Monday, December 31, 2012

A quiet New Year's Eve

I got home from my trip last night and I am sick. I spent the day putzing about which is one of my favorite things to do. Spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Facebook. Listened to this lovely cd (Windham Hill Christmas) which was a gift from my daughter. She bought several items from my Amazon wish list for me for Christmas.
 I woke yesterday a.m. with a cold and cough. I left MD at 9:30 a.m. and took my time coming home. Finally stopped at a Walgreen's somewhere in Ohio. The pharmacist I spoke with was from a small town near to where I live. I ate cough drops until I couldn't eat any more. We returned the rental car and I headed to bed.
Doug worked today so it was just me and Chelsea and the cats.  When I walked Chelsea it about did me in.  We have so much snow it makes it difficult for a Corgi to potty.  She hops through the snow like a bunny. 
I am eager to welcome the New Year.  But a little sad to put the year of Paris behind me. (And the last month of my Paris calendar.)
Be safe. Be warm. Don't drink and drive. xoxoxo

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thar he blows

Old man winter is bearing down on something terrible in the Hoosier state tonight.  I was out earlier and it was sleeting/snowing and blowing hard. It is blowing so hard that the blinds over our sliding glass door to the patio are rattling with each burst. I saw on the weather on my phone we may have blasts up to 55 mph.  So far our electricity is holding on.  We do have the fireplace if we need it.  If Doug was home a fire would probably be roaring, but I am home alone tonight.
The wind is blowing like a chorus of muttering old men, low whispering voices sing their song.  I like it. I took Chelsea out to potty earlier and the wind gave us a hug and swooped down and whispered in my ear.
I went out and ran around and did my crazy pre-Christmas shopping thing.  Do you do this?  I think I need to buy more, but I can't exactly say for whom and I go to this store and that just looking. I bought one more gift for the Bee tonight.  Lawsy, she has plenty of gifts from this Grandma, that is for sure.
I work tomorrow and our office party is tomorrow night and then on Saturday morning I will head out bright and early.
First I will drive to Durham, NC to see my son and his girlfriend and her family and my dear friend since high school - Laura P. Then on the 26th I will drive on up to Baltimore to see the Bee and her Mama/Mommy.  I will stay with them until Sunday and then head home.  A lot of driving, but I'm o.k. with it.  I'm going alone because we couldn't find anyone to babysit this farm and the two cats, Corgi and 23 chickens.
I'm about ready to kiss this old year good riddance - are you? It has been a tough year on one hand and on another hand the blessings have been bountiful.  I am sad to see the year of Paris end. (And be on the last page of my Paris calendar.)
2013 will be a better year, I'm sure of it.  Lucky 2013.
I'm hauling my laptop along, so who knows?  Maybe you'll hear from me while I'm on the road. Stay warm, stay dry and count your blessings.  Take a tip from the wind and hug your loved ones a little tighter. xo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Writing, writing, writing

If you noticed the latest and greatest on my blog page, it is that I was asked to write for Little Indiana premiere issue of the magazine.  Jessica Nunemaker IS Little Indiana and I was thrilled when she asked me to write for the magazine.  You may read online or order a hard copy via this link:

for only $2.00 you may read online or for $8.00 you may order a hard-copy version.  And as a special bonus, if you order the hard-copy version, you get an electronic version for FREE.

Here is a link to my December guest post which was a revival of a previous post (and one of my favorite posts)

which is about when the Bee was born.

My tag for this post is "coveting another blogger's life."  Jessica is one of those people that seems to have it all- she is savy in all ways of savy-ness- she has a facebook page , she tweets and blogs.  Then the good folks at PBS approached her.  WHAT? You say?  Yup.  Now she is a movie star, too! And now the magazine. Hit up some of these links I've provided and go buy a magazine.  You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

How to get tickets to a sold-out Indiana University basketball game - my son's visit.

