Friday, September 28, 2007


I wish I could snap a photo right now of what I see on my cube wall at work. I have a beautiful Arizona wall calendar hanging up that was a gift from a co-worker. I’ve never been to Arizona, but the photos have been breathtaking and enjoyable to look at all year. Right now there is a beautiful, serene photo – the same one I’ve “seen” all September – and the sunlight from outside is hitting it just right to where I can almost feel like I’m there. Thank you God for sharing this beauty. Even if I never experience this in person I have totally been blessed by this photo.

And it’s funny to see and feel this today. Earlier I was sitting here and a vision of “me” popped into my head. Hopefully I’m not the only one that’s ever done that before, but if so, ok. J My heart and soul has been so full and happy lately that in my head I’m standing in a field of flowers with my arms stretched up to the sky, head tilted back with a smile and a full skirt twirling around me. Honestly I feel like I could just twirl and spin and laugh. I remember as a child there were some tall hills in a park by our home (how this relates I don’t know, but I did just think of it!) that we loved to go to and lay down and roll down the hill. Wonderful, carefree times.

This is a good time to share – I’m probably in remission! My doctor said last week that he always hesitates to proclaim remission as too many times his patients will go off and do something silly, but I don’t have to go back for six months. And no more weekly shot – Praise God! He did say that if everything remains the same that in six months he will call it remission. Could that be why I want to embrace the heavens and dance? The power of prayer is so huge that sometimes it can take my breath away. I am both honored and humbled by this. (To answer the unasked question – no, I don’t have cancer. But for my disease to be in remission is very exciting to me.)

Have a blessed day today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WFMW - Removing Ink Stains

I haven't done a Works For Me Wednesday in quite some time simply because I really didn't have anything to share. But last night when we were making cards I saw something demonstrated that was so cool!

One of my friends got ink on a brand new blouse and we were all rather heartbroken for her. Our hostess had her take the blouse off, turned it inside out, put a napkin under the stain and sprayed hair spray on the back side of the ink! The stubborn part of the stain required several applications of hairspray and a tad bit of light scrubbing with a toothbrush, but do you know that every bit of that ink came out? I was amazed and delighted to see that!

So there you have it - proof that you can have fun and still come clean at the end of the day. :)

Punch Club Card

Last night was Punch Club, our monthly stamping/altered art group. The LSS nearest us is now closing at 7:00, so our Plan B was to meet at Ruth's house. Ruth is a fabulous hostess and genuinely enjoys opening her home to others. She had fabulous peach tea (and y'all know I'm all over peach tea!) and many other snacks. The best, in my opinion, was some ladylike sandwiches. She used a small package of cream cheese, whipped it with 1/4 - 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, spread on pumpernickel bread and cut the sandwiches into fourths. Absolutely divine!

Tonja was our teacher this month and while we were all disappointed that she didn't bring her son Jack (he's already going to be turning one year old!), we still loved her just the same. Her project was cards and since I turn into a pumpkin early evening I left before most were finished. I did finish this one and it's so elegant, at least in real life (still working on learning the camera). I think this would make a good sympathy card. (Stamp is Stampin' Up, retired I think)

The other cards we did involved making background paper using shaving cream and ink and another using a spin art like when we were kids! Both were fun, but the spin art had us really laughing. Truly brought out the child in everybody present.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Musings

WHEW - we've just come off a very busy week and weekend. I got a call from mom Tuesday afternoon that they (my cousin and mom) were waiting with my grandmother for an ambulance to come! Grandma had been walking out to the car and fell and knew then that something had happened. It turned out that she broke her hip and her wrist in the fall. So Wednesday morning my cousin Michele and I headed up to OKC to be there for grandma's hip surgery. She did great and is now on the rehab floor - Praise Jesus!

It's funny too how much we enjoyed the trip. Just like when my cousin Danette and I headed to Ft. Smith (and kept calling ourselves Thelma and Louise!), it really is possible to find the joy even in an unpleasant situation. Michele and I never get to spend time alone and this trip gave us that opportunity. I don't think there was a quiet moment at any time during the trip! Good times.
Saturday morning I planned my first brunch in this house....where I have lived for 12 years! I used to entertain so much when we lived in Oklahoma and it has just never happened here. Through God's Grace my health is MUCH improved now from when we first moved in, so maybe that's the reason. Regardless, I think I just didn't realize just how much I missed having friends over. I made a breakfast casserole, Snickerdoodle Muffins, fruit, and Peach Tea. The funny thing is that I wasn't nervous or anything. I really think there is something about having dear friends over that you just know it's all good.

