Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday/ Not Good Enough

It's still Thursday and I still have thoughts.............

Do ya ever have one of those days when you just think that you're just not good enough? I do. In my head I know I am, but in my heart I wonder sometimes......whether it's at work or a personal relationship sometimes I just feel like I'm not good enough and can't do anything right. Those feelings make me want to keep to myself, crawl inside my shell, and not expose myself/feelings to anyone.

It's been a bad week here in the family relationship, not with my hubby. Then, today, when I got to work my boss greets me by telling me what I should have done yesterday. What a way to start the day....way too many crabby people near me! It really hurts me when I think someone is angry with me or doesn't like me.

Last week, just after an argument, I was upset and driving on the interstate to my mom's and I see a colorful billboard that says "God Loves YOU". I actually had to smile and think that HE really does love me! I am always good enough for him, even when I do make a mistake...... I was reminded again on Wednesday when I passed by. I wish I had a photo of it, but it's kinda hard to whip out a camera and snap a photo when speeding on the highway at 70MPH. Maybe next week I'll remember and stop to capture that billboard.

And I will attempt to focus on the people that do like me and think I am good enough and to remember that Jesus loves me!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend, Ho-Made Weed Killer, & a Little Bit More

Now that the first big weekend/holiday of 'summer' is over it's time for me to get back to the 'real' world.  When Monday is a holiday my work week changes, so I was off today also. *SMILE*
       Anheuser-Busch's tribute to Memorial Day

This morning I went to help my sister get our mom's new apartment all set up and then stopped to see mom. Sandy had most everything in order, the place just needed finishing touches. We hung some pictures, put up valances, and just made it look nice for her. Wish I could be there when she comes home but I have to work so will call her later in the day.

I had a nice, relaxing weekend for the most part. I am still feeling the stress from the 'drama incident' I wrote about earlier. I really don't like 'fighting' but I am owed an apology (I was accused of doing something that someone else did). I truly would love to have all my family and friends to get along! Hubby had to work part of the weekend and we hadn't made plans so I was happy to stay home and do some planting. A couple of friends stopped over and I had good conversations with them. I am not finished planting but did get my 4 kohlrabi and tomato plants in pots and most of my flowers planted. Naturally I have to buy more. I have a gift certificate to a local greenhouse so will stop there after work tomorrow.

I used my home made weed killer to get rid of some of the weeds.
            1 gallon vinegar (I used white)
            1 # table salt
            2 T dawn dish washing detergent
I don't care to use chemicals if I don't have to. And that brings up my question.....does anyone have a natural remedy to keep the ants out of my house? In reality we live in Lake Michigan so the ants are always present and love to come in....but I prefer not to share with them.

On my way home from the 81 mile trip to my mom's I stopped at Barnes & Noble to have them look at my appears it's all up to par. I browsed a bit, love that store. If I lived closer I'd 'run away from home' and stay there all day. After that I decided to look around in Goodwill, where I got a pretty multicolor t-shirt for work. Green Bay has a lot of road construction going on so I used my OnStar to help me get back in the right direction for home.

I hope your summer is off to a great start!!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

St Louis....a Whirlwind Tour

When I saw a Red Hat trip to St Louis being offered I knew I needed to find someone to travel with. One of the gals in our group wanted to go too - woo hoo!!!  I have a traveling partner.  I've been rather busy so I didn't have any time to research the arch or any of the other sights that were scheduled for our visit. Nonetheless, I was ready to pick C up at 4:30AM on Sunday. OK, I was running a little late, it's kinda hard to get going at 3:30AM when the alarm goes off, you know (wink). I drive past her house, without stopping,'s still dark at that time of the morning. Even though I am running late we have plenty of time for a potty break and to get to the park n' ride where the bus is going to pick us up. Eight different Red Hat groups from southern WI were represented. Fortunately the bus was not full so my partner and I each had a seat to ourselves. I pulled out my Nook Color to read for a bit and found that the bus had free WIFI on it, that's a cool plus as far as I am concerned.

