Friday, July 31, 2009

I’m Melting, I’m melting…

Well, I thought I was. We just survived the hottest month of my life.

Resorted to using my Red-neck Swamp Cooler a few times.

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It didn’t help. The ice melted too fast. And all the block ice was sold out. UGH!

The Pacific Northwest normally has a very mild climate, not much snow and only a handful of days over 85 degrees. But we just had 5 days of 100 plus degrees with 40 percent humidity thrown in to boot. My car thermometer read 109 on the hottest day. No A.C. and plenty of body flubber of my own meant a grumpy, tired mom. They said it was our warmest streak in 30 years. I resorted to frequent lie downs in our little pool. Didn’t even bother with the swim suit.

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The kids stopped rolling their eyes after the third time that I jumped in with all my clothes on. This last time was at 9 P.M, when it was still over 95 degrees.

The first few days I couldn’t even take my kids to the A.C’d shopping malls because they were dealing with a stomach bug picked up from my husbands families R.O.A.R. Reunion. Vomiting and fevers in blistering heat can be torture.

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Don’t you just love all the fun things that families share. Loved the Reunion and the family, regardless of what they shared with us. Worth every heave! Do it again any day, just to be by family. The reunion was held in sunny HOT Sacramento, CA. Don’t we all just look smart. Dressed in black, during a heat wave. Those are grimaces, not smiles. (Kidding, they are smiles). Just can’t escape the heat. Tried my darndest though. Even entered a belly flop contest just to cool off in a pool.


I won it too.

You bet my kids are proud of me. How many kiddo’s do you know that can say their mom won a belly flop contest. Hopefully the judges were judging on my style and not the actual flop on my belly. Hum….


If it makes you feel better I didn’t win the flip contest. Kept doing back flops. Oh well. There you have it. I've shamelessly posted pictures of myself in a swimsuit on my blog. I can stoop no lower. Fortunately the motion helps hide the rolls.

The reunion was wonderful. Love the relatives, and we left before we drove them nuts so hopefully they still love us as well.

Even managed to get a semi-decent family picture taken as well. I think it’s impossible to get everyone looking great so this will have to do.

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Today’s temp 86 degree’s. Ahhh, FINALLY feels like summer should.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Creative Sanctuary – FINALLY!

Welcome Creative Bloggers!  So glad to have you visit.  And if you want to see some more amazing spaces visit my friends over at ‘Where Bloggers Create’ Blog Party by clicking on the picture.

Thank you Karen Valentine for being my kick in the pants to help me start on my nightmare room.  It’s been the hardest room I’ve yet done.  Nothing too fancy.  Didn’t even have time to paint it.  Mostly it was all about De-cluttering and Finding the Floor.  And creating a space where I could,  um, can you guess?  CREATE!  I even managed to add in a space for my little girls to visit their artistic skills as well.

Just a reminder of what the disaster area looked like around 3 weeks ago.  Not even a path to the door.  You had to climb mountains.

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And from a slightly different angle – still every inch a disaster.

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So after blood, sweat and tears.  O.K. there was no blood involved but a lot of tears.  Even carted off a huge truckload of trash to the junkyard, and several boxes to the Thrift Store.

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Are you ready?

  Here’s the after.  And Wow! Look, you can even see the floor.

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And from a different view.

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The Girls Corner…

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And guess what – I probably spent less than $100 on the whole room. 

I love my farm girl curtains.  First curtains I’ve sewed in 10 years.  Towel hooks instead of curtain rod holders.  Free stick from the yard and material from my huge stash.  Doesn’t the stick just yell country girl?

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Took the piles and piles of the stuff that survived the sort and…

Ready for my redneck moment?

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A friend got me some crates which I spent some money to spray paint.  I didn’t want black crates.  Bought a few pieces of shelving.

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Loaded them up.

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Thank you thrifted sheets and Velcro!

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Used the left over spray paint from the crates to refinish an old abused storage center.

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Then took some extra material after sewing a cover for my shelves.  Took that little bit of fabric and cut it out to fit the front of my drawers.  Slapped the material on with another favorite Modge Podge.

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I think they look great together.

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I loved being able to display some of my little creations and treasures instead of having them buried in piles of clutter.

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I know you’ve already figured this out by my color scheme was hydrangea blue and lavender.

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And when I’m not crafting on the tables I can show off some of my vintage linens like this lovely lilac trimmed hand-embroidered cutwork tablecloth I got for less than $15 at an antique mall.

Now that the room is mostly done.  The girls and I can’t stay out of it.

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I love that I finally have a calm place to go a create dreams and make memories with my girls. 

