Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This, That, and the Other

There are days just like this!
Everything goes well.  You just feel great! 






















Then there are days like this, when all you can do is stick your tongue out to life.  I'm not sure what kind of day I'm having, but it is one of those days!






















Tomorrow, the 31 day writing challenge begins.

Be there or be square! 

My category is:

Too AWESOME to Categorize!

You'll learn more about what is too awesome too categorize!  Click on the button in the sidebar.  It will take you to the challenge.

See you there!

For now, that's it!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Big Closet Clean Out

The day had arrived!  It was time for the annual closet clean out.  I had to organize the sizes, separate the summer from the fall and winter clothes, and organize my winter  and summer clothes.  When all was finished, this is what I had leftover!

I think I need new slippers.
what do you think?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Listing Saturday:: Why I'm Ready for the Weather to Cool, Huh? Did I say that?????

1) I already put my summer clothes away!  (I've been really hot!)

2) The gardens have matured.  I'm ready for the harvest.

3) I need my comfort foods, only those that can be cooked in a cool house.

4) I'm ready for good sleeping weather.

5) I'm ready for cool, crisp days for walking.

6) My sandals are worn out.  I need close toed shoes!

7) When the leaves fall, they are fun to jump in and crush them.

8) I remember that a year ago my foot was in a cast because I had broken the connecting bone between my foot and my ankle.  It was hard to walk.

9) Pixie's birthday is only a week away.

10) My birthday is a few days after Pixie's.

11) The cool rains come down in the fall.

12) I like to sit in front of the fire place and warm up after a walk in the cool rains.

13) I love the smell of soup cooking in the crockpot.

14) If I can find an awesome pair of sandals on clearance, I can wear them with socks.

15) I can sleep buried in warm quilts.

Are you ready for cooler weather?  Hmmmmmmm!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Three Beautiful Things This Week!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Went to Quick Trip this week, and I ran into our Congressman, Tim Walz.  Tim and I used to work together when we both taught at the same high school.  It was good to see him.  I did ask him a couple of political questions, and he was great about answering my concerns.

2) The next morning, I went back to Quick Trip.  (I was out of Diet Coke!)  As I was walking in the door, I saw one of our local weathermen walking in ahead of me.  I said, "Aren't you a weatherman?  He laughed and said, "Yes, I am."  Then he said,  "And how are you today?  Are you having a good day, so far?"  He engaged me in conversation like I was a really good friend of his who had pink hair.  I didn't realize what a nice person he was.  That was another day brightener!

3) Yesterday I made this dragonfly cane.  It was fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

30 Words Thursday:: Chesterton, the Unfinished Critter

Chesterton is almost finished.
He just needs to be baked.
He's my first polymer clay critter
made from a salt shaker. 
Tomorrow, he'll bake.
He'll be ready to fly away.



Taken from Erin's Blog

30 Words Thursday: Grab an image (preferably one you shot or one you have permission to use). Write exactly 30 Words (no more, no less). Post it.

If you would like to participate in the 30 Words Thursday with me, please add your link to Erin's blog.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

31 Days Writing Challenge

I learned about the 31 Days Writing Challenge from my friend, Lori Anderson's blog, "Pretty Things."  The most challenging part of this blog will be to focus on only one topic for the entire month.  The topics from which you can choose are broad enough to encompass many different things.  The challenge will be to write every day and post everyday. 

The topic I've chosen is:: Too Awesome to Categorize!  Think that will be fun  and make me think about all the things I encounter that really are Too Awesome!  I'm looking forward to this challenge. 

It's not to late to join.  If you click

HERE

You'll go to the homepage of the writing challenge.  Next step is to pick a topic.  Next step, sign up!  Then get ready for the fun!  There's a link up for each topic.  It's easy.  It's fun.  I think you'll enjoy.  I hope to see you there.

Here are is the list of topics from which you can choose::

House and Home
Simplicity and Organizing
Family Life
Inspiration and Faith
Writing and Blogging and Internet Stuff
Fashion and Beauty
Food Health and Wellness
Personal Endeavors
Too Awesome to Classify

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Quarter of a Century!

It was our dream house.  Nothing else I can say, except that it still is.