Eight groups of Red Hatters from southern & central WI were represented:
*Red Hat Hatters
*Hats R Us
*Red Hat Rascals
*Royal Purple Belles
*Better Red Than Dead
*Hot Hot Divas
*Sweet Cherry-wine
*Curvacious Crimson & Purple Posse

I was kinda worried about wearing purple and red and a red hat all of the time, but it was really fun! .....and quite neat to see a big group of like minded women. I hope to go on more of these trips.

Our first stop when we arrive in St Louis is the Gateway Arch. At 630' it's the tallest man-made monument in the US.

relief depicting the building of the arch
 The Museum of Westward Expansion (at the base of the Arch) had many interesting, animated displays of the early settlers telling their stories. I found it to be very intriguing. We had time for a quick look around and then it was up to the top.....the teeny elevator was not my favorite but I am not claustrophobic so I survived.
Looking out of the windows one can see far...
While we were there it rained but when it was time for us to leave it was over, nice b/c we had to walk to the bus.
We took a tram ride through the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Lantern Festival opens this weekend so many of the lantern displays were set up. The dragon below is made up entirely of porcelain plates, cups, etc.  I would have liked more time to walk through the gardens and take photos but I had to search out the gift shop b/c my camera memory card was full and the extra one I brought along I accidentally 'protected' so I could not use it. That means I have a blank memory card that can not be written over.  hmmmm?????

the sea of red & purple

a Gargoyle perched on building in the Garden District

We also visited the Catholic Basilica. This church has one of the largest mosaic displays in the world and it took over 80 years to complete it. I was nearly moved to tears inside of it. It is an awesome sight!!!

One day Tod was our step on tour guide, he was fabulous. We drove through the city and he explained about the various districts. In City Garden the children are welcome to play in the fountains among the sculptures, all without any charge.  The naked people fountain (as the locals call it) aka the Meeting of the Waters fountain shocked people when it was unveiled in 1940. For decades the statues were 'clothed'. There are fountains and statutes all over, what a beautiful place.

 Another stop was the old courthouse. I love the reflection of it in the photo above.
dome inside the old courthouse
 We also visited the Anheuser Busch brewery briefly and sampled beer. I chose the lime, it wasn't bad.
our Party Lady led the way in the bus with a big smile on her face
since we were dressed similarly to the party lady we always knew whom to look for

 On the way home we stopped in Springfield Mo. to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and library. There's so much history to see in that winding museum. Photos were not allowed in most places and if you touched something an alarm went off. A group of young people were touring when we were there and the alarm rang several times, probably accidental. The children's room was set up with things the kids could play with and put on for dress up. (A nice break from 'boring' for the kiddos.) Photos were allowed in that room. Since photos were not allowed most places I figured they'd try to sell you a book about the museum....and they did....and I bought one.

playing with some of the old time toys

 We attended both of the presentations in the theaters there...a MUST see!!! Lincoln's Eyes, his story told by an artist who was commissioned to paint him, was full of many special effects. The sights and sounds immersed you into his life. You could feel the gun blasts in your seat. 

On the way home we stopped at a Culver's for ice cream and a little break. Culver's seemed to be a favorite for someone. Some of us wanted soft serve so we hoofed it across the parking lot to McDonald's, only to find out their machine wasn't working. Another reason for going there was that the bathroom would be less crowded. 

Across the road was a big quarry, Mackay Quarry, and, of course, I had to walk over and take some photos.


waving good-bye at the end of the trip- "Bless Our Hearts"

 One of the little tid-bits of information Tod, the step on guide, told us was how southerners might say something not quite so nice about a person and they add 'bless her heart' on at the end. 

We stayed at the Drury Inn in St Louis. I'd recommend it! Our room contained a small fridge - like cooler and microwave. In the evening free food (hot dogs, salad, nachos, and another hot item) is provided, along with 3 drinks (mixed, wine, beer). That was about 1-1/2 too many drinks for me. The morning free breakfast was the best I have seen: eggs, waffles, sausage, biscuits & gravy, etc. I didn't have any eggs but I did not hear any complaints so I am assuming all was good. Across the street you could take the moving sidewalk to the casino .... and we did the first night. No, I am not a gambler....but the things I do for my friends....... The 2 friends I was with lost $ but I more than doubled my $5...and I promptly collected my money and quit. I'm cheap and do that every time (if there is one.)

