Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is everybody comfortable?

The past three nights have been spent like this:When I have my legs on any foot stool, Milo is on my legscomfy Mi?
Tree at my side.
In the summer, we never go into the keeping room. In the summer, I am outdoors either gardening or walking with Chelsea on the trail. In the winter, we live in the keeping room, staying ever near the fire. And the animals want to be warm, too, so they live near the fire, too. In the winter, I read. And read and read. I read books and I catch-up on all of my magazines. We are barely into winter and I already have a stack of mags that I've read. If I can get a table into the keeping room, I could work on my art in there. That is the plan anyway.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No boat

The water is wide
I cannot cross over
and neither have I
wings to fly
Give me a boat
that will carry two
and both shall row
my love and I

I always thought being in a relationship was supposed to be something like two people, floating on the deep blue sea, in a little boat - together. Recently, I haven't even felt as if I am in the boat, alone or with another. I don't even feel as if I have a boat. Fortunately, I am as comfortable in the water as on land. (Figuratively and literally.) I was a lifeguard in my younger days, so I suppose it is something akin to the statement "physician, heal thyself!"
"Lifeguard, save thyself!"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Half Off

Many years ago, a dear friend (R.I.P. Steve) gave me a "woodland Santa." It has been a treasured part of my holiday decorations ever since.
Last year, I was fortunate to find another beautiful woodland Santa.

This year, I spied a wonderful woodland Santa with a full fluffy beard. I decided I would take my chances and wait until the day after Christmas to try to purchase. Late in the day, I went in to the store and there he was...the last one.
The duggles is a skier, so this Santa is perfect.
Look at that wonderful beard!
I was very excited to find him still in the store. I told the young man at the check-out (high school age?) that I had been all the way to Indianapolis and back to Bloomington and the woodland Santa was still there. The cashier cracked me up when he said "well, yeah. I mean, Christmas is over. I guess there is always next year." It was hilarious because his attitude was
"why wouldn't it still be here? who wants it?"
ME! So, I have another woodland Santa to add to my collection. Happy half-off shopping to you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Season's Greetings

I received a card from the animal hospital where I take Chelsea. I opened the card and said out loud "I love my vet!" Dr. Jennifer is wonderful. Very caring and kind, never rushes us. Chelsea has been there several times and it seems everyone on staff knows her.

Isn't this adorable?
This may seem like a silly question for some of you...but do you buy your pets gifts for Christmas ? I bought Chelsea an "indistructible" frisbee/pull toy that is made by Jeep. We'll see how long it lasts. Very few toys are Chelsea-proof. I was showing it to Doug and held it down in the sack and said "I don't want her to see it!"
I love Chelsea and my kitters sooooooo much. I kiss them and tell them that I love them every day. I even sign their names on my Christmas cards. Speaking of Christmas cards, I've got to run...I'm making every last one of them and by the time I sign them, they have been through several steps. I should have had them in the mail by now! Gifts to guest room is "wrapping central" right now with gifts every where, ribbons and tags and gift bags.
So, tell us, what did you buy your special fur child for Christmas?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This is how we celebrate Christmas.

I picked up this Christmas meme from Doris. Participate if you feel so inclined. I would love to hear about your holiday traditions!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Depends. I love Evan Williams eggnog. I usually cut eggnog with milk. I do like Kahlua or Bailey's in it, too. And, yes - hot chocolate, too -with marshmallows or whipped cream.

2. Does Santa wrap gifts or just leave them under the tree? When I was growing up, and when my children were little, Santa left a few special gifts under the tree - the rest were wrapped. Now, all gifts are wrapped. I've continued my great-grandma's tradion of making my own tags using old cards and a paper punch and pinking shears. My "signature look" is curling ribbon. Mostly, I use gift bags. So easy!

3. Colored lights or white? I like both. My son always wanted colored lights. Now that I have a pre-lit tree, it has green, red and white lights.

