Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm still here!

Hello Lovelies,

I'm still here and breathing. It's been a weird and wacky summer and fall. I spent most of the summer working for a friend as a mobile pet groomer. I was actually the "head wienie washer". Hey, what do you expect when I can't actually groom them? I did get to appreciate the art that actually is part of a good grooming. The only fiasco was with a cat. He didn't want a bath and shave. Mitzi got bitten and he scratched me up pretty well on the way down. We took her to the doctor immediately to get started on antibiotics, and Cabinet Man picked me up there. At home in the bath was where I found my battle injuries. That was July and the scars didn't really fade until September.

I worked for a couple of months down in Denver. I could easily live in that part of town. Legal work, which I really enjoy. But it was only a two month assignment and not permanent. That would have been nice, but I'd be very tired ALL the time. So now I am working part time doing scheduling for the groomer friend and part time at my kids' school as a lunch monitor. They are terrific kids for the most part (I work with the upper grades) but some of them are a real pain. Love the ladies I work with. It's funny seeing some of the kids I watched graduate come back and work after they have their degrees...have a hard time calling them Mr. and Mrs!

There is a course offered on Dance...swing dancing to be exact. The kids have a great time and get up and dance during their lunch periods also. Some of them are really good. There are a couple of places here locally that they can dance and it's not unusual to see them in the summer out at City Park at the Friday dances. I've heard a rumor that an adult dance class is going to be offered after the first of the year. Cabinet Man won't do it, but I will. Just looks like fun!

Snickerdoodle, aka Model Child, has had her first two assignments. She got them on her own. One was for a fabric store here in town for local designers. Below is a shot from that one.

It was a pro bono shoot. She did another in November for the cover for a novel that she did get paid for, so that was fun. Not allowed to post that one...copyright stuff I think. Anyway, lovely stuff.

College Dude did well on his fall courses...thank goodness. I promise you, for the drama we endured around here the last month of classes...I'm glad genetics is over. He ended up with 3 pretty tough classes but he pulled B's in all of them so he's quite happy.

Specialist is finally deploying in Iraq. He's very excited and looking forward to it. Mom? Not so much. I wish he had a different Commander in who was actually concerned about our military, but if wishes were horses....We'll have another Christmas at the end of January when he comes home on pre-deployment leave. He's bringing a buddy with him...who happens to be Model Child's boyfriend. They've never met in person, but they've been talking on the phone, emailing and texting for months now. Some of her friends think it is 'unnatural' that they've not met, but I have to tell them to remember how their grandparents or great grandparents met and if they corresponded if the grandfather was in WWII...they just don't get it. I'm happy that they have gotten to know each other in this fashion before meeting. They are very encouraging to one another...he supports her in her desire to start college in the fall (and finish). Who knows where this will lead? I'm okay to see what develops...her father is a bit nervous...;D But we'll see where God leads them.

Sunshine is in 5th grade this year and is doing well. Holding her back last year was indeed the best thing for her. She has made new friends and kept the old ones. I am particularly taken with her friend Mary. Sweet little girl who can hold her own in this family (there are 5 kids in her family) and that is saying a lot.

Well, that's it for now. New Year's resolution is to get back here regularly. I have plans for sewing and crafting and painting for 2011...have to keep busy!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday (or whatever you celebrate) and a fabulous new year!

hugs to all

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Best curbside find --EVAH! (for now anyway)

I did a bit of garage saling last weekend and had actually planned show it off...then I curb-shopped this one on the way home the other day and it takes precedence. I have wanted a porch swing, patio swing, any kind of swing for years...but it just hasn't happened. Then, on the way home the other day, I passed this baby.

Please ignore the junk behind it...the landfill has been closed due to high winds every time we have tried to go over the past two weeks.

