Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am in love!

With this book...

Oh my goodness, did you read this series as a kid? "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It is so good, SO good!

I have told Blonde Rascal about this book forever and how it was my favorite when I was a little girl. I saw it at B&N in paperback, but oh no paperback will not do for the Boxcar Children. That wonderful Amazon provided us with a hardback copy, which was probably cheaper than the paperback at B&N!

We waited with bated breath all week and much to our delight it was in the mailbox yesterday. Blonde rascal ripped open the package and we immediately read the first chapter. Ahhhhh, it was like a hug from an old friend! I am tempted to read the whole thing THIS morning....but I guess I will wait for blonde rascal to get home from school!

What was YOUR favorite book as a kid?

I can't stay and chat. I am off to the gym and then to the dealership for an oil change.
Bye bloggers!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The angst of the newbie quilter

So, I joined the $1 Block of the Month at the LQS last month. I know what LQS is because I am cool. Since you may not be so cool, I will tell you it stands for local quilt store. There, now you are on your way to being as cool as I am. Good luck with that.

The deal with the BOM is that the material for the block each month is $1. So you make the block and if you return the next month, with your completed block, you receive the material for the following months block for $1. Howfreakinever, if you do NOT complete your block, then the next months material is $5! What the crap? The pressure! Normally I am a professional procrastinator, but oh heyll no they are not getting an extra 4 bucks out of me!

I love this whole BOM of the month thing because you are essentially making a quilt for $12. Sort of. Also, at the meeting every month I have the opportunity to meet up with other quilty chicks. None of my friends are quilters which is why I need to explain what LQS and BOM are! You see they are loyal, kind, devoted readers of my blog so I must cater to them, BUT I must also make some quilty friends. I have new friends right here in blog land that quilt....but I need some that I can touch (that might have sounded weird....but you know what I'm sayin!) and call and drink margaritas with and go fabric shopping with and go on quilting retreats with....

Back to the $12, sure the blocks are $12 total, assuming you complete them each month. But then add in the center block which was I believe $35 or so, then the backing, the the batting, then the thread....and the $12 is a vision of the past! On top of that the meeting is in the store. Hello? You can't go in there without "needing" something. AND during the meeting the teacher showcases a new handy tool that would make making the new block SO easy, and well then everyone MUST have it and then the line for the registers is out the door after the meeting! So you pay your $1 for the block and then at the end of class you spend an additional $60 on stuff. It is a racket, they have you captive in the store and what other choice to you have??? Honestly.

Aunt Gay warned me about the inevitable quilters addiction.

Last month I bought the Triangulations software.

We used this software in my beginners class and it was SO easy, so I felt justified buying this. It essentially takes all the guess work out of making triangles. I failed geometry in h.s. and if I remember right a triangle is a geometric shape, so it is all together a better world if someone does the math for me. (I said I was COOL, I never made a claim on smart!)

Here I go yesterday afternoon all ready to make my block for this month.

It is the one in the top left hand corner.

Fire up the Triangulations software. Very simple, you choose the finished size of your half square triangle. Print it, pin it on your fabric... on dotted line and cut on solid.

Whah- La!

But wait!

Mine measures 4"? It is supposed to be 3.5". In the directions it warns you to make sure you choose "none" for page scaling before you print. My computer won't allow none or zero as an option, but when you print it, it tells you the measurement the grid should be assuming it was printed correctly. Mine measure right but my square ended up being 1/2" off?

In the directions they print from Adobe. So I down load Adobe. Choose "none" for the scale....and it prints just the same. So I know there must be a user (gasp) error!

I gave up and went to bed because it was hurting my brain. So here I am back in the sewing room again this morning. Recalculating, refiguring, remeasuring. It was all coming out right except for my pesky square which was 1/2" off.

OHHHHHHHHH! The "finished" size of my square! OHHHHHHH! Finished means once it is all pieced together, NOT at this individual joining stage! HELLO! When it IS "finished" there will 1/4" seam allowances on each side which will make it 1/2" smaller OR 3.5"!!!! Yeah me! I was doing it right, I just was not clear on the stupid terminology!

There you have it people, my first guffaw to file away in my quilting goof up rolodex. Know the terminology! Well, all of this extreme wordiness to say: #1. this software is really a terribly easy way of making perfect triangles. I think it was $27. Well worth it.
#2. Know the terminology so you don't waste an entire day trying to make a block that might have taken an hour!!

Words of wisdom from the fledgling quilter. Priceless.

Accountability for today: I ran 2.7 miles again this morning. I did varying intervals which did burn more calories but not increased distance. I am still recovering from my Christmas holiday slacking!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday musings

It's Monday and the laundry has reared its ugly head again.

We had a good weekend. Friday night was scrapbook night, at which there was NO scrapbooking done!!! We just ate and laughed and laughed...and laughed! But that pretty much sums up any successful girls night out, huh? I love those girls!

Saturday we had dinner for the Marine who was celebrating his 20th birthday.

Look at him all 20 years old! He got the same card from both of his grandmothers. We giggled about that because my m-i-l is a wonderful and involved grandmother and the Marine's other grandma (hubs EX m-i-l) is distant and uninvolved. I mean emotionally distant, not physically as she lives in the same city as we do, but her "relationship" with the Marine has pretty much involved sending a card and a check both at Christmas and his birthday. Period. No other involvement. Sad, so sad. Life is too short to not cherish your family. So anyway we had to tease my m-i-l for picking out the same card as you know who!

TWENTY! I told him that since there was no longer a "teen" at the end of his age, that there would be no more "teen" actions! Nope the teen drama is done. And if there is any "teen" drama left then I feel confident that the large sweaty angry drill sergeant, that is going to take over the Marine's world on March 10th, will beat it out of him!!! Our "teen" will be a man when we see him again in June after boot camp!