My son was home for a brief visit this weekend. There was an IU game last night - IU vs. Central Connecticut State. For now, IU is ranked number one. My son told me on Friday he would like to go to the game. My son now lives in North Carolina and doesn't get back to Indiana too often. He said "if they go all the way and I miss a chance to see them while I'm home..." So Mama set out to find tickets. I was up early yesterday and the first call I made was to the IU ticket office. I was told there were no tickets but tickets might open up later on in the day. Then I called the number listed in the big ad in the classified section of the newspaper. I was told he had seats on Row 8 for $85. and on Row 17 for $75. No thank you. Then I looked online at Craig's List and others but didn't find anything but one and two seats together.
I headed to Starbucks for a Caramel Brulee latte and a piece of banana walnut loaf. Then I went down to 17th Street where there are always scalpers on game day. The man I talked to told me he didn't have three seats together and it was unlikely I would find three seats together. His asking price was $100-$150. I said no thanks. Then I called the ticket office again and was told they had three tickets on the ninth row at face value of $33.00 each. If you go to the ticket office in person you save $10.00 each ticket on the "handling charge." You guessed it - by the time I got to the ticket office those three seats were gone and all they had were one and two seats together.
I had one more stop to make before I headed home to get the chicken and noodles on for our lunch. (My son's request.) I wanted to go to a Christmas open house in a barn but got lost trying to find the barn. I have lived here for five years but got lost out in the country and drove around for an hour. Finally I got on the map on my phone and found my way home. All of my running around for nothing. Just a big waste of time and gas.
My son arrived and we had our chicken and noodles and Sister Schubert rolls. (No plug here - just our favorite rolls.)
We decided to head down to Assembly Hall and try our hand at buying tickets from the scalpers. We knew if couldn't find tickets for a good price we would go watch it somewhere downtown. We had nothing to lose. The first scalper we spoke with stood on the corner. He told us some tale of how his dentist gave him these two tickets and they were great seats and he wanted $150.00 each. I told him we wanted three seats at face value. He asked me where I was from and when I said "here," he said "then you know how hot these tickets are." I told him I did but that my friend Cornelius had told me not to pay more than face value for tickets for this game. This seemed to anger the man and when we walked away he yelled after us.  I turned and said to him "you still have those tickets in your hand and we still have our money."  He yelled "I've got money, too, lady!"
Then we started asking every scalper we came across how much and where were the seats. It seems to me the lowest price we were quoted was $75.00/ticket. We didn't want to pay more than face value $33.00- $40.00 at the most. As we walked closer to Assembly Hall it was getting closer and closer to tip off. Several guys picked up on the fact we were looking for tickets and they began to approach us. We kept walking. Finally a man was walking towards us looking dejected. He had two tickets in his hand and asked us if we needed tickets. We told him we were looking for three.  He told us he only had two but he would let us have two for $30.00.  I said "no, no, no...we need three." Finally he said he would sell us two tickets for $25.00 and we took them.  Now we needed one more ticket. In the end, Doug got a twenty out and waved it around and three or four guys ran to us. (By this time it was about seven minutes to tip-off.) We bought a single ticket for $15.00. Three tickets for $40.00.  But we were still concerned about the three of us sitting together. When we went in to where the two seats were together, there was a third empty seat! It worked out perfectly.
 Across the way sat John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan.  I knew Meg had been in Bloomington for some time but I had never seen her out in public.

 My son and I on the Hoosier bench after the game:
 After the game we went to Nick's. My son bought the first round.

Then we went across the street to the Upstairs Pub and I bought the next round. We sat at the bar and watched Ultimate Fighting Championship. I had never seen anything like it and was a little horrified.  Anything goes except kicks to the groin.  It hurt to watch.
Then we came home and sat by the fire and talked until two-thirty in the morning. 
My son had to head out this morning so I was up and at 'em to get the coffee on.  We also had orange juice.  I made bacon and then cooked up some perogies in the bacon grease with salt and pepper.  Another meal from my son's growing-up years at home.

