Friday, February 29, 2008

My new shop!

Bowing to pressure and fabulous comments, I have opened an Etsy shop! I only have 2 things in there now, but I will be adding to it in time. Check it out on the left side of my blog.

I'm so nervous! Somebody "heart me," please!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good Mail Day and Other Stuff

What an excellent day at the mail box! No bills, a car magazine for Stud Muffin and 4 things for me!! Okay, two things were stuff I got from Ebay, and they're boring, so I won't show you those.

But look what the UPS man brought me from Bari J!

Black and White quilted belt with shiny, shiny buckle!

I won this from her a little while ago during a giveaway on her blog! I just love her stuff. Go over and take a look at her fabulous handbags!! *Drool, drool, slurp!*

Next up, another score from a bloggie friend's giveaway! This one is from Creative Kismet and is a hand-stamped, sewn and embellished Love Angel.

Love Angel, hand-stamped notecards and Chocolate!! How did she know? Probably read my blog header!

I was so excited to win this, I didn't read her post well enough to realize that I was also getting some hand stamped notecards. The dark chocolate bar was probably added so I would slobber on it instead of on the Love Angel. I did promise to take very good care of her!

Here she is in her new home... hanging from the ceiling fan in my studio, watching over me and giving me some crafting good vibes!

You all need to visit these incredibly talented gals at their blogs. They will rev your crafting juices up and make you want to DO SOMETHING!

And so, I did. Do something, that is. I made another apron, this one trimmed out with contrasting pockets and everything!

Of course, it needed a matching shopping bag to complete the set.

As is my way, these were made from thrifted pillowcases, the pockets are from a shirt, and the orange polka dot bias trim is a new product from Michael Miller Fabrics. Esty? Etsy anyone??

I'm on a roll now! So, what do you think I need with stuff like this? Anybody want to guess??

I was going to stop this post here and let you stew on that one for a while, but, well, I not that mean! And no, I'm not "with child!" Been there, done that (hi girls! *waving*)

But, this week, I installed a retractable clothesline in the backyard, and so, I need...

a clothes pin bag!!! And another one.

Okay, I don't really need more than one, but they are so fun and thrifted baby clothes are so cute! I feel an Esty shop coming on soon?!?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sundays from Singapore: Snow in Singapore

Almost Grown, this is the tidy-whitey story, just for you!


Well, I wish it was snow, and to the casual observer, it probably looks like snow. But in reality, my reality, it is actually dust. You know, that insidious stuff that finds its way under every door and through every crack in your otherwise hermetically sealed home. Now, what I want to know is how, when I am 17 stories up in the atmosphere, and there isn't a panel of dry wall in the joint, does this grime make its way in?

No matter when I dust, or what magical as-seen-as-on-TV product that I use, the second I turn my back, there it is again. I enter the bathroom (having washed every surface down with a wet cloth an hour before) and it looks clean. But once I lower myself down to the toilet and glance about my just washed loo, it's there! That hazy, gray, "somebody had a spastic fit while using baby powder" dullness.

I also firmly believe that the powder is in cahoots with the dust bunnies, which have a gestational period of about 2 days, after which the roam the marble floors in herds of dust buffaloes. I think in the interest of saving face (a big deal here in Asia) I will simply inform guests that this family is a regular participant in the National Dust Bunnies Soccer League, and that we are rapidly ascending the playoff ladder. Might even make it to the Olympic, World Series, Super Sweep Dust Pan Bowl to be held between the Hot Season and the Wet Season. So, please, do not disturb the athletes as they roll and stampede down the hall. They are training!

This leads me, of course, to the question of getting a maid. Now, I have kicked this idea (and a few dust roly polies) around for a while, but have come to the decision that having a maid just isn't for me. I mean, I can't even order a meal at McDonald's and get what I want. What makes me think I can hire a maid and not have to ride around on her shoulders pointing out exactly how and where to do what, without breaking Fido the vacuum, or spraying the furniture with the wrong "all-purpose, guaranteed to resists spills, smudges and scratches, cures miscellaneous diseases and conditions, and leaves your hair sweet smelling and shining" concoction?