I got home safe & sound about 9PM and am still not unpacked. Good thing hubby doesn't complain about it....wouldn't do him any good anyway. He is out golfing now. My plans for this weekend are to: unpack, fold laundry, plant some flowers, relax at home, and help get my mom's new apartment all ready for her to move into on Wednesday.  She REALLY misses her kitty and having her own bathroom.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday/Drama-Schrama

I've been busy: enjoyed a 3 day trip to St Louis (more on that coming up) and helping to move my mom into a new apartment. The only reason I am able to write this post is because I woke up too early this morning (way too much drama in my life again & always from the same person).
My thoughts on this beautiful, sunny, workday morning concern personal relationships....... I have some advise: 1) don't accuse a person of something w/o asking them about it,  2) and don't do it via texting, and lastly:  3) desperately seek the TRUTH of the matter.

Don't jump to conclusions w/o first attempting to get to the bottom of the matter. I can't jump-it hurts my knee :-)

ta ta...............I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

My thoughts today are about how sometimes when you think things are at their worst and you just don't know how you will survive......that situation turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. This has been on my mind because of the things happening around me.
My mother was forced into a nursing home all of a sudden. We've been thinking it was getting to be time that she move into assisted living but how could we broach the subject with her? Her tiny apartment is crammed full of stuff, but she likes all of her stuff, so how could we get it out of there? Now she is really looking forward to getting into her new place! We are getting rid of a lot of stuff and my sister is taking some of her belongings to her place for mom to go through at a later date. Today I get to go and help clean the apartment, the first of many days to come, I am sure.
A young couple I know has had some bad things happen to them: the husband lost his job and they are being forced to move. God has turned that situation in a blessing too! Their present  apartment does not have an outdoor space for the children to play in. The new place they are looking at is near a park. The young man does not have a high school diploma nor did he have insurance. Now he WANTS to get his GED. We tried to get him to pursue it for several years...but now HE wants it. Hopefully when he finds a new job he'll have insurance. Now he is home in the evenings to spend time with his children, they need their dad around.
I'm sure if I thought longer I could give more examples.
Are you making life's lemons into lemonade?
Or is God turning the circumstances into good for you? My bet is on the last statement. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Is It?

 .....and what do you think it's used for? If you have an idea let me know and I'll see if we think alike as 'rednecks'.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sayner Stampede Round Robin Cards

Here are some of the cards I made at the Round Robin last weekend.
they may look like brads, but they are 'candy' (small pieces of heavy cardstock that are flat and don't cost extra to mail.)

we used liquid pearls on this one

the popcorn was made 3D with liquid applique (ever used it? it's for fabric but can be used on paper, it puffs up when heated). If you use the brown and do not heat it it dries to a glossy brown, great for the chocolate effect.

calender in a cd case, designed especially for these calenders

flower was cut out with a die and double stick tape put on the back with a fine glitter sprinkled on it

debossed and embossed and sanded, must use color core paper

I bought this vine punch

this is a moving card, very cute, but a pain to make for the first time

If you have any questions please post a comment. Thank you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Am I Asking For Too Much?

Just as we were leaving the nursing home God sent my 2 old friends (former neighbors) into the parking lot.

 I hope all of you moms and step moms had a great day , with someone you care about; whether your mom, child, sibling, friend, spouse............just someone near and dear to you. Hubby, I, and grandson J went to visit my mother in the nursing home that is her temporary place of residence. Since her health emergency (hallucinations, confusion due to UTI or low blood sugar) about 2 weeks ago I am reminded that she's not invincible and won't be with us forever. Hubby was planning to stay home and do yard work, but for some reason, decided to go along with me. I dislike our anniversary and Mother's Day b/c he totally ignores those days. No, I'm not his mother, but I did mother his children from his first marriage. But I know enough not to expect any thing or words from him. I didn't even want to go to church today because I know the pastor would ask us to stand up and I feel like I've been a failure as a mother and don't deserve recognition.

I know there are lots of holidays that people just can't wait to get past. We all have our reasons.....Sometimes we have high expectations that just can't be met. Or is it possible?