I asked hubs if having a 20 year old kid made him feel old. He in reply asked if it made me feel old. Well, since I did not birth the Marine, no it does not. However since the Marine has lived with us since he was 9, the more appropriate thing to say would be yes RAISING him has made me FEEL old! He better give us some cute grandkids (AFTER HE IS MARRIED AND FINANCIALLY STABLE) to make up for the trauma of raising him through the teen years!

Here is the gym "run down" (ha ha), I ran a slow and steady 2.7 miles this morning. No, there was not a perfume situation to report. Praise God. After all the eating and snacking Friday night, then birthday dinner extravaganza Saturday for which hubs smoked a fab brisket (all night long- ohhhh tender) and Sunday after church we went to the country club and chowed like animals at the buffet, I probably should have run 40-50 miles to work that all off!

(Note: we are NOT C.C. type people. Hubs boss is a member and tacked us on to the corporate membership as a little perk and so hubs can take clients to play golf. No, no, no, you see we don't have the pedigree, credentials, nor enough old OR new money to qualify as members on our own! However, on the up side, the c.c. could be the source of some SERIOUS blog fodder, just you wait!)

So after eating what could probably amount to half of my body weight this weekend, I waddled through a slow run. Tomorrow I will have to take it up a notch. If I blog this then I am somewhat accountable, at least in my head.

Music is my motivation while running so I have to freshen up the i-pod selections from time to time to keep me going. Here is what I downloaded last night. These might make any fellow old skoolers giggle... "Bust a Move" by Young MC, "Groove is in the heart" by Deee-lite, "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order, "It takes two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock! That is some good stuff baby! I have to stay somewhat cool so I added in some Fergie, Moby and Fatboy Slim, cuz that's how I roll.

I also downloaded a Marine Corps running cadence! I figured I could imagine a big scary drill sergeant running next to me yelling and that would keep me going. Plus I got kind of sentimental about it, I will run to it at the same time my boy will be running his butt into the ground in San Diego. Awwwww. I have to tell you I got chills this morning when it came on. That "1-2-3-4" and then the troop yelling "Marine Corps!" made me all proud feeling!

I was on the phone with my Mom this morning and she was asking me about my quilting. I told her that I was going to have to start working on my "block of the month" or else I might get banned from the group or get a demerit at the Feb. meeting or something! Tomorrow will be the day. I have to go into the sewing room today and finish the rest of my organizing so I will have some room to work. I'll be back with the report tomorrow...or an S.O.S!

Back to the laundry room I go. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Quilty Chick takes a stand!

I have been busily cleaning the house yesterday and will do the finishing touches today because the scrapbook girls are coming over tonight for a raucous good time!

I was reading on Shabee Chick's blog a few days ago when she posted about natural cleaning products. I am not one to get all fired up on the latest movement, because well I am lazy. After reading her post about the toxins we dump into our house with the cleaning products we use, I decided it would be worth looking into. I am always spraying down the kitchens counters with Lysol surface cleaner, because I am thinking "ohhh it is disinfecting!" Never stopping to think of the chemicals it is leaving BEHIND on the surfaces where I prepare food for my family!

Then in the bathroom, oh please. There is always a flurry of cleaning aerosol toxins going down in there! Which permeates the air my family is breathing! Shabbee Chick goes into more detail so go there for a quick lesson in "cleaning green." Baking soda and vinegar are natural disinfectants. You can add essential oils for nice fresh smells too! AND best of all it is a cheap way of cleaning! I love saving a buck!

Nothing will take the place of bleach and the Lysol spraying frenzy, especially when someone is sick. But I can change my everyday type cleaning method.

I ordered a book about natural cleaners, which should be here soon I hope. It is like the "For Dummies" book of natural cleaning! I certainly need that version because if it is not easy, it ain't happening. I'll be honest. But the book I chose tells you the cleaning methods and what concoctions to fill your spray bottles with. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh no she di'nt!!!

Yes, the female who climbed onto the treadmill next to me this morning had perfume on. She sure enough did. I just can't comprehend why you would shower, put on makeup, flat iron your cute little bob and give yourself a good dousing with perfume before going to the gym. She ended up only staying on the treadmill for like 10 minutes so she obviously had no intention of sweating. Or perhaps her perfume was in fact choking her too!

It was sugary flowery sweet perfume. No joke I had to stop running and turn my head the other way. I mean my lungs are heaving, fighting for the next intake...and they get filled with noxious perfume! I am not anti perfume, I love me some perfume...but not at the gym. Now I maintained my composure, regardless of what I said in my previously posted "Irate Gym Girl" manifesto, and did not willingly pass gas as retaliation for her perfume. You may ALSO remember from a previous post that I am currently in the middle a colon cleansing program. So as you might imagine, me intentionally or forcibly passing gas at this time would be advantageous to no one, least of all me! Sorry if you find that offensive (get over it)...just keepin' it real here at Quilty Chick!

So the Dish man did in fact show up in a timely manner yesterday to hook up the HD receiver. Now our living room turned sports bar is in full swing...

Little bit of a decorating challenge working around the behemoth black square, but I'll keep working on it. I am sort of a techno dunce. I mean a tv is a tv and a stereo is a stereo, right? Well that was until yesterday when I surfed some channels in HD. Holy cow that is beautiful. It is so precise and clear it is almost not real. I am really, really impressed. I may become an HD snob and only watch shows broadcast in HD.

The Marine came over last night to help hubs get the TV up on the mantel. I had been a little anxious wondering how we would SAFELY get it up there because the mantel is tall and the hearth is narrow making standing and balancing on it, while lifting, not a good idea. The tv although not super heavy, is awkward, especially to lift over your head.