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Can’t wait to invite some of my friends over so we can get some quality girl craft bonding time in. 

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Second Star to the Right Adventure!

The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart. ~Mencius, Book IV

Guess What? It’s my 300th Post. And I’m having a Blog party with presents.

It’s going to be a grand adventure. Presents and all. So grab your pixie dust, wings, or if your inclined, your pirate cutlass or slingshot and come along. Beware, This is not just any blog party. It’s a party for the Young and the Young at Heart. And all it takes to attend…

Is a little Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust.

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

I’ve been tossing this idea around for a couple of months now and seeing that summer is flying by, and sadly, there is no Holiday to celebrate in August, I don’t want it all to pass by without embracing the inner child, having fun, visiting the world of imagination and loving every moment spent with family and friends. We would love to have you attend.

Everyone is invited whether your 1 day old or 100. All you need is a little imagination and a willingness to share with other’s your secrets to staying young at heart. Some ideas might be…

* Make a fairy garden then eat some tea and cakes with them.

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Maybe they’ll take you flying or sprinkle you with Pixie Dust.

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* If that’s too tame you could cross Swords with Hook and his villainous crew. (Please remember that this is a family friendly website so nothing too dreadfully bloody.) I reserve the right to make any inappropriate party goers walk the plank.

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* Then go in search of some buried Treasure…

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* Climb Trees with the Lost Boys.

* Build a Teepee with Tiger Lily

* Dress up as your favorite character.

* Swim in Mermaid Lagoon (take care not to let them drown you)

* Build Sandcastles on the Beach

* Lie on your back and watch the Clouds (See the little fairy on the right?)

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* Or sleep under the stars.

Remember all the fun things you did as a child and do them again. Smell the roses, watch the sunset. Eat Ice cream on a cone. Enjoy the little moments.

Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. ~Jean de la Bruyere

Record your adventure and blog about it on Sat. August 22nd. We’ll have such a grand time visiting everyone. Just post a comment and your ULR below and I’ll be sure and link your party to mine on my side bar.

It wouldn’t be a party without presents so I’ll be giving away some fun goodies like this Never land Treasure box, a fairy pendant, and more to a few of my lucky party attendee’s. To see all the Treaured loot you'll need to visit this Post Here. You’ll get one entry for participating in the party. You can also get another entry by leaving a comment on Aug. 22nd to the actual party adventure.

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Feel free to copy and link the invitation to your blog. Here’s a couple of different sizes you can choose from. I just right click on the image and choose the ‘save picture as’ button. Then link up.

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It won’t be the same without you. Hope you can come.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. ~Albert Einstein

Monday, July 13, 2009

Finding the Floor

So my success with the patio wall motivated me to finally undertake the Room of Horror’s. You know the room I’ve been throwing everything into that doesn’t have a place. The room my husband promised could be my little craft studio. Well I’m in a manic creative phase and I really want that room. I just had no idea how long it would take me to find the floor.

Remember what it looked like last spring? There wasn’t even a path to the side door.

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You had to embrace your inner mountain climbing skills to navigate all the junk piles.

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At one time we were convinced that an animal of unusual size had climbed into one of the craft caves and died because there was an unearthly, rancid smell emanating from somewhere within the piles. Brave Prince Erik fought the clutter monster to discover a bag of groceries with (previously sealed frozen) warm, rotted, chicken that had somehow been mistakenly thrown into the room with other bags of homeless crap. Someone must have stepped on it while navigating the piles and broken the bags seal. The room was a Nightmare.

However – I WANT MY STUDIO!

I’ve been working on this room for over a week. Spending every spare second I can back there. And guess what?

I’ve Found the Floor.

I’d show you some after pictures, but I’m not done. Maybe I’ll show you some teasers.

Before I started the room I couldn’t find a pencil or pen to save my life. Now I have drawers full of them.

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And all my sewing material has been sorted and stacked as is patiently waiting some thrift friendly bookcases I’m building.

I’m even dedicating a corner of the room for the kids. So they won’t be tempted to get into Mom’s goodies.

I can’t wait to show you. But I really want this room to be done, done, done before I do. So I’m setting myself a deadline. To have it done by this date.

I’m just too excited! Believe me – You’ll be amazed at the change. I love reclaiming things.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Building Dreams – One Block at a Time!

So I’ve been keeping myself hauling over the past week or so. The energy is finally back and I’ve a lot of ground to make up after the silly bout with sickness.

I surprised myself on the big project I decided to undertake. Only because it seemed so big and out of my league. But what’s the point of having dreams if they are going to sit around waiting for you to do something about them. I decided to move!