Adding to my discomfort about hiring help are the reports in the daily paper. Everyday, a new article outlines in details the abuses to and by foreign workers. Many maids fall to their deaths while climbing out on narrow ledges to clean the windows. Employer hits maid, maid hits children, children bites parents and the circle begins again.

Photo by Kees & Sarah

But today's report really clinched the no-maid deal. Apparently, on her second day of work, a maid was secretly videotaped making the family's evening soup with laundry water she had previously used to wash out underwear!! Yuucckk!! She had been counseled that this would make her employers "obedient." Well, kiss my grits! I don't put corn chowder in my washing machine, and I don't expect to find tidy-whitey water in my soup!

Photo by Pixeloflight

A maid was just found guilty of "causing grievous hurt" and as a side note, death, to her employer after a brawl involving the telephone. The employer, a Chinese woman, had called her Indonesian maid the equivalent of a prostitute, which is much worse than it sounds to you or I and apparently, insulted the maid's reputation. A slapping session followed, culminating in the trading of blows to the head with a lightweight telephone. The maid, it seems, won the battle to control the phone, and beaned the employer, causing the woman to die. The sentence will be relatively light as no premeditation was found. I guess anyone planning to "off" their boss wouldn't have chosen the cheap phone as a weapon. A crock pot, perhaps.

I don't want you to believe that all maids and employers behave this way. The Morgs had a wonderful amah here in Singapore, Eva, who was a delight to visit with, spoke perfect English, was great with the baby and I bet made very tasty non-sudzing soup. And I know that no fights involving household appliances, big or small, ever occurred in their peaceful abode.

Perhaps, if I had small children that I needed to escape from occasionally, if my cooking skills were limited to Pop Tarts and TV dinners, or if I had trouble discerning the spray end of an aerosol can, I might get a maid. But for now, I think I will stick with attaching a rag to the end of a bull whip, cracking it towards the furniture and yelling at the top of my lungs, "Giddy-up!" At least all of that wind emanating from me ought to keep the stuff airborne until the guests go home.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy Birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Not Quite Grown!! You are no longer a teenager! 20 years old... Woo hoo!

And since you received your package from Mom and Dad, I can show the part that I made!

Your very own Emmeline apron made with fabric from a thrifted duvet cover by Wake Up Frankie . The front is a wild hot pink print that says "Riviera" and "Cafe"

and the back is solid pink. Both fabrics are very soft. I bought the black and white fabric just to go with this project and I think it turned out quite nice! Hope you like it!

In other sewing news, today I made this...

Polka dot purse with bright blue on blue contrast and lining.

I based it on an article in this magazine,

See the clutch bag in the upper right hand corner?

then made my own alterations. Their purse is a clutch, and I don't do well without a handle, so I added my own. That meant that I had to reinvent the way that the contrast band went on the bag to accommodate the handle. It needs a bit more pressing, but my large water tank iron chose that very moment to run out of steam (literally!) and it takes a very long time to cool enough so I can refill it.

You know, I'm starting to think I need to open an Esty shop to get rid of some of these things that I can't keep from making! Like the aprons with the tea towels attached, cloth shopping bags, and endless handbags. What do you all think??

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

Here is the recipe for the cheesecake pictured in my previous post! It comes from this book, and yes, I drove all the way to the library to look it up since I couldn't remember the name!

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

1/3 cup crushed chocolate wafers (about 7) I used Oreos without the filling
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 8-ounce package light cream cheese (Neufchatel)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup egg product or 2 eggs
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Sprinkle wafer crumbs evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor or blender, cover and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Blend until combined. (Mixture will be thick; scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.)

Transfer cheese mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs or egg product. Pour half of the mixture into the crumb-lined pan. In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in the water. Stir chocolate mixture into the remaining cheese mixture. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture over the plain mixture in the pan.*

Bake in 300 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes to be sure the cheesecake doesn't crack. Loosen the side of the pan. Cool 30 minute more; remove side of pan. Cool completely. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. If desired, decorate the top of the cheesecake with fanned strawberry halves or raspberries.

Makes 12 servings.