4. Mistletoe? Not always, but sometimes. Christmas is always a good excuse to kiss those you love.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Always before my daughter comes home to Indiana. (She has been living out of state for the past five years, now.) This year, my family came from two hours away to celebrate Thanksgiving with us so I put my tree up just before Thanksgiving. I still need to get the rest of my decorations out. On my to-do list for today.

6. Favorite Christmas dish? There are so many! I love cranberry sauce for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ham seems to be good for Christmas. Everyone always wants me to make an appetizer dish that has sausage, salsa, sour creme, cheese that you eat with tortilla chips. So popular that I usually make two.

7. Favorite childhood memory? We always got new pajamas, robe and slippers and a new "Christmas outfit." Growing up, we didn't often have new clothes. I was the oldest of three - it seemed as if someone was always barfing on Christmas day. We would all stop opening presents and wait for them to return from the bathroom. (Not my favorite childhood memory, but a memory none the less.)

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa? I always wanted to believe. I suppose I must have been ten years old when I finally admitted the truth.

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas eve or Christmas morning? Always Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your tree? Never thematic. I use old favorite ornaments and newly acquired old looking ornaments. I love pine cones and a full tree, so I use picks to fill in.

11. Snow! Love it or despise it? LOVE IT! I love it when the world is clean and white without footprint or mark. Grey, dirty snow? NO WAY.

12. Ice skating? In in high school. Before global warming, our local park lake froze hard every year. There would be a fire in a big barrel and my sweet boyfriend would un-lace my skates. Yes, I was good back then- rarely fell. He and I would skate about, holding hands.

13. Favorite gift, ever? I always loved the gifts that my children gave to me when they were little. Last year, the duggles and my two children all pitched in to buy my laptop for me. That was very nice!

14. Most important part of the holidays? Family and friends. I do love to go to church on Christmas Eve, but don't, usually because that is when family is here. I love watching old favorite holiday movies such as "It's a wonderful life, Scrooged, Holiday Inn." I also love the smells of Christmas.

15. Favorite holiday sweets? I loved that ribbon candy that we used to have. There are usually too many sweets around Christmas and I find myself sampling every one of them!

16. Favorite holiday tradition? In my family, the children had to wait until everything was ready before coming into the living room- candles lit, tree lights on. I did that with my children too and even though they are still in their twenties, we still do it. We usually have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and coffee with Kahlua or Baileys in it.

17. What tops your tree? In the past, an angel with a porcelain head wearing a red satin gown with white wings. The past two years, an antiqued tin star.

18. Giving or receiving? GIVING! I shop all year and usually have quite a stash when Christmas rolls around.

19. Candy canes? I like the red and green ones. I always put them in stockings and put a few on the tree.

20. Favorite Christmas show? I've always loved to watch Little Women with Susan Sarandon. I love Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

21. Saddest Christmas song? I'll have a blue Christmas without you sung by Elvis.

22. Favorite Christmas song? The Best Gift on the Barbara Streisand Christmas album. I'll also say that it has always driven everyone nuts around me...but I love the old Kenny and Dolly Christmas album.

I would like to tag Nicole, Susan and Mindy and Kelly.
Last year when Doug's dad passed on December 12, he didn't want to get a tree. I went to Kmart and bought this little pre-lit for $35.00-$40.00. It suits our needs very well and looks great in our keeping room.

Bought this last year, I believe. I remember these from my childhood.
I couldn't get a good shot of our Chelsea can see it front and center.
Now, let me hear from do you celebrate?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Her name is Brianna

At the university, we adopt angels for Christmas. My angel's name, this year, is Brianna. I don't know about other people, but I spend a lot of time thinking about my angel. I think about her mom, their living conditions, what kind of life they may live. I have no idea as to Brianna's hair color, her build, ethnicity. All I know is that she is nine years old, her sizes, her requests.
I think about how she may never get new clothes. I think about how happy these gifts will make her mom. My goal was to get as much bang for my buck as possible.
hat - $1.50, two pairs of gloves - $1.50
two pairs of socks - something like $2-$3.00she asked for hair accessories- bought these for $2.00
Bratz doll - again, her request.
Personally I don't get the attraction...this doll was $9.99 she asked for clothes. pants- $10.00, top- $7.00
sweatshirt- $9.00

be sure to check out Milo in the upper right hand corner!

