long instead of getting a chunk back at the end of the year. Oh, except the last two years we owed because I changed employment and didn't withhold enough and Tim's mom died and left us some money which occurred in the 4Th quarter which the feds didn't like and penalized us for it. Yeah, other than that it was a piece of cake.

Until this year. This year I had to change my ways for my sanity. There were far to many things to take in to consideration like the loss of our child tax credit (why does the government think that kids need less support after they turn 16?) another distribution from my mother in law's estate, etc. and I was totally stressing out about it. So I hired a CPA. OMG! How come no one ever really told me how freeing it could be? I gave her all my neatly organized receipts and two days later she is calling saying that my return is done. Yes, we owe again. Who knew that you had to pay self-employment taxes if you did a couple of weeks work on the side and they sent a 1099? I mean, I paid my estimated income tax on it but there was that self employment tax snafu. And again, Jeanne's estate distributed the final payment to us on December 30th so we made a quick estimated payment on that but the federal government thinks we were hoarding the money and assessed a penalty. Again. But wait! Who is this knight in shining armour? Our friendly CPA argues that we didn't receive the money until the 4th quarter so there is no way we could have paid any earlier. And they waived the penalty!

Oh, and by the way? She looked at last year's return? And we way overpaid the state. Turns out that not all of the money we received from my mother in law's estate was taxable according to Colorado. So who owes who NOW, huh? Oh yeah! We are getting back all but $200 of what we had to pay in last year. Plus interest! Lynn, you totally rock. And this year, when we get our refund from the state, it will not be spent on dinners out, shoes, car repairs, child care or even books but will sit very happily in our savings account until I can choose the right fabric for my new slipcovers. Or until Amy's first tuition deposit is due. Whichever comes first.

The End.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grace In Small Things

I was visiting a website Grace In Small Things and was inspired to try to do this at least once a week so I will be listing five things that I am grateful for. Sometimes I am sure to be serious and sometimes I imagine I will be silly (because seriously? How could I NOT?). But I will always be truly grateful for the thing at that particular moment.

So at this moment in time I am grateful for:

1. The fact that I finished filling out the FAFSA for my daughter today. (And won't have to re-do it until next year.
2. The glass of red wine to my left.
3. My documents are in order to take to my CPA for taxes this year.
4. Jelly hearts.
5. Spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taking What They're Giving 'Cause I'm Working For A Living

Okay, I KNOW I need to be grateful that I have a job. And I AM! And most days I even love what I do. But today reminded me that I would really rather be independently wealthy and get to stay home and craft.

That is all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday At Home

Ahchoo! Yep, I have been sick for the last few days. This cold went totally backwards too. It started with a cough and turned into a sneezing, watery eyed mess. Ugh, I am so ready for it to be done. The only redeeming thing about a cold is that there is ample time to just sit back and read because everything else wipes you out. So that's what I did!

I have been reading The Faraday Girls for the last few weeks (it's a long book!) and finally finished it up last night. I really, really enjoyed it. There were five sisters in the book and there are five girls in my family too (with two brothers added in as well). I have been thinking about which sister in the book I most identified with and find that it's a mix of Juliet and Miranda. Which, if you read the book, is a really strange mix! Juliet is very domestic and a good cook and Miranda, well, she's pretty bossy and can be a real bitch. I am usually nice but I do have biting wit sometimes.

Another book is waiting for me to pick up from the library so I may run down and grab it today. I am also planning to get some sewing done. I have so many projects that are stacked so neatly and ready for me to cut into them! I am making re-usable shopping bags, little zippered pouches and notebook covers. I would also like to play with some of my newest rubber stamps! There is also grocery shopping to be done but I will have to see how I'm feeling. I don't want to go out and spread this lovely virus to all of my town.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well, Amy got the letter that she dreaded getting. She was not selected to be a finalist for the scholarship. All I can say is that there must be some pretty awesome kids out there if they are better than her. Of course I might be a wee bit biased.

So now we move on and apply, apply, apply for all the other ones out there. But it sure would have been nice to have it all wrapped up in a nice little package.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It was a very busy but productive weekend here! On Friday I took a class on how to use some of the features on my new sewing machine. I am SO excited to get to use it! I ended up having to leave it there for a day because something was not hooking right on the buttonholer but it is all fixed up now. But before I could really get into it, I decided that it really was time to clean up my crap, er, SCRAP and sewing area. I had worked on Christmas cards and some other projects before Christmas and I am the worst about putting things away when I am done with them. So my craft area was WAY out of hand. Wanna see some pictures? I bet you do! These will shock some people who think I always have it together.

Here is the end of my room where I keep my fabric, notions and on the bookcase are some scrap supplies. Pay no attention to the date; I clearly have my camera set to read dd/mm/yy instead of the regular way. I have since changed it because even though I know what it is, I still looked at this and said, "No, this was last week, not August!". (My blond is bottled but it seeps in).

Here is the same area after! Oooh! Aahhh!

Here is my actual scrapbook table. I had papers on here from LAST Christmas if you can believe it. No wonder I had to go buy new papers!

Now it is all spiffy clean! I just need to go through some of the actual photos and sort them out. That is what is stacked up on the left hand side. And you can't see it but my Big Shot is on the far left hand side of the table. Whee! It is SO cool!
Here is the disaster that is my cutting and sewing layout table. It was also used for wrapping gifts for Christmas so that's why there was paper and bows everywhere! What a sty. And that is NOT dirt on the chair in the foreground. It is the stain. Lovely, no? NO! Those chairs are getting painted black when I have the time. But for free it was hard to pass them up even if they are ugly!

