Archive for May, 2007

Changing of Hands with a Twist

This Changing of Hands has two parts, 1. Sewing 2. Paper for Art. The twist, you ask? These new items are give aways, I want nothing in return. The rules will be at the end of the post.

Part One: Sewing

A. Fall Quilt Pieces/enough to make a 16 x 16 inch square pillow front.

Fall Quilt Pieces

B. Small Pieces of Fabric featuring Ms Betty Boop. She is a cowgirl, a biker chick and Ms. Boop on the Town.

Betty Boop

C. A Cinderella Simplicity 9353 Toddler Dresses/Toddler size 1, Breast 19 inches, Waist 19 1/2 inches.

Simplicity 9353

D. Simplicity 9466 Toddler 3,4,5,6 Pant Outfit/This pattern is one that has all the sizes on the pieces.

Simplicity 9466

E. Butterick 3948 Large Smocked Dresses with bonnet, diaper cover, slippers/Large Weight 22-26 pounds, Height 28-30 1/2 inches. This pattren includes the smocking transfer.

Butterick 3848

All the above patterns have been used. I have checked all and there seems to be all the pieces, etc. However, I cannot be 100% certain.

2. Paper for Art 

A. 5 pages from a french book, 7 inches x 4 1/2 inches. I have no idea what any of these pages say, so if it weird, etc. , just take a deep breathe and let it go!

French Pages

B. 5 pages from a German book, 4 inches x 6inches.

German Pages

C. 5 pages from a book titled Henry Esmond from 1950, 4 3/4 inches x 7 1/4 inches. Very nice aged look.

Aged Paper

D. 5 pages from comic book Jughead with Archie, 4 3/4 inches x 6 3/4 inches. Now I do know what these pages say, just blame Jughead!

Jughead

E. 3 small prints of artist Paul Kleas, 4 inches x 6 inches.

Kleas

F. Two pieces of paper, a. olive flower texture b. green vellum. Both 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

Velium Paper

G. A photocopy of a Russian Language Primer, it will be several pages.

Russian Primer

OK, the rules:

  • Only one item per person, share the wealth!
  • First one to comment on a particular item, gets it. Therefore, you can check the comments on the post as to whether something is available.
  • This is open internationally, BUT if the postage is outrageous, I may have to take my time and/or money (budget) to send you the item. Be patient, please!
  • Email me your address.

Take a look at my last Changing of Hands, all the items are still available. Leave a comment on this post about what you have to trade and it is yours! You can find my list of wants on that post.

OK! That’s all, folks!

May 29, 2007 at 8:31 pm 7 comments

10 Very Random Things About Me

I have officially been tagged by Patty for 10 random things about me. Random? What does that really mean? According to Webster it means having no specific pattern or objective; haphazard. It got me thinking about how haphazard events can shape someone into the person they are today. All of these accidental events molded the person I am today, some more, some less, some good, some bad. These chance events (now documented) have a whole story to go with each one which I will share in later posts.

Here goes!

1. I have experienced many tornadoes first hand.

2. I shook President Eishenhower’s hand through a chain link fence when I was six years old.

3. I have memories of visiting several family-type bomb shelters and the famous “duck and cover” campaign in the late 50’s and early 60’s cold war.

4. I experienced two life-changing events for me, first with my mother and then my father. My mother reported a single mom who lived down the street from us for child abuse.This was prompted by my asking innocent child questions like “Why is that little girl always so clean and pretty and her brother is always very dirty?” Late one very hot summer night my family heard a loud commotion behind our house in the alley. I remember all my family going to investigate this loud carrying on, it was the 60’s! It was a husband and wife with several little kids and the husband was beating the heck out of his wife. My father grab the idiot and cold decked him out with one punch while my mother called the police.

5. My grandmother was a nurse at the local hospital. One day she asked me if I would like to visit a little girl close to my age (8) who needed some company while she was in the hospital. Of course, I said yes. Karen and I became very good friends and I would visit her two times a week. We would play games, dolls, paperdolls. I would read books to her, one of the books I read was Little House on the Prairie. Karen had leukemia and past away after about 8 months of our meeting.

6. I had many guy friends in high school. Two of these friends were killed in the Vietnam War.

7. My first husband and I went on a road trip to Tucson and Old Mexico when I was 16 years old. Have I got some stories to tell!!! Oy!