All too soon it was time for him to head out. But I will see him soon for Christmas when I go out there.
There you have it. I hoped you have learned as I have - if you need tickets for a sold-out basketball game at Indiana University, don't waste your time driving around and calling all of the numbers in the paper and online - just head down to Assembly Hall and see your friendly scalper.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I know it is early, but I want to give you plenty of time to work your magic.
At first, I thought to myself - how is Santa ever going to top that trip to Paris? 
I mean, that was the best gift ever!
But then I read about the pink Honda Fit.
Maybe my letter should be addressed to Honda, but I have faith in you, Santa.
You see, for now, the pink Fit is only available in China and Japan.
Skeptics are calling it a car for very young ladies who love Hello Kitty and old ladies. 
I suppose, in the eyes of one who is 20 or 30 years younger than me, I am an "old" lady.
A PINK car?  Yes, please.
This is a women's specific car.  I have a women's specific bicycle - why not a women's specific car?
This car also has a special windshield glass that claims to cut ninety-nine percent of ultraviolet rays and "Plasmacluster" air-conditioning that Honda says can improve the skin quality of the driver. Sign me up!
The starting price is $17,500.
Not too shabby considering in '93 I paid $15,000. for a new Honda Civic EX. (Which I am still driving with an odometer reading nearly 189,000 miles.
 I hear that some in the United States are calling this women's specific car "sexist." I don't get that, personally.  There have been huge trucks for men and muscle cars for men and it seems from the beginning of time - automobiles were for men - no women.  I say "about time!"
 The one pictured below is my favorite.  SO cute!  These women specific cars have pink stitching and other touches of pink.  The emblem reads She's with a heart for the apostrophe.  I can understand some might think this is gaggy, but I think it is adorable.
So, Santa, can you see what you can do?  I would appreciate it.  If Honda doesn't get this car to the U.S., someone else will.  I'm going down to the dealership and make a personal inquiry. 
I should have looked into this on Black Friday or Cyber Monday - maybe Asia would have given me free shipping? 
Santa, if you can't work this deal out - another trip to Paris would be fine.
Love ya, Santa,baby.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lawn Fawn

There was a whole lot of fun going on at Papertrix, yesterday.  Because I design for Cindy and the shop, she allowed Kate (another shop designer) and myself to sit in on two classes taught by Lynnette Kauffman, who is a member of the Lawn Fawn design team.
Here is a photo from the first class:
 And here are the cards we made in the first class.  I love the googly eyes on the owl.
 In the second class, Cindy joined us!  Having her at the table with us was a real treat as she rarely sits down and rarely sits in on a class.  I think she saw how much fun we were having and had to jump in. (Cindy, me, Kate, Emily.) You may visit Emily at her blog:  We'll always have Paris.studios.
 In the second class we made these cards:  I love the little cottage in the Sweet Christmas card.  The set has many embellishments to personalize to each person's style.
 The big thrill for me was that I WON the Sweet Christmas stamp set and the Winter Fox stamps and a 6x6 package of the FaLaLa paper in a drawing.  Love the Fa La La paper says 36 sheets of fun.  (I apologize for the flash bounce off of the cellophane.)
I love taking classes.  I always learn at least one new technique or style. In this class, I learned to give the cards more depth as in stamping the snowman's arms on the paper when the snowman stand out in front of that layer.  And layer the snow and edging with stickles.  Oh, how I love me some stickles! I'm certain Lynnette will be back again.  Be sure and watch the Papertrix website for new classes in the new year. You may find Lynnette at her blog Netter's Notables. For more stamp sets and lots of inspiration visit Lawn Fawn. Another reason I love classes is we always have a lot of fun.  Lynnette brought delicious cookies with red and green m&ms and we all created and learned and munched and exchanged blog and pinterest websites.  (And admired Emily's fingernails - OPI's It's my year and exchanged hair product ideas.)
What a great day of pre-holiday fun! Thank you, Cindy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I did this!