And here it is all cleaned off with the exception of the new fabrics that I bought that I have to wash and the pattern for the skirt I just bought. Oh, and a gift bag that is currently holding my new bobbins, needles and other miscellany related to my new machine that is sitting there so pretty with it's white cover on so as to not get all dusty.

On Saturday, I attended a beading class where we made a lovely bracelet. Oh my gosh! Now I know why it is so expensive to buy handmade jewelry on Etsy! It is time consuming! And the crystals are spendy. But isn't it pretty? I love how this picture captures the prism colors from the crystal. It is really just crystal, black and pink. Amy likes it and that's who I made it for so it's a success!

How was YOUR weekend?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

Amazingly original title, huh?

We had a great time on New Year's Eve. Now, I am a girl who doesn't go out on New Year's Eve. While I was growing up, my parents didn't want us going out with "all the drunks and crazies" on the streets. Mom always put out a spread of all the things that we didn't get to eat the rest of the year. She would buy sticks of pepperoni, jars of cheese (can't believe now that I thought those were so high class), lots of crackers, olives, etc. We would all just snack, watch TV and play games until midnight when we would go out onto the front porch and bang pot lids together, making a horrible racket. We were the only ones on our block who did this so WE were probably the "crazies" that my parents warned us about. Hmmmm......anyway, we did not ever get to go out and I pretty much continued that way until now.

This year my sister saw that the bowling alley that is only about a mile from my house, on a local road (aka not a hotbed for drunks and crazies) was having a special deal where we could get a lane, shoes, pizza, soda, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight for about $20! What a deal and it sounded like tons of fun.

Oh how I wish I had pictures to post. Kathi put together a group of 10 people and we had so much fun. Some friends from my old church whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years were there, some of her husband's high school friends, some people she knows from work. That's one think about Kathi... she knows SO many people! We had fun imitating the dancing on the music videos that were playing (which is when I REALLY wished I had remembered my camera), catching up with each other, meeting new people, and I especially loved teasing Jim about how old he was since he was not liking the hip hop music AT ALL!

It was great to ring in the new year being active instead of just stuffing myself silly. But why did I feel like I had been drinking the next morning when I hadn't had a drop all night? Not even the champagne at midnight (because it gives me a headache). Maybe I should quit teasing people about being old! Something to consider anyway.

Have you ever heard the expression that what you do on New Year's Day you will spend your year doing? I heard that TWICE this year and I really hope it's not true. Because I spent the day cleaning house and bitching about how my left butt cheek was sore from bowling.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Merry Christmas 2008

Okay, so I have received a request that since I posted about Christmas Eve with my husband's family, that I post about Christmas Day with mine. Who knew anyone even READS this thing! And now that it's a week past Christmas and all the decorations are already put away, I had to think long and hard about it. But since I was asked ever so nicely, here is my Christmas Day.

Tim & I woke up early because that's just how we roll. After the cinnamon rolls, coffee and OJ were ready we went in to wake Amy up. I think we are the only parents in the history of the world who have to wake their kid up on Christmas morning. We have ALWAYS had to do this, even when she was little. Recently I asked her why she was never so excited to get up and see what Santa had brought her. She said that she WAS excited but the presents were still going to be there when she woke up so what's the hurry? Weird kid. Here she is with two of her favorite presents; a warm ski cap (that matches perfectly with the coat we bought after Thanksgiving) and seasons one and four of The Office.

The puppies were really happy with their presents this year! They got so many toys that I ended up having to put some up so that they didn't tear up every single one of them by the end of the week. Scout's brother, Nugget, gave them the cutest gingerbread man and reindeer toys! They grunt more than squeak and that alone has been the greatest thing ever. Except that every day that they start in with the grunting toys I run into the living room thinking that they are choking on something! They argue over the remaining grunting toy daily. Thanks, Nugget! Here is Scout, worn out from playing tug with another toy that was in his stocking. If I ever become proficient with blogging I will learn how to post a video because I have a great one of him with all the squeaking and grunting going on.

As soon as we finished opening our gifts, Tim was watching TV and Amy just had to take a nap. She was SO tired, having been up for a whole hour! She slept the morning away while I made potatoes to take to my mom's house later.

For Christmas dinner we went to my mom's house which is only about a mile away. It sure is nice to have our family in such close proximity. When we arrived at the house we could smell all the wonderful Christmas-y smells clear out in the yard. This year we had turkey and ham and Jim cooked some barbecued pork. We had, I think, four different kids of potatoes, some salads, rolls and other appetizer type foods. Mmmm..... ham balls! For dessert we had little bitty cheesecakes. They were the perfect size.

Here are some of the family pictures I took that day. This is my sister Kelly and my niece Stephanie. Aren't they cute?

And here is my brother-in-law Jim. I told him if he didn't smile I would make a blog post about grumpy people. I don't think that's why he smiled but he did.

This is my sister Kathi. Isn't she just the cutest? We have an awful lot of fun together and can make each other laugh (or cry) with just a look. And lots of times we end up laughing so hard that we can't breathe!

This is my mom. Shhhh! I told her if she smiled that I would NOT put her picture on here. But I lied. To my mother! Can you believe it?

And just so you can see that I do not exaggerate how much my dogs love their toys, here is a picture of what the gingerbread man looked like at the end of the day. De-grunted and on his way of being relieved of his stuffing. How sad.

Hope you had a great Christmas too!