Friday, September 30, 2011

Life is about perception

Life is all about perception and how you choose to see things.  Take this photo for example.  Do you see a porta potty under a tree?  Or do you see it as I do...a hole in one?

Well, the canned ham donation to WAFER would have been great, but when visiting my local food pusher I found it required refrigeration.  Didn't think about that little detail.  So, I hit the canned meat aisle and pondered my choices.  Let's see...SPAM.  Nope, these people have enough trouble in their lives to hit them with that.  There's a reason the name shares the phenomena of unwanted email.

So, remembering my early days of food stamps and being hungry I went with 21 cans of one pound items including canned chili, sloppy Joe mix, beans, etc.  Things that you can open, heat and serve.

Then I got an email from the Divine Miss M that she found my magazine article and DVD on her car.  Huh?  Is she psychic?  She's way up north, or was.  Apparently they needed to come back briefly and have lunch with some friends in another town an hour and a half south of where they live.  Then they will go back up north again.  Crazy people, my friends.  But then, that apparently is the best I can do.

I've been playing art show in the garage with my new grids lately.  I have it all set up in Left Brain's side complete with my dolls set up and everything.  I had to alter the side panels to make them work and fix the banner to cover the mesh better and it's looking pretty good right now.  After the face outs I ordered arrive for the new shelving, I'll will take some photos to show you how it appears.  Hmmm.  Just the term face outs makes me want to make some heads to put on them.  That might be funny.  Guess I need to stitch up another batch of heads.  Need to do some for Christmas tree ornaments anyway.  It's how I see things.

While walking with my friend the other morning I learned that her husband flies out the same day and time that I do.  Thankfully we're on different flights and planes or she and Left Brain may have become a bit suspicious.  That could be her perception.  I see it as an answer as to how to get to the airport that early in the morning.

I had to skip my Senior Shape Up due to the sore throat that has developed over the last couple of days.  I used Left Brain's Keurig to make cocoa and that was very soothing.  Much better use of it than for coffee.

So it just goes to show that when life hits you a curve ball you need to keep your head up and run a different direction.  But then again women are very good at altering plans...must be why we go through "the change" as part of our journey.

Long Live the Queen of the Odd View

Thursday, September 29, 2011

To WAFER from the Queen

Weight Watchers is collecting food for WAFER right now and we are encouraged to bring in the number of pounds that we have lost.

This creates a definite win-win combination for everyone.

I wanted to bring in all 21 pounds at one time to feel the difference of having to carry it from the car and be able to set it down.  It only seemed right to provide some "canned ham" as my contribution.

Long Live the Queen of Canned Ham

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Gypsy is ready for travel

The deadline is looming to get her on her journey for the Challenge of the Gypsy.

My initial attempt resulted in legs that were too long to pose properly so today she underwent a strange amputation of sorts involving the removal of her upper thigh and knee to shorten the legs.  Thankfully her knickers cover the scars and she's much more proportionate now.

Now tomorrow I just need to find a box the right size and arrange for her return passage.

I had just finished sewing the grid covers for my new show booth set up and who pulls into my driveway but the Fed Ex man.  I must have looked like a little kid at Christmas time, or in my case, Hannukah as I ripped open the boxes and pulled out all my treasures.  I did show some restraint, however, and will wait until tomorrow to set up the whole set up and see how it all looks with their covers and shelves.  It's gonna be so cool!

Long Live the Queen of the Gypsies

Monday, September 26, 2011

This old truck

This is a photo of an old truck I'd taken in Alaska and it just spoke to me.  It made me remember the old truck my Dad used to drive when he ran the full service gas station.  

Yes Virginia, there was a time when you drove up and someone ran out to pump your gas, wash your windows and check your oil.  Sometimes there were even small promotional gifts given.  I "worked" at the station as one of my very first jobs.

I was too small to reach the windows of the bigger trucks so I would crawl up on the hood (I was a skinny little thing back then) and wash the windows up there.  The truck drivers would often give me "tips" because they thought it was so stinking cute.

I remember feeling very special because I knew how to run the pumps and never forgot to put the cap back on.  That was before they learned to tether the cap to the of the better modifications made to the automobile.