I’ve always wanted a little patio off the house where I could sit and enjoy the yard and garden. Last year I was blessed with most of the stonework for the walls – free! A friend just needed me to haul them off. Then they became my pile, just sitting in my yard waiting for me to haul them into place. It finally happened.

Enough blabbing. I just can’t wait to show you what the kids and I did over the past day and a half. Prince Erik didn’t know about it. He’s not the yard type of person so we just had to keep the first half days work a secret and hope he wouldn’t go out back. Our luck held and today I’m ready for the big reveal.

Here’s my big boys helping me dig out the base.

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The part that took the longest was the leveling, and leveling and shifting, leveling, pounding , oh and did I say leveling.

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But I wanted to do it right the first time and not always look at the wall and think – darn I could have done better.

Of course the weather was perfect – upper 60’s low 70’s. And cloudy! Yeah! Great for taking little breaks with the kids and lay in the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.

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It’s been way to long since I last did that and I’m going to make sure to do it more often it was too fun!

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But the wall was calling so back to work. The boys even recruited some help. Wippie!

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And finally I ran out of stone. I would have loved to have made it one level higher but I’m tickled pixie pink at how well it turned out. Using recycled stone made it look like the walls been in place for years and not hours. And those blasted time-consuming stairs – I LOVE!

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Yes, Prince Erik was happily surprised. He didn’t even give me grief about how messy the house was.

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I let Evo-man and his friend build a fire-pit (until I find something to lay out the patio portion with). And this evening was perfect, smores, tired achy muscles, and the satisfaction of a job well done! Wow if the kids and I can do this in a day and a half – just imagine how much more we can accomplish this summer. All it cost was a little good old honest labor. You know building dreams can be quite the rewarding adventure.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Son Won What???

What do you get when you send a son to the Biggest Nerdy Geek fest (Techonology Student Association) this side of the Atlantic Ocean? One Rootin' Tootin', proud Mama.

So Abner won this little On-Demand Video Contest in our State a couple of months ago which sent him, his friend Candyman and others from their school to Nationals. I was a pretty proud mama with that but thought that it was a one time lucky gig. I mean we are talking Nationals. He'd be going up against seasoned Hollywood film-maker kids or genius mini-Spielbergs from some private Tech school. 71 different teams competed in all from all across the U.S.A. and even Germany.

Requirements include two props (a key card & pamplet) and one dialog line. 'I told you not to do that.' which they recieved when they arrived on location. They then had 48 Hours to write, film and edit a film of exactly 1 minute. Abner was the camera man and Candyman was the main actor. Other's from their school also participated.

You're not going to believe what they came up with this time... (Beware it's rated PG.)

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Want to view it in better definition and on a larger screen, then you could try it HERE on YouTube.

Apparently, I've birthed a talented little Camera Man.

Out of 71 competing teams. Guess What???

They won 2nd Place!

At Nationals!

Out of 71 Teams!

Did I say they won SECOND PLACE!

Scream! I'm so excited!!!!! WOW!!!

I should have seen it coming from his very first little video of Soap Opera Lightsaber a couple of years ago. To his crazy Theron's Branch. To his Music Video Competition (which we are still waiting to hear the results from). My baby's come a long way.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pixie Dust and Vampires

We received a couple of surprises this week via two very different friends.

The first happened through one of my regular and beloved commenter's TINK.  She left this comment in response to a recent post.

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Princess has been dutifully doting on her new little fairy house.  Doing lots or remodeling at all hours of the day and night.     Adding flowers from my garden (with my permission of course).

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Then I shared Tink’s message with Princess this morning.  She immediately ran outside and found pixie dust all over her flowered gifts.  

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And even some in a tiny cup left by the fairies.

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Later on as I was strolling by the garden I noticed a little note in the fairy house.  Yes I peeked.

Translation:  Dear Tinker Bell,

I LOVED the Pixie Dust.

And Tink,  I hope you like the artwork she left as well.

My other surprise happened to come via regular post.  I received this rather scenic postcard in the mail…

   

From the Pacific Northwest City of …

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Scream, Snort, Giggle like a hysterical school girl.  Then I remembered I was standing in the middle of the neighborhood next to my mailbox.  Hope no one saw my giddiness.

I have an inkling that it’s a forgery.  I’ve heard Edward writes in beautiful script.  But since I have live in La-la land I’ll just pretend it’s the real thing.  Plus a retreat at a private cottage – who would pass up an opportunity like that.

Hey, don’t judge me okay.  A mom with six kids needs some form of escapism every once in a while.  Many thanks to Miss M. (another escapism mom) who sent the card to me,  on behalf of Edward.

Friends are the best!