So here is what DID happen:

1. There is an electrical outlet on the top of the mantel and this would make the stand for the tv not sit level. So hubs has the Marine unscrew the face plate, do whatever you do to live uncovered wires and then push them down into the opening so the tv will then sit level. The Marine shocks himself not once but twice. Not fall and convulse shocks but "OOOOOUUUUCCCCHHH!" shocks that scared the snot out of me.

2. At the exact time of shock #2, 1/3 of the lights in the house go out.
Hubs and the Marine are then wondering around in the garage and outside with flashlights looking for fuse problems.

3. No fuse problems so hubs deducts that it has to do with the wiring in the electrical outlet. There they go back to the wiring in the outlet. I had the phone in my hand ready to dial 911 (which is why there are no pictures of this circus act) as I knew either the house was going to catch on fire or we would have to resuscitate the Marine after another shock!

4. That all surprisingly worked out safely and lights came back on. So the 3 of us heft the tv up onto the mantel, which was touch and go let me tell you. Then ahhh it is up there...but I am cringing just waiting for it all to crash down.

Blonde rascal prayed last night at bedtime that the mantel would hold the tv. It is 24 hours later and all is still in tact. Thank God!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It pays to be a smart aleck.

I have an appt. with the Dish man this morning and they so kindly told me that he would be here between 8 & noon. Oh good thanks for the tip, that is vague enough for me. I understand the nature of their business, you never know how long a job will take...but come on the installer could call this morning and give me a better time frame based on his schedule for the day. Oh well, whatever. I have showered, taken out the trash, loaded the dishwasher, started some laundry, made the beds, picked the Dish Network is NOT going to think we are slobs!

So I have to tell you what Meagan at "Will work for fabric" (which is linked on my sidebar and I WILL say it again..I can't link in my posts for some irritatingly unknown reason) did for me! She posted a few days ago about how she had made this neat needle case. She showed a picture of it and it was most cute. She mentioned her 100th post was coming up and said that for that post she would show the directions for how to make this needle case.

I of course don't know Meagan and actually don't even think I had ever commented on her blog before, but left a comment on that post. I said something to the effect of the needle case is simply adorable and instead of posting the directions why doesn't she just give me the finished case! I was of course just being a smart aleck and thought if anything she would have a drawing and give the case away. Oh no, the obviously kindhearted Meagan emailed me and said OK, send me your address!

Sure enough look what came in the mail yesterday...
Seriously! Look how cute it is!!

Considering how big the center applique is on my block of the month, I am going to need to be carrying needles around so I can sew in the carpool line, at appts.....and I will be doing it in style!
Check it out, I love me some rickrack!!!

It is going to be downright handy.
It folds over on the back and securely shuts with velcro.

Cute! Cute I tell you!! Meagan you are sweet and talented too! Thank you!

So the moral of the story here bloggies, is you don't even have to be a smartie pants like me, just come out and ask for it!! I am about to go peruse my favorite quilter blogs, while I have time to kill waiting for the dish man, and start straight up asking for their quilts! "I love the fabrics you chose for that quilt. It would look smashing in my house. Here is my address would you please send it to me?"

Meagan has inspired me to be more giving and kind. The world needs more benevolent souls like Meagan! Now let's see what could I give away....

an out of date Dish receiver? No, everyone already has one of those.


Well, ughhhhhhhhh....

I know!!!

Don't be shy folks, just ask!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

If I had a tail...

it would be wagging like that because I love to rearrange the furniture and then vacuum up all the dust and gunk that had been accumulating under the furniture! It makes me crazy happy!


It makes Missy loose her mind!

I rearranged furniture yesterday, yes I did. Blonde rascal helped me, I told him I would pay him $1. Child labor rocks. The furniture had to be rearranged in preparation for our new chairs that will be arriving in a few weeks and the large flat screen, which will be going on the mantel. I think this TV situation will make our living room look like some sort of sports bar. Hubs however is delighted. Men and big toys...whatever.

We assembled the flat screen and set it on the hearth last night. It can't go up on the mantel until the Dish man comes tomorrow to hook up the HD receiver. Them Real Housewives of O.C. are gonna look real purdy in HD!! The TV sitting on the mantel has cast some small fears into our minds. Will it hold? Hubs got all scientific about it last night and figured blonde rascal weighs about as much as the TV. So he set blonde rascal on the mantel. It held so I guess we are good! I am going to be on pins and needles for the 1st couple weeks the TV sits up there. It would make REALLY good blogging however...

Back to the furniture moving thing, you must get some of those deals you slip under furniture to make the furniture easily slide around. They are worth their weight in GOLD I tell you. You can move HUGE pieces of furniture and it is a piece of cake.Brilliant invention. The woman, no doubt, who invented those deserves the Nobel Peace Prize or something.

The other thing no home should be without is the Bissell Spot Bot. Totally worthy investment. I have had mine for 2 years and I think it was somewhere between $75-$125. Since hubs said we could not afford to rip out every stitch of carpet and put in hard wood floors, it was the next best thing. I abhor carpet stains.

Sunday night the diabetic cat had some sort of Montezuma's Revenge stomach issue. So I spent Monday "spot botting." I use the hand held hose for "fresh" stains. I don't put any sort of carpet cleaners in, just very hot water. You know how carpet cleaning agents can often end up attracting more dirt in the long run. That really pisses me off.

Then while rearranging furniture I uncovered a set in stain. I must have, in a weak moment during my last rearranging endeavor, just slipped the love seat over that spot! So then we take the Spot Bot into deep cleaning mode. You just set it over the stain and it brushes and sucks and sprays....presto no more stain! Wicked good I tell you. I must warn you about the most revolting part of the Spot Bot process...emptying the dirty water. It makes my skin crawl to see that muddy brown colored water and think my carpet could be even remotely that disgusting. Hard wood floors someday...

Just for fun before I leave you, I will give a little pictorial run down of Missy and the Spot Bot.