When my girls moved into their new house - I gave them a hard time about not hanging stuff on the walls.  Now I understand. I painted the master bedroom this spast summer and when I painted,we took down everything and filled in the holes. We wanted to start over. It has taken months to do anything at all.
Recently, when I was at Papertrix, I found this wonderful sheet of Graphic 45. I'm sorry to say I don't think you can get this paper any longer. I thought it was beautiful and instantly thought I'm going to frame this and hang it in the master bedroom!
I went to Michael's and all I could find was an inexpensive brownish-black plastic 12x12 frame. (It does have glass.) I didn't like the dark frame but knew I could fix it. The fist thing I did was to use my all time favorite paint - Golden Acrylics Titan Buff and started applying with a brush.  Not covering completely with differing amounts of paint. I took some old t-shirt material and started rubing out the paint.  After the buff dried I took some Golden Fluid Acrylic Burnt Sienna and painted some on here and there.  Again, I rubbed with the cloth.  Then it looked too red to me.  I took some Golden Fluid Acrylic Titanium white and brushed over all here and there.  Again rubbing with the cloth. Finally, I achieved the look I desired. It doesn't even look like a plastic frame any longer.
 Long before I ever painted the room, I bought this decal at Target. There was only one bird in the tree originally and I added a few more. The birds are all separate and you just stick them where you want - which is fun.
This is all we've done so far.  Still lots of wall space but I haven't decided what I want to do.  Plenty of time...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thinking outside the box

What is better in the fall than baking?  It makes the kitchen all warm and cozy and makes the house smell wonderful. Recently, while shopping at Kroger, I happened upon some box cookies.  Very simple recipe.  I picked up some cream cheese frosting in a can.  I baked the cookies on my Pampered Chef stoneware. 
Then I allowed the cookies to cool and iced them.

Dug finished off a dozen in the first night - he swears he did not but mysteriously, half of the cookies were missing.  They were delicious.  I may make up a couple of batches to have for Thanksgiving.  YUM, Yum, yum.  If you can handle using a box mix, I recommend these. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let me say this about that

Note to readers:  This is my soap box.  If you disagree with what I have to say, move on to the next blog.  (Easy Peasy) I do hope you'll come back, though.
First, let's go back in time to 2011.  It was the day after Thanksgiving and my friend and I were on the circle in downtown Indianapolis for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Some country band was performing.  When they started singing "Proud to be an American," everyone joined in.  Tears streamed down faces.
I am very proud to be an American.  Case in point:  when I went to Paris this past May and read that the French wore black shoes and if you wore anything other than black shoes, they would know you were an American.  What did I do?  I ran out and bought a pair of Paris pink tennis shoes! 
One reason I think America is great is that whenever we want someone to win - we genuinely believe they are going to win. High school basketball, Big Ten football, you name it - if we are cheering for someone, we believe they will win.
Same with this election.  If we are democrats, we can't imagine anyone would vote for Romney.  If you are Republican, you can't imagine anyone voting for Obama. I have an interesting, checkered political past. I was born and raised in Indiana.  In a small eastern-central Indiana town.  Everyone was Republican.  And I do mean everyone.  We cheered the Republicans in our small town parades. When it came time for me to vote at the tender age of eighteen, I registered as Republican.  Of course I did.
Then, my daughter started to show me the light.  I started to lean the other way.  I fell in love with Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.  I remember being on a plane one time and this guy assumed I was a Republican.  (I think I'm an old hippie and I don't look like a Republican at all.) But this guy starts going off on Nancy Pelosi and how much he hated her and how she should keep her mouth shut.  I smiled and said "I love her."  He didn't speak to me the rest of the flight. Long after Hillary Clinton wasn't elected, my son informed me it was time to take my Hillary for President bumper sticker off my car.  It was tough for me to do.  I peeled it off and stuck it to the mirror in my bathroom where it is to this day.
Five years ago I moved to Bloomington.  If any town in Indiana is blue, it is Bloomington.  Don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of conservative Republicans.  It is almost divided.  But it is divided.  The rest of the state and all of the little towns about the state are red as blood.
I can't tell you exactly what year it was that I started to vote Democrat, but once I did, I didn't turn back.  I asked if I could change how I was registered.  The woman said "it doesn't matter, you can vote however you want." Well, it matters to me.

