Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love of Old Things

I know I have mentioned before that I really love old things - I'm not talking about C (he's a bit younger than me anyway).  But I love antiques.  I think I got that from my grandma, she loved antiques and had a house full of them (many of which are now in *my* house).  One item that I have that I think is particularly interesting is my living room "end table".  When people visit I find them spending time looking at this table and its contents.

My "table" began its life as a trunk.  This trunk was part of the furniture that came with my stepfather when my mother married him - he had used it for years as a table (so unfortunately, I can't claim this idea).  I always marveled at it and thought it was so pretty.  After my stepfather passed away, I acquired the trunk (that was back into service as a trunk) and recommissioned it as a table.

It's just an old trunk with the tray in it - we haven't modified it or painted it.  The trunk is covered with leather and has the original leather straps on it.  It's a bit worn, but that adds to its charm.  The tray inside is made of fabric and after years of wear it has become flimsy.  So C reinforced it so it wouldn't break or rip when we put stuff on it.  We have a piece of safety glass cut to fit the opening and when placed on it - makes the table top.  It makes a WONDERFUL area to display things.  See, isn't that a really cool idea!?!
I have lots of things down inside it. The tray is wrapped with a quilt - you know how I love them!  But the quilt in the trunk is special - it was made by my great-great grandfather (yup, you read that right - grandFATHER).  We have lots of other special items in it - there's an old Bible that my mom got when she graduated from high school, 2 pairs of baby shoes - a bronzed pair that were my mom's and a pair that belonged to C's dad, we have a china-faced doll, my stepfather's Mickey Mouse watch, C's first eye glasses and case, some old keys, an old light bulb, an electric insulator, an old tape meaure and some old scissors, just to mention some things.

I really love this table, it has so much potential.  It can be changed to match the seasons, though I have not been so ambitious. I do put forth some effort during the holidays. At Christmas, we cover the quilt with that white cottony, sparkly stuff and place some antique Christmas items in it.

I just felt the need to share this with you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Should Visit

One of my favorite blogs is Geta's Quilting Studio

I found Geta when I was wanting to figure out how to do a kalidescope quilt. Her blog is loaded with tutorials, patterns and fun information about her passion - quilting.  She does amazing shadow trapunto work.  Geta is a very talented artist.

Each month Geta has a give away.  This month two lucky winners will each receive a copy of her "Pockets with Love Pattern"

You can find Geta here:

Or just click the button to the right!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Long is Long Enough???

I don't talk all that much anymore about the fact that I had an awful marriage.  Just when I start to feel better, sleep better at night and not look over my shoulder, something from the past comes back to irritate me. 

Most recently I got a call from the ex - he wanted to know about 'his stuff' that he left at the house.  Oh Crap! 

Here's a little background:  We were married for 10 years and finally decided to put the marriage out of its misery.  That was in November of '06.  I wound up having to give him a settlement.  He left with barely the clothes on his back, went on a New England "vacation", spent the settlement money and was back on my door step before the ink was dry on the divorce papers; broke and needing a place to stay.  I took him in and he stayed with me until March of '07.  This time he left and this was to be more permanent, as he went to a relative's - he took a lot of his possessions, then subsequently came back a few times to get more.  I had told him that as long as I was there, the big stuff he left was OK until he found a place he could put it.  Things didn't work out with the relative and he started bouncing around the US.  I e-mailed him a few times that year that he was going to need to consider getting his stuff, as I was cleaning out and thinking about moving.  In January '08 I decided I was going to move.  Since my house was for sale and I was actively looking for a new place - I emailed him and told him he was going to have to make arrangements for the stuff, as I was going to move.  I moved in May '08 - another email that I was moving and he REALLY needed to deal with the stuff.  In June '08 I had a taker for my old house, since I hadn't heard anything from the ex about his stuff I got rid of a lot of it and made a deal with the guy moving into my house to put the remainder of it in the coal room of the basement for a while.  I have had one or two phone conversations with the ex with very little discussion about his stuff. 

So last week I get a phone call from him - the sole purpose was to ask about his stuff and when he could get it.  I answered with "what stuff?" and he rattled off a list of things he had left behind.  It seems that in the ALMOST 3 YEARS since he left he was under the understanding that his stuff had been put in storage and was just waiting for him.  Who was going to pay for that all that time I wondered out loud?  Well, he assured me that he would have paid me for it.  Yeah I'm sure!