"Hi Mom. Whaz up?"

"What the...?"


Never a moments peace around here, never.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not a slacker Sunday.

I WAS a slacker Saturday. Hubs is out of town, will be back tonight, and I am not ashamed to admit that I was a slacker in every sense of the word yesterday. Oh yeah, I was. To sum up my lazy Saturday... I lounged around. Lounged some more, found some really funny blogs, loaded and started the dishwasher (hey that counts for something) and caught up on "The Real Housewives of Orange County" which I DVR.

That show is a real brain cell depleter, but I am not ashamed of my addiction. I really don't like Tamara because she is soooo superficial that it becomes annoying. Quinn is odd... and for the love of all things sacred cover those sagging LARGE melons, please! Vickie is my favorite because she is the 100% opposite of me and I find that so entertaining! For her to be able to get that worked up over everything is amusing to this laid back girl.

It was a relief to go to church this morning and get primped and dressed. Physically speaking my state of lounging was not attractive, as I noticed each time I passed a mirror this weekend. Scary.

Friday night was a dream as I quietly wandered through B & N while blonde rascal was at a b-day party. I don't buy books for myself like I used to. I went through a phase, not a phase but a clutter revolution, and realized buying books is a waste of money AND space. You just have to dust them and will you really read them again? Plus, hello libraries are free! I will buy books at airport if I have finished whatever I brought to read while traveling. AND I will buy my favorite authors. So I bought two books on clearance Friday night. One by Janet Evanovich who is wicked funny and Ted Dekker who is weird scary.

Children's books, however, are another story! If the checkbook was bottomless I could spend a FORTUNE on children's books.
To avoid blonde rascal's room being wall to wall book shelves I do only keep age appropriate ones in his room and pack up the favorites to be stored in the attic for the grandkids and then donate the rest. I bought "Library Lion", very cute by the way, and a Valentine book..something about stinky feet, for blonde rascal.

What else...well there was more steer water trough ice breaking antics on Saturday but I will spare you poor readers the drama. I think that is all, just dropping in to say hi and vow to not be a slacker today. I must go now and straighten...something. Make up for lost time yesterday. This Friday is scrapbook night. I need to go figure out what pictures need to be printed. Scrapbook night could be the Real Housewives of Lubbock County....except without all of the money! And of course it is much more mentally stimulating. Only serious, very serious topics are discussed. Colon cleansing for instance....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just the facts ma'am, the Friday facts.

Here it is Friday and I have errand upon errand upon grocery store upon birthday party to deal with today so I just have time for the facts this morning.

Weds. night when I went to kiss blonde rascal one more time and turn off all 7 lights he must have on while falling asleep, here is how I found him...

Oh joy! Coming from a mom who would rather read than breathe, this is a sight for sore eyes! Yep he fell asleep reading, it looks like an interesting selection of, car and truck books. That's the way to do it son, always be surrounded by books. Always.

We had a cold front come in a few days ago and....brrrr. Here is how we handled that last night...

Oh yeah baby. Blonde rascal and I laid in front of the fire under quilts and read stories. Good stuff.

Speaking of fires, I am delving into my first Craig's List selling experience. Yes, this fireplace screen...

is going on Craig's List this weekend. (Foggy picture, I think my camera was frozen which I will explain shortly.) I like it, but while having fires in the fireplace you have to move it. So it is in the middle of the living room or you put it back on the hearth but then you have to move it again to put more logs on the fire. Plus hubs thinks, as all men do, that we need to put a flat screen on the mantel. If that turns out to be the case then there would be too much big stuff in the fireplace vicinity. So the screen is out. I hope this is not the weekend some nut job serial killer decides to choose his next victim from Craig's List.

Speaking of reading, for book club this month we are reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was my choice so I hope it doesn't suck! It is about a woman who has a breakdown during her divorce and decides to take a year off and spend 4 months respectively in Italy, India and Indonesia.

I am currently in the Italy part of her story. I think I am Italian. I mean sure the Anglo genes took over at some point giving me stringy dirty blonde hair, a ruddy redish complexion, no real cooking ability, but I do have a love of red wine. That surely is a sign of some Italian heritage, no? OK so if I am not Italian I at least need to visit Italy. In her book Gilbert explains how the Italians think the Americans have the inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Americans really don't know how to do nothing. Oh really? See, THIS American does and I am so proud of it which leads me back to maybe I really am partially Italian. Gilbert's Italian friend says the Italians are masters of "il bel far niente." Which means "the beauty of doing nothing." Now the friend explains the Italians are indeed hard workers but they believe that "The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life's achievement." I don't need a family tree, I know now I am some percentage Italian. I am the master of basking in the glory of nothing!

Lastly, I will leave you with another one of these stories...

(Missy the wanna be cow dog joined me on this fun project this morning. I don't know about you, but I don't know if I would want to be that close to the ground out there! PEEEEE-UUUUU stinky!)

As I have explained before, it all starts out like this. Hubs is halfway out the door leaving for work and he says "Oh, by the way can you do me a favor?" My eyes glaze over and I squeeze my coffee cup not knowing how to respond. Which does not matter, he needs no response because as he is shutting the door he says..."I think the steers water trough is a "little" frozen, so would you mind going and breaking the ice?" The door is now only open a fraction as he calls out "ThankyousomuchIloveyouseeyoulaterBye!" Click. The door is shut.

So, I mentioned it was cold. Yes a deep freeze the past 2 nights. A "little" frozen my ass. So I pile on some clothes, take my miniature wanna be cow dog and head outside.

Missy's first stop is to pester her friends the barn cats...
"Hey, just wondering, do you guys get cold out here at night while I am sleeping in the warm bed with my people?"

Yep, here is the a little frozen steer trough...

Here comes the first thirsty steer...
"Silly white girl, chop-chop. I am parched!"

