Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween...



I'm probably the only one who loves this photo...but then I couldn't help but find humor in the way this overstates the obvious.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn travels...



We are home from our trip. It was wonderful. The best vacation I've ever had. And since my birthday fell square in the middle of it, I have to say it was the best birthday I've ever had too.

The fall colors are something we don't see in our part of the country, so it was such a treat. I took lots of photos. Though at some point I stopped looking through the camera, just to enjoy.

The time spent with the other Kathleen was filled with best-friend laughter, and good-natured squabbling, and multiplication of the beauty delivered to all five senses...

...the visual feast of colors in the autumn leaves...

...the sound of rain falling in the forest...

...the incomparable sweet smell of her newborn grandson...

...the explosion of flavors at my birthday sushi dinner...

...the chill of the morning air on our face, and the welcome warmth of a jacket to snuggle into.

I loved every moment.

And I'm glad to be home.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We are in Kentucky. OH! It's a beautiful autumn! Many fun and exciting things. Today we are on our way to meet a beautiful new baby. More later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Copy Kat-ing part II...



Here's part two of my copy kat post blatantly stolen from What's Happening At My House

If I had a million pounds I’d …. have 1,663,500 dollars.

I am … thankful.

My home is … my favorite place to be.

My best friend …
is waiting for me.


My parents taught me …. to save up for what you want, buy the best quality you can afford with cash, and take good care of it.


Every day …. I overestimate how much I will get done.

My life is … undeservedly blessed.

Men are ... all dogs.

Women are … all perfect.

I hate people who … make broad generalizations. (Which means the previous two answers were written in jest, in case you didn't know.)

I love the sound of … the voices of the ones I love.

Sometimes I … put a lot of items in my shopping cart, and then talk myself out of them, and put them all back and leave the store empty handed.

I work …. with truly wonderful people.

God … loves each and every one of us.

As a child … the library was my haven.

The world could do with less … meaness.

The best invention ever … Sonic ice.

Before I go to bed at night ... I brush my teeth.

The last thing I ate … mmmmmm...ice cream.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Copy Kat-ing...



What's Happening At My House says that she blatantly stole the following from Facebook. Well, I'm blatantly stealing it from her! Here goes.

My ex…is not my ex...yet. hahaha...He's pretty sweet...I think I'll keep him. :)

Maybe I should… start packing for my trip.

I love…staying up late.

I hate … getting up early.

I need … to be creative.

People would say that I... am fun.

I don’t understand… calculus.

When I wake up in the morning… I hit the snooze as quickly as possible.


Life is full of …surprises.

The past is … full of lessons learned and lessons unfortunately left unlearned
.

Parties are …. usually torture.


I wish …. I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.


Tomorrow …I'm embarking on an adventure.


I have low tolerance of... poor customer service .

I am totally terrified of …. a lot fewer things than I used to be.

There will be a part II following soon. Feel free to join in if you’d like to, and let me know so I can come over and read yours.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I feel 16 again...



Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But I did have an experience today that every sixteen year old anticipates with great eagerness and trepidation.

In order to receive my driver's license (renewal) I had to take a driving test with an examiner in the passenger seat. =O This is what I get for being terminally honest.

I went in last week to renew my license. I was feeling so proud of myself for not waiting till the day it actually expired to take care of this little task. I was told I would have to fill out a half page of questions regarding events since my last renewal. Uhmmm, have you had any medical event which caused you to lose consciousness? Hmmmm. Oh, well. I cannot tell a lie; I did have that pesky little blood clot go to my lungs that put me out, so that's what I recorded. I took the form to the desk, and it may have been my imagination, but the clerk seemed to pale a little as she said, "Uh-oh." She asked me a few questions. She went into a back room to check with a supervisor. She came back and apologized as she informed me that I would have to be tested. I got the sense that maybe nobody else is completely honest on that form.

I didn't do any trial runs. I didn't study any manuals. I didn't even get nervous. I just did what I normally do. And I don't think the examiner was exceptionally impressed. I could have debated some of her decisions, but I just nodded and thanked her.