8. My first job at 19 was a social worker for the Headstart Program in Nowata County.

9. My house was flooded with 8 feet of water in October of 1986.

10. I was a member of a hot air balloon crew and got to go up for a ride early one morning.

Were those random enough? I bet you can’t wait for all those really interesting stories! Right? Well, don’t hold your breathe! Brittney and Paris will be in the news again soon for your drama fix; they are far more interesting than me. I can’t remember the last time I went out without my panties!

Thanks, Patty! Now I have plenty of fodder for blogging, especially next time I misplace my blogging mojo.

May 28, 2007 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

Have you ever lived on Food Stamps?

I found an very interesting blog, Hillbilly Homemaker. A great blog about saving on the food budget, making-do and general real-life.  The one link that I found very interesting and thought-provoking is the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge. This a challenge to Congressional Members and their families to live on a food stamp budget from May 15-21. Is this the first sign that a small flame has finally been ignited in Washington? There are many older people and children that go to bed hungry every night in this rich land of America. One must ask, “How is this possible?.” There is no legitimate reason in this land of plenty for hunger!

I was a single parent for many years, raising my two daughters on minimum wage and fighting a legal system constantly to get the court ordered child support due my children. I made $15.00 more a month than the income guidelines for food stamps! I could get no food stamps, medical help, etc. for my family. I sucked in my pride, quit my job and signed up for food stamps, medical care and utility bill help. What a government system that promotes women to quit working in order to have the necessities for her family!!!! However, I used the time off work wisely, I received two college degrees. I raised my family, worked part-time as a work study at the colleges and carried 15-19 hour load each semester.

I have a funny story about this time in our lives. At the end of every month when I was realllly sttrettcching that food stamp dollar, I served tuna casserole. Every-time at the dinner table my two young daughters would asked “Are we poor again?”. I guess having tuna was a signal to my babies that we were having a hard time. Of course, the reality was we were poor all the time. I am extremely thankful that my babies only thought this when tuna casserole was placed on the table. Poor or rich is just a state of mind. I considered myself very rich because I had my children, my family, my health, my positive outlook, my toughness, my grit, my intelligence, etc. etc.

I loved using my bread-machine, but I lost the booklet, I was kinda at a loss about making bread without it. Miss Maggie has a great part about the bread machine and how to use it without the book. There are all kinds of recipes, such as, homemade seasoning mixes, pizza, hot drink mixes, etc. I love it, I love it!Do you remember the character that Molly Shannon (SNL) played (I think she was suppose to be a talk show host)that would say “I love it, I love it!” and kick her legs up in the air.

Take a peek at the Hillbilly Housewife’s blog and be inspired and learn some great money-saving tips!

May 26, 2007 at 5:05 pm 3 comments

The Thrifting Gods

Sometimes when you go thrifting, the Thrifting Gods are smiling upon you and sometimes you forgot to make a sacrifice to them so the Thrifting Gods frown upon you. Is that how it works for you? When they smile, the whole world smiles with you. Right? Well, the other day the Thrifting Gods were smiling and I found a few things. I found some really cute magnets. A couple of the flower ones are going on my refrig in the garage. I think the magnet with the mouse and hummingbird is adorable. I bought the little shells magnets for Holly. Look at the two little mice, penguin and owl, cute, cute!! 25 cents!! Oh , almost forgot the large pieces of vintage gold chenille, .50 cents. I think some pillows or purse would be a good use for the chenille???

Magnets

The Japan Wood Recipe Box .25 cents. The two vintage crochet hot pads .75 cents . The silver spoon, the teak wood handled bar tool, the vintage reamer and the neat little plate holders are were in a plastic sack with other kitchen misc. for .50 cents. I am keeping these for my house and putting the rest in my flea market booth.

Recipe Box, etc.

The little vintage flamingo plate is for Holly, she collects vintage flamingos, .10 cents. The oriental style picture, .50 cents. The Japan two little cups and saucers, .50 cents each.

Japan Cups

Look at this set of 70’s sugar, creamer, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil containers, $3.50 for the whole set.

70’s Sugar and Creamer

I have a collection of vintage hand mirrors and brushs, the left one has little plastic roses, was .10 cents. The middle brush and the flower pattern one, .50 cents each. I am going to hang a arrangement of the mirrors and bruches on my bedroom wall. When I am done I will post a picture.