He is a very quiet, non demonstrative man, even more so now that his twin is separated from his wife (who is my good friend). They were the couple that we did things his brother hates me. Most of our car ride was spent in silence or with me conversing with our 7 year old grandson. As we drove past some homes I'd see people sitting around outside visiting in their yards....that would really make me happy to have my family and friends sitting in a circle in the backyard with a cold drink talking and laughing as the kids play. I'd love to sit outside around the fire telling stories and making s'mores. I'd love to be able to bounce ideas off my hubby, to talk about our day, to be free to talk to him about any and everything. Is that asking too much? I'm envious of those who have husbands who enjoy spending time with them, is it asking too much to have that too? Is it asking to much to want to have someone with whom I can have fun and be spontaneous with?
Here we are MANY years ago.

We had a nice visit with my mom, hubby is really nice to her. The weather was in the 70's so J and I wanted to stop in a park and play for a bit, but hubby said no. Hubby stopped to put gas in the car and get snacks for the ride home (great since we didn't have any lunch). And guess what? I got a free carnation for Mothers Day! That was nice and made me smile.  When J's dad came to pick him up he gave me a nice card with very touching sentiment had written inside and a good hug. You know, it IS nice to be appreciated sometimes.

So, Remember this............Stop and say 'Thank you' to someone today. Don't be afraid to tell a mom (or dad) how well behaved her (or his) children are.......send someone a thinking of you card.....send a personal email, not a joke..........stop and listen to the person you're talking to........

I know we are all busy. Life is short, show your appreciation to those you love.

Yes, I'm crying as I write this, partly because of my day and partly because I am watching the last episode of Desperate Housewives. I will miss that TV program!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I was featured............

One of my blogging friends featured me this week, Thanks Naila Moon at Just the Stuff Ya Know! When you're a blogger of a 'certain age', with no particular expertise in anything, but like to write and make new friends you're kinda stuck with me. We, plain ol', ordinary, people have a lot to share. Stop over and see what Naila has to say.

Random thoughts today:
I have more cards to post from the Sayner Stampede.
I got together and made cards with friends last! Hubby was gone and we made moving cards that I didn't know how to make, I wanna post those too.
I haven't been blogging/commenting much sister and I are figuring out how we are gong to move my mom into assisted living from the nursing home she is temporarily in. We need some big, strong men! 
I need to do some cleaning and yard work............
Next weekend I am going on a short trip to St. Louis!
OK, my Peanut Butter Patties from my girl scout granddaughter are I better get dressed and DO SOMETHING!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

.....a little late here, but it's still Thursday! Things are calming down a little, at least temporarily. It's been a busy week between doctor appointments, visiting my mom, working, etc. Today was pretty nice: my SIL took me out for my birthday breakfast, we did a little thrifting, then I went to Book Munchers with 2 of my grandsons. At book munchers you eat lunch with your child and then they read to you. The weather was perfect so I weeded one of my flower beds, it's quite a Hodge-podge this year....and, boy, are those weeds growing!!!

Hubby is golfing right after work so I don't have to cook dinner :-)  I have line dried sheets to put on my bed. :-) I called my mother tonight and she sounded good and is happy that she will be moving out of the nursing home and into her own place soon.  And that's where it gets nuts again. My sister and I will be cleaning out my mom's tiny, but FULL, apartment and moving her to the new place. I hope her teenage son will be able to help and maybe my hubby too. It's nearly a 2 hour drive to her place so I have to plan it....and there goes my day off....... But, our moms do so much (did so much) to help us so now it is our turn to help when they need it. Things are falling into place and seem to be coming together, pray it keeps up.

Guess I am done thinking because I need to clean up my kitchen. Thanks for stopping by............