The cushions are a vintage-y floral (prettier than in the picture). I was yelling at Cabinet Man to STOP! Back up! I want that! He backed up, and I was out of the truck and around to the side, trying it out. He was wanting to know how much they were wanting for it and I was pointing to the FREE sign and telling him to get down there and pick up that end after he put the tailgate down on the truck. While he was doing that, I was back at the truck telling Snickerdoodle to get out of the car and HELP!

I have taken the cushions off to clean them up and it is all in great shape! I know they usually have a canopy on them, and I figured out that is why they were getting rid of of the places where you fasten the canopy is broken. Probably our high winds. Cabinet Man has looked at it again and I have made a couple of suggestions on how to mount it (like he wouldn't know how!)

He mentioned today that he thought the place I wanted it moved to in the yard is a good idea. I now have enough yard furniture to actually have a nice back I just need a patio cover like Rhoda suggests. After 8 years in this place, I might finally get one!

Linking up to the lovely Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Mondays. I don't know about you, but I cannot WAIT to see what she does with her 'room'!

Prayers please this week! Graduation and party on Saturday for Snickerdoodle. I have to make several dozen mini-cupcakes. And I'll post details next week including the cupcake plates, tablecloth, decor, etc.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Metamorphosis Monday--it's been a while

This is mostly a 'so-far' metamorphosis...I want to finish it up but could use some suggestions.

Before - and please excuse the ratty looking cat scratch post there...apparently I need to reattach that rope---again! Oh yeah...that tub of fabric on top too...sigh. I need to work on my pictures!

tabletop before

Here's the after. tabletop

I am thinking about painting the trim gold...needs a few more coats of modge podge...and it looks a lot cuter in person! My cost for this was around 35 cents! The tray is one of a set from Freecycle. The cutouts are all from saved J.Peterman catalogs...I adore those catalogs...for the stories as much as for the items in it. See for yourself here:

Maybe outlining the stuff with a paint pen? (sigh) I just don't know...but they are so cute in person! Going to do the other two in the set over the soon as I decide what to use. Took forever to save the catalogs!

Linking up to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch!

I also made this over the past week...but more a show-offy thing rather than a metamorphosis! :D

book wreath

Here it is on the wall over my hubby's reading chair!

book wreath on wall

Another week of job hunting and dog bathing really is fun.



Friday, April 30, 2010

Graduation Party Prep and Plea for Ideas

Snickerdoodle (aka Model Child) is graduating Memorial weekend. As money is really tight, I'm actually able to get a head start on it (unlike when College Dude graduated from HS).

She's having the party with two (male) classmates, so it cannot be really girly. One of the boys has volunteered his family's membership at the lake so we can have the party there...which cuts down on the need for decorations. I made a run by Goodwill today and scored a yellow tablecloth and 4 blue dinner plates (school colors). I picked up 4 black metal candleholders so, with the addition of E6000 glue), there will be serving dishes of various heights. Everything was yellow label so it was all 50% off! I also grabbed 3 black metal display thingies for decorative plates or pictures on tabletops...3 of them, 3 grads...senior pictures or mini collages in each one for display, some confetti and that is done. I have some silver holders that should have Pyrex or other glass dishes in dish, but the raffia or ribbon across the bottom, towels in them and they can hold the plastic silverware. So I think that other than maybe some balloons and confetti...the decorations are taken care of!

I am starting to collect cans so I can use them to make holders for tea light candles or votives. Maybe someone else would feel like buying citronella candles...or I can pick up some oil and put a few drops in each tea light. I can always use citronella oil in summer. I've seen the can candleholder on Martha Stewart I think, but the reminder was here

If the other two sets of parents will pick up the food expenses, I will make red velvet cupcakes (torn between quick and using a mix or being true to my Texas/southern roots and doing them from scratch). Of course, if I do from scratch I can make a batch per week, freeze half and let the family have the other half so they'll be quiet ;D

Another idea I had was to find out where the boys will go to college and have some sort of little picture of their college or mascot or something to go on the table next to their picture....what do ya'll think?