Mirrors

The vintage aprons were .25 cents. I like the brown flowery one. There are four new large pacthwork squares, 1.00 for all.

Aprons

The best little find was this vintage blue pottery pitcher, it matches my back porch mosaic sewing treadle table. I need to repair the grout in the table, I found this table at a Estate Sale for $10.00, the top was handmade mosaic and the stand is a old metal sewing machine treadle. I have several pottery pieces that coordinate with the tile, I display thos pieces in the warm months.

Blue Pitcher

I found three 50’s vintage dresses for .50 cents a piece. The material is worn and shows some fading but the styles are fabulous. I thought maybe Holly could use the dresses as patterns. One of the dresses still had the size tag attached.

I hope the Thrifting Gods are smiling upon you!

May 24, 2007 at 2:30 pm 4 comments

Our Weekend Project

We decided that Alex need a swing set (and Ruby, too), so off went Mr. Grandad to hunt one down and bring it home. He is the hunter and I am the gatherer in this household. Alex was climbing on the various parts as we were trying to assemble the set, so it took a little longer than normal.

Here the swing set before.

Swing Set in Box

And here it is after!

Alexdogs Swing Set

Alex has some company, Skinny (Border Collie) and Jezebel (Yorkshire Terrier). We have 4 dogs. Skinny found us last summer, he still was a pup and was EXTREMELY skinny (thus his name). He loves Alex, she can pull on his ears, hug his neck, generally just love him and he enjoys every minute. Jezebel (the $500 Yorky) was my daughter’s Rachael 18th birthday gift. She weighs 8 pounds and has an attitude! I expect the swing set to provide many happy hours for all our kiddos. When I was a child I spent many, many hours on my swing set.

Alex and I fertilized the garden and flowers today, so I thought I would share some of the corners in my yard. This is our front porch, which is facing the south.

Front Porch 1

Here is the southwest corner of my house with the orange daylillies.

Daylillies

A very pretty Hybrid Asian Orange Lilly.

Orange Asian Lilly

A close-up.

Day Lilly 2

The Red Flame Honeysuckle I planted to attract butterflies and Hummingbirds. I have seen several Hummingbirds lately. I suppose I should put up a feeder, since they use so much energy flying around all the time.

Red Flame Honeysuckle

My only Rose Bush which is in the East Flower Bed that is still waiting to be worked and planted!

Roses

I live on the borderline of two ecoregions of Oklahoma; 1. Osage Plains Flint Hills Prairie 2. Cross Timbers and Southern Tallgrass Prairie. I have always loved to identify Oklahoma Wildflowers. I walked around today and took a few pictures of some. This is the Light Poppy Mallow (callirhoe alcaloides), it is a perennial, flowers May through August and the roots are edible.

Poppy Mallow

Mallow Close-up

This is the Gray-Green Wood Sorrell (oxalis dillenii).

Wood Sorrell

Here are some great links to information about wildflowers.

www.okprairie.com/flowers.htm

www.mywildflowers.com

Front Porch 2

This corner of my yard is still waiting for the two Boston Ferns to be hung (!!!hanged, where did that come from) on the porch and the Caladiums to be planted in the green pots.

I am enjoying the weather, the gardening and just hanging out lately. Ahhh (big sigh), early summer! I am lucky because it can get very very hot here, but I absolutely love the heat! Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the air conditioning when I lay down to sleep at night. I have a condition, Fibromylgia, and the heat helps the aches and pains. The sun always feels great beaming down on my body.

Bloom where you are planted!

May 21, 2007 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Great Summer Recipes

Here are two great summer time appetizers when the living is easy!

Cowboy Caviar

  • 1 (11 ounce) can white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 firm-ripe avocados, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Tortilla Chips (organic, baked, whatever you enjoy)
  1. Combine all ingredients (except chips) and toss together gently.
  2. Serve room temperature with tortilla chips.
  3. Avocado will turn brown if sets to long, could leave the avocado out until just before serving.

Great with a tall Corona Extra with a slice of lime!!!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package flour tortillas
  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl/mix well.
  2. Combine soda and water in a bowl; stir.
  3. Cut tortillas into triangles. Brush lemon soda mixture over one side of tortilla; then coat with sugar mixture.
  4. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until bubbly. Remove the tortillas to a wire rack to cool.