I go to hacking on the ice with a hammer. Which is no easy task since the "a little frozen" ice on the trough is 3 - 4 inches worth!

Yes it was a work out. Which is all for the better since I opted to not hit the gym this morning. Sweating swinging that hammer, I was. Happily though, now it will be a full on WITH fat order at Starbucks tonight! WIth whipped cream no doubt.

As I am whacking away, freezing with ice chunks spitting all over me, mumbling and grumbling...I remember hubs "get out of the doghouse for at least one year" surprise he gave me for Christmas...

I took off my glove and tried to show this dude my sparkler but I am afraid he could have cared less.

As a crowd gathered around me, and being that I always like to stir up a little controversy, I told the steers that the horses water troughs are heated. "Yeah, you heard me...h-e-a-t-e-d! I'm just sayin. That is really not fair"

This guy was pissed off about that...

"Dude. Did you say heated? What about our equal bovine rights? I am gonna start a protest."

Sadly, his rights did not concern me at the moment. I was still trying to get them to look at my ring...

"WAIT, stop would you just look at it? Please, then I will go inside with my frozen camera and leave you alone!"


Did I mention that hubs is going out of town this weekend? There will no doubt be more to this story before the weekend is over! I am going to deserve a trip to dadgum Italy.

I am in a hurry now with all of this nonsense that just cut into my errand running time. No time to check for grammatical errors. Be kind before judging my incorrect or lack of apostrophe use today. My brain is still thawing!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Now let's talk about furniture!

Do you take the saying “you get what you pay for” seriously?
Or how about “you are what you eat?" However after the homemade chicken pot pie I made last weekend, and then successfully polished off over the course of the next few days, I don't want to discuss that.

We bought our house 2 years ago, moving from our starter home which held our starter furniture, such as my couch from college. We sealed the deal on our new house and happily ran off to furniture shop. We bought a leather couch and loveseat from a good furniture store. Not one that is stupid expensive like where the Jr. League gang does business or anything, but one that is known for quality furniture. We also wanted two accent chairs but did not find any we liked at that particular store. Knowing we will have the leather until the kids put us in the nursing home and have the Salvation Army take the couches away, we were looking for reasonably priced cloth chairs. You know ones that we could have, for 12- 15 years, until they just became so hideously out of style and then we would replace them.

We find and buy two overstuffed chairs with ottomans that we think would compliment the leather. Fast forward 2 years to the present and hubs is ready to take an axe his chair and use it as firewood! We bought them from a large chain that I won’t mention here....oh whatever, save yourself and don’t shop at Ashley Furniture!!!!

I mean seriously 2 years? That is Wal-Mart quality longevity. The back cushions are sagging and the seat cushions are shot. (I suppose it has not helped that dumb and dumber here have regular turf wars on my chair!)

When the seat cushions give out in overstuffed chairs such as these then you sit lower and lower until your arms, while sitting on the arm rests, are parallel to your shoulders, making you look like the SNL skit with Gilda Radner where she was that little girl in the big chair. Add to the shoddy quality the fact that if anyone, anywhere in the house, so much as sneezes a nail head pops off. Stupid. Stupid crappy chairs from Ashley Furniture.

So the chairs we bought with hopes of having them for a decade at least are now going on Craig's List or to the consignment shop...or to the landfill if hubs has his way. On the up side, we went to the La-Z-Boy store and hubs chose an overstuffed huge man size leather wingback recliner. We brought home some leather samples to make sure and pick a leather that didn't clash with and provided some contrast to our couches. We made our choice and I went back to the store to order it... when low and behold I saw a mini wingback recliner. Girl size if you will. I figured I ought to replace my chair too. I mean I need somewhere adequate to sit at night and read all the thought provoking, deep, serious and intellectual blogs that I love.

With all the dang leather in the living room we needed some spunk. So I picked out a fabric that is black with all of these huge different colored polka dots! Cute! Oh whimsy!! I would show you....BUT I can't link. Remember? None of you could help me, real bunch of Einstein readers you all are. Now you'll have to wait until the chairs come in, which the salesman promised would be before Christmas 2008. Little jokester salesman. 8 - 10 weeks actually since they are special order. Just wait until then I will be back with furniture rearranging issues.

Remember this one thing...if you buy crap, then you will end up sitting in crap. Amen.

Hubs is going out of town for the weekend. Blonde rascal has a birthday party to go to tomorrow night on the other side of town. Why go back home only to turn right around and pick him up. Oh no, that would be silly. The evening will be mine....I forsee wandering aimlessly through Barnes and Noble for hours while sipping some hot yummy overpriced Starbucks concoction. Ahhh bliss.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let's talk about furniture!

**BEEP**BEEP**BEEP** we interrupt the regularly scheduled informative and cheeky post about the pros and cons of buying cheap ass furniture to bring you an entirely more serious topic....WHY DO I NOT HAVE A "LINK" ICON?????

I have grumbled in the past about not being able to link in my posts. I honestly thought it was because I am for the most part technologically inept. I have poked around in the "Blogger help" section and got nothing but frustrated. I also emailed my question to them but you know they delete those because they only have time to answer difficult and deeply technical questions from "Blogger McSmartypants" seriously you have to know that is true. They see a question from "Quilty Chick" in the inbox, assume automatically that they are dealing with an inferior mind not worthy of their nimble answer, and PING there goes the delete button! From that tirade I guess you can tell I never got a reply, answer, "kiss my foot" or anything.

I know how to link, can do it in email, but the problem on this blog is that I do not have a link icon. Period. Quite honestly it is hindering my blogging. Yes, I could be so much more of an effective communicator (I have a Communication Studies degree so I like effective communicating) if I could link!!! And the upside for you readers would be that if I could link then my posts would NOT be so ridiculous and wordy. OK well they will probably still be ridiculous but potentially less wordy.

