Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Look! It's Me! I'm Back!! Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I was gone?   Just be sweet and say yes.   I kinda forgot that I actually HAD a blog to be honest with you, so I was pretty excited to be able to 1) find it and 2) log in to it. 

We are getting ready to go on a trip which means that I am pretty much running around the house with my hands in the air making high-pitched shrieking noises as I go.  It is not pretty.  Nothing is getting accomplished.   Since I have a 2 page list of things to do, CLEARLY this is the very best time to take up blogging again.  Clearly.

The trip .... we leave here and travel to Amsterdam, arriving there at 6 in the morning.  6 in the morning Amsterdam is roughly the time I am used to going to bed here at home, so I'm not sure how much sleeping is going to be managed on the plane.   We stay in Amsterdam until Sunday afternoon when we board the SS Antoinette for a cruise down the Rhine River.   Here's the trip:


We leave the ship in Basel, Switzerland and drive to Zurich where we stay in a fairy tale castle until early Tuesday morning when we leave to come home.  Fairy Tale Castle:


Guess what else!   I just learned how to insert links in my blog.  What a day!  Anyway, I need to go vacuum, or pack, or fold the laundry, or pick up the pants at the tailor, or buy beer, or ......  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Becoming A Happy Hooker

Mind out of the gutter people! A RUG hooker, not Main Street at midnight. I love doing crafty things, but frankly my crocheting had gotten out of hand. I can basically only do squares, which results in a LOT of afghans. The neighbors and relatives pretend they aren't home if they see me coming with something that could be yet another afghan, I'm like the crazy neighbor who grew too much zucchini and resorts to leaving bags of the stuff on strangers doorsteps in the dark of night. Clearly I needed a new gig.

I have long thought that hooked rugs were just beautiful, and it seemed to be a fairly easy craft to learn. I started googling for classes and/or supplies in my town and kept coming up empty until I finally found a lady who was the contact person for the Hookers Guild in this area. Bless her heart, she not only teaches classes and sells supplies, but she was teaching a class in two days! Was I interested? Yes I was! Sign me up. So on Monday night I headed for my first rug hooking class.

It was quite small, just me, the instructor and another woman who was OH so not new at this. She showed me some pictures of her creations and I was really amazed at the intricacy of her work. Intimidated, but amazed. I resolved to not even look in her direction as the class began.

Kate, the instructor had me pick out the packet of fabric that I liked, and handed me a hook. Then she demonstrated the technique for making the loops. It looked really easy when she did it, but I soon discovered that some practice is definitely required. For two hours I beavered away at my rug and finally finished the outline of one square, and part of the row inside. The other woman in the class had made significantly more progress, but I tried not to be discouraged. I was sure that my speed was going to pick up.

The next day I got all my chores done and settled down to work on my rug. Here are some things that I learned on my First Day As A Hooker:

When your husband calls and asks what you are doing, do not tell him you are hooking. This will only upset him.
Whoever invented the Loop Lifter should be elected president and given a sparkly tiara.
Remember to stop long enough to eat lunch and let the dog out. Otherwise the consequences tend to become obvious.
There is a reason serious hookers use those lap frames instead of an embroidery hoop. I must find one.
This is your first project. It is NOT going to look like the amazing things your instructor has hanging in her studio. Do not expect it to.

So, there's Day One. Stay tuned to see what subsequent days reveal!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Romance Novels Have Ruined Our Lives

I've been in the mood to read the literary equivalent of junk food recently - romance novels. You can just sort of veg out as you read them, and you know that they will live happily ever after after some kind of misunderstanding is cleared up. In novels the couples are always amazing looking, in great shape, with killer wardrobes. They have heart-meltingly romantic dates. They have mind blowing sex multiple times a day, they both have dozens of simultaneous orgasms, and nobody ever has morning breath or has to sleep in the wet spot. Oh come ON. How can you not look askance at your husband when you compare YOUR life to the book woman's life? I mean I GET it that nobody wants to read a book about a couple who are exhausted at the end of the day and just want to get some sleep, but still..... would a LITTLE reality be that bad?

Do you ever wish that an author would go back and re-visit one of their romance novel couples about 15 years down the road, and write about what really happens? No? Maybe that would spoil the dream......

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Subject Is Weddings

I was one of those little girls who grew up planning her wedding. My mom and I would spend hours planning bridesmaids dresses and flowers - both of which were ever changing. The only constant was the Princess in the midst of it ... me. Sadly, none of those little-girls dreams ever came true. My mom died when I was 15, and although I've been married twice, neither one was the amazing, over the top princess extravaganza that I dreamed of so many years before.