Today, I looked at this tree again.  It's not that red yet.  It's still green with a tinge of yellow, but 26 years ago, we moved into our dream house, this is the way our tree looked.  It was red, and it was beautiful!

What is even MORE AMAZING, is that I have lived in our home for longer than I lived in the home in which I grew up. 

I left my home town when I was 24, and I never been back there to live.  We left Chicago shortly after I turned 40, and we moved to Minnesota.  You don't have to do the math, I'll do it for you.

Next month, I'll be 66 years old.
66 - 40 = 26 years ago.  I keep saying this because I AM AMAZED that, as of this moment, I have lived in this home for a quarter of a century. 

My head is spinning at the math.  It's accurate. 

A. QUARTER. OF. A. CENTURY!

I am blessed!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ok, Now About Heather Power's Cane Boot Camp!!!!! It's AWESOME!!!!!!

I have to admit, I was stunned when I received the invitation to join Heather Power's online class, "Cane Design Boot Camp."

Heather had offered a scholarship for her class as a way of paying things forward.  I applied, but I decided that the odds were against me, but it would be nice if I won.

Guess what!!!!  Through the generosity of Heather who had decided to give 1 scholarship, I was awarded one of the 3 person's who were awarded a scholarship!  I am so grateful.  It's an amazing class so far. 

This is the first cane I made in Heather's class.  I am thrilled beyond words with it!!!

Now, let me show you the beads I made using this cane. 


This bead was made with the pile of scrap cane that I had made.  See the spiral?  That was an extra cane I made.  So far, I am thrilled with this class. 



















I made these beads with the cane.
I love! Love! Love!  This cane boot camp.




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Listing Saturday:: I Challenge YOU Today:: How many Blessings Have You Been Given Already?

A friend of mine (Deb Batten) once said to me::

"Not every day is a good day, but everyday has good in it."

The GOOD in each day are blessings you can see in the moment.   We'll talk about the other "blessings" another time--the not so good things that happen to us.  Believe me, they can be blessings in disguise.

So, here's my challenge to you.

Take 10 minutes and write down all of the obvious blessings you have been given before you read this post.

If you like, share your list in the comments section.

Here's mine::

1) My basil is still growing strong!  I'll have frozen basil to use this winter when I cook.
2) The day is almost over.
3) I had a delicious supper tonight.
4) I was able to get in and out of Target without overspending.
5) I have some wonderful friends.
6) The provolone cheese is delicious!
7) The dishes are being washed in the dishwasher.
8) I have two wonderful children.
9) I found some jeans that fit.
10) I was able to make some clay beads today.
11) I was able to arrange it so that I can participate in the Beads of Courage Event tomorrow.
12) I will be able to meet an "online" friend who has just moved to Minnesota at the event! 
13) She's a lovely lady.
14) It might rain tonight.
15) I bought some M & M's!  Shhhhhhh! Don't tell.
16) It will cool down tomorrow.
17) I can wear my new shoes.
18) I can make beads.
19) I'm downloading the new IOS8
20) Pixie might not sleep with me tonight.  She's comfortable on the couch.
21) I enjoy writing this blog.
22) Autumn is starting to look beautiful!
23) I ate some M & M's!  (Don't tell.)
24) I'm ready for bed as soon as the Ipad is finished.
25) I'm just plain happy tonight!

What are your blessings so far today?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.


1) Jenny had a wonderful birthday!  We had a great time celebrating it!


2) Lucy's now makes Gluten Free Ginger Snaps!  Yes!!!!


3) I was blessed to win a scholarship to Heather Power's (Humblebeads) new online class!  Thank you, Heather.  (More about this next week!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

30 Words Thursday:: Kare-uh-Mel or Car-mul?

I don't know how you say it,
 but I say 
Car-mul.
I hear people say
Care-uh-mel
and I wonder where they learned to talk like that.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do You Think That Featuing "Sea Themed" or "Beach Themed" Items for an Early Decemeber is Too Early?

Fine Print:: Not really, but...
The photos you see will be photos of prototypes I am working to develop.

I'm working with polymer clay as I work on these beads.  The beads are not finished yet.  I'm being drawn to beach or sea themed beads.