As is painfully obvious by the previously mentioned degree, I am not a rocket scientist! I am a simple girl and all I want to be able to do is be happily blogging along and when referring to a previous post topic say..."like then time when this happend"...and "this" will link to that particular post.

I researched again this morning and know that while creating a post there should be a link icon. Yes, I know it looks like a chain link. Brilliant concept. But here I am as we speak and the ONLY icons on this tool bar are the "ABC" spellcheck and the post a picture. I have looked all over my dashboard under customizing and settings and name it and do not see any way to expand or edit or allow or whatever to that toolbar.

If you know why I don't have an icon or how to fix it without having to reprogram my computer, cuz THAT ain't happening, please for the love of all things bloggy enlighten me!!!!! Smart people of the world let your voices be heard! And if I may ask, please type slowly and use layman's terms.


Is it possible that I might have to leave Blogger for someone else? You see I also cannot put pictures anywhere except in my posts. AND I can't use shortcuts to italicize, underline.... I think Blogger just does not like me.

Well the upside is that already this morning I have cleaned the master bathroom and have a load of laundry working! At least I have that, oh woe is me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The NOT funny Christmas present.

Nope, this is not funny either.

Hark, what yonder mini weenie is coming to the rescue?

It's Missy... the brave and curious canine! "I'll save you Mommy!"

"Yep, I got this one Mom. I'll just take it right over here."
(By the way notice the planter. The lady of the house must be an ace gardner. Nothing says "welcome to our home" like a pot of dead flowers. Nice.)

"Geez, upon further inspection this really is rather creepy. Ummmm.....anyone know where I might find the cats?"

The most disturbing part is that this creature is remote control....and look who is controlling it...

(insert evil laugh...."Muuwahhhaaaaa")

Just who would buy this for a rascally 7 year old you ask? Why none other that my pesky brother-in-law Mark and my wonderful sister-in-law Sherri a.k.a Uncle Mark and Aunt Sherri. The part that makes this even less funny is that we actually have tarantulas at our house!!! No I would not kid about this. It causes me GREAT mental anguish. I have lived in this city since 1989, my first year of college, which incidentally I should add that in 1989 my pesky brother-in-law Mark had been married for like 4 years already, because he is WAY older than I am. Anyway, in those 16 years living here I never saw or heard of anyone having tarantulas...until 2 years ago when we bought this house in this particular country neighborhood. Sooo weird, I have even asked people out here in the country just a stone's throw away, but not actually in this tiny neighborhood, if they see tarantulas....nope! I guess maybe this portion of land is an ancient Indian ruin and it was cursed by the chief to forever terrify the stupid white man!

So, thank God for small favors, the tarantulas only come out for like 2 weeks in early July. Yep, wait until July my new bloggy friends and you will be in for some REAL pictorial treats! You know in every scary movie when they need to psychologically torture someone and in turn freak out the audience...they use tarantulas. Those little monsters really do amble along
with their long hairy legs. The upmost of creepy. Oh Lord help me I am a tortured soul for those 2 weeks of July. They make my skin crawl and make me feel like I might need to change my drawers if I don't go inside and shut the blinds!

Anyway thanks Mark & Sherri for that creepy gift for blonde rascal. Yah real funny, considering my plight. Luckily it does not move so well on carpet and makes a motor whirlish noise so it can't sneak up on you. Lordamercy it is only a matter of time before that thing ends up in our bed...and the real test will be who does that first, hubs or blonde rascal!!!! I think they are scared of my retaliation is the reason why it has not happened already! Blonde rascal has already effectively used it to torture all of the little girls in the neighborhood!

It would seem a logical gift for pesky brother-in-law Mark to buy, but Ladies we all know who orchestrates the Christmas gift buying! I had to to leave the "wonderful" off of sister-in-law Sherri's title for a day or two because of that. Which by the, Sherri was on "Home Makeover" Sunday, after all my promoting of that, but just for a nanosecond. I know they have only one hour to show a house being built in one week but I had this small hope that they would edit in more of the entertainment! Oh well, I am sure she mouthed "Hi Brooke" and waved as the camera panned by her playing the keyboard but in the interest of time, that hit the cutting room floor. No really, I bet she did.

Gosh yesterday I ranted about my neurosis with the gym. (This morning however I am pleased to report my fellow gym patrons were all very well behaved) Today is like 12 paragraphs on a remote control tarantula. I clearly need to get out more. Hang tight, I think tomorrow's post will be titled "Let's talk about furniture" No doubt a riveting diatribe you won't want to miss!

The happiest of Tuesdays to you!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smack down at the gym.

Ok so there really wasn't a smack down, but there coulda been! If I'da been feeling a little more sly and sassy, or down-n-dirty, or lean and woulda been ON!

Today was my first day back at the gym since Christmas break. You see, blonde rascal is waaaayyy to cool for the kiddie babysitting room at the gym. Yes even though it is really neat-o with slides and tubes and balls...there are some things that 7 year olds just won't do. Of course school started back last week but with my schedule last week, too many quilty classes, I could only squeeze one gym day in. So this week I am back on track with the gym. Back to this morning...I am on my treadmill, walking. Running is my choice of poison but with the previously mentioned 2.5 week break from the gym PLUS eating like the Big Foot during those 2.5 weeks I felt a little speed walking today would be good to reintroduce my lackadaisical body into physical movement. Since I am walking I am watching the TV, which is a fun treat because I can't watch TV while running. Nope, I have to listen to righteous tunes on my I-pod while running to stay pumped up.