That's it for now...and any other suggestions for cheap/free decor would be greatly appreciated!



Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Header

My new header is the work of a friend from HS. As much as I enjoy Spring in Colorado, I miss my bluebonnets and apparently this is a bumper year for them. Thanks Larry.

Creativity is back...and so am I!

I've missed you! I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a rough winter creativity-wise. Not sure why, but I was content with dreaming and considering and reading. With the economy down and loss of my job last summer...let's just say it was tight and hard.

I'm now working part time for a start-up...Van Dyne Superturbo, Inc. It's an amazing piece of technology and I really enjoy working there. I'm busy for starters...very busy! And as most of you know, even when I was working, there wasn't much to do. Now I'm having to remember how to prioritize and organize at work! Bonus is that I worked with gearheads who like cars...the faster the better...and forget 'green' although it is a very green piece of technology.

Family update: Cabinet Man has moved his shop back to our home...need to figure out again how to heat it better in the winter (the ceiling is open to the rafters and no insulation and no real way to put it up there!). But it's warming up so we'll worry about that in September. He is down in Denver again this weekend wrapping the front columns on the house he did last summer. College Dude is on schedule to graduate next year...our first college grad! He's still living at home..but paying for his own education and working also. We told him that he has 90 days after getting a job to move out. If he goes to grad school at CSU, that will be another story, but he plans to go out of state to grad school so that won't be an issue. I have plans for his room.

Snickerdoodle is getting ready to graduate in May and go off to Elmhurst in the fall. She should hear about acceptance into their honors program soon. Her thesis (for high school) is mostly done and she is ready for her oral presentation. Yes, they have to do a 40 page senior thesis and a 15 page oral presentation! Can't remember right now what it is on. Yeah, I am a wretched mother. We did get some pics back from the agency from her photo shoot in January and she's just gorgeous! She looked at the video they sent and the pics and, in the most awestruck voice, said "Mom, I look like a model." It was so funny. So, without further ado, here she is. The first one is my favorite one. I love it.And yes, she has legs up to her neck in the second one.

_MG_8426 front


Sigh, I used to be that little...and if she ever reads this blog, I am DEAD for posting those pics.

And Sunshine is trying to get her 15 minutes of fame as a lot of attention is being focused on Snickerdoodle. But we keep telling her that she will be the focus of our undivided attention beginning in September so...(insert evil laugh here). But she is doing so much better in school than at this time last year so we've been 'vindicated' by holding her back. She does understand and accept now that it was a good idea.

I'm starting to get things going again though. Cabinet Man has agreed to sell the buffet (finally!) It's early American maple and really pretty and well made, etc. But I am so very tired of it after 20+ years and ready for something else (and I have been threatened with my life by my sister if I paint it) I will get that Art Deco cabinet unveneered and upstairs for the television. Not decided yet what I'll used for storage in place of the buffet, but I will find something. Or convince Cabinet Man to build me something. I'm on the search for fabric for our bedroom. I love the paint color that I had picked out last year for it, but not sure that it will work with the fabrics that I am considering. I would love to find some vintage look floral or toile..and make sure that Cabinet Man is okay with it. Our bedroom is going to be more feminine, but since I have restrained myself for the past 29 years, I can do that now :D

This weekend I made two pairs of pajama pants for Sunshine out of an old pink sheet...she loves them. We made her a purse also out of some extra fabric around that she found. I have a bunch of old sheets to make stuff out of, so I'm playing with those. The dog bed came over from the shop space, so I am painting that today. It's raw wood so it is SUCKING up the spray paint, even after priming it. I suspect that I'll be heading to the landfill recycling and grabbing a quart of black or white for it. Not sure yet which I'll do. I have some stuff that I can use for the bedding in it. Now to train the cattle dogs to stay in it when we need them from underfoot. I hate having the crates in the family room. We had them in there for so long that Cabinet Man didn't realize how nice it looked without them. And with a big bed for the cattle dogs and my Duncan liking his basket, it will work. By summer I expect to to have NO dog crates and NO toys in the family room. A first!