So at some point in the near future he is wanting to come get his stuff - though he is going to have to do it in more than one trip (just great!).  Now I am considering how the best way to handle the situation.  I know he was expecting me to not sell the house and have everthing just as he left it so when he made up his mind to come get it it would be right there OR neatly pack it up and store it away until he was good and ready to get it.  He hasn't  inquired about it in almost 3 years - how long was I obligated to keep it?  I haven't handled any of this matter as good as I should have, that I know. 

But I can't get out of my head - just how long is long enough to keep this crap?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Giggle

Ugh!!  It's Monday and time to go back to work.  But you may want to consider this alert from the Centers for Disease Control!!

CDC Alert - Work




Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Giggle

I feel just like this every now and then...

Q: How many women with MENOPAUSE does it take to change a light bulb?

Woman's Answer: One!

ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don't even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out.

And, once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to find the stupid light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!!


I'm sorry. What was the question?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Does this qualify as a project?

Ok, at the beginning of the year (or last week) I said that one of my goals this year was to complete at least one project every month.  I think I qualified that by also saying that it didn't need to be a big project just that I *complete* something. 

I have so many unfinished projects and so many things I want to start or lots of things that I could do.  The first things that jump into my mind are the many jewelry projects that I *could* make.  Remember the pile of jewelry making supplies that I showed you a couple months ago?  Well, let's just say that Mt. Bling hasn't gotten any smaller. There are LOTS of things in that pile that I could make. 

There are also the unfinished quilting projects...  My upstairs bathroom is decorated with outhouses.  A couple years ago MA and I made outhouse wallhangings.  They are quite pretty and very unique.  Needlesstosay mine is not finished - it's in a bag waiting it's turn.  And the wall in the bathroom is naked, holding its spot for the outhouse quilt.  I also started a wallhanging of a black lab for C for his birthday a couple years ago.  It is very nice too and would fit well into the decor in our family room.  It, too, is waiting to be quilted. Finally, in the pile of "started but not finished" projects you'll fine my mystery quilt.  MA and I worked on that about a month ago.  I found out I more of an artsy quilter and not very precision oriented (I knew that - but the quilt confirmed it for sure).  My quilt quickly became the "stitchingly challenged" quilt - I call it something else but it's not very pollitically correct.  I am still working to salvage that quilt and I will, it's just gonna take some a huge amount of time and patience (I don't have much of those).  Oh, and I almost forgot I have a Halloween wall hanging I started 2 years ago to finish - like the others, it needs quilted - but I have 10 months until Halloween rolls around again.

It was cold over this past weekend, so Sunday I stayed in all day.  I went into my craft room (I love it that my house is big enough that I actually have a *room* dedicated to all my craft stuff and that it's not strung throughout the house all the time).  When we moved into this house C bought a REALLY NICE craft table for me - it has a large working surface, it's high so it's nice to stand and work at or easy to walk around AND it has cubby holes on either side for storage.  But I digress...

The craft table is GREAT.. except for one problem....  I couldn't find the top of it!!!  That room was "gift central" over the holidays, so wrapping paper and other gift crap was all over the place.  A shopping trip is never complete for me, unless I buy something to add to my crafting stash.  So the goods from several shopping trips was also piled in that room - on the craft table, on the bed, AND on the floor in front of the closet.  It was beginning to wear on me because when you walk down the hallway for anything else, you stare straight into that room and see the mayhem.  So Sunday I set to cleaning up the mess.  I got the gift supplies all put away.  I picked up all the bags from off the floor and went through them (I found several things I forgot I had even bought - I don't buy things because I need them - I buy them because I might have a whim some day to make something and need a specific item - I want it on hand! - I think there is a term for my brand of preparedness - OCD!).  I put all the jewelry items with the jewelry stuff, clay items with clay stuff, and sewing items in their rightful place.  Then I threw out all the remaining trash!  What a difference.  The top of the table is cleared off, so now I can work at it.  The bed is cleaned off - if anyone wants to come visit - we have a place for you to sleep!  AND it looks very nice coming down the hallway! 