After we ate off we went to a bead show at a nearby convention center. My word, I just couldn't believe it! Obviously I'd never been to one before and I can see how this could be a very dangerous hobby - financially! There were such beautiful things everywhere you look. I especially fell in love with lampwork beads, but the price was very high. Then I came upon a booth where a woman had some photos of herself making the beads and explained the process to me. At that point I realized that these beads really were worth the high price, though it was not something I could afford. My ever enabling friends were telling me that I could learn to make them myself, but since the process involved open flames I decided it would probably be best for me to just leave this hobby well enough alone - LOL!
One of my friends mentioned an area in Dallas where we could get some of the things we'd seen at a greatly reduced price, so off we went. That store wasn't open to us, so we walked to the end of the little strip mall and went in to a different store. Oh what a grand time we had! This store had a wall of sunglasses for only $3.99! This happens to be something I really enjoy, so I ended up with a couple of pairs. One pair is totally for fun, the next a little less "loud" and then one very normal pair. We stood and took pictures for a while, laughing the entire time. Who knew that sunglass shopping could be so much fun?

Saturday afternoon Mom, Gary and Michele arrived in town from OKC and of course we went over to see Brooklyn. Well, after a stop at Boston Market for lunch since they don't have that restaurant in OKC! We were lucky enough to get over to their house just in time to visit with Brad (Keith's brother) and Rhonda for a bit before they had to leave to head back to their home.

I love this picture of Loni holding Brooklyn. James and Loni had gotten an above ground pool set up on Friday, so we all got to see Brooklyn's first dip in the pool! She has on a Nemo Little Swimmer and didn't really spend a long time swimming. But she did look quite darling.

And after little girls swim they need to have a bottle. And after a bottle little girls really seem to need a nap! I love this picture of my mom holding Brooklyn. Sweet baby girl just got so tired. Looking at that picture makes me want to kiss her neck again. :)

I think she just had had so much fun entertaining us all afternoon that she finally just passed out. She's gotten to the age where she likes to coo and goo and try to form words. It is so precious.
Sunday we didn't do much at all, partly because of the picture. We've been doing quite a bit of geocaching in the evenings and at some point Keith got into some poison ivy again. He happens to be insanely allergic to it, so on Friday when his face and neck started swelling up we knew what it must be. We're not sure exactly when he was exposed, but the picture shows one of the many times we were deep into the flora and seeing this shows us that we really aren't too surprised that it happened.

So while Keith lay around dozing and watching sports, I sat watching the last few episodes of Heroes in preparation for tonight's season premiere! I was so excited when my daughter bought the Season One dvd set so that I could finish watching the series - LOL! It's rare that I sit and watch tv and for me to sit as many hours as I did yesterday was rather decadent. I sat and watched tv and worked on the candy corn sock I've been knitting. What an utterly relaxing day.
One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human. - George Santayana
When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. - Joyce Brothers

Fall Into Reading

I have been spending some time today reading a bunch of reading lists! Katrina is hosting another reading challenge and since reading has been my favorite hobby since forever I'm going to join again. If anybody needs book ideas, just click the link above and I think there are links to 146 blogs (as of right now) that have published their fall reading lists!


* The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (I have this in my book pile at home and it has been recommended to me by countless people.)

* The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson (I have been wanting to read this series for quite some time, so the time must be now!)

* The Elevator by Angela Hunt (I just learned of this book from one of the links above. I love books filled with suspense and this sounded like a good one.)


* You Matter More Than You Think by Dr. Leslie Parrott (Another book I found from the above links. This is a subject I struggle with anyway, so perhaps this book will be helpful.)

* Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far by Amy Grant (I've always been fond of Amy Grant and I do enjoy biographies, so this seems like a natural for me.)


Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. - P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Geocaching Find

After dinner last night we headed out for more finds. The first one we thought was beyond easy, but when I went to log it online I noticed that others had some trouble with the clues. Let's just say, so as not to give too much away, that sometimes being a big fan of 80's music is a GOOD thing and will pay off later in life!
The second find brought us to a pretty area with one of the biggest trees I think I've ever seen. As we were wandering around with our gazes securely fastened on the gps a creature jumped out at us! He really about scared the beejeebers out of me....until I saw what it was - LOL! After that I had to go on a quick tangent and chase this toad around to get his picture. At that point I'm not sure which one of us ended up being more scared of the other! Mr. Toad did NOT see this as a Kodak moment. ;)
When I stood up after victoriously snapping this picture I see Keith standing there looking at me like I was a loon. Really though he must surely be used to this sort of thing from me. Course here we were out in front of absolutely everybody and I'm doing this bizarre scrunched over walking thing with a camera plastered to my forehead chasing after a toad. Surely that isn't so strange???

Why Yes I DO Still Knit!

I thought I would show some of the knitting I've been working on lately. I had planned on updating my Ravelry account today with these projects, but our firewall now blocks Ravelry and says it is an "entertainment, dating" site. Oy! (Guess I'll do the updating later tonight!)