I am a woman.
My daughter and her wife are gay.
I have a granddaughter.
I believe a woman should have the say as to what she does with her body.
I am a woman and I don't want to be in a binder.
I can't imagine Romney having any of my interests in mind.  Or paying any attention to me.  I am middle-class or lower middle class.  Even though I qualified for "hand-outs" at one point in my life, I never took any.  But shouldn't it be the "Christian" thing to do?  To help those who are less fortunate than we are?  It doesn't seem this is Romney's point of view.  He has made his fortune by swallowing up small companies and putting people out of work.
Yes, I am so Democrat now I can't imagine being Republican.
Funny how that has worked out for me.
This seems to me to be one of the most important elections of my life time.
Do I think my guy will win?  I certainly hope so.
If he doesn't (and this in no way indicates a lack of confidence) I will have to move to Ireland.  Surrender my American status.  It is beautiful in Ireland.  No taxes.  Rain and fog, which I love.  They kind of speak English. Seems like a good idea to me. Plus, I can't stand the sound of Romney's voice and don't want to listen to that for the next four years.
I've already heard rumblings from my Republican relatives that if the Dems win, it is because we cheated somehow.  They haven't even lost yet and they are whining about the Dems cheating.  Please.
May the best man win.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

To die for chicken enchiladas

I always wanted to make chicken enchiladas, but until last night, I never had. I love enchiladas, but to me they are never quite right.  I can easily creep myself out about food in restaurants.  And if I make something well, I will never order in a restaurant because you are darn tootin' I'm going to like my version better.
I came across this recipe on and thought to myself "that looks do-able!"
I printed out the recipe and went to the grocery to buy the ingredients. 

Original recipe makes 6 servings

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I caught this happy trio filming a video near the court house on the town square.  This was a couple of weeks ago - not today.  Only in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Post number 500.  Not that many, really when you consider I've been on here since 2008.  I was on another site for a couple of years before that.
I enjoy blogging because it fulfills my need to write and publish.  I enjoy shooting and using my own photos.  I enjoy the interaction that results from blogging.  I get a real sense of accomplishment from blogging.
I'm always writing blog posts - in my mind.  Do you do that?  I shoot a bunch of photos and have it all planned but life gets in the way sometimes and it doesn't get written.
I tend to be Mary Sunshine.  My creativity shuts down when times get tough.  I have shared some tough times with you along the way.  I've shared some real times with you, too.
The blogging community is interesting.  There are some blogs I have read and enjoyed and commented on and no matter how many time I've commented, I've never heard from the blogger.  And there are other bloggers who respond right away when you comment. And there are people who always, always comment on my blog.  Thank you - feedback is wonderful, isn't it?  I think so. 
When I'm blogging, life is just about right.  I'm rested, (usually) and have enough time to blog and something to share.  I love to blog and read and comment on other blogs. Other times I barely have enough time to throw a blog out there.
Because of working full time, the hours are limited and it seems everything needs me...the animals, the house, the laundry...ugh. 
Usually, when I write, it flows.  I have something to say and I say it. The beauty of it is, if you don't like it or disagree, don't read it.  This is the record of my life.  I like to think about how blogging is changing history.  How after we are gone, other will be able to read our words.  I like to think the Bee will read this blog some day.  Maybe she won't.  In some small way, I like to think I'm leaving my mark on the world or helping someone out, out there. 
Happy 500th post to me.  Here's to many more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What she wore - #2

This is what I wore to my friend's son's wedding.  I had the boots and tights, bought a new sweater dress and paired it with a knit jacket of sorts and matching necklace and earrings. 