I also did a first last month. I made two sunbonnets and a shopkeeper's wife apron for our school Spring musical. The apron was biggest pain. The waistband and tie directions were terrible. I would have been better off making it one very long length, then attaching it. Next time. Or I might see if I can redo it. And I had to make a bib for the top. And I decided that if women in the 1800s had had access to twill tape, they would have used them for ties around the neck. So there.

Sorry this is so long. I'll be doing another post soon showing the little 'thrifty' things that I've been able to pick up over the last month.

Affectionately and long-windedly!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Very surreal week

Metamorphosis of Narcissus Dali

I wrote this back the week before Christmas...and for some reason it never posted...finally, here it is.)

It has been a VERY surreal week here at our house. Very. But also exciting.

Last week, Snickerdoodle came shrieking down the stairs that she had gotten an acceptance email from Elmhurst College outside of Chicago. On Monday, she came shrieking down the stairs and into the kitchen...she had gotten her acceptance letter AND a letter informing her that she had been awarded the President's Scholarship! It will cover roughly half of her tuition/fees for four years! She was so incredibly excited. In her words, the last four years of sitting home on weekends just paid off big time.

Wait, it gets even better/weirder. Last September she was at a concert with a friend and was scouted by an agent for a modeling agency. She took the card, refused to give the woman any of her contact info and sort of blew it off. She almost threw the card away. I started doing research. I contacted an old high school friend who models in the Houston area and asked her about them. We both researched it and seemed legitimate. Snickerdoodle was asked to come to an open call last Saturday, the 12th. Long story short, she made both the finals. We watched a presentation & asked a few questions. They took quick pics and we were told that we'd be contacted in the next 7-14 days with their decision.

I received a voicemail on Wednesday afternoon....they want to sign her. Yes, Snickerdoodle is going to sign with a MAJOR modeling agency! How exciting is that? My nerdy pretty girl! He apparently loved her. I talked to her agent (makes me giggle to say that) earlier tonight and got the photographer's information to set up an appointment. They chose 5 girls from Denver (we're north of there & she just happened to be in town for the show). So at some point everyone will meet in Denver for a shoot. She'll own the portfolio from here on out, the agency will get a copy of everything.

The sales guy at the office where I am for now has a college age daughter who also signed with this agency. She's now with a local one out of Denver and is very happy with them. He just couldn't say enough good things about the agency, the owner and just in general, so that was very reassuring. So, we've done all our research and talking. I really liked the owner's down to earth style (apparently one of three heterosexual men in the fashion business...with six kids), makes the calls himself instead of an assistant...really liked him.

In the end, even if nothing comes of this....she's going to have the very best senior pictures ever ;D

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Security Goose or My workweek

I swear, sometimes I wonder what it is about me that has me working for odd people :D My current (temp) boss is a guy I worked for a couple of years ago for 2 months as a temp. He's a jerk. I'm not sure what his personality has been in the past, but he had a stroke in 2000 so I know he gets frustrated with memory loss. As someone who's 'been there, done that', I understand.. And he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. As long as he is on his meds, he does pretty well. He is also delusional if he thinks that he is going to benefit in any way from Obama and the stimulus. So far he's written a couple of letters, asking him to loosen up the strings on the credit so he can build some houses. Pretty nice community in Greeley, CO, but bad timing. No one is building spec houses, he's got a LOT of debt (roughly half a mil per year in interest payments. Anyway, he need to retire. So far he's not yelled at me, but when he does, I'll walk out. He honestly should sell out and retire, travel and/or fish until he no longer can, then settle home. But I am also sure he is lonely....he tends to alienate people.