Dad had mastered the art of being able to lay down in the front seat of the old truck, legs hanging out of the open driver's side door and fall sound asleep for about twenty minutes after gulping down the lunch my mother would deliver to him.  He'd wake up rested and ready for several more hours of labor.

He was the kind of man who took pride in his station and kept everything clean and running smoothly.  Another of my jobs was to wash all the pop bottles (before cans) before putting them into the vending machine.  No dusty bottles for our customers!

If there was someone traveling through the area and their car broke down, they were lucky indeed that my Dad was there to help them.  He would not stop until they were back on the road, even if it meant staying open until midnight to make it happen.  If a part was needed someone (often family) was sent into the neighboring town about 15 miles away to get it.  There were no motels any where nearby, so this was a good thing.

One day a man can careening into the station screaming he'd been stung by a bee and was allergic.  Dad jumped into his car and sped off to the local clinic and helped usher him into the doctor for the shot that would save his life.  All in a days work.

I'll never forget the night of the accident that sent a semi truck that jackknifed into a car and landed on top of it in the ditch in front of the station.  Electric wires danced along the ground as we all ran out to assist in what ever way we could until the ambulance arrived.  The night took on a surreal quality as I tried to comfort the lady we managed to pull out of the car.  As I helped to pick glass out of her skin we all attempted to soothe her by telling her that her husband would be okay.

Unfortunately this was a time before the "jaws of life" were standard equipment and after they hustled her away in the ambulance we had no option but to watch the husband as he died slowly while trapped behind the wheel of the car.  It was so frustrating and sad and I remember feeling badly for having "lied" to her that he would be okay.  Back in that day your word meant everything and wasn't taken lightly and I had assured her that he'd be okay....and he wasn't going to be coming home.

But there were more happy memories than sad while working at the station.  During long stretches of boredom (only for me, never for him) I would perch my skinny butt on one of the guard posts by the ditch on the edge of the highway and pump my arms in the universal sign of "blow your horn" to the trucks that sailed by.  And they obliged with deep honks, smiles and waves for the little kid balanced on the top of a white post.  This was when Highway 16 was a major thoroughfare, before the Interstate system was introduced.

It was a good life, living in that small town in the middle of nowhere...even though I couldn't wait to escape from it someday.

Yup, there were a lot of memories in that old truck.  I miss you Daddy.

Long Live the Queen of Memories

Sunday, September 25, 2011


 This did not happen to me, but I thought it was cute and deserved to be shared.
The Queen Jester

The Washcloth

      this has to be read, laughed at and passed on. There is not  a woman alive who won't crack up over this!
I was due for an appointment with the gynaecologists later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in  Paris  or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?'

I didn't respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal ... some shopping, cleaning, cooking.

After school when my 6-year-old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?'

I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it.'
Never going back to that doctor. Ever.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I survived the root canal

My nerves were shaky when I reached the office where I would be undergoing a root canal.  After registering at the front desk I found my way to the magazines to try to settle myself down.

I picked up a Family Circle and opened it at an article on dentistry.  It literally began with the words "As I sat in office waiting for my root canal...".  What?  Is this a trick...or a sign?  I kept reading.

It went on to explain the marvels of modern dentistry and the advances that have been made in pain management and alleviating fear.  Needles to say, I found this very comforting.

The day unfolded much like in the article.  The procedure was explained to me and a topical agent was used to numb the area before injecting the Novocaine.   While not pleasant, it was not as wrenching as I remembered from past experiences.

A soft block was inserted to keep my mouth open and a rubber sheet fastened around the tooth to keep the junk out of my mouth.  It was quite a mouthful but it gave me peace of mind that I wouldn't be swallowing anything nasty and it provided a shield for my tongue.  I never quite know what to do with the tongue during dental procedures.  It's like it has a life of its own and flops around and I'm afraid it will get in the way.

The drilling sound is always unsettling and I wished I had thought to bring music and headphones or a book on tape or something.  But between the office music and the conversation between the dentist and his assistant it helped to distract me.  I could feel pressure and movement but not pain, except for a couple of small instances and then he applied more Novocaine and I went blissfully numb.

I recalled the old days of having to swish and spit in the sink and counted myself as blessed to live in a time and age where painless dentistry is possible.  And to be living in a country where medical services are readily available.  And for having a sufficient income to allow good dental care.  Very blessed indeed.

