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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Life Can Change in a Heartbeat

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Sending comforting prayers for so many of our fellow citizens…so much sadness in the past few days.

We are not guaranteed any more time than the present.

Hold your family a little closer. Love them a little more.

Life can change in a heart beat.

Another Artist in the Family

Over the months you’ve seen my granddaughters and their artistic journey. They’ve been drawing and experimenting with different mediums. It’s been a blast.

Well, there is another artist in the family!

Josh has decided he likes to draw, too.

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I have 3 frames on the wall and two of them have drawings done by the girls showing each of them with their Gaga and Da. I’ve been bugging Josh to make me one from his perspective, but he hasn’t wanted to do it. Now all of a sudden, he’s getting into it!

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I just love it!

I’m so glad that Joshy is living close to us again. We make each other laugh. A lot!

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Stay tuned to see what he adds to this creative journey!

Gettin’ My Art On Anyway I Can!

This weekend the plan was to get my April ATCs done (and help the girls with theirs!) They really should have been mailed Saturday, but I figured I wouldn’t get in trouble if they didn’t go out until Monday…most of us seem to getting a little behind each month!

So, I got the basic backgrounds done and needed to let them dry, but I wasn’t ready to quit.

So as long as I had the supplies out, I thought I’d try doing some envelopes kinda production style for my “National Letter Writing Month” group. I’ve set a goal of doing at least one handmade card for each of the 100 ladies who are participating, and I’m getting a little nervous that the month is flying by, and I’ve made no progress on that front.

Well, I did 25 envelopes in a very short time, which gave me hope that I might actually be able to meet my goal.  I got even more excited when the 25 matching cards were completed.

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25 sets down, 75 to go.  Ha! No really, I think I can do this!

One of the embellishments I used was an old international cancelled stamp from a bag of them I bought awhile back with no particular use in mind…they are perfect!

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The thing that I found interesting about the day was the way I felt as I was making the envelopes. I felt good. I mean REALLY good. The same kind of good I feel when I am working on a canvas, only there was no thought of  how I was going to sell this art. Or where I was going to store it while I figured out how or where to try to sell it. I wasn’t working out descriptions for my Etsy store, or considering packaging options. I was just enjoying the process.

I’ve been wondering as I go through this creative journey how I could/would incorporate art into my daily life if I wasn’t going to sell it.  And now, quite by accident, I’ve discovered that I can give it away and be perfectly happy. At least for now.

41 and Counting!

No, not my age (don’t I wish?) my wedding anniversary. And to the same man. And we haven’t killed each other!

Ha! For those of you in long term marriages, you know how much of a challenge it can be. But you also know the rewards.

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I got married when I was nineteen to a man 6 years older, and divorced with 2 children. I obviously had no clue about the treacherous waters we were about to head into. My mom’s total contribution to helping me think things through was to ask if I knew what I was doing. Well, of course I didn’t know what I was doing! But even if she had told me how hard it was going to be I wouldn’t have listened. I was in love and nothing would have stopped me.

And how glad I am I did it.

Yes, there have been many trials and tribulations along the way. There have been great times and awful times, and many in between, but the sum total has given us a rich history full of adventures, and very little boredom! Happy tears, sad tears…we’ve seen our share of both. Sometimes we drive each other nuts, and sometimes we wonder how we were so lucky to have found each other.

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Overall, life has mostly been good to us.

If we hadn’t gone through all the things we have, we wouldn’t be who we are today. We wouldn’t have two wonderful kids and their wonderful spouses, or our 3 precious grand kids that we adore! We wouldn’t have the comfortable lifestyle that allows us to pretty much do what we want, and we wouldn’t be planning fun trips (with and without the kids!)

Yep, I’ve been married to the same man for over 2/3 of my life. And I’m so glad. I love you, Mr. Tattered!  Happy Anniversary.

Fun With Wildtree

I don’t often do a post to promote a certain product, but this is one I can’t resist.

As long-time followers will know, I love to cook. Sometimes. Sometimes not so much. When I get into the “not so much” doldrums, I need a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to get me out of them, and I got it this weekend.

My daughter went to a little cooking party a few weeks back, and came home with 10 large zip lock bags of meals to throw into the freezer. As her hubby is working evenings these days, we’ve been invited to come over and eat with her and the girls several times, and she’s been putting out some yummy meals – from those freezer bags.

So, when she invited me to come along to another party, I had mixed feelings. I knew the food was good, but I’m just not much into “going’ these days. But, after a few days of resisting the temptation, I gave in and agreed.

Oh my goodness!

It was a “Wildtree” party. Those of you who are familiar with home-based businesses like Pampered Chef will know basically what it is about. But Wildtree has a little twist. Some of the parties are just tasting parties, and you go to the home of the hostess, and the representative of the company comes and lays out their products along with yummies made with the products to sample, you visit, hear the presentation, place your orders and go home.

But Wildtree has another kind of party where you actually put together a bunch of meals on the spot. It is not a cheap proposition. It costs $75.00 for the spices and sauces you will use, but then you get to take home what you don’t use, plus they provide a few other miscellaneous ingredients.