I have a show in early December.  Do you think it's too early to feature pendant shells?  Should I focus more on Christmas beads?  I'm not sure.

I also plan to make glass sea themed focal beads. 

What do you think?

My show is a 3 day show during the first weekend of December.  


My Friend, Deb Batten, takes the most amazing Photos!!!! Just wait until you see them!!!!

Deb and I have been friends for about 7 years.
The odd things, well, maybe not so much in our world of technology,
we've never met in person.
Yes, through the magic of Facebook and other sites,
I do know what she looks like.
I also know what a wonderful beadmaker and seamstress she is!
And
she.
is.
an.
amazing. 
photographer!!!
 
Deb pretends she doesn't like pink & far prefers orange- but it seems that when it comes to flowers she is just a wee bit of a pink girl.....
See, what I mean?
Gorgeous!


I wish I had her talent!

Like, is this amazing or what?
I can almost feel the textures in this flower!


Breath taking!
Right?


Last but not least, the butterfly flower!!
So real and lovely.

You can see some of Deb's beautiful glass beads if you click



Thanks, Deb, for letting me use your beautiful photos!

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Beads in 10,000 years...

Close your eyes and follow along with me.  (Wait!  You might have to open your eyes to read this!)

The setting is 10,000 years in the future.  Where you used to live has been discovered and is beginning to be uncovered in the slow process of a dig.  The archaeologist in charge is inspecting the artifacts that the intern has found.  The intern is slowly brushing away the years of dirt and grime in which these beads were enclosed. 

"Sir, what do you suppose these artifacts were?  They've survived all these years in the ground.  How did they get here?"

The archaeologist took the beads in his hand and held them tenderly. 

"I'm not sure," he said.  Perhaps this was a rendering of the dwelling we have found.  It's odd though.  This race of people were quite advanced for their day."  You'd think this rendering would be more realistic and not so primitive."

"Sir," cried another intern.  Look what I've found.  I believe it was a, I forget the word, toy?  Doll?  A child must have engineered this."

The archaeologist looked at this artifact.  "I wish I knew what this material was.  Back in those days, they had a material called 'plastic?' I think that was the term, but I don't know how a child could have made this artifact."

"I don't think a child made this artifact," said the intern.  "It looks like a child made it.  Perhaps the maker of this, this, doll?, was impaired."


The dig continued on that side of the house.



 The archaeologist began to work in earnest with his students.  He saw a small portion of this structure protruding from the wall of the home?  Both he and the intern dug around the object until the object was free of its encasement.  They gently removed the artifact and began to clean it.  The rain was falling very gently.  This made the object easier to clean.  The colors were still there.  They gently held this object in their hands. 

The intern broke the silence.  "Do you think they cooked in this small pot?"

"Well." said the archaeologist, if they did, they were very small people, but I don't think so.  I am beginning to think that all of these artifacts were made by a single person.  I also think that they were religious artifacts.  I cannot see a single use for them if they were not.  This artist, though, must have been a beginning apprentice."

Well, I wish I had been there to tell them about this art form.  They are prototypes!!!!  Okay!!!  Sheesh!  I'm glad I won't be around in 10,000 years.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Listing Saturday:: A list of questions

What's your Star Wars name?

Where do babies come from?

How old are you?

What was the easiest thing you ever did?

What was the most difficult thing you ever did?

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?

What's your favorite breakfast food?

Do you have a favorite game you plan?

What was the latest you have ever stayed out?

Did you ever sneak out when you were a kid?

Do you like summer?

Have you ever eaten a cricket?

Where would you be if you weren't here now?

What was the longest time you have ever held your breath?

Do you sing at church?

Do you go to church?

How old were you when you got your first kiss?

Have you ever found something valuable?

Have you ever been arrested?

Did you ever go out without wearing underwear?

Would you eat a rodent?

What is your favorite rodent?

What are your favorite colors?

Do you wear socks in the winter?

Do you regret not kissing a toad?

Now,
Answer one of these questions in the Comments Section!
Let's see what you have to say!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Three Beautiful Things This week!

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) We remembered.  We forgive.
We will never forget.