I left the office being happy to have it over with and go on with my life.  Eating soup for a couple of days while the mouth is tender will help with my weight loss, so that's a bonus.

Then I went to see a movie (I Don't Know How She Does It) and relaxed with popcorn being chewed carefully on the other side and a soda with a straw since I still didn't have much feeling on the right side.

Then I went home and continued working on the grid covers until She Devil said it was time to watch old episodes of NCIS and hold her for a while.  I think she has a thing for Tony.  My favorite is Gibbs.

Long Live the Old Toothy Queen

Friday, September 23, 2011

A new experience for the Queen

Usually my dental exams consist of a cleaning, lying to the hygienist about how often I floss and the dentist checking me at the end and saying "see ya in six months" and we all part our ways.  Not this time. Perhaps this is part of my "being Sixty" experience?  I was informed I needed a root canal.

It must have been the sudden loss of blood from my face or the wide eyed look of horror in my eyes because suddenly the hygienist was talking double time to calm me down.  Then they made a referral for me to see a specialist.

And I didn't even have the appropriate amount of time to adjust to the idea - the appointment was in a couple of days...namely this morning!

I have a deep seated fear of the dentist from childhood experiences of my old dentist probing into my mouth with giant hairy fingers.  When he retired I went to his son, who took over his practice, and perhaps he was a good dentist but he also had fingers that went everywhere when he'd "drop an instrument in my lap, etc.  Thank goodness I never had to be under the influence of laughing gas with him or I may have become a young mother.

So, this specialist is a woman and I've heard she's very good...but I'm still nervous despite my friends telling me it's not so bad.  It's a mystery to me what all goes on inside my mouth.  I mean, if I can't even control the words coming out of am I supposed to understand what goes on beneath the surface?

And on top of that horror they told me what the cost was and that insurance wouldn't cover it.  Yikes!  I could buy a very nice new sewing machine with that kind of cash...or redo an entire garden bed with new plants.  This is not how I want to spend my money.  But, I guess it's like they gotta put your money where your mouth is.

Long Live the Tooth Fairy...and the Queen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Making decisions

I'm trying to master the art of making a decision in my life.  Any decision.  I can ponder the menu choices at a restaurant as if it's my last meal.  I just need to make up my mind and go with it.  You'd think after sixty years I'd be a pro at this...but no.

This afternoon at Weight Watchers I received the mental kick in the pants I needed to get up and get moving. Our session today was about exercising more.  I have absolutely no reason not to get out and walk every day.  I know it's good for me but I just can't seem to make myself do it.  But....I will be walking for a minimum of 20 minutes each day, maybe more...but I've learned to set my goals low so I can exceed them and feel good about myself.  So there was one decision made.

Then tonight I made another decision.  Miss M and I have enrolled in a class called Adventures in Photography.  Sounds catchy, doesn't it?  Well, it's not.  The teacher has no plan, no control and no apparent goal.  So on our final night's class I decided I just didn't want to go.  When I called to weenie out of the class my friend just started laughing and I knew my decision was a good one.
She picked me up as planned but instead of class we went to a nice Mexican restaurant and had a leisurely supper and conversation.  This was a much better decision and it felt good to be playing hookey.  She's off for a road trip with her husband and I'll be joining Left Brain soon for our trip, so we won't see each other for some time and needed to catch up before parting paths.  So, another decision mastered.

After my last art show I figured out the perfect set up for my booth and it involves putting down a significant amount of money on equipment.  I planned it carefully and called in the order.  Wow!  Another decision.

Maybe I am getting the hang of this after all!

Long Live the Queen of Quick Decisions

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

Part of Weight Watchers is not just what you eat, but the portion size. So I kept that in mind when I prepared what would normally be a very decadent creation lately- Shrimp Scampi.  This is (was?) one of my favorite meals in the past with the noodles and tons of butter....yum.  But all that is gone now, and we're probably better off for it.

My version of this now is with whole wheat pasta, which is very good once you get over the initial aversion to it.  Then there's that issue of a lot less butter.  Less pasta.  Less shrimp.  Less everything.

Left Brain was still remembering the large bowls of pasta swimming in shrimp and butter of days gone past as he viewed his appropriate serving size of the newly recreated version.