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It was a blast!

A week or so before the get-together, we all got an e-mail with a grocery list of items we would need, along with instructions on how to prepare for the big day.

Long story short, you get all your meat and veggies together (we opted for the vegetarian version, so it was just veggies for us) then they have you prep them and put them in numbered gallon-sized ziplock bags, which you bring with you to the party. Trader Joe’s insulated bag was the perfect size, but some people brought coolers.

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So, you get to the party and tables are set up with stations for each person to work at which includes all the sauces and spices you purchased, measuring cups and spoons.

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Plus there are samples all over the place to munch on…bread dipped in yummy oils…

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and grilled asparagus marinated in garlic oil…yum.

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We’ve already started eating the meals we made, and so far, they’re delish!

If you’re interested in hosting a party of your own, check out their website.

If you live in the Sacramento area, contact Paul and Becky Moos at paulnbek(at)yahoo(dot)com and they’ll set you up! You can also “like” their page at www.facebook.com/wildtreewithpaulandbecky

Life is full of Choices

I just typed “I wish it wasn’t so” and realized immediately that it wasn’t true. Life would be incredibly boring if there were no choices. If everything we did was prescribed in advance with no other options.

What I mean is, I wish we didn’t have to choose “between” things. If there was some way to have it all, and all at the same time!

I am all hot on the garden right now. I have about a dozen things to do out there that I am salivating over.

But, it is also National Letter Writing Month (NLWM) and I am woefully behind on my correspondence with the ladies in my letter-writing group. I have received so many lovely letters and postcards, and I owe each of those ladies a thank you card, plus I need to send my “special penpal” a letter, along with the gal who is hostessing this shebang, and I was really hoping to send a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to each of the 100 ladies participating. Oh my. It would be much easier if I allowed myself to use commercial products, but I feel honor bound to make everything I’m sending. It is an ambitious undertaking, and I KNOW I can do it, but if I’m going to get it all done by the end of the month, I need to be spending some major time in the studio.

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Today I actually made some cool stationery, plus a matching note card and matching envelope. It was SOOO fun! I even got my letter written and ready to mail! Woohoo!

Then I have my monthly commitment to my ATC group to make and send 4 ATCs and an inchie in for our swap (Springtime in Paris is our theme this month!) PLUS supervise the girls with their contributions.

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Whew! I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it!

Then, as if that isn’t enough, I stumbled upon the notes I’ve made for my “happiness project” and am re-invigorated about that.

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And, of course, my life would not be complete without a list of things I DREAD doing. I have been putting them to the back of the list, but I think I need to label them as “green frogs” and eat at least one each day. Ewwww gross! But you’ve heard of the theory whereby you eat a green frog 1st thing every morning, and nothing else in the day can be nearly as bad? Yeah. It’s time to eat green frogs or they are all just going to keep multiplying!

So, I hope you have lots of choices, and that at least SOME of them are fun!

I’ll be over here in the corner nibbling on this frog…

Progress = Happy

I wasn’t sure if I would show you the steps along the way, or just wait until I got my project completed, but decided in favor of showing progress. Progress = happy these days!

Sylvia’s hubby dropped off my new (well, new to me!) fountain/planter and my boys off-loaded it and got it set up for me. Isn’t it wonderful?

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It was just a wee bit tipsy, so after much discussion about how my babies tend to not be able to keep their hands off the new stuff (thank you Daddys for your concerns!) we decided to attempt to firm it up a bit by driving a metal pipe down the middle. Wish I had taken a picture of Mr. Tattered cutting the pipe down with a tiny little saw, but you’ll have to imagine it! He’s not a fan of my “projects” so I was grateful for the help. Left to my own muscle power I’d be hacking away for a week!

Anyway, it worked. The pipe went into the ground about 6 inches, and the fountain is much more stable.

Next up was filling the sections in with pea gravel followed by a mixture of compost-based potting mix and more pea gravel. Do you have any idea how luscious a container of ready-to-plant dirt looks to a crazed gardener? Especially with all these beauties waiting to get their feet into it!

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So, after a trip downtown to survey the ability of succulents at our three local garden supply spots, I came home armed with lots of them and proceeded to plant away. I love design in almost any form, and this was no different than putting together a canvas or scrapbook page. You start anywhere, then build around the first planting, watching sizes and textures and colors, making sure they look interesting together. I even left room for growth!

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Hahahahaha! Who am I fooling? I ran out of plants!

So, that’s why you’re getting a “progress report!” Unfortunately, I’ve depleted the selections at our local stores, so I will have to either use a lot of repeats, wait until they are re-stocked, or find another place to go!  Hmmmmm. Since I am heavy into variety and not in a HUGE hurry to complete the project, I suspect holding out for new and different will win out!

Oh, and I was a little naughty while I was at it. I DID  buy a few other little treasures!

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In the meantime, I sat out on the patio this morning to drink my morning coffee and listened to the birds chirp and watched them fussing over who gets which perch on the bird feeder. And I dreamed. Not of far away adventures, but of what else I can do to make the garden an even better oasis. Not quite just “being” but as close as I am capable of getting to it.

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