Brianna, I hope you like pink and brown! I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. At the university, we are also supporting a children's coloring book, books, crayons, pencils drive and supplies for a women's shelter. At our council meeting in Indianapolis, we collected gloves, underwear, belts and socks for inner-city school children. Please remember those who are not as blessed as you are. Even a small donation will make a big difference.

The Mouse Has Been Caught!
Did our cats catch the mouse?
Did Doug's traps catch the mouse?
What caught the mouse?
The sticky sheet that I told Doug was my "before I moved in with Doug" method of catching mice. When all else failed, he went out and bought the sticky sheet and it caught the mouse on the first night that he put it out!
"I told you so!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Two cats and a mouse on the loose. We have resorted to setting traps. (Which one of the cats set off when he ate the cheese from it.) Milo
If anyone has any good tips on catching mice - I would appreciate it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

A sick day, at home from work, calls for a movie. My most recent pick from Netflix was Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Written in 1938 by Winifred Watson, the movie is adapted from the novel by the same name. At 29 years of age, Pettigrew was Watson's third novel. Her publishers rejected it. They felt the themes were too racy for the late thirties. All of Watson's novels dealt with the theme of women having second chances with special emphasis to the fact that women were struggling for survival in a patriarchal world. And as her son, Keith Pickering, discloses in the extras, his mother absolutely refused to write a book without a happy ending. Finally, the book was published. It took three attempts through many years to get the movie produced.
Playing a role like nothing I've ever seen her in ever before, Frances McDormand plays Guinevere Pettigrew. I've been watching McDormand since her Cagney and Lacey days and I've never seen her play a hesitant, docile role as she plays in Pettigrew. A far cry from her role as Sister James in Doubt, is Amy Adam's portrayal of Delysia Lafosse, a woman who uses her beguiling ways to entice men in order to get what she wants - fame and fortune. It becomes a game of whose using whom?
Set in London in 1939, the movie differs from the book with the threat of war. Pettigrew encourages Lafosse to realize that life is short. Lafosse and Pettigrew's paths cross due to Lafosse's concern of appearances and what others think of her. Because others have a social secretary, so must she.
I was intrigued to learn that Amy Adam's sings If I Didn't Care, herself. Her voice is warm and controlled. While researching the movie for this entry, I learned that If I Didn't Care was an international hit by the Ink Spots. The Ink Spots was a four man African American group hailing from Indianapolis, IN.
Tell me that I'm not the only person who thinks Amy Adams is simply adorable. Her character in Pettigrew is energetic, gasping and squealing appropriately. She looks to Pettigrew as a mother figure and as girls often do, falls in love with Pettigrew rather quickly.
Whether you are home sniffling and coughing or just want a delightfully, happy film to watch, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is the film to watch.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mouse Hunt

One of the funniest movies that I've ever seen was "Mouse Hunt," with Nathan Lane. It was about a mouse that destroyed a house and the efforts of two men, attempting to catch the mouse. While our mouse isn't destroying our house, he is causing a certain amount of consternation. I've seen "evidence" that proves that the mouse has been in the living room - but most of the time, he has been in the kitchen.
The other night, Doug left a sleeve of Ritz crackers on the counter. Milo was sitting on the counter watching something on the stove top. I told Doug that the mouse was on the stove top. I went into the kitchen, and sure enough, there was a Ritz cracker, nibbled all the way around, which the mouse was attempting to pull through the hole under the burner.
This morning, I'm home sick, and I could tell that Milo sensed the mouse was nearby. I opened the lazy-susan cabinet and spun it around saying "where is it, Milo? where is the mouse?" Suddenly, the mouse hopped over the top of some boxes of tea and I screamed.
At lunch time, Doug brought a trap home and baited it with peanut butter.
While I do not expect my cat, Milo, the city dweller with no front claws to catch this mouse, I do expect Tree, Doug's bunny-killing cat, to be able to catch said mouse. When Tree is inside, he feels his job is to hold down the cushions on the sofa.

