Friday, November 26, 2010

The Most Wonderful of Things.

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful. My sister and her family came up from Florida and we spent the day eating and crafting. We love eating and crafting. 
After dinner was over, I made a video to send to my son, Nathan, who is in Iraq. Nothing really exciting, just all of us wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving and telling him how much we miss him. Oh, and that we'll see him in March when he comes home on leave.
I went in to work this morning to help with the Black Friday sale. Wow! Was it busy! There were so many people and so much to do- helping to carry bolts of fabric, putting them back, finding homes for more, getting fixtures to put out new stock. Lots and lots of things. As I came around a corner, wire shelving in hand, I saw this boy:



He isn't in Iraq. He's home. And I lost it in the middle of the shop as it finally registered that it actually was him standing in front of me! Needless to say that as wonderful as yesterday was, today was much, much better.
I am very full of thanksgiving. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ten Things I'm Grateful For.

Ah, this will be an easy post for there are many things that I am grateful for these days, not the least of which is being a grandmother. That's definitely #1 on my list. Here are the rest in no particular order:

1. Being a grandmother. Bliss.
2. My husband, who makes me laugh all the time.
3. My children, each one with their own way of making really proud to be their mom.
4. The chickens. I just love listening to them make sounds in the back yard. And, of course, the eggs!
5. My job. The place where I can drool over fabric and everyone understands, satisfy my creative side and be with some of the nicest women on earth.
6. My sisters. No offense to my brothers, but there is nothing like being with your sisters. If you're reading this, girls, we need to plan a getaway next year!
7. The knowledge of who I am - a daughter of God- and that I have the potential to do great things in small and simple ways.
8. My home, the place where I am the happiest.
9. The sewing room, where all good things are made.
10. You. Each of you who come to visit, comment or not, but who have made a connection with me making this world a lot smaller and much nicer. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.



Have a happy, food and family-filled Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hooked.

What I've spent my morning watching.



You cannot watch just one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spectacle.

I made a necklace for myself a few weeks ago and I thought I would share it with you. It's made from a pair of old glasses I found in some of my mother's things she had packed away. I don't know to whom they belonged (she probably bought them at a yard sale), but they are pretty cool. So, I gathered up a few bits and bobs-


 Some old earrings, a crystal drop, a tiny bee from an old slide bracelet, circle chain from Michael's and a pearl necklace from my grandmother and made this sort of funky, but really fun, necklace.


It just makes me happy to take old junk and give it new life!
Hmmm, what else can I make?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Place I Love to Be.

It's raining. I cannot tell you what a welcome sight glossy roads and dripping trees are here. It's been a long time since we've had the kind of rain where you have to turn on the lights in the house.


 This is a cozy rain, one that makes me want to do homely things like roasting pumpkins for pies and soup.


 Rinse all of the seeds and prepare them for toasting by tossing them in a little olive oil and some sea salt and, maybe, some curry powder or cinnamon and sugar. Or a little pepper with the salt. I'll cross that bridge later.


 I helped my son-in-law paint our house last week. All week. It was such hard work and Kyle did such a nice job, even if he doesn't like to paint. We didn't get to the porch yet and, with the rain, it may be a few days more before we do. Just picture it chocolate brown and then  put red shutters at the sides of the windows and, well, you get the picture.


While the rain lasts, you will find me home, listening to my Hem station on Pandora and puttering about. Seriously, can there be any better way to spend time? I don't think so.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflection.


I think it's time to start doing things for me. Not in a selfish it's-all-about-me way but in a more profound way. I need to kick myself in gear and start myself on a path that will lead me to eating healthier, become lighter in spirit, lighter in weight, more focused on the priorities I have allowed to slip into a corner- somewhere.
Time flies. Today is the day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Train, the Train.

Yesterday afternoon found me caught at a set of railroad tracks. I watched as a bright orange engine barrelled through the crossing, followed by coal cars, cars holding tractor-trailer boxes, tank cars holding who-knows-what and cars I had no idea of what they could be. As I waited, I counted the cars. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,........After a minute or so, the train slowed down and the reason why is that another train was coming from the other direction on the tracks beside it. I lost count.
Instead, I began looking at the graffiti that had been painted on the sides of the cars. Nothing is exempt from being defaced by a can of spray paint. You could tell when someone was a novice. Their artwork was simple in line and usually hurried, with paint trailing off into nothing. You could also tell when someone had time, lots of time, to render their masterpiece and leave their mark on the world. Letters with deep shadowing, flourishes, swirls and dots all combined in one small space done with great determination and, oddly, beauty.
I would occasionally glance into my rear view mirror to see the cars behind me pull out and take a side street to avoid having to wait in line. Everyone is always in such a hurry and no one wants to wait for trains. The two cars in front of me finally turned as well, leaving me at the top of the line with a clear view of the two trains in front of me. I moved up closer, put the truck in park and watched and waited. Twenty minutes. That is how long I was able to sit and watch a piece of Americana slip by me.
I love trains. I like the fact that I have to stop for a bit to allow one to pass, giving me the chance to unwind, take a breath and soak in the world around me. If not for those trains, I would have missed the Canadian geese flying overhead, swirls of grackles leaving the treetops, the morning glories blooming in the ditch, the man behind me picking his nose because he thought no one could see him (well, I would have liked to have missed that!), the dust from the dump trucks rolling up a dirt road sparkling in the sunlight, laughing children on a school bus, the engineer waving out the window, the graffiti, guessing what was in the cars, letting my mind wander.
If you ever come upon a railroad crossing and see a red pickup truck parked a little away from the safety gates, the driver watching intently as the train passes, it's probably me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a Good Thing I Don't Live In England!

Why? Because I would be as fat as a Suffolk pig, that's why!
 My friend, Cilla, sent over a hazelnut plum cake (she had made two- how fortuitous!) to rescue me from an I-didn't-have-time-to-make-dessert moment the other night. One taste and I was loathe to share it! This is so good- moist, plummy and crunchy in all the right spots. Delicious.
Cilla found the recipe while she was back home in England helping her mother recover from hip surgery. And then she brought it home. And shared. Oh, my!


 This has been my breakfast for the past few days-  a large mug of hot chocolate and a wedge of plum cake. Today I ate the last piece. My hips were singing notes of gratitude as I took what they knew to be the last bite.


But, then, I went over to Marie's blog to find that she had posted this the other day!

 A simple almond cake? I don't think so. It is deceptive in its innocent dusting of confectioner's sugar. Ladled with an apricot compote, as suggested by Marie, and it transforms into something much more seductive. I did not copy this recipe. But, once again, I am faced with temptation, this time by Maureen! Ack!


Really? This is comfort food at its best. Homemade desserts ready to fill and warm any tummy in need of a little sumthin'-sumthin'. If I lived in England, I think I would be a balloon. A balloon full of cake.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet.

Who can resist a sleeping baby? Not me, that's for sure!

 

When I haven't been working, sewing, traveling or cleaning house, I've been sneaking in snippets of time with Emma. Which, unfortunately, does not allow for a lot of blogging. I'm tweaking my schedule a bit better and I should be back on track soon. But I'm not giving up Emma time. ;)