*Note: If desired, instead of dividing batter, dissolve cocoa in water and add the cheese mixture along with eggs or egg product. This will give a light-colored chocolate cheesecake.

According to the book, per serving, this cheesecake has 7 grams of fat, and 151 calories. it also has 6 grams of protein, so I thought it was a pretty good dessert option for me.

My springform pan was much bigger than the recipe called for, maybe 10 inches instead of the required 8-inch pan. I am way too cheap to run out and buy another pan, so I used what I had, even though the cookie crumbs didn't completely cover the bottom. Consequently, I ended up with a cheesecake pancake, but it tasted great!

Let me know what you guys think of this (after you make it!) I have never made cheesecake before, but am an expert at eating it. Just ask my bathroom scale! This one isn't as dense as say a real New York cheesecake, but then again, it doesn't have a million calories per serving either!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nothing Much

Well, I have nothing much to talk about today. I have been sewing, but for birthday gifts for Not Quite Grown and MIL. Until I know they received them, no pictures for you!! (They read they blog too, ya know!)

The vegetable seedlings are sprouting right along. The dogs are happy, Stud Muffin is hard at work, and the dust bunnies have formed a union and are demanding more benefits and days off!

Since I know you like food, here is a picture of a low-fat chocolate swirl cheesecake I made from an italian cookbook I borrowed from our teeny, tiny local library. It is made with low fat cottage and reduced fat cream cheese (no, not the library, you silly!!) and was actually very good!! I ate some, and froze the rest to enjoy another time. Can't remember the name of the book, and there is no clue on the pages that I copied, but it was something like Light and Luscious Italian cooking.

Yummy with a cup of hot coffee!

And since I have been spending time in my studio and it's cold, I have been using my little Reliant wood stove to heat the room.

See the unhung pictures stacked up behind it?? And my trusty Winnie the Pooh tea kettle filled with water for a little humidity?

Have you ever tried to photograph fire?? It won't stay still and pose pretty for the camera!

I spent a good part of the day work on my tractor, Kubota Jane. I took her down to the lower field that I mowed this summer, and dragged the box blade with the tines lowered to try to dig up some of the grass and tree stumps.

Me and Kubota Jane last summer. Notice the bright sunshine that we don't have today!!

I'm not too good with the box blade, and haven't quite learned how to *gently* float the box to disperse the built up dirt nicely, but it was a good first try. I think I might want to plant some corn there this summer, if I can clean the area up a bit better! I also think I need some aspirin for my neck. I had to look over my left shoulder to see what I was doing for about 3 hours today!

See, I told you this was a boring post! Dinner will be homemade chicken tenders with a squeeze of lemon, white rice, and salad. You never know, I might defrost the rest of that cheesecake and settle in for the night!

{This just in: MIL received her package, which contained some shopping bags and this apron!

The apron is made from a thrifted pillowcase and fingertip towel, and I included a matching shopping bag.}

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sundays from Singapore: Haircut Encore


"The time has come," the bush woman said, "to find someone new in Singapore to mow my head."

And so started my second attempt to find a hairdresser who wouldn't, to quote the movie Notting Hill, "make you look like the Cookie Monster, whether you wanted to or not." I knew it was time to take a serious look at the available options when the hair on the sides of my head started to stick out like turn signals going in both directions as once. I had skulked into see Fred in Las Vegas when the girls and I were in town in October, with two bags over my head (in case one fell off!) so as not to scare the locals! I was thrilled with the transformation, but alas, the results tend to fade away over the ensuing weeks, and I was again beginning to look like "Barbie on crack."

As you recall, my first attempt at a haircut in Singapore left me in the losing position of a design debate with the non-English speaking hairdresser, and a Fab Four flounce permanently blown onto the top of my my fortyish head. A handful of glop lowered the altitude of the 'do somewhat, but I left dollars lighter, but with no less hair.

I had searched the expat message boards with sinking hopes of finding someone skilled at dealing with fine American hair, until a recommendation came along for a salon just across the street at the mall. But was I brave enough? Days of debate followed, the hair signals confusing all that tried to avoid me in the crosswalk, until I developed a tick from trying to blink my way out of my bangs. After bolting down a Diet Coke straight from the can while standing at the kitchen sink, I steeled myself and marched straight across to the mall.