So, can I count that as a completed project??? I'm going to - I'll count it as prep time! LOL Here's the before and after pictures:

See - I did good - I think this could be counted as a project!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Winter has arrived in Central Ohio!  The latter part of last week brought the area about 3 inches of snow and bone chilling temperatures.  I have lived in Ohio my entire life so I am used to the weather. I can't really say I dislike the snow either.  If I did, then I would simply move somewhere that it didn't snow.  But I have 4 wheel drive and can do pretty well in bad weather- it's just the other idiots who can't drive that worry me.  The snow we got was really quite pretty - it was light and fluffy and made everything sparkle.  It looks like glitter was sprinkled everywhere.  I was out on Saturday. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be  - it was about 25 degrees and sunny.  On Sunday, it only got to about 16 degrees and was cloudy most of the day.  C had to work on Sunday, so I build a big ole fire in the fire place and stayed in my jammies all day long. Sometimes you just need days like that.

This is our neighborhood looking off the back deck.

This is a stump in the back yard.  I think it looks kind of cool in the winter all covered with snow.

And our bushes in the front of the house.

Poor little lawn ornament is almost covered.

Even after a couple days the snow still looks pretty.

But the cats had the right idea.  AJ took full advantage of the fire and got up in the rocker beside it and kept warm.

But Harley takes after his mommy!  He didn't bother to even get up today - he just made a little nest in bed and spent his day there.  He's a spoiled kitty - I turn on the warming blanket for him, so he could be nice and toasty.

Stay warm this week!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meet the Dogs!

Back in September y'all met our kitties. Though they were unhappy kitties, since they had all just had baths and then the humiliation of having their picture taken.  How I could forget the dogs, I don't know. But I just realized that I never introduced the rest of our household - our dogs.  We have 3 of them.  It makes for an interesting house - 3 cats/3 dogs.  The cats are all boys and the dogs are all girls.  When C & I combined houses into this one - I came with the 3 cats and a dog and he came with 2 dogs. All in all everyone has adapted very well to everyone else.

First we have Shadow.  She is a wonderfully, sweet Black Lab.  She has been part of C's life for a long time and has been his ever faithful companion, having been through it all.  Her favorite toy is a plush duck with a squeeky in it - how fitting - a lab with a duck in its mouth. I am so happy that she has welcomed me into their life with open paws. She sticks close to me when he isn't home.  He says when I'm not home she looks for me.

Then we have Molly.  Molly is my contribution to the canine population at our house. She is an adorable Rottweiler/German Shepard mix (I call her a "rott N shepard").  I have had her since she was 6 weeks old and we've been together through thick and thin.  She is now 13 years old (this is a younger pic of her - but I love it!).  When Molly & Shadow first met they didn't like each other much and there was quite a bit of snarling. Since we have moved into the house, we have only had 2 dog fights and those were early on.  Both brought blood.  Each time it was Molly's - she may be a rott - but she's a wimpy one.  They have now come to terms with each other and get along very well. 

And then... there's Sugar.   Miss Sugar is a Chihuahua - and an itty bitty one at that.  She is C's dog from a previous marriage.  This little gal may be tiny,  but she thinks she is at least as big as the other dogs. When someone comes to the door, she is the one that does all the talking - but Shadow and Molly are there to back her up if need be.   The big dogs are afraid of the vacuum cleaner - they run from it, but not Sugar, she chases it.  As you can see by the pic, she is dwarfed by Harley, but then he is a large alley cat.  But for her size she has a big heart, for she too, has welcomed me into their life, as she keeps close track of me.