2) Fall pounded us this week.  We went from a hot, humid 88 degree day, to a low of 46 and a high of 57.  Sigh!  But it is near that season.

3) Life finds a way.  Life goes on.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Home made Yogurt - From Hot Milk to Yogurt

There's no question in my mind::
Homemade Yogurt is THE best!

It tastes so good!
It's full of fresh cultures to help your gut, your immune system, and just about any other body part you have!

Yes, you can buy yogurt in the store, but you have to be careful and READ the labels.  So many of them do not have the active cultures that our bodies need to thrive.

Many types of yogurt do have active cultures in them, but they might not be as fresh as what you can make at home.

There are recipes for home made yogurt all over the internet.  Just google.  I'll tell you what I do and what you need.  It's easy and quick.

In order to make yogurt you will need::
milk, I use low fat or no fat.  It works.

A large bowl or container made from glass.  You don't want to use metal when you are culturing your milk.

Utensils made from plastic or metal to stir.

A microwave or stove with a pan you can use to heat the milk.

Active live yogurt cultures.  I buy a yogurt starter at Whole Foods.  It works great!  I only need to use that once, then I can use my own yogurt as a culture.

A digital (works best) cooking thermometer.


Now, here's what I do.

I heat the milk up to 180.  I don't know why, but that's what the recipes say.

I let the milk cool down to 110-115.

I add the cultures and stir.

Now comes the tricky part.  You need to keep the cultured milk warm, but not hot, and let it culture 5 hours or overnight.

To do this, I put the cultured milk into a large bowl.  I heat my oven to 150 degrees F.  When it has reached 105 I turn the oven off and add the cultured milk on top of a towel.  I cover the cultured milk with foil or a top, then I cover it with another towel to keep it warm.  Remember, Turn Off Your Oven.  I let the cultured milk sit there until morning, when I get up and strain the yogurt to make greek yogurt.

To make greek yogurt, cover a strainer with cheese cloth.  Gently add the yogurt to the strainer, very gently.  Let the yogurt drain about 45mins to an hour.  You will see that the whey has drained and your yogurt is thick.

Put aside a little bit of your yogurt to use as a starter.   I use about 2-3 Tablespoons.  Refrigerate.  Eat your yogurt plain or add fresh fruit.  Delicious!!!




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thoughts on Joy


Joy is spontaneous.
Joy is contagious.
Joy is courageous.
Joy is laughter.
Joy is sharing.
Joy is now.




A brisk walk, dodging ice, brings me joy. 
Making glass beads fills me with joy. 
Taking pictures gives me joy. 
Learning a new skill gives me joy, especially if it's creative.   
Dancing and singing gives me joy, even if it’s off key or I don’t follow the beat. 
Being with friends is joy. 
Video chatting with family and friends gives me great joy. 
Sleeping in on a cold, snowy day, well, such a joy!




I want to share my joy with others. I want to make sure that others have a reason to smile when we are together, whether it's a chance encounter at the grocery store or chatting with an online friend.

Like a virus, joy spreads quickly from one to another. 
Smiles are contagious.
Joy brings peace.

“Peace begins with a smile.”  Mother Theresa

Joy is ...

 What does joy mean to you?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Now, I know why animals love the Sunny Spots on the Floor!

You see it happening all the time.  There's that one, tiny bit of a sunshine beam on the floor, and the cat or the dog will be in the center of that wee bit of light.  The animals luxuriate in the light.  You can offer treats, you can pick them up and move them, only to find that they are back in the same space as before. 

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day that verged on summer.  (After school is back in session, I consider the days as fall.) 

The curtains were open to allow in the light,  the sun beam was huge, and it was warm!  This time, I noticed that there was no one curled up behind me.  The sun pierced the window, shining on the bed, and it was warm.  The warmth of the sun through the window penetrated my skin and soaked into my bones.  I lay on the bed and allowed myself to be nourished and caressed by the sun.  I lay there slowly turning like a cat, then turning and curling up like a dog, and I understood. 