Although tasty and filling, it wasn't how we remembered it and agreed we really can't call it by it's old name any more.  We have a new way of eating and we need new names to describe the new dishes.  So, from now on this meal will be referred to as "shrimp skimpi".

Long Live the Queen of the Kitchen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Senior Shape Up

As part of my adventure of being 60 years young I am enrolled in a seven week program at the YMCA called Senior Shape Up with two of my other old friends.  Our first meeting was an overall tour of the facility and discussing what classes are available, yada yada yada.
The next day we went back to try the deep water jogging.  I figured why not...I can hold my breathe as long as they can.  Well, that was not it at all.

You enter the water with these flotation gizmos strapped on to your back to keep you upright and then jog and do exercises in the deep end of the pool.  Which for someone short like me isn't very far in.

Now I have to admit I'm feeling a tad smug at this point seeing that I am clearly one of the younger ones there...until I started getting passed up by ladies with gray hair, white hair and blue hair.  Yikes!  I guess I need to come to more classes.

It was an interesting experience, my favorite part was putting my swimsuit into this little container that spins it so fast it's almost completely dry when you remove it.

Next trip I'm bringing my lettuce to spin!

Long Live the Slow Soggy Queen

Friday, September 16, 2011

This blog will be temporarily unavailable

She now has a tiara and is the Queen of the Kitchen - guess I need a new photo
The Queen will be hawking her wares this weekend at the Driftless Art Festival in the land of no Wi-Fi.  

We're lucky to have our own bathroom at our lodging out here in the boonies.

It's a wonderful show and held in Soldiers Grove WI if any one wants to take a nice Autumn drive and come to feast your eyes on the art work of many artists.

It is a great place to get a start on the holiday gift buying for that special someone.

New for the Halloween season are the Twisted spirits and the Monster Mash.  Sorry I don't have the photos ready for these, I hope to get that done at the show this weekend since I'll have natural light, the black backdrop and time.  The Monster Mash are made from old potato mashers and have skeleton heads and big scary hands.  To counterbalance them into something less scary looking they are wearing brightly colored tutus and many have their arms in a ballet position.  They are just too stinking cute to describe and I don't expect them to last long at the Halloween price of $26.  

All my Halloween items are in multiples of $13.  The little witches legs are $13, the witches, twisted spirits and monster mash are all $26.

If you stop by my booth tell me "Left Brain sent me" to win a discount.

Long Live the Queen of Halloween

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It was a busy day for Left Brain and the Queen

Left Brain presented me with some good news and some bad news recently.  He found a man who will make our new trailer to our specifications which is great, but it's much wider than the old one.  Not that this was bad, it just involves my shovel again and moving the retaining wall over about two feet.  Not a problem.

We spent the morning on our respective chores, my digging and hauling and replanting and he dissected the old trailer as much as possible.  Then we rolled the trailer up onto two handcarts and pushed it back to where it used to sit.  This was much easier said than done.

Then we lifted it up over the wall and managed to slide, push, pull and maneuver it into it's new home.  It is now my backup composter on that side of the yard.

Then we showered and took a motorcycle ride to Mindoro and had lunch at the Top Dawg Pub and Bar where they have 108 burgers to choose from.  After devouring our food and draining a pitcher of root beer we went over to where our new trailer is being built so he could show it to me.

Upon our return home I did a load of disgusting laundry (we never seem to have a shortage of this variety) and feasted on green beans, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and eggplant with artichoke hearts and goat cheese rolled up inside of it.  This was my first time cooking eggplant and I can't wait to try more recipes.

Waste not want not is our motto and after I get some ferns planted in front of it so the neighbors don't have to look at it, it should be fine.  As a side benefit, it helps to keep the deer from jumping over that part of the fence.

Long Live the Trailer Trash Queen

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Queen has a Screw Loose - who'd a thunk?

We had perfect weather for the La Crosse Society's Season of Art this year and I wasn't worried at all about setting up my booth.

So I leisurely pulled in and found a spot near Winter Tree Studios and the people near me all came over to grab a pole of the EZ Up tent.  The name is a misnomer, they aren't as EZ as you might think.  They are EZier destroyed in high wind, but that's another story.