Fruit Salsa

  • 3 or 4 large Granny Smith Apples, chopped finely
  • 2 Kiwifruit, chopped
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  1. Combine chopped fruit, orange juice and sugar; mix well. I chop by hand or use your food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. Cover and chill 8 to 10 hours before serving.

This would go great with a Strawberry Daiquiri! I guess you can tell that I am looking forward to hot summer days and cold liqueur in my hand!

May 18, 2007 at 7:28 pm 2 comments

A Mother’s Blessings!

If today was my last day here on earth then I will have lived an interesting blessed life! My biggest life blessings are my children (and my grandchildren). Children are gifts from God! I think that God expects us to know this and thus treat our children accordingly. And those who do not will have to answer for their trespasses, whether here on earth or in the next life or at the pearly gates or wherever.

My first blessing is Holly Irene! If I had not known that children were gifts before her, I certainly knew after her. I KNEW before each of my children were born what their personality was going to be, yes, I did! I knew that this baby was a very intelligent sensitive quiet reflective person. Holly has a great ability to just “know” how things are, without ever having to explain them to her; that one quality has always amazed me, even today.  There are many, many things each child has said, done, etc., so I will try to tell just a few in this post.

Holly:

  • 20 word vocabulary at 9 months, she knew concepts like colors, boy, girl. One day she said puppy, sock, blue truck and the rest is history.
  • could count to ten, say her ABC’S, and carry on adult conversations at 12 months. She used this to her advantage, older people would find her so cute they gave her money!
  • could spell words at 15 months. I pulled up to Walmart and she said “I know what that says!” I thought she would say “Walmart”, so I said “What does it say?” She replied “It says W-A-L-M-A-R-T”.
  • She could read books at 3 years old.
  • When I took her to kindergarten the first day, I asked her if she knew why she was going to school. She promptly told me, “I am going to school to become a useful citizen of the United States!” (as if I was stupid for not knowing such a thing)
  • Her teachers would just rave about her to me, almost weekly. She has made me proud of her many, many times.
  • She had to take the IQ test when she was in the second grade so the school system could place her in the Gifted and Talented Class. She really could have care less to take the test, probably didn’t want to take the stupid test, but I thought very long and hard that being in the G & T class was a good thing for her, so I made her take the test. I took her to the education service center for the test, I was a little unsure that this was in her best interest but my mothering instincts said it was, so there we were. When she came out after the test, she was very, very quite, I could tell that she was in the deep thought mode, so I tried not to bug her about the test. BUT I had to know how she felt, so I asked her three times “How was the test?”, after the third time she finally said “Mother, why is a hard cover book better than a soft cover one?” I knew that the IQ test had opened ended questions on it, and was relived that I had not forever harmed my child by making her take that stupid pigeon holing ridiculous test! We then discussed the difference in hard cover versus soft cover books.
  • She is one of the sweetest, caring persons I know. She was always befriending and standing up for the underdog.
  • Her picture seemed to be always in our home town paper for one thing or another she was doing. One picture showed her in a pioneer costume jumping up in excitement at a famous oil well bringing in the first oil in our hometown’s history of a large oil company being founded there.
  • In the Choir class musical production of her junior year, she portrayed Conrad Birdie’ s mother in Bye Bye Birdie. She received a standing ovation from the packed community center theatre!
  • She was always on the Honor Roll, won many, many awards, won contests and graduated with Honors. She was also voted “Most Unique” out of her graduating class of 500. In our family, we find being unique, standing out in a crowd a very, very good thing!
  • She grew up to be such a responsible, loving, hard-working, smart, creative, gifted adult. The kind of person that you would want to call your best friend.
  • She is a very wonderful mother to her daughter, Ruby.

My second blessing is Rachael. I knew this baby was a feisty, determined, smart, loyal person. I learned what different gifts God gives us and how each one should be cherished. Rachael has always amazed me with her tenacious determination to do anything she wanted to do.