These moments in the sun were physically some of the most privileged moments I have experienced.  I absorbed the joy and elation of the chemicals churning in my body, brought on by the sun's warmth. 
I warmed up and deep within my a joy spread through my body.  The sun's rays felt like tentacles massaging my legs.  Then, I heard a "Meow."  I lost my space.  Marvin needed his sunbeam back.  Still, it was worth it.  I do get it now.  I really do!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Heart Macro! Reflection on a pond

Amazing Natural Art
I Heart Macro!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rest In Peace, Sweet, Onery, Naughty Kitty! We love you!!!

Jenny's Beautiful Tuxedo Cat,
Walter,
joined Spike, Bailey, Oliver, Rex, and Pinky
at the 
Rainbow Bridge
Yesterday.
He brought so much love into our lives,
and
Jenny gave him a wonderful life with all of her love and care.
Walter went from one place of great love
to 
the Rainbow Bridge 
where he is still surrounded by love!
He's running free now.
He was the alpha to Pixie
who did everything Walter told her to do.

We'll always love you,
Walter!
I was priveleged, 
while Jenny held him in her arms as he passed,
to feel the last beat of his heart against my palm.

Rest In Peace,
Rest in Peace.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.


1) Beautiful fall flowers!


2) Naps!  I have come to love Naps!


3) Great deals online!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

30 Words Thursday:: She's Charged!!!!

The power went out last night,
and we weren't sure how long it would take,
so,
in spite of the fact that we had no power for awhile,
she's charged!


From Erin's Blog,

The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post.
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.
 
Come and join the fun!
 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dear September

Dear September,

When I was a kid, I loved September!  September meant going back to school with new school supplies, notebooks, pencils, pens, cigar boxes for our school supplies, but most of all, a box of new crayons!

I can still smell the wax when I opened that box.  We could only bring a box of 24 crayons to school, so I looked forward to October, my birthday month, when I would probably get a new box of 64 crayons!  Isn't it odd, though, to think of you and think of the smell of wax when I opened my box of brand new crayons?

I also remember being hot in the early part of September.  It was then that I would smell the green chile  peppers roasting as everyone stocked up on the green and roasted the peppers to put away for winter.  The smell was heavenly!  The taste of those green peppers mixed with our food--beyond amazing!  I loved September for that reason!

Then, September, you began to cool off a bit.  Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as windows were left open and the "swamp coolers" turned off.  You were really lucky if you had a swamp cooler!  Because of the dry air, your air conditioner would put water into the air of your home and cool it off.
You didn't run your swamp cooler a lot because of the expensive electricity, but there were times when you were cool.  You could sit and read inside and still be cool.

In the meantime, leaves were falling off the trees and drying.  I remember jumping up and down in the leaves just to hear them crunch.  Coming home from school, we'd all march in the leaves and come home with miniscule pieces of dried leaves clinging to our socks and filling our shoes.

September, you were a fun month when I was kid.  Even now, I am beginning to see leaves turning yellow.  I see gardens that are mature.  I see fresh produce from family gardens.  Sometimes, I'm even given a bit of fruit from a tree or vegetables from a garden.  Now, we bypass the heat and humidity.  We put on our light weight jackets when we go out.  We begin to harvest what we have sown this summer.  Yes, September, I miss summer, but I do welcome you with fond memories and expectations of the cold winter days ahead.   I'll be looking for a new winter coat this year.  September is a good month to buy a new coat.  There are a lot of sales right now.  September, you're finally here, and now, I'm off to enjoy you. 

PS:: Don't tell anyone, but I still jump in piles of leaves when I can.  I also buy a new box of 64 crayons in September.  Shhhhhhhhhhh!  That's our secret, September.  Shhhhhhhhh!
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Holly Dare posted this on Facebood, so I knew, I Had to Try It!

Holly Dare of
posted this on Facebook, and I knew I had to try it!
So, I ran to Target and found these White Shoes on Sale.

Ordinary White Sneakers.

Then, I came home and followed the directions.

So, I took the shoes to the bath tub because when I started to drizzle the alcohol, it drizzled a bit much.
The tub worked better than did the plastic bag.

And, 
the end result is 
This.
I tossed the finished shoes in the dryer to heat seal them, and this is how they looked.

Honestly,
I. LOVE. THEM!!

In half an hour,
I had new shoes!!!1

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 28-30