As we were erecting my home away from home, Rick informed me that I had a screw loose.  Well, actually missing.  Two of them.  Then my knight in shining armor jumped into his van and went in search of replacements for me.  Such a sweetie.  While he was gone I proceeded to unload the car and start to set up the tables.

He returned and amazingly I had a screwdriver in my kit and he proceeded to fix it for me.  So, tent up and now I can set up the rest of my display.

I actually sold more than I bought that day - a miracle.  After I took down for the day I will leave it in the van until next weekend and the next show at Driftless Art Festival in Soldiers Grove.  Hopefully the weather will be as bluebird perfect as the previous weekend!

Long Live the Queen of 10 x 10 Living

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the wheels on the bus go round and round....

That is the ringtone for my bus driving husband, Left Brain.  It just seems so appropriate since he's usually driving somewhere.  It's embarrassing to not always know what State he's in...or in his most recent adventure what Country.  You could say he's a self driven man.

Our adventure the other day started out leisurely...we would take the trailer full of weeds and grass to the county compost dump and then go pick up the stuff at World Services that were used by the last batch of Russian kids this summer.  We took turns with the pitchfork and broom to empty our trusty little trailer and I suggested that we return home to hose it out since the bottom was covered in mud.  This was not too far our of our way and we had time...leisurely day and we headed home.

This is where the tune changed to "the wheels on the trailer go crash bang boom..."  About half way up our road into the valley the trailer suddenly lurched from left to right like a drunken sailor...or my friend Marti.  We pulled over to the side of the road and got out to assess the damage.  The car behind us stopped to ask if they could help in any way or give us a ride, both which we declined.

The axle had broken and the right tire was now under the trailer and located in the center.  So we pushed it into an upright position to allow removal of the hitch and drove home, both thinking of what to do next.  I located our biggest hand cart (with the largest wheels) and we tossed it in the back of the car and returned to the scene of the crime.  Left Brain lifted up the back of the trailer and I slid the handcart underneath it.  Then we pulled slowly off the side of the road and limped out way homeward.

Of course when you have a goofy looking set up like this and are crawling along you do attract attention.  We met everyone we knew and some we didn't.  I felt like I should be waving and throwing candy out the window.  Images of Garrison Keilor's speil about Carl Krepsbach hauling the remains of the 57 Chevy used as a septic tank and getting caught in the Homecoming parade came to mind.

We got home and I snapped a few photos of it for this post and then proceeded to send a text.  Left Brain wondered what I was doing and I explained that Steve had wanted to borrow the trailer sometime and I was sending him a text that it was out front and ready for his use.  We both thought this was funny until I got a text reply saying "Thanks, I start clearing out that stuff soon".  Yikes!  No no no...don't do that!   So I had to send another reply that it was a joke and to please take a look at it before considering it's use.

So now we have a busted down trailer sitting in our front yard with a sign that says "Free - please take" on it.  I know it seems futile that anyone would want it, but we are both optimists.  And those who seem the "burned rubber" all the way up the valley wonder how you can do that for such a distance and with only one wheel - well, this is how it's done.

Long Live the Queen of Trailer Trash

Friday, September 9, 2011

I flunked the Weight Watcher Test yesterday

My mode of education is different from many.  When I started my Weight Watcher journey I purchased the beginners kit and then proceeded to buy the various cookbooks and gadgets available.  I even made a special tote bag just for these meetings that house all my goodies. They can usually be found sitting on the shelf by the door at any point, even during the meetings.  Now I tend to just grab my membership card and weight tracker and stuff it into my purse.

So, when we had a pop quiz from our diabolical leader, Becky, I was not prepared.  It's hard to flunk an open book quiz, but I did.  Let me review the 10 questions for you and my responses.

1) What two books did you get when you started Weight Watchers Points Plus Program?  Two?  There were only two?  I can hardly lift my bag, it's like a library in a tote.

2) How many glasses of liquid and what size are recommended per day in the Good Health Guidelines?  Does any liquid count?  I do drink an abnormal amount of Coke Zero during the day.  Oh, I bet they mean water...I should write down water.

3) How many teaspoons of healthy oils are recommend per day?  Is this to be ingested or rubbed into my skin.  I don't understand the question.