I passed, and I guess that's the important thing. Albeit with a lower score than when I was sixteen. But there are so many things where the reverse is true and I would score much, much higher today than back then: wisdom, salary, perspicacity, vocabulary, life achievements, weight, blood pressure, kisses...

I'll take the pass, and be happy. You know, I could have taken a fail and still been happy. Inconvenienced, but happy.

And that's the important thing.

(But some things never change, and I still celebrated passing my driver's test with a trip to Sonic!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm boycotting Office Depot...

Our town has the worst Office Depot store that I have ever had the misfortune to step inside.

No matter what time you enter, it is completely deserted.

Which comes first...the lack of customers leading to fewer employees on each shift...or a lack of helpful employees, leading to no customer patronage?

I went looking for Avery labels. They have stopped carrying Avery, and now only carry 3M. Fine. I find a comparable 3M and go to the front registers. Nobody at the registers. There is a lone customer with a basket FULL of items at the copy center getting copies made. I inquire, of the atmosphere at large, is there anyone working the registers. To which the copy girl says, 'No, I'm covering them all.'

Wait a minute. I am purchasing one item, and I have to wait for copying AND a full basket of items?

I walk away from my basket and head for the door empty handed, and say with the least snark I can manage, 'Well, thank you anyway.'

I get back to my office, and find the item I want in a Staples catalog, and ask a co-worker to order the labels to be shipped. Then I get on the phone and call Office Depot. Very politely.

OD: 'Office Depot, this is Donna. How can we help your office today?'

Me: 'I'd like to speak to the manager please.'

OD: 'What can I do for you?'

Me: 'My name is Kathleen S______. I was just in your store for some Avery labels which you no longer carry. I chose a similar label of the brand you carry and took it up front for purchase. There was no one working the registers and there was a long wait at the copy center register. This is a constant situation that I have encountered at your store. I understand that you can't keep a full staff with a low customer volume, but you will not build your customer volume by having poor customer service.'

OD: {{{{crickets chirping}}}}

Me: 'I guess that's all I have to say.'

OD: 'Okay.' click.

Okay?

OKAY?

Are you kidding me?

District Manager, you will be hearing from me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Plastic bag organizer...

Yesterday's post was about the 'green' bags that are popular now. And I do love them. But I always forget to take them to the grocery store with me, so I end up with a bunch of the oh-so-un-green plastic bags. We recycle by using them for the small trash cans in the house. We have one drawer in the kitchen that we toss them into.

This is what it looks like...


...it drives me crazy.

I have seen the different organizers to corral the bags, but most of them need to hang, and I don't have any cupboard doors that one would fit inside, and I don't want one hanging where I have to look at it.

So I got to thinking about what I might have on hand to make something to organize them in the drawer they were already in.

Requirements: it had to be sturdy and easy to work with.

I settled on a sheet of plastic canvas (7 mesh...10.5 inches by 13.5 inches is what I had on hand). I rolled it lengthwise (so long edge meets long edge) and let the edges overlap a few rows.



I used some scrap yarn and stitched the edge on top to the row underneath it. Then because I wanted to finish watching a tv program, I stitched the other edge (which was inside by a few rows) to the row on top of it. This really wasn't necessary, but I like the way it looks.

The diameter is large enough for my hand to reach into if necessary, and small enough to not impede the opening or closing of the drawer. Both ends are left open to reach the bags inside. It holds a bunch (all that were in the 'before' photo are now in it, and it's not full). When it's full to overflowing, we will quit saving the bags for awhile.

You could really go nuts and stitch the whole thing decoratively...but I wanted it purely for practical use...to stay clean and be able to see bags inside...so I left it very plain.



Ahhhh...I feel better now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In the pink...



I love the reusable bags that businesses give out as advertisements or thank yous these days. I got this pink one yesterday for getting my 'girls' checked during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbon didn't come on it...I picked up a full spool of that from the clearance rack the other day at Hobby Lobby. The spool was still lying on the counter when I layed down the pink bag, and I thought they looked pretty together, so I had to loop some over the handle.