Monday was supposedly a holiday. However, I am working temp so I wouldn't get paid. I emailed my boss and reminded him it was a holiday on Monday, but I was going to come in anyway for the phones. Turns out a good thing I did as he forgot it was a holiday and didn't know where everyone was. He was pleased and very nice about it. Brought me a new coffee mug on Tuesday ;D.

Wednesday he pulls into the lot (I try to let everyone know when he is there...only 5 people there anyway, and only 2-3 of us there all the time. Nate groans and looks out the window.

Nate: "He's got a dead goose." 
Me: Really?
Nate: Yeah.
Me: Okay.

Mike walks in the door with a dead goose by the neck, right behind the head. It hangs down beside him. I started laughing.  He asks me if I want it.  Nope, no idea what to do with it. It's still got it's feet and feathers. He walks into Jody's office, putting it down in the doorway.  Talks a few minutes, picks up his goose and goes down the hallway, shedding goose down and feathers. He stops in Nate's office a minute, but there is no chair in there really so he doesn't stay. Comes out and goes on down the hallway to the CFO's office. I glance down the hallway, and he dropped the goose in the doorway & goes to sit in John's office. From the distance, almost looks like a small dog in the doorway. I am still giggling and laughing. I go find the vacuum cleaner and get all the down and feathers up off the floor. I go to the kitchen, grab a trash bag & follow Mike down the hallway.  I opened the bag and told him to put it in there so I don't have to vacuum up more feathers. (Fortunately, there are no fluids dripping from it or I would have raised Cain).

He fools around the office a while, then grabs his trash bag with the goose in it and goes off to his massage therapist. Apparently she doesn't want it either and he eventually ends up giving it to one of the architects that he visits before he goes onto the development in Greeley.

Wednesday afternoon he comes back in, sans goose, and tells me to call the architects (gives me names) and has me invite them to get with a guide and come out to the property goose hunting on Friday. I do so and they arrange to come out and hunt on Friday. We have 42 acres, some wetlands that he wants to develop for a shopping center or something. I get to work this morning & they are out there, setting up the blind, etc. Hear a few shots during the course of the day, then a bunch. I get a phone call at around 11 AM .

Troy: We're getting hungry out here and don't have a phone book.
Me: Okay.
T: Can you call up and order us some pizza and we'll meet the driver and pay for it?
Me: Sure. What do you want?
T: Large pepperoni and large sausage.
Me: Drinks?
T: Yeah, two diet and two regular.
Me: Coke? 'Cause it's all coke to me.
Troy: Yeah, coke's good.
Me: Who do you want?
Troy: Dominos is okay.

The entire conversation, I can hear goose calls in the background.

30 min later or so, the pizza is delivered. One of the guys meets the driver and pays her.  They all gather at the trucks. I go into the kitchen and grab a roll of paper towels & a trash bag and take it out to them. And to grab a piece of pizza. Yes, I was sharing pizza from the same box as 5 men who had been rolling on the ground and shooting geese 30 min before and had NOT WASHED THEIR HANDS.

Afternoon rolls on and they finish up. Mike wants to meet with them the next week to discuss the site and possibly condos at the other development. So I go out to see which day is good for them, and they are working on the geese. One of the guys is plucking one of them...more like running his fingers thru the feathers and they are everywhere in the back of his truck. So just watch a bit, comment some...they discuss what to do...and I watch them tear open the skin and poke around to where they want to cut. Back inside to get the key to the dumpster lock for them...back outside and one has pulled a leg and thigh off (I think) and is brandishing it around. I unlock the dumpster and ask them to lock it back up when they are done. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking...okay, what do I put them in and how do I clean goose feathers? There's probably enough off those three and others for a small pillow.

Back inside. Sheesh. Having 2 sons prepared me well for this job. I leave at 5 and there are goose feathers EVERYWHERE in the lot...sigh. I put up with all this in 3 days...and he's complaining because he's paying the agency too much!

Why do I end up with the weird jobs? Another day I'll tell you about the weirdest job interview ever.