Monday, May 7, 2012

ATCs From the Sayner Stampede

Here are the ATCs I received in trade at this year's stamping convention.This is a small convention held in northern Wisconsin on the first weekend in May, which coincides with the first week of trout fishing. I have been attending with friends for many years, so many in fact, that last year we earned a free night at the hotel. That part of Wi is sparsely populated and unemployment is not uncommon. people come from all over the state, Michigan, and we met some women from Ontario.
When you arrive at the convention site everyone who made ATCs to trade signs in, gets a pin that states you are a trader, and pins up an ATC for everyone at the convention to vote on. 
One of the first gals I traded with took my ATC and said "I looked up Sayner ATCs and your blog was the first to come up". That was pretty exciting for me and my eclectic blog. I know my blog is not all about stamping or even chocolate...but maybe you'll enjoy some of my daily thoughts & life. I'd love to read your comments and share ideas.
Under the jar of buttons it asks "We're actually supposed to use our supplies?" I think most paper or fabric crafters can relate to that.
The winner of the ATC contest is the one in the upper left hand corner.
All of the ATCs are so interesting and different. I am so glad I made trades. I have quite a few left but that's OK because I trade cards or ATCs with several others.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sayner Stampede Weekend

I was really excited to get away for the weekend with friends. The Sayner Stampede is an annual stamping convention that I have attended with friends for at least 8 years. We make our room reservations for the following year when we check out. We leave Friday mid morning and arrive in time for the round robin at 6PM. Sayner WI is about 215 miles away. I'm not sure how long it takes to drive there because we stop at a truck stop on the way up for the buffet, we may make another stop or 2 if we want to. This year we made a slight detour to visit my mom who was unexpectedly, recently put into a nursing home. I am glad we were able to do that.

It was a rather 'funny' weekend.............
Since I had a lot going on last week I was still packing the morning we left (not usual for me) but I picked up friend #1 on time. The car needed to have a full gas tank, so I pulled into my favorite gas station...on the wrong side of the pump. I've had that car for 3 years, you'd think I'd remember which side the gas tank is on!

We picked up our other friend and got all of our stuff packed and were off without a hitch. While I was driving I got a call on my cell phone (a rare occurrence). After some digging in my purse Debbie located my phone but missed the call......a little fumbling around later and she returned the call and talked to my sister on my behalf. If I don't have to talk when driving I won't.

After the detour to visit my mother we were talking and I missed my turn so we went somewhat out of the way on the remainder of the way up north.

We arrived at the location for the round robin (everyone make 6 projects in 4 hours- 30 min for each project, moving from table to table, and time for snacks and door prizes) early because Carolee was leading one of the projects. I sat down at the table I was starting at and looked at the card we were making and took it apart and started about 5 minutes early.....I got 'yelled' at, so I stopped. As we were all working on it I noticed that I did not have the correct parts for my card.....I got 'yelled' at again b/c that wouldn't have happened if I had started early....huh????

The following evening, after the actual convention, I helped Carolee with a class she was leading. There wasn't enough time for us to set up before the attendees arrived and it went over the time by well over an hour.  My back and feet were letting me know that it went over the time. Most of the women were quite nice and understanding, but some, not so much. We finally get back to the hotel and picked up Deb and stopped at a pizza place that had high recommendations from friends.......they were done serving. It's a very small town and nearly everything shuts down at 9PM, even on Saturday night.

This morning we wake up to rain. It's raining when we pack the car up.....the seat on the driver side is wet so I look like I wet my pants. The Goodwill store is really close to where I purchase gasoline on the way home so we stopped there, we are not even 1/2 home.  As I am making my way up to the check up I notice a guy, he looks at me, I look at him, we continue walking...........and then I turn around and call out "Jason". It was my youngest son. I guess you'd say we are estranged....I haven't seen him in about 2 years. I know he lives 'up north' but not exactly where. We had a nice little visit and I am certainly glad I made the 'executive decision' to stop at Goodwill before lunch.

Lastly we stop at our favorite liquidators.............come along and do some window shopping:

Don't you love the pink flamingos? We did!
We always shop here on the way home.


I hit the scrapbooking aisle first.

We each found a few things to buy....we know we will!
Being the 'understanding' person I am I stopped at the casino we pass by so my friends could gamble. It was a good opportunity for me to call my sister and get an update on my mom.
The casino, I loved the windows, they 'roll' so it looks like a slot machine.   

When I got home hubby was his usual, quiet self....never said a word to me or asked about my weekend or mom..... Maybe I blog to have someone to talk to?????

In a day or 2 I will post some of the cards I made at the convention and some of the ATC's I traded for.