I got all my other girlie exams taken care of yesterday too. So if you haven't done it for the year yet, let this be a reminder for you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The day after...



...Hurricanes Caitlyn and Chloe have left the ranch, leaving Ann and Grandma in their wake.

I discovered Ann a little while ago, when I went to water the plant. I feel just like she looks. Happy and spent! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Girls weekend...

What a great weekend! Friday I got to spend the evening with all five kiddos while Kasey and Beau went out. Then Saturday the boys were otherwise engaged, so the girls came home with grandma to spend the night.



Since I just posted about Caitlyn recently, I thought I'd make Chloe (3) the star here. She told me I'm her precious angel...I think I've told her that a time or two also. :) In a matter of seconds, she can go from testing every nano-ounce of patience I have, to cuddling up in the rocker with me asking for 'A You're 'dorable.' And she seemed to be playing a version of stump the band when she started making requests for songs by just throwing out a topic, and expecting me to come up with a song that fit the bill. Her favorite was 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' which she then requested again and again as she joined in and picked up more words with each repetition. Her Papa will be very excited to hear he may have a budding baseball fan.

We painted fingernails and toenails...several times. They love bubble baths in grandma's clawfoot tub, so that was a definite. We warmed up with grilled cheese sandwiches and bowls of soup. And then chilled with lots of ice cream. And ate lots of Cheetos (you can see some on Chloe's face in the photo above!) And marvelled at the snap, crackle, and pop of Rice Krispies.



And we had a really great surprise. We heard a plane fly low over the house...not unusual in itself, since we live on one of the highest points in the county we seem to get a lot of low fly overs. But when we kept hearing it, we went out on the front porch, and were treated to a front row seat to our very own little airshow. An awesome little yellow plane flew back and forth over the tree line time and time again. We were very excited. Every time the plane made a turn and flew back by again, there would be much squealing and applause!

Mama came to retrieve them this afternoon.

It sure is quiet around here tonight.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New updated version...

If you're from my generation, you can't help remembering the iconic Chatty Cathy. And if you happened to be named Cathy, or any version thereof (as millions of us from that era were), let me pass on my deepest regrets for all the times you were actually called 'Chatty Cathy.' I feel your pain, for it was mine.

Well, the new improved version for our enlightened era is here...Conversationalist Caitlyn.

She is truly a living doll of the four-year-old variety. A natural social butterfly, who makes the rounds at every public event to visit with each person in the crowd. The kid should consider politics.

Oh, and when you pull her string, she looks more like this...


When they hired new staff at her daycare when she was two, the new employee asked how she should keep track of who was who and what belonged to whom, etc. The supervisor pointed across the room, and said, "See that little girl? Her name is Caitlyn; that's all you need to know. She can answer any question you have."

The other day, Caitlyn asked out of the blue, "Mama, do I talk too much?"

Struggling to choke back a laugh, Kasey asked her, "Why Caitlyn? Did somebody tell you that you talk too much?"

"Yeah. My teacher did. And my friends tell me I'm not the boss of them."

So I guess life experience is teaching her that there is a time and place.

But I hope that her natural enthusiasm for communication and personnel management is never curbed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seven separate thoughts on the 7th...



1) As I blog hop, I find that a lot of bloggers have days set aside for a paticular kind of posting. I have avoided doing that, because it seemed a little too crowd follower-ish. And I hate to follow the crowd. Truly.

2) We had a lovely salad for dinner tonight. A few days ago, I broke down and purchased a pomegranate. It has been such a fad fruit lately. Aaack! I've followed a crowd. But I had to. I just had to see it, smell it, taste it, feel it for myself. Because here's the crazy thing...the house that I grew up in had a pomegranate bush/tree, and I've never tasted them. We also had tangerines and oranges and figs. And we ate the tangerines and oranges and figs. But we never ate the pomegranates. I seem to remember being told they weren't good to eat...no fruit...nothin' but seeds. That absolutely makes me laugh now. My purchased pomegranate was a wonderful addition to our salad tonight. And if I only had known that the seeds were the good part, I could have enjoyed pomegranates for my entire life. If my mother had only known, I'm sure she would have found a way to make pomegranate jam or something...because those oranges of ours were sour enough to pucker a pig, but she just used them like lemons for lemon meringue pie. She used everything. Except pomegranates.