This was taken in our drive.  Our burning bush is burning! I bought the dress, jacket and jewelry at Dressbarn.  The tights and boots are also from Dressbarn - but I bought them last year.

Have you been shopping, recently?  Take it from me, the pickins are slim!  I'm not crazy about a lot of stuff out there - even at Dressbarn, but I also found a pair of basic jeans and two knit tops.  I'm not a huge jeans person and only had one pair.  It seems to me a lot of the clothing out there right now is cheap and not very well made.  And if it is very well made, it costs an arm and a leg. 

Where is your favorite place to shop?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday: Saturday, 10/20

My last post was about girl's night out - the night before my birthday - on Friday night.
My actual birthday was Saturday the 20th.
My day began with a hair appointment at 8:00 a.m.  I arrived before anyone was at the shop. 

do salon

Following my hair appointment, I met Doug for brunch at Michael's Uptown Cafe.
For information regarding the tree sweaters on the square, read here 
 and here.
 Why I love a birthday in October:
 Another reason I love an October birthday:
After brunch Doug and I went to the Farmer's Market where Doug bought a ginormous mum for me.  Isn't it beautiful? I always have a big pumpkin (he brought one home to me last week) and a big mum at the end of the drive.
After Farmer's Market we went home and got ready to go to my friend's son's wedding in Indianapolis.  It was in an old historic downtown Indianapolis church.  The reception was at the Ritz-Charles in Carmel.  The wedding and reception was a great place to spend my birthday.  My friend has always been there for me and my family and it was our pleasure and privilege to be there at her son's wedding.  We ate, we talked, we raised money for Lou Gehrig's disease, we drank, we danced.
Donna and me
Donna and I were born the same year, three days apart.  Her birthday was October 17.  She will forever be my "older" friend.  We've been friends for twenty-three years. 
All in all, I had a truly wonderful birthday.  (Anyone notice anything different from my previous post?)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Riding the rails in the birthday car

Friday, after work, my gals and I went to The Rail for drinks. (I will refer you to their facebook page as their website isn't too hot.) We went to this place in the summer when it was about nine hundred degrees. Apparently their AC was out. So we decided to visit once again since the temps have cooled down. My birthday is 10/20 and when I received an Outlook meeting request "to discuss a VIP," I figured the girls were up to something.  They crowned me queen for the evening.  (Who doesn't love to wear a crown?)
This place is known for their unique, outstanding drinks.  We all share drinks - passing them around and tasting each other's drinks.  We figure the alcohol will kill the germs.

With every one's drinks
 Anne brought cupcakes from Angel B's. Rene brought cupcakes, too.
 We were also celebrating the huge new rock that Anne is now sporting.
Love everything about this picture
Sadly, the rock is obscured from view in this photo - it is beautiful.  (Good job, Matt.)
We are all very happy and excited for the wedding which is late next summer. 

Sweet Annie.  Love this gal.
 Rene is artsy and smart with all matters where computers are concerned.

me and Rene
Anne wears a lot of hats in her position.  When Karen isn't eating men for breakfast, she can be found at HR.  MJ is a writer and the voice of all things important at the Kelley School.  She is also my former "egg lady," who convinced me to keep chickens.

Anne, Karen and Mary Jo
Our waiter, was a musician from the Jacobs School.  Oh, my, I wanted him to sing Music of the night for me.  Especially when I learned his name is Vincent.  He had the most beautiful speaking voice.

Vincent - who had to put up with us got to wait on us
Rene brought the latest issue of Bloom and Mary Jo - the writer, had a piece published in it.  MJ was very excited to show us her article.

Mary Jo will love this photo.

on the sill beside us

sur la table

 I love these gals.  At one time, we all worked together.  Now, only two remain where we used to work.  We all still work at university.
wearing the awesome necklace Rene made for me
Thanks, ladies for the drinks and the cupcakes and the gifts.  You rock.  So fun to be queen - even if it is for the day. 

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