4) Can you name the 5 'healthy oils'?  Well, obviously not.  I did recall extra virgin olive oil, but then started to list things like Oil of Olay, WD-40, Halvoline and the like.  This is when the girl next to me looked over (trying to copy MY answers) and said "WHAT!?"

5) True or False:  Fruits and vegetables are 0 Points Plus so we can eat unlimited quantities.  My answer was "nay nay".  I know a trick question when I see one - they still have calories!

6)  How can you tell if a food is a Power Food?  (What sign indicates this).   Another trick question!  This was easy, because I've learned about super heros from Sophia next door.  These foods would obviously be wearing tights and a flowing cape!

7) Can you name three Power Foods?  Nope, because now I'm obsessing over Batman, Superman and Spider Man.  Thanks Sophia!

8) What is a "serving size"?  My reply was "not enough".

9)  Where can you find the Points Plus values of foods?  Okay, this was easy..the WW tracker, the Dining Out book (which I think I left at the that little cafe, because I can't find it anywhere now), The WW Website, The Complete Food Companion, on the boxes of WW products...and that's all I had because Kim suddenly covered her answers with her hand.

10)  What is the best way to stay motivated and "on plan"?  This one was the easiest.  Go to the meetings!  I suppose there are other answers like do this with a friend, etc, but for me it's the meetings.  I can hardly wait for Thursdays to come.  Even if Becky does occasionally threaten to make me sit in the corner.

I'll study harder next time - or actually bring that bag with all my books in it.

Long Live the Weight Watcher Queen

Thursday, September 8, 2011

and life goes on without a hitch

There's always a period of readjustment when Left Brain returns from one of his gypsy adventures.  But knowing this doesn't make it any easier to deal with, it's just not as surprising.
While he was gone I cleaned out the basement and the garage in my usual anal-retentive fashion with everything being sorted, organized and placed in matching labeled containers.  The problem with this is that my memory isn't good and I did this in August, a full month before his return.
Being a good husband he was prepared to haul out the trailer full of weeds and grass I had pulled over the summer months.  To do this he hooks the trailer to the lawn tractor to pull it up to the driveway to the car.  This requires the other ball for the appropriate sized hitch.  Where might this be?
He was unable to locate it and summoned me for help while clad in grungy clothes, a towel tied to his head and blood on his hand and leg from earlier projects.  His face was that of a man at the end of a hard days work and frustration at not being able to locate the one piece he needed to finish the day out.  I came out in my jammies and slippers and assisted in the search.  Hmmm.  Where could I have put that?  Not being able to locate said object I put on some jeans and a shirt to head to Menards.  I returned with our new $7 ball hitch to give to him, but he shank was too large for the hole, so he had to widen the hole.  I have no idea how he managed's just part of the magic he does.
My goal was to make the area a cleaner, more organized space for him to work in but I can understand his frustration.  Moving and reorganizing things are just what I do, it's a power beyond my control...I simply must.  Now if I could just remember where that "perfect place for this" system would be perfect.
Long Live the Queen of the Hitch

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Twisters are ready for the shows

I've been working on a remodeling of my former pattern to create a small Halloween item for the September shows.  It went quite smoothly and I've been working feverishly on creating a grouping of them to make an impact.

They measure about 12 inches high and can be suspended with some fishing line or hung on a wall.

Some will hang in the booth and the others will be tucked into the little spooky bucket for display.  These will be priced at $25 and I do believe they will be hot sellers!

I love creating things for fall and Halloween in particular.  Maybe it's because my school colors were black and orange, I seem to love the Halloween prints the best.

This pattern will be done in a variety of Christmas and Channukah fabrics also for those holidays.

Next I need to revamp my Jester pattern so it sits better and then begin on my commissioned orders.  It feels so good to be sewing again and playing with my beads, clay, feathers, paints and all the fun things in the studio.

Long Live the Twister Queen

Monday, September 5, 2011

Left Brain returns!

On Sunday I went out to the bus barn to pick up Left Brain, home from Alaska after being gone for two months.
We spent the first day just catching up with each other and today I started working on the piles of laundry.
It is so nice to have someone to cook for again!
We tackled the fallen tree this afternoon and both of us are achy and sore from the chore.  Once I got going it was hard to stop and while he mowed the lawn I started pulling weeds and moving plants.  It's finally cool enough to be able to deal with this.
Tomorrow I resume my tutoring, so it's truly feeling like "back to school" time here.
Ah, life is good.
Long Live the Queen of Happiness

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paper or plastic?