My heart pounding, I rode the escalator up, up, up to the salon and managed to choke out my request, "I need a cut. Anybody here who can butcher, I mean style, short hair?" I was sent away for a half hour to sweat some more until the "creative director" arrived to attend to my disaster personally. No doubt, he slipped out the back way for a quick trip to the bar for fortification. I retreated to McDonald's for a Happy Meal to calm my nerves and spend an amusing 20 minutes playing with my Monsters, Inc. toy. I returned to the salon in control and determined not to whip out the ashes and sack cloth if this didn't go well.

My fears were quickly alleviated with the arrival of Christopher, a buff Asian young man who wore his hair long. Why is it that hairdressers never seemed to have their own hair "styled?" I mean, if they are men, they're either completely bald, or have long, straight hair. What is with that? Are they like my former dentist who needed to have gas just to have his own teeth cleaned? Are these stylists "cut-phobic" or do they realize the jeopardy they are placing themselves in when they sit in the chair?

Christopher is a man of few words, and I understood those few only with some deciphering to mean, "You want shorter? Go have wash first." The shampoo was worth the price of admission, it smelled good and the washer used her sharp little nails to scratch my head until my foot twitched like the hind leg of a dog! Stud Muffin called on my cell phone during this experience, probably because he missed his usual opportunity when I was in the public toilet, but I was too busy twitching to dig the phone out from the bottom of my purse.

The cut itself proceeded at warp speed. No doubt, Christopher imagined himself at 90 still wading through the layers if he didn't set a marathon pace, and stick with it. With my glasses off I can't see much detail, but I could make out arm movement and I could hear the rapid snip, snip of razor sharp scissors. {Note: I got my eyes fixed so now I can check up on them!} From the motion I could detect, Christopher knew what he was doing, but I was either going to the end with a wonderful feathery cut or look like I had waffle fries attached to my head, what with him cutting each section first this way, then that. Sufficed to say, I was thrilled to receive the former. The price was quite reasonable and I resisted the urge to empty my pocketbook out on the counter as my offering of extreme gratitude.

So, dear readers, I am pleased to announce the emergence of the newly, and happily shorn Lisa. I will follow Christopher to the ends of the earth to continue this relationship. I can now boldly walk across any street in the land without causing human traffic accidents due to confusing indications from my hair. And I can sleep soundly at night knowing that in the morning, my hair won't look like I dried it with a Mix Master.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This and That

Let me start by saying...

I am one hot d*mn mama jamma!!!

This is what I drove all the way from Nashville, about 150 miles, all by myself today!!

Big Rolling Turd

Now, picture this with a Corolla bobbing along behind it, and you'll start to get the gist of my day. I was so excited to get home, and trying to beat the rain, that I got the car unhooked and put away before I remembered the camera. I've only ever driven the Big Rolling Turd as we call it for about 2 hours over a year ago.

How brave am I?!? I think I dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back! Okay, I'm over it.

In other news, look at what the mailman has brought me lately. First up, a 1942 booklet by the Spool Cotton Company called Make and Mend for Victory that I got on Ebay.

I am enjoying reading this. It has very interesting information for repairing all kinds of material, as well as nifty refashioning ideas for cutting new clothes out of older ones, making hats, and crafting women's and children's clothing out of men's clothes. Was that in case he didn't come back from the war and need his own clothes?

Women's suit fashioned from men's suits. Sorry for the warped pages, there was some water damage!

Crocheted accessories and jewelry.

Plus, who can resist the Consumer's Victory Pledge on the inside cover, from the Office of Price Administration:

As a consumer, in the total defense of democracy, I will do my part to make my home, my community, my country ready, efficient, strong.

I will buy carefully - and I will not buy anything above the ceiling price no matter how much I may want it.

I will take good care of the things I have - and I will not buy anything made from vital war materials which I can get along without.

I will waste nothing - and I will take care to salvage everything needed to win the war.

It all seems appropriate considering the state of our current economy!