As luck would have it, I gained a daughter when I married husband number two (We shan't even discuss husband number one. I have drawn a veil over husband number one. Shhh.) and she grew up and got engaged during her final year of nursing school. She wanted black bridesmaids dresses, a full on religious ceremony, and a kick ass party for a reception. I was SO on that. DD and her biological mom (I shall resist the cruel and childish urge to refer to DDs biological mom as BM. That would be unkind. What? I did say it and now all you can think of is calling her BM? Oh damn. I feel awful) went shopping for dresses, but The Dress never appeared. Then one day she and I had some time to kill before our appointment with the photographer, and we dropped into a bridal shop we saw on the way. Just to look of course, DD really wanted her mom with her when she found The Dress. So of course we found it. Our eyes met in the dressing room mirror and filled with tears, she was suddenly A Bride. I think maybe that was the moment when it all seemed real to us.

For whatever reason, DD's biological mom opted not to be much a part of the planning. This was fine with me, although I don't know how DD felt about it. She and I found a fabulous florist who showed us THE most gorgeous roses I've ever seen. The flowers at DDs wedding were the most remarked upon part of the entire wedding, and to this day I've not seen their equal. We booked the place that DD had her heart set on for the reception. I learned to do calligraphy in order to address the invitations. I became a hot glue gunning machine! I poured over wedding magazines and how-to books. In a way I was finally getting to plan the wedding I'd waited for all my life.

The wedding day finally arrived. We had planned everything with military precision, and were fully aware that something could, and no doubt WOULD go wrong. But still, the day was here. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful despite the fact that 1) I had to go to the communion rail barefoot since my left (very uncomfortable) shoe went missing, and 2) one of the scripture readers wasn't there (caught in traffic apparently). The reception is still being talked about 14 years later as the most fun reception ever despite the fact that 1) the cake was decorated with hideous gold foil instead of the amazing silk ribbon we gave them to use, and 2) BM (damn, did I do that again?) left 20 minutes into the reception taking all the centerpieces with her. No matter. The food was awesome, the bride and groom danced atop the speakers, the party went on for so long that they finally turned on all the lights and started to sweep around us. It was over. Everything that we spent a full year planning and obsessing about had come and gone.

It was beautiful. It was as close to perfect as you can really hope for, and best of all both DH and her new husband said that the day was everything, and maybe a little bit more, than they had dreamed of. That makes everything worthwhile.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ouch, I Said

Gravity, as has been noted previously, does not tend to be my friend. There must be something wrong with my gravitational pull or something -- which, come to think of it, could explain all the weight I've gained..... Hmmm..... Anyway.

The day after Thanksgiving dawned, and it was time for Fall to leave the house and Christmas to enter. My husband was being no help at all. Apparently he was still in a food coma from the day before and seemed unable to get out of the comfy chair in his lair. There was no help for it, I had to get down that darned Autumn garland above the front door. Now for 99.999% of the human population this wouldn't pose a problem. The rest of us, however, see just where this is going. I took out one of the tall, swiveling chairs from the dining room and clambered atop it, but as I reached for the garland, the swivel chair did what swiveling chairs do. It swiveled. I fell. I guess I twisted in the air (I bet I would have gotten straight 10's on my style) and landed on the top concrete step on my back. Ouch, I said. The end result has been a whole lot of discomfort, liberal use of Ben Gay (I kept hearing people at the craft show on Saturday remarking how something smelled just like their grandmother), and much time spent with a heating pad on my back. I haven't been to the doctor because all he's going to do is say not to stand on chairs that may swivel, then give me prescriptions for muscle relaxers and pain pills. I have those left from the unfortunate Litter Lifting Incident last spring. Besides, I'm fairly sure I heard him chuckle as I left his office. Harrumph.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friendships.... When Is It Too Much?

Probably everyone at some time has had a friend who required A Whole Lot Of Effort. I know the old adage "To Have A Friend You Must Be A Friend" is true, but sometimes a friend requires you to put in a whole lot more work than said friend seems to be putting in. Sometimes I just wonder where the line is when you have to put your foot down and just say NO. There's got to be a demarcation between being a good friend, and being a doormat doesn't there? I struggle with this.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Have Jeans!!

Okay, I've mentioned before that 1) I love to cook, 2) I love to eat, and 3) I'm a short, round woman. In the past if the jeans went around my waist, I could invite the defensive line of the Jacksonville Jaguars into the thigh area. If the thigh and hip area fit, there was a minimum of 4 inches lacking to close the waist. Not a pretty sight, and not comfy. The last time I tried to wear jeans my legs literally fell asleep. Thanks to a friend, I have finally found jeans that are made for people with no waist and a tummy (Thanks Faye!!). I am in no way affiliated with this lady, nor do I profit in any way from anyone buying her jeans, I'm just a fan of FINALLY getting to wear jeans like the rest of the world. Apparently she's on the shopping channel which I have never actually seen, but she also has a website here:

I ended up ordering a size smaller than I would usually wear, which did wonders for my self esteem! Just a public service announcement from me!