3) My family bought a house before I was born. It truly was the only home I ever knew. What a blessing...almost unheard of these days. We didn't sell it till after my parents died.

4) I had a terrible time typing 'my parents died' just now. I tried 'passed' and 'passed away' and 'left this world.' I finally settled on the brutally honest 'died,' but it stung my eyes and lumped my throat. For crying out loud (no really, for crying out loud) it's been over ten years for my mom, and almost twenty for my dad. Maybe it's because yesterday was my dad's birthday.

5) I was listening to NPR today, and I heard just a portion of a program...but what a portion. The guests were a woman with severe physical challenges and a friend of hers. The friend said that one day he was telling his friend, this woman, that he had looked at himself in the mirror and saw a stranger, an old stranger...how had the years passed without him knowing...yada, yada, yada. And his memory of her response had stuck with him ever since. She told him that life was like a book. And if you were in the middle of the book, would you really want to go back to page 16? Of course not. You keep reading to see what's going to happen! You want to see how the plot is going to play out.

It got me to thinking about how I read books. And sometimes, when I'm in an especially good book, I hit about the three-quarter mark, and I make myself slow down, because I want to savor it and make it last as long as possible and enjoy all the good stuff. And that made me think about how we slow down as we get older. Maybe it's part of the grand scheme of things. If we are lucky enough to reach an old age, perhaps we should be quite happy to slow down a bit and just...savor...for as long as possible...and enjoy all the good stuff.

6) That last thought brewed in my head all day, and I knew I would have to blog about it. But then when I logged on, I saw that Becky had a new post that looked interesting. So I went to her blog, and oh my goodness, I saw something that I HAD to get someone for Christmas. And so it has begun in earnest...the Christmas crafting AND the Christmas shopping. Sorry...can't link...someone might click in lieu of shaking the package. So thank you, Becky, for the gift idea...even though I spent a lot of time on that website instead of writing a really profound post about thought #5.

7) I also have been pondering Caroline's recent post query asking if there is a way to find blogs that are local to your area. When I read that question, I went to google and put in "my city, state blogs" (only I used my actual city and state) and I did find a few. It gave me a kind of creepy feeling. I kind of LIKE the anonymity of blogging, and I'm not sure how I feel about my local acquaintances reading what I write. I don't know why. I know my daughter and my nieces read my blog, and that doesn't bother me. But I don't tell many other friends or family members.

Also, it kind of made me feel funny, because being a blogger is sort of following a trend...I mean, c'mon, everybody and her bff has a blog these days. And as I said in thought #1, I don't really like to follow the crowd.
For instance, I used to collect Noah's Arks. I mean...like...since I was really young. Then Noah's Ark got to be a big fad, and I packed all of mine away. I couldn't handle following a trend.

So I've kind of been wondering if I wanted to keep blogging. But then I figured, what the hell, I like blogging. So I figured I might as well go all out, and set aside a day for a particular kind of post too.

So I'll do this again on the 7th of next month. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Knitting progress report...



Progress on the seed stitch afghan (pictured above) is going pretty well. In my update a month ago, I had finished only three squares in a month. This past month I finished eleven more squares. But I'm putting it aside for now, and switching projects.

It's time for...

...Christmas gifts!

This is a doll for a little girl. Of course, there will have to be two made. The pattern is from the Nov/Dec 1982 issue of Needlecraft for Today. I've made several false starts on this pattern over the decades (!), and if I don't finish this time, I am going to call it quits and move on.

This is the photo from the magazine...
I wonder...if I do finish it...will it turn out looking like this? I'll keep you 'post'ed. :)
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