Next: a pattern for an apron called Emmeline by a sweet blogger, Meg from Montessori by Hand. I think it is adorable and couldn't wait to make my own.

Emmeline pattern.

I had bought some fabric on clearance at Joann's one day when we were dropping the Turd off for repairs (almost 2 months ago!!) that I thought I might make a purse out of. Conveniently, I bought enough of each of the 3 fabrics to make the apron instead.

Yeah, my photography sucks, and my "lady lumps" are bigger than the pattern model, as is the rest of my bod!

It's reversible!!

I thought I took a close-up of the pretty brown flowered fabric, but I guess that's just a drug flashback from the 60's!

MIL sent me a box stuffed full of Harry London chocolates, even though I know she isn't buying my whining!

Thanks MIL, they're yummy!

And finally, no the mailman didn't bring me this, but he did bring the seeds! I promised pictures of my "greenhouse" setup in my studio, and since they are starting to sprout, here's a view or two.

The bottle on the floor is fertilizer made from worm poop! (* snort giggle * Don't you just love saying poop?) I think it's neat that the company collects soda bottles and reuses them for their product!

There are more 'flats" to come, but they're not ready for prime time yet. Stud Muffin thinks I might be suspected of farming marijuana with the lights on half the night! So, if you see me on America's Most Wanted, you can say you heard it here first!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Seven Weird Things about Me!

I have been tagged by Thimbleanna to share 7 weird things about myself! This will be tough! Not because there aren't 7 weird things about me, but because there are many more than that! Okay, in no particular order, see how many you already knew!

1. I can't read out loud very well because I read from right to left. It makes sense to me as I read silently, but makes me stumble when I read out loud.

2. I love charm bracelets even though I don't wear bracelets very often. My Grandmother Ruthie always wore a gold bracelet with charms given to her by her family and collected on travels. I always loved the sound of it jingling!

3. I would rather eat leftovers for breakfast than any *normal* breakfast food. Chinese food, Mexican food, whatever!

4. I dislocated my jaw once by yawning! The emergency room personnel got a good laugh out of that one!

5. I'm afraid of bridges and fish in the ocean. We'll just leave it at that.

6. Apparently, I make a trilling sound when I sleep, but I think Stud Muffin just made that up!

7. My married name is the same as my mother's maiden name. This gives banks and other places that use your mother's maiden name as a security question absolute fits! When I went to the Social Security office to change my name after our wedding, they brought out a supervisor to try to explain what they meant by *mother's maiden name* to me so I would quit repeating myself.

Okay, so having bared my weird soul, I get to torture pick some other bloggers to do the same exercise! My choices are Celtic Spirit, Marmite Toasty, Barefoot in the Garden, The Tardy Homemaker, and a new blogger, Not So Crunchy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Once upon a time...

People have complained that I never post pictures of myself. Well, only when it's unavoidable. Like when nobody else will model my creations. And there is a very good reason why I don't show myself. I hate having my picture taken... always have. Even as a child, hated it!

But this one from many years ago, isn't too objectionable. It's close to how I look now, if you take away the bangs and the makeup, and add a few pounds... and maybe an extra chin!

Sorry about the white spots, bad scan! or maybe someone poked my eyes out in this photo!

But it will have to satisfy my public, because there aren't many others to choose from, and well, pictures of my twin theater sized behind just isn't something you want floating around the web!

Buck up and open your eyes! You asked me for it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I am sooo feelin' the luv!

Wow! Another bloggy award, this time from Sara of Barefoot in the Garden!

All I can say is, right back at you, girl! You crack me up, make me thankful for my advance stage in the world of parenting, and brighten my day! But, I guess I can't give the award back to you, or we would never get anywhere! So, here, in no particular order, are my nominees for this award:

The Frugal Single Mom for creatively caring for not only her own child, but her Mom and siblings as well, all with a great attitude!

Mrs Style of Sustainable Style for showing the world that you can be fashionable and hip and still do your part to protect and preserve the world in which we all live.

Penny of Sew Take A Hike, well, because she gave me my very first award, and because she is so talented and giving of her creativity by sharing tutorials of the cool stuff she makes!