We all hear this question asked when we check out at the grocery store and my answer depends on whether I am feeling environmentally conscious that day or if I need more plastic bags for She Devil's litter box cleaning.

My journey today into the land of food stuffs ended at the YOU BAG check out.  I like to bag my own groceries, it gives me the opportunity to sort them and group them the way I like.  I was in a "green" mood today so I bagged everything in paper and wheeled my cart out the front door.  What the ........????

There was no sign of rain when I left the house, with all the windows open.  I had planned to put away groceries and then mow the yard.  Well, the yard will have to wait another day went through my mind as the rain pelted me, drenching me to the bone.  Now if I could just remember where my car was parked! It was coming down so hard it actually hurt.

I finally pushed my glasses up onto my head as I couldn't see anything through them and held the panic button over my head.  THERE's my car!  Way back over there.  I wove my way through the parked cars, wading through puddles in my sandals.  The jeans I was wearing were getting baggy from the weight loss, a feeling I enjoy....but they were heavy from the rain and starting to approach a fashion like the young people with them sliding down to my hips.  I kept a firm grip on my wet metal cart and hoped for the best.

As I approached the car I opened the side door to put them in for easiest removal once I got home.  But I was parked too close to the cart return, so I had to back up and open the trunk instead.  Ooops - that was full of cardboard to take to the dump.  After rearranging that I was ready to transfer the bags from the cart to the car.  By now I'm fully prepared to enter a wet t-shirt contest (seniors division please)  by this time.  I grabbed the bags and pulled them upwards ....well, the handles of the bags went upwards.  The rest of the soggy paper bag let go and I watched my food choices  roll around the parking lot...under my car and those nearby.

Now I'm wet, miserable and frustrated...and kind of wanting to laugh, but fearing that would look really strange.  So, I crawled around and tossed things into the back of the car, I can find them later and put them into a laundry basket to get them into the kitchen.  I am so glad we have an attached garage!

I started up the car and turned on the defrosters and wipers and as soon as I could see I headed home.  It took no time at all for the wet clothes to become cold and clammy.  With the heat cranked up I hurried home to unload the food and take a nice hot shower, seeing as how I'd already been through the pre-rinse cycle.  

Long Live the Queen of Thunderstorms

Friday, September 2, 2011


I like to think that at 60 years of age I have experienced just about everything there is in life, both good and bad.  I was wrong.
To me the most disgusting job is emptying the mousetraps of the little corpses, especially if they've been unchecked for a bit and are becoming ...well, aromatic.

But today was a first.  I noticed this a couple of days ago actually, but wasn't sure what I was seeing.  It appeared to be a rock in the pond, but since I have placed them all, this didn't appear to be in the right spot.  Too large to have shifted easily.  So today I ventured out of the AC to see what it was.

Ehwh!  I had a dead raccoon floating around in the pond.  Since the temperature today was over 100 with the heat index, I figured the sooner I removed the body the better.  So I used a shovel to scoop it out and remove it to a more remote area on the hill to join the food chain.

It was somewhat fitting when you think about it.  The raccoons have used the pond as a sushi bar, so I guess it was the fishes turn to have a buffet.  Pretty disgusting all in all.

Long Live Queen of the Wild Life Funerals

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chance meetings?

I not believe in coincidences, but rather that all meetings happen for a purpose....even though it may not be transparent as to their purpose at the time.

Recently I met a long lost cousin purely by chance at an art show.  She's a doll maker...go figure.

The other day I was meeting two of my neighbors for lunch at Panera.  I arrived early and thought I spotted one of them in a booth so bounded up to her to say hello.  Oooops...not her, even though the resemblance was striking.

When my friends showed up we found a booth right next to the first lady I talked with, so I was able to introduce the look alikes to each other.

In this process we learned that she was from Ireland and is the co-founder of Claddagh House Senior Living.  She and one of my friends are both nurses and she is from County Cork, where the family of my other friend originated from.  Very interesting.

We then proceeded to have a lovely three hour lunch and plan to arrange a lunch meeting with our new Irish friend.

Long Live the Queen of New Friends