I am walking along minding my own bidness watching that ever perky and cute Kelly on "Live", and some girl gets on the treadmill next to me and immediately her phone rings. She talks to that person, hangs up and it rings again! She was on the phone the entire time she was on the treadmill? What the heck? Are you that important that you can't stay off the phone while in the gym? And just exactly how strenuous of a work out are you going to get while ON the phone? I had my earphones in but I could hear that she was not like a Dr. on call being paged or something, it was all chatty cathy stupid stuff. Why even BRING your phone into the gym? I know there are certain urgent circumstances like when you REALLY need a haircut appt. and are waiting for your hairdresser to call back...but come on just to talk about the Golden Globes or something...seriously leave the phone in your car!!!!!!

So I was getting mildly irritated by her, when low and behold bouncy blonde ponytail girl gets on the treadmill on the OTHER side of me!!! Nothing wrong with bouncy blonde ponytail girls....but this particular one makes me want to loose my mind! While running I have to I have to be in a rhythm, be in the zone in order to keep my endurance going...and with this nut by me I loose all concentration. Bouncy blonde ponytail girl inevitably gets next to me and proceeds to run like a girl. This makes me crazy because #1 it looks stupid and #2 it is ineffective. If your arms are flailing about then you are not propelling your body forward. She is just making it harder on herself! This should be none of my business she can look silly and be ineffective all she wants because it is a free country but I just want to shake her and say "LOOK MOVE YOUR ARMS FORWARD NOT SIDEWAYS!"

However even more irritating than her flailing arms is her method. I can NOT figure out what she is trying to accomplish. She starts running, girl arms flapping away, and then she cranks up the speed to like Flo-Jo speed and THEN holds on to the side rails!! So her feet are flying while she is holding on to the rails. What is that doing? It is not any indication of her speed because she is not engaging her whole body! She does that for like 10 seconds and then back to girl run. Then she jumps off and rests for 20 seconds, then walks, then jogs girls style, repeats the whole show...for about 11 minutes and then she is done. So there is all this crazy movement with no meaning! I don't know if she has the intent of becoming a runner or what, but she is not building endurance, or speed, or stamina or even burning significant calories with her circus act!

Again, none of this is my business but when she does this right next to me, or even one or two treadmills away where I still see all of her spaziness in my peripheral vision, it jacks up my workout!!!! And, by the way, it is all about me afterall! ; ) I just want to shake her! And after I tell her about her arms I want to say "What in heavens name are you doing with your freak show treadmill performance...I can't stay in my zone with all of your erratic behavior!" None of this would matter if she was next to me just once. But oh no, all last spring she would show up weirdly at the same time as me and get next to me or at least in my peripheral vision. It is not just me, you see I asked Christmas Cookie Lorie one time if she knew who bouncy blonde ponytail girl was and she said "you mean the one who..." Oh yes, that one!

So this morning I am sandwiched between chatty phone cathey and bouncy blonde ponytail girl. I had not seen bouncy blonde ponytail girl in 8 months, I really thought she had given up and then out of the blue there she is. My eye started to twitch. I felt like it was some sort of sign like maybe I need to quit going to the gym. The ONLY thing that would have been worse would have been perfume. There is nothing worse than running my little heart out, and someone gets on the treadmill next to me who has just applied ridiculous amounts of perfume, which promptly befouls my already taxed lungs!!! Why for crying out loud would you put perfume on when you are going to the gym to sweat and will come out smelling like a hog no matter what???? It should be a stated gym rule, do not wear perfume! The exception being those who come straight from work, but by then the perfume has had all day to wear off.

I think the next time someone next to me on the treadmill has freshly perfumed themselves, polluting the air I am sucking in, then I am going to fart. There. I said it and I am not apologizing for it. I may even get a t-shirt that says that to wear to the gym.

Alrighty then, now that you all think I am some sort of psycho nutso freakazoid I will go get on with my day! I don't know where that thrashing rant came from but I sure feel better!

Buhbye! Have a nice day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Say it isn't so!

It's not really about to be Monday again, is it???

I don't know what Missy is complaining about. I mean really, EVERY day is like a weekend for her!

Last week was kinda busy with 2 quilty classes right in a row. Then I spent one day running the token Christmas return/exchange errands. I got my 2 new charms put on my bracelets, and lastly took a load to Goodwill. I really think the neighbors were sneaking in at night dropping off their laundry because I felt like the laundry multiplied every day. I am on an early spring cleaning kick washing blankets and mattress pads, vacuuming the mattresses. It's all fresh around here. Freshness abounds!

I got the thank you notes written and in the mail. That is the last Christmas hoorah for me. Free and clear, done with merriment for 11 months. I don't mind writing thank you notes, the part that is bothersome is when I have to get blonde rascal to write his piece. Have mercy you would think I was asking him to write a 10 page essay on the benefits of good oral hygiene or something! Seriously! After I bound and gagged, threatened and beat him, he finally succumbed to the task at hand. Whew, little runt.

Here is chef blondie this morning before church...

Yep, making scrambled eggs. Check out the "man-pron" he got for Christmas! Look closer at the has a race car on it too! God bless Williams Sonoma.

I spent a little time this weekend trying to organize my sewing room. It also serves my home office control central and I keep my scrapbooking stuff in there too. I probably have some sort of adult A.D.D as it is really hard for me to keep all of that organized! SInce I am a new quilter I am sort of feeling my way as to how to organize all that stuff. The office part, that just comes down to staying on top of it all...instead of letting it stack up. Brilliant concept, yes?

The scrapbook stuff is about to go through a major elimination process. E-bay baby! It is like this, here is the story of my scrapbooking experience. Go make some popcorn.... I'll wait. OK, are you ready? I started scrapbooking in 1996. That was the early stage of the scrapbook craze. I got in hook, line and sinker. I would spend hours on pages with paper and stickers and letters and paper piecing and all sorts of craziness. That was before blonde rascal when I obviously had more time! So then I became a Creative Memories Consultant and they really stress the importance of the the pictures being in a photosafe album with the stories preserved, all of that being way more important than the crafty aspect. So I took on the "simple pages" mantra...scrapbook naked as I liked to call it...hehehe... and what do you know but I got caught up! All of my pictures were safely in albums! Glorious! I am no longer a consultant and the scrapbooking world has gone nutty! For heaven's sake now there are grommets and hammering, ribbon and 3-D, glitter and pockets and tags...and goodgrief you have spent $73 on ONE page with ONE picture on it! I don't have the time or the money for that scene!