Corrie from Retro Mummy for finding a way to indulge in her passion for Japanese fabrics without breaking the bank, and also because she is pregnant with twins and needs all the love she can get!

I would also give this award to MIL and Christina, but since neither of you have a blog (hint, hint) you can't have it! Just know that I love you both and that you deserve it. But you can't have it.

Sundays from Singapore: Back from the U.S.A

{Blogger is being lame about photos, not that I really had any for this post.}


Well, we made it back to Singapore after a six weeks jaunt around the US. Big fun and much travel was had by all.

We spent more of our time in airports what with the new security measures than anywhere else. In the interest of stress reduction, I always got to the airport 2 1/2 hours before flight time... sometimes I needed the time, other times I didn't. Leaving Singapore, we had our checked luggage thoroughly searched, including any close pouches like makeup bags, then repacked by the security forces. The girls were a bit tweaked about having strange people handle the *unmentionables,* but at least we were being protected from exploding panties and detonating mascara in the cargo compartment!

At the various airports we passed through, new ways to make your traveling experience safer but more exasperating included everyone having to remove their shoes for x-raying in Phoenix, to hiking 1/4 mile to the next terminal to join a line of people just to gain access to your terminal at LAX. After playing my part in shuffling along the sidewalk in the blazing sun, I thought I had made it upon reaching the head of the line. Not so! Airline personnel came down the line handing out "Cut ahead of everyone else who has waited patiently" passes to anyone who has lived under a rock for the last two months and only allowed themselves 30 minutes to clear security. The good news in all of this is that I have finally been able to drop my share of the Gross National Product at the various shops and food vendors in the airport!

The girls and I bounced around the country visiting old neighborhoods and visiting with friends we haven't seen for a while. In between, we did our part to keep the restaurants and shopping venues in Arizona up and running. I was able to revitalize my summer (read: year-round) wardrobe with the dregs of the offerings at the department store. I scored big with $75 linen slacks marked down to $7.50! Don't people in Arizona know that summer will be back soon?? And don't they enjoy warm weather most of the year anyway??

Fat Burgers, real Mexican food, Cheesecake Factory, and, of course, Diet Coke from McDonald's played a major role in my vacation. Did you know that they sell Diet Coke with Lemon in the markets now?!? Yeehaw! Our appetites have shrunk, and we had a bit of trouble adjusting to the water there again, but that just meant that we could only eat part of our meal, and take the rest home for later. Poor Almost Grown, however, suffered with ongoing stomach trouble and actually couldn't eat any of her Corky's ribs from Memphis. Those of you who have had these know what a tragedy that was!

Spent a week in Las Vegas, visiting friends and checking out our house which has a sales contract on it. Now, you know my luck with things, and if anything weird, unusual, or downright tragic is going to happen somewhere, I will be right there. So couldn't you guess that after reluctantly agreeing to a 90 days escrow with the buyers, the loan documents went down with the World Trade Center? I was in town just about when the deal was supposed to close, and by then they hadn't even appraised the place or had it inspected. So, while I traipsed around the country, I compulsively handled every public pay phone in every airport trying to arrange repairs that I could have done myself with a screwdriver, and asking the worn-out question, "Are the docs there , yet?" Needless to say, the deal only closed minutes after we exhaustedly crawled off the plane in Singapore, one week late. And AT&T probably has reported to the authorities that I must be "on the lam" from somewhere because of all the pay phone calls from airports.

We visited with our good friends Rick and Debby at their mountain top acreage on rural Tennessee. We hadn't been to Memphis in many years and it was good to drive past the old house and eat some Southern cooking. At Rick and Debby's, the girls spent most of their time driving around the property on Debby's golf cart (Not Quite Grown) and a six-wheeler (Almost Grown.) Almost Grown gave up on the golf cart after she had to push the thing up and down several hills on the bak logging roads when it ran out of battery poop. I have a picture of her flopped across the seat in exhaustion while she snapped, "Quit it, Mom, it's not funny!" {Photo print lost in my messy storage.} I thought it was hysterical. Not Quite Grown ran the battery down 3 times in the 4 days we were there! Almost Grown prefers gas powered modes of transportation!