Anyway, first up is the green blanket for a friend, knit with Caron Simply Soft yarn. Loving it!

Then a sock that I am beyond thrilled with. I have another sock that needs a mate and was next on the rotation, but then I remembered this Candy Corn Yarn that I had gotten from Girl On the Rocks last year and decided I had better get it done quick while it's still candy corn season! This is the insanely popular Monkey Sock pattern with a twist - I used a picot edge for the first time and am knitting the purls, ala January One. I had a hard time getting gauge with this pattern/yarn and I'm sure it's a result of my death grip tight knitting. Tried it first on size 1 needles and ADORED the way the yarn striped as it looked exactly like candy corn! Unfortunately, no way was gauge obtained. Ditton on the 1.5's. Finally got it with size 2's, but now the yarn pools quite a bit. That's ok though, I'm still in love!

And do you see the metal dpn's I'm using? These are the PERFECT needles for me for this project. Death grip knitting plus ssk's and K2Tog's equals a disaster waiting to happen on bamboo needles!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chocolatey Goodness

On our way back home this weekend I somehow convinced Keith to stop by the Russell Stover Store in Corsicana. You can't see it in the picture, but behind and to the right of the store is the giant plant where they make the confectionary delights. During business hours they have tours and while I was disappointed to have missed that, perhaps it was from the best. Can you imagine their faces when one of the tour guests - that would be me - had to stop and embrace all that chocolatey goodness?
Lest anyone think that Keith stopped there just for me to visit the store, I'm going to tell the rest of the story. He actually would NOT have stopped and that actually IS for me. He knows that I'm doing really well on my losing weight and even though the saying is "like a kid in a candy store" he knows that an "Elizabeth in a chocolate store" is just asking for diet sabotage. And he would NOT have stopped for himself because even though he enjoys a slice of chocolate cake on occasion he's just not that excited about candy. What he WILL stop for is a geocache. I found one online called "My love for chocolate" or something like that and of course immediately loaded it into the gps. We searched for this cache for a little while before I gave up and said "Really, since we're here anyway we should go inside." What a dastardly plot indeed. ;)
So now today I'm quite popular at work. I bought a case (I kid you not!) of the cutest little tin boxes that have 4 of the Whitman's assorted chocolates inside. This morning I left a tin on the desk of everybody in my area and it was fun hearing their reactions.
I've learned that everybody here loves chocolate. And I've learned that even more than chocolate everybody here loves little tins - LOL! I've also learned that chocolate surprises make people smile a LOT!
Another popular saying is that "diamonds are a girl's best friend (bff?)", but I'm here to tell you that chocolate makes an awfully good second best friend (2bff?).

Another Thank You Card

Still working on getting some Thank You cards done. :)

The only stamp used was the vase and flowers and that was one of the dollar spot stamps from Michael's. I then paper pieced the vase and of course used Stickles for the flowers and around the border. In real life the Stickles really pop on this card.

SU ribbon; Basic Grey paper; Dollar spot stamp from Michael's; Stickles - Yellow and Stardust

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Welcome to our newest interest - geocaching! We got to looking at the things we enjoy doing and noticed that almost every single one of them included sitting - not good. I'd seen geocaching mentioned all around blogland and since it involves hiking and electronic gadgets we figured it might be right up our alley.

Our GPS was delivered last week and we played around with it so we'd know how to use it on the hunt. We pretty much geocached all the way home from Monaville, though not all of them were successful.

One thing I found ironic was that I had started out emphatically saying that I would not geocache in a cemetery and where did we have our first find? Um, yeah. We were in Huntsville and were led to Oakwood Cemetery where Sam Houston is buried, which appealed to our love of history as well. This cemetery is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. So very serene and such a feeling of peace. I do want to add that the hunting was NOT done around any of the gravesites, so there was no disrespect. We did spend some time walking around as part of this is a Civil War era cemetery and they have pamphlets at the entrance for guests to take a walking tour. So interesting.

We did encounter TONS of spiders there, which was rather creepy. August seems to be a banner month this year for spiders and I think quite a few of them made their homes here. We were looking at a headstone and reading about it when I quietly told Keith not to move. His head was just inches away from a large web! After this incident our new plan was to walk slowly and look out for webs. It almost started feeling like a scene from Mission Impossible or something - walk slow, tell the other person to slowly move right, duck, etc. I'm happy to report we didn't bring any hitchhikers home.

We went for more finds today and Lynne' joined us. Sometimes it's easier to show somebody instead of trying to explain it. Joe joined us as well and he had a grand time. I think Lynne' is a convert too and we decided she truly is our good luck charm.

I'm not able to post most of the pictures I took because it might give away hiding places or identifying marks to somebody. This is truly a game of stealth and we are having a blast with it.

Let's Go To Monaville, TX!