  • Slept through the night at 6 weeks, just wanted to be laid in her crib to go to sleep.
  • Hardly never fussed or cried when she was baby, very active, it was like she had to much to learn in a very short time, so get out of her way!
  • Looked at life in a very funny matter-of-fact way.
  • Could put puzzles together really, really fast when she was 12 months old.
  • Had many boys chasing her at an early age. I would buy her new pants and very soon the pants would have holes in the knees. Every time I asked her how did this happen she would sigh and say “I had to run away from the boys and I fell down!” She thought that I should have known this and why was I asking!
  • Her picture appeared on the front page of our hometown paper, showing her with her toungue stuck out and curled on her lip while intently focused on the pumpkin face jack-o-lantern she was painting. The caption for the picture called her a future pumpkin genetic engineer. I thought a 5 year old very determined one!
  • One day on the way to school the radio announcer mentioned it was Elvis’s birthday. A few days later I found out from her teacher that for Show n’ Tell that day, Rachael’s show n’ tell was a tribute to Elvis’s birthday singing “Blue Suede Shoes.” I quess the performance included dance movements and lip curls! 
  • One day I walked by her fourth grade classroom, only she and her teacher were reciting the “Shirley Method of English”. Rachael was the only one standing up and reciting the very important lesson!
  • She was my “wild child”, if one could really call Rachael a wild child. She told things exactly how she saw them with no tact or care of what anyone’s response would be. One day in her 6th grade band class, she thought a girl was getting special treatment that all the rest of the class deserved also. She promptly asked the teacher why was this girl getting special treatment, he told her that the girl was special and needed this treatment. Well, Rachael promptly stood up and told him that everyone was special! He told her since she was so special to go out in the hall! When she was called to the Principal’s office, she explained her side of the story and I guess the Principal must have agreed, I wasn’t called. I found this out only later in a conversation with the Principle.
  • She wanted to go to high school in a near-by small town because they had agricultural classes, she took to Ag-tech classes like a duck to water. Welded like a pro!
  • She was always on the Honor Roll, won many awards, won contests and graduated with Honors.
  • One of the contests she won the prize was dinner and a picture taken with the current Miss America. She wrote a essay on what it meant to be an American.
  • She grew up to be a very responsible, smart, hard-working, dependable, loyal, grounded person. The kind of person you would want in your corner.
  • She is a very wonderful mother to Alexandria.

In My Daughter’s Eyes says it much better than I could.

My third gift is Stephanie. While I did not give birth to her, I consider her one of my children. She is my husband’s daughter. She is the free-thinking spirit in our family. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in International Human Relations in Brussels, Belgium. I guess you could tell that she is a very well- read intelligent person.

My fourth gift is Nathan. My husband’s son brought my fifth through eight gifts to me. The mother of our three wonderful, beautiful, smart granddaughters, Tammy. He is a very good father, works hard and is very involved in his children lives.

My ninth gift is Jeremy Tiger. I did not give birth to him or raise him, but I consider him my son. Holly brought this great man into our lives. The first time I met Jeremy I knew he was the right one for Holly.  After all, he was getting a very special gift of mine, he had to take care of that gift!  It is a very wonderful thing for a mother to know that daughter has a very special man to help build her life and family around. Their children will be truly blessed with these two parents.

My tenth gift is Alexandria Paige. The biggest brown eyes on the sweetest cherub face!Grandchildren are the extra special rewards for having your children. Alex is alot like her mother, Rachael. She finds the world a very exciting place to be explored and expects the world to find her exciting, too! She loves everyone in her family! Every time I hear her say “Nanny!” and she runs to me to be picked up, I think how truly blessed I am!

My eleventh gift is Ruby Marlene. A blonde, blue eyed angel! Ruby has my middle name. Ruby is alot like her mother, Holly. Ruby is very sweet, loving and accepting little person. When she lays her head on your shoulder, you feel very special.  When Ruby smiles at me, I KNOW that I am truly blessed!

I hope there will be more blessings in my life, but if not, I already have so many great ones! Each child has so much to offer the world, I cannot imagine what my world would be without each of mine. When I first started thinking about having a family, I wanted six children. I don’t know why six was the magical number, I just wanted six. I got more than I asked for, I have eleven and still counting!

Everyone has children in their lives, whether their own or nieces or nephews or friend’s children. If you have do not have any children in your life, I know somewhere near you there is a child just waiting for a dear friend to enter their lives.  Teach these children that they are gifts to be taken care of and cherished. Our children are our future!

May 16, 2007 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

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