My pages have gotten simpler and simpler as I realize I just want my pictures in albums...and look at the album Creative Memories has come out with...

SAweeeeet! You just slip the pictures in and they even have paper that fits exactly in the slots and room for the ever important journaling! Easy! You really don't need any supplies! So in order to reign in the chaos in my sewing room, yep more scrapbook stuff on E-bay. God bless E-bay.

So that is what the upcoming week holds for me. More organizing...AND some quilting! I promise, really I do!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Be prepared!

My friend Mary is cringing and covering her eyes right now, terrified of what on earth I am going to write about. Don’t worry sweet Mary, it will all be very reader friendly! I do posses some amount of decorum!

I have learned so much from different blogs in the short amount of time since I discovered the glory of blogs. My friend Kristen, who is never at a loss for a good story to tell, will agree with me here... there are things that you HAVE to share with or inform your girlfriends of because how else will they know. Right, am I right sister Kristen?

So as my civic duty, or perhaps another P.S.A. (like when I laboriously explained my mini dental implant procedure so that other potential patients of this dental marvel would not be scared) I give you....

“Dr. Natura” the colon cleansing program!!

After glowing reviews a few years ago from my healthy friend Janice, hubs and I decided to give Dr. Natura a spin. Let me say that I don’t have issues in this area, you could say that I am a....uhhh...regular gal. However after hearing Janice’s testimony of this product and then researching it online, I was sold. I will just simply state that you know your intestines are like 7 miles long or something, right? Well doesn’t it stand to reason that even the best working plumbing is not going to get all that cleaned out!?!?!? Seriously! You have years worth of waste lingering in your colon......ewwwwww. It’s no wonder that so many of us feel like crap!!! (Sorry, you knew I had to say that!) Plus we all potentially have parasites which this program also “eliminates”, if you will!

Well, during the 2 months that hubs and I were on the program I have never felt better. The upside is that all feelings of being bloated go away. I never realized that I even felt “bloated” until after being on this for a few weeks AND your stomach flattens out! Really! Also, very weird but you sleep like a baby at night. It is all natural and herbal, no scary chemicals or anything.

It has been 2 years since we did it, so we decided it was time again, and of course I thought I have to share this with the blogfriends as tactfully as I can! Go to and read for yourself, very interesting stuff. Please though, for crying out loud DON’T click on “pictures” unless you have a very, VERY strong stomach!

There, I am done. See Mary, I can be mature and factual.....sometimes!!!! Mary...Mary are you still here reading? Mary, say you still love me!

So speaking of poop...sorry, I’M SORRY sometimes I can’t help it.... look what was loose this morning when we woke up

I was sitting happily drinking my cuppa. Blonde rascal is looking out the window behind me and says "We don't have a white steer". Deducting that he must be seeing a white steer out the window and wondering how he would know our steers that well, I say "Of course we do!" He scrambles off outside to go ride his 4-wheeler or the new "Gator", because you know it is 7:30 am on Saturday and what else is there to do?!?! He promptly comes back in yelling "the steers are out!!!" I turn my lazy tired head around and look out the window to low and behold see steers! Remember I told you last night that hubs is out of town. Yep, this only happens when HE is gone! So we figure out our steers are in our pasture with the gates shut so they must be the neighbor's steers. So in order to resolve this little problem I promptly send blonde rascal over to the neighbors, hey they don't need to sleep on Saturday morning either!

Loose steers get Bianca the spaz herder all fired up...

The excitement all ended quickly as the neighbor came and retrieved his steers. Hubs knows and is confident that he can leave home overnight in peace, trusting that I, his alert, highly observant, city girl of a wife can easily handle this little ranch situation we live on. Oh yes I was prepared you see, I had on my...

pink fuzzy cowboy boot slippers and polka dot p.j.'s! All good ranchers dream of having a competent wife like me to handle things when they are gone!!

TOMORROW night on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" my cool sister-in-law Sherri will be singing!! I am so excited, you guys watch too!!!!!

I have decided I can not blog at night, after say 9:00. I had so much fun stuff to say last night, but I couldn't. I was turning into a pumpkin. I certainly can not blog while in bed. I will stick to daytime blogging so to avoid boring ya'll to much!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quilt Chick....Quilts!!!

So it is Friday night at 9pm and I am in bed! Blonde rascal is asleep next to me with freshly bathed Missy between us. Hubs is roping tonight and will be back tomorrow. Blogging in bed, with HGTV on...what more could I ask for?!?!?

I ordered this cute car cake pan from Williams Sonoma after Christmas. Blonde rascal loves cars and well, it was on clearance!

We tested it out tonight and mine didn't turn out as well as the ones in the picture.... how odd!

Who cares though because we had some fun decorating them!

I was afraid I might have to change my blog title to something like Chatty Chick unless I got to quilting. So I am jumping right in! Tuesday was Thimbleberries Club and here is the quilt we will be making this year...

It is ummmm... big! And that is very daunting to this newbie, but what better way to learn!

Weds. was $1 Block a month and here is the quilt we are making...

It is beauty for sure but lordamercy it won't exactly be easy either!!! The blocks don't scare me too much but that applique center is frightening!!!! I am going to start working on the block for this month and to make it easier I bought some cool triangle maker software. I'll show you soon!

I am so relaxed and feeling rather brain dead at the moment so I am signing off to leisurely stroll though some blogs!