Keith and I just got back from a little weekend getaway. The town of Monaville, Texas hosted a Big Bird (Scale) Fly-In and since this happens to be one of Keith's hobbies we headed south. We went as spectators this trip, so no airplanes accompanied us.

The setting was beautiful and quiet and the weather couldn't have been better. I really enjoy watching these planes fly and we were quite impressed with just how big these were. Keith's planes are not nearly this size - note that it took 4 adult men to carry this plane.

Of course, not all flights end as planned. Luckily this was the only victim while we were there. (please note, no pilots were harmed in this crash...)

This plane was quite a crowd pleaser and happened to be one of my favorites - Snoopy and his Red Baron! It looked so funny flying through the air and when it landed the crowd clapped in glee. I think this was the favorite of the children in the crowd.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pancakes for Breakfast

It hit me last night just how much we've been eating out again, so I told Keith that for one week we will eat at home (really went out on a limb there didn't I!), unless an emergency came up (you know those "must eat at a restaurant" type of emergencies!).

This morning I decided to try a pancake recipe that I had printed out a while ago. These were really quite good and since you make a mix first this will be my new favorite pancake recipe. I've really been quite wary lately of all the preservatives and things in store mixes, so this fits quite well. And yes I see the irony of worrying about preservatives in cooking mixes vs. fast food. :)
And now for the rest of the story. I hated to leave anybody with the idea that everything here is always rainbows and unicorns. Here's what happened when I first made the recipe this morning: The way the recipe works is that first you stir dry ingredients together to make a mix so that you can keep it in the cabinet for use. Then I scooped out what I needed for today's batch in the brown bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together and add to the dry and whisk together just until the lumps disappear. As I was whisking I kept thinking that these lumps were never going to go away and that my poor whisk was in danger of snapping! Then it hit me - I had added the wet ingredients to the bowl with ALL THE REST OF THE DRY MIX!!! DOH! After a quick trip to the store for more buttermilk we were back in business. :rolling my eyes:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fabric for Brooklyn

Apparently as soon as you become a grandma your sewing gene is reactivated. I've been in the mood to sew for several weeks and as luck would have it a dear friend just went through her patterns and gave me quite a few baby girl patterns. I deemed it to be fate and headed out to Joann's on Sunday, 40% off coupon clutched in my hand. I bought the fabric and lining fabric for a darling little sundress and matching pants for Brooklyn. I realize that this time of year a sundress might not get a lot of use, but I figure she can wear a little onesie under it.

Unfortunately my math skills still aren't something to brag about and I ended up with 1/8th of a yard short. I figured surely I could skootch the pieces around and make it work, but no luck. Off to Joann's I went again on Monday and luckily they still had the fabric. Let me tell you that store is a madhouse on Labor Day weekend!!! The cutting table has a "take a number" system and when a number was called you'd hear a girly voice shout out with glee and see somebody run to the table. It really was almost as fun as winning the lottery!


Last night was knit night at Starbucks. Some people herald the changing of the seasons by looking at the trees, but I think my favorite signal that a new season is upon us can be found in the new drinks at Starbucks! Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino - really it doesn't get much better than that. I continued working on the baby blanket and love seeing what others are working on - it's always very inspiring. Very pleased to hear last night that this group has decided to meet every week now. :)


In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running. ~ Jeff Bezos

Monday, September 03, 2007

Brooklyn's First Sleepover

Finally the big day arrived - Brooklyn got to spend the night at grandma's house Saturday night!

But first we had such nice family time. We all went to eat and had such a good time. Brooklyn slept through the whole meal, but I know that someday she'll be right there having fun with the rest of us. Maybe that's why she's sleeping so much....saving up her energy???

But as soon as we got back to the house and put her on her play mat she was wide awake and SO cute! She's starting to verbalize more and it makes me laugh every time.

Keith and James set up a webcam and we called mom and put her on speaker phone so she could talk to us and see Brooklyn play. The picture shows Aunt Lynne' holding Brooklyn and even Joe was trying to get in on the fun! I love technology. :)

After Brooklyn had a bottle and was ready for a nap, Keith pulled out the old Super 8 movies and that was so much fun. I kept getting tears seeing my kids as babies and toddlers. Where does the time go???

James and Loni left and poor Loni had big crocodile tears in her eyes at the thought of leaving Brooklyn. It really was so sweet. :)

Lynne', Keith and I played with Brooklyn for the longest time. It's fun when babies start getting just a little older and you can interact with them. And Aunt Lynne' was so good at getting Brooklyn into her jammies. There is something about little footed sleepers that we all just adore.

The picture of Brooklyn and I was taken Sunday morning. She is just such a doll and makes the cutest faces! She would make me laugh, then that would make her grin real big.

Have I mentioned just how much I love this little girl??? :)