With this mixture of animals it makes for us never having a dull moment.  Someone is always doing something.  We try as hard as we can to make them happy and keep them healthy so we can continue to enjoy their company for a long time. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom

1939 - 1991
Today, my mom would have been 71 years old.  But, sadly, she passed away in 1991 when she was 52.  She was a great mother!  She went through a nasty divorce, but came through it a strong amazing woman. There was nothing she wouldn't try to do.  She used to have this big ole refridgerator with the freezer in the bottom (at the time it was very unique) the fan would go out of it from time to time and she had it replaced several times.  One time it went out and I came home one day to find the drawer out of the freezer and find my mother completely up inside it replacing the fan herself. In 1979 she married a college professor (one MY professors) and he treated her like a queen.  She wanted for nothing the rest of her life.  She was always fascinated with California.  Low and behold, her new mother-in-law lived in California, so she got to visit there many times.    Unfortunately. she died (kind of) unexpectedly of heart failure.  She had issues with rheumatoid arthritis for years, then suffered kidney failure and under went a couple years of kidney dialysis, followed by a kidney transplant, that was followed by a broken hip and subsequent hip replacement.   We all thought that the worst of everything was over and she was on the mend.  But her heart just couldn't handle the stress anymore and it quit.  I just wish I had more time with her.  I would like for her to see how I turned out (she put some hard work into me) - I hope she would be thrilled how life turned out for me and be proud of me. 

Did I say she was a great mom? LOL  She was a great role model and a good friend. I think about her everyday and I miss her everyday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun and Games Are Over

This will be me in a couple hours.  I don't wanna go back to work today!  Ugh!  I have been off work since December 24th.  I've been free to do whatever I want.  Though, granted, that hasn't been all  that much.  It has been quite relaxing.  Unfortunately I'm not independantly wealthy and I have lots of bills to pay, so I guess I have to go back to work.  It's going to be tough getting back into the groove.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I hope you made it into 2010  safe and sound. 

I have been off work since December 23rd.  While I had big thoughts, I really didn't accomplish anything other than get through the holidays.  It was nice to have the time off and to do what I wanted, when I wanted.  I really hate to think that I will have to return to work on Monday.  But I am not able to retire yet and we do have bills to pay.

As we were nearing the new year I thought about the previous year.  It was a very good year.  In the wake of folks losing jobs, I still have a job. So far the worst that has happened has been our mandatory 10 days off without pay.  While I don't like it, it's a cutback I can learn to live with for a while.  C & I celebrated our first full year in our new house.  I hate moving and it seemed like it took an entire year before we finally quit looking in boxes for our belongings.  But we are finally there!  I was reunited with a very, dear old friend this summer. I had lost track of her for a very long time,  much to my surprise she had been right under my nose. I am glad we never stopped wondering about each other and I am so happy we found each other again. I turned 50 this past year. OMG! I never thought I would make it this far.   Yes, it was a fabulous year.

Now as I face 2010... I want it to be as good of a year, if not better. I hate making resolutions because I usually break them before I get them all made. But I have to set some sort of boundary - so I guess resolutions are the best format.  

I need to improve myself this year.  After many years of living in hell, I am finally at a very good place in life.  But, if I don't make some other changes I may not be able to enjoy it for as long as I'd like. So I need to lose some weight.  I'm not greedy - 50 lbs (though that's just the tip of the iceberg) would get me back into most of the clothes in my closet.  So I'd take that if I can get it (then I'll think about chipping more off the iceberg).

I want to complete at least one  project each month, whether it be a craft project or housey project.  I have so many things to get done (remember the mountain of jewelry making stuff?).   So one thing doesn't seem too unreasonable.

I want to be a better blogger.  I started this back in September.  Writing is harder than I thought.  But I want to post at least 3 times a week and make my presence known on other blogs that I read and enjoy.  I have made some awesome friends and want to keep them.

I need to be a better aunt.  I know at least onbe person is thinking - but you're an only child.  I am, but when my mom got remarried her hubby had 2 sons.  We were all adults when our parents married, so we never got the opportunity to be a true family and we weren't that close when we were younger.  But after my mother,  their father and then my grandparents passed away these guys knew I didn't have any other family and they unofficially adopted me.  I don't get down to see my nephews and neice as much as I'd like and I felt some distance at Christmas. They are growing up so fast it is amazing.   I love them all and am greatful for them.  They were there for me during the darkest part of my life - I want to be there during the best parts of theirs.  So, I need to make sure I am visiting as often as possible and I'm not above taking lavishing gifts. 

And finally, I want show C, every single day, how glad I am to have him in my life. He has been a true blessing  to me.  I never knew what a truly good relationship was before him.  I love him and cherish every minute we have together.

Some of those will be easy, others not so much.  But all I can do is try.  What did you resolve to do this year?