In the meantime, I wait for the snap of the trap, hoping this mouse doesn't destroy our house.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Market

On Saturday, Doug and I went to the Holiday Market. Santa's reindeer were being cared for while he made an appearance. Not certain if this is Dancer or Prancer.
Santa and elf greet a young toddler. I bought a necklace from this woman. It is a fiery orange/red with the word create written on it. Perfect for me as I am experiencing this new found love for art. I also found a pair of hammered sterling earrings that I wanted and I had them in my hand and turned to Doug and said "would you like to get these for me for Christmas?" There was a woman standing to the side of both of us and she laughed and looked up at Doug and said "yes. the answer is yes, you want to get those for her for Christmas." Doug shook his head and took the earrings, telling me to keep walking and that he "might" get them for me.
Leaving the market, I followed this horse and buggy and shot this photo through my windshield.
Let the holiday season begin!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Come ye thankful people come.

Originally, we thought Doug's family was coming here for Thanksgiving. That was way back when I started to work on the kitchen. Have you noticed I haven't mentioned the work on the kitchen recently? That is because we heard that Doug's family was not coming here for Thanksgiving. Then, I invited my family and they said yes. Too late to get the kitchen done. Oh well.
I stayed up way too late last night finishing cleaning the house. Then up at 7 a.m. this morning. Doug's sons (& Erin) came by for breakfast, then we scurried about getting ready for the second shift. Then my parents and my brother arrived. Then my son. I made this little pilgrim boy & girl many years ago in ceramics class.
So long ago that they are signed, "cl."
table in entry-way hall
Tom, Bradley, Doug, Mother, Dad
le table
This explains that feeling in my stomach...ham, roll, turkey, another roll, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry salad, corn, creamed spinach and sausage dressing.
(not pictured: several glasses of tea, cherry cobbler and pecan pie)
Bradley being contemplative
Chelsea - waiting while we eat
o.k., now you can get into Dad's lap
oh, that feels good!
The fam has since left, I had an hour nap. We ate, we all tried to clean up the kitchen (as I write, it is still a bit messy). We looked at photos, showed everyone Chelsea's latest tricks, I helped my brother upload a facebook profile photo. We also sat before the fire for a bit. There is nothing like a wood fire to warm your bones! My sister was with her daughter's family so she called to say hello.
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving, '09?
Money enough to pay the bills a bit left over for extras and vacation. (notice I didn't say wealth)
job with benefits and health insurance
family (missing you today, Laura!), the fact that my brother is doing a lot better and that I still have my parents, both of my children are successful
friends - old and new
roof over our heads
food in our bellies (a lot of food, today!)
a car that is paid for and still running
animals that adore me, no matter what
my duggles
political and religious freedom
What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My very first show!

We recently had a lunch-time Christmas bazaar at the university.
It was just a few hours, there wasn't any fee to be there, so it was a perfect opportunity for my first show. my sign
left side of display
right side of display
close up of tags
a card to cheer a frazzled colleague
birthday card for a friend
I was so happy when I made that first sale! I made $55.00 total. I was worried that I would set up and just sit there and not have any sales. Even if I had not made any sales, it would have been a great day. I had lots of positive comments, so I felt great! Thanks to everyone who bought from me!
I just started on this art journey a year ago and I have taught, am on a design team and now have sold some of my work. I can't wait to see where this journey of discovery takes me.
(Nicole P.- please take note that I said Christmas Bazaar, not Holiday Bazaar.)

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