We attended the opening day of a fox hunt, and while we, and the hounds, never did see a fox, it was quite peaceful and pleasant to ride along perched on a hay wagon. Not Quite Grown didn't see anything of the countryside as she had her nose firmly planted in a Harry Potter book! Almost Grown, however, renewed her love of horses and every morning and afternoon, dutifully, no, willingly trekked down to Debby's barn and mucked out the stall and tended to Rick's horse Twister. I mean, in the cold, after dark, and everything! Now, do ya think she could muck out her room now and again? Personally, I think Rick and Debby have a bit of a Huck Finn thing going there!

We got to spend time with Grandma Toni, Auntie Christina and the cousins, and even got to visit with my cousin Anne at her new home in Arizona. But, like all good things, this had to end and we had to get back to Singapore and restart our life there. Surprisingly, even the girls were ready to go "home." I guess wherever your stuff resides is where you want to be after a trip.

So here we are, back in Singapore, trying to get it together for the holidays. We did manage to get a turkey on Thanksgiving... a Lit'l Butterball for the princely sum of about $18.OOUS. But it was eaten with gusto and I believe there are still some dried flaky pieces still lurking in the fridge today.

We have a Christmas tree we inherited from the Morgs when they left Singapore that is sitting in the living room. I got it some lights, but wouldn't you know, instead of using green wires, they used bright white! So the wiring shows like a front yard tree that's been TP'd and the lights flash on a varying cycle of speeds. It can get dizzying when half he tree is slowly blinking green and blue, and the other half is vibrating madly in red and yellow. I'm still trying to get it worked out.

I don't want a lot of ornaments that will take up room in storage, so I am making fabric fortune cookies. I only have about a dozen so far, since after you sew the little buggers, you coat them with stiffener (or watered down Elmer's glue for me) and shape them. I manage to get more glue on me than on the cookies and end up trying to flap the plastic wrap they dry on off of my fingers. Sigh! I am putting little fortunes or sayings in them, so if any of you want to contribute, I would love it. I have already run through the usual "Happiness is around the corner" and Stud Muffin's contribution of "When woman drives with her legs in the air, she has crack up." Help is desperately needed!

Well, time to start my day, it's raining (surprise), I have a cold, and there are "cookies" to make!

Love you.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Since I didn't get any chocolate...

I figure you guys didn't fall for my poor-pitiful-me post! Christina says I'm not to blog about her anymore if I don't show some of my previous collage work to prove I'm not as hopeless as I pretend.

I have two things to show, both projects were completely and unabashedly copied from this book because I don't actually have any drawing talent (or original ideas!)

The first fabric collage I ever did was this vest:

Front with lining fish applique showing.


Close-up of front right side. That's a moray eel coming out of his cave.

Close-up of front left side. HaHa. I made the turtle's limbs from zebra print fabric!

Feeling brave, I made this wall hanging of the four elements (water, air, earth, and fire) as a gift for Christina. She is a bit of an Earth Mother herself, so this seemed to be a perfect gift for her. She was kind enough to send me a photo of it to share.

Designed to hang with a corner up and rotated to view the other faces.

So there you have it. The only two fabric collages I have made (to date.) But, just in case you think I haven't been working on something, I refashioned one of my favorite tshirts! I have been following the Wardrobe Refashion blog for sometime, but am not ready to join up myself. No harm in pretending, though! So, I took a favorite shirt that I bought ages ago on vacation. Unfortunately, the largest size the shirt came in was a child's extra-large, and I am, ahem, larger than that. But I wore it *as is* for a while, until *the girls* were threatening to bust out of the shirt! Here is the before:

I just know this camera adds about 40 pounds! No sniggering!!

Since I had to photograph myself in the mirror, the words are backwards. This is a David & Goliath shirt with a little girl vacuuming and the words "Housework is evil. It must be stopped!" You see why I can't part with it! It's so me!

I cut the bottom and sleeves off of a red long sleeve tshirt I got at the Goodwill, just for this purpose and added them to the existing edges. I also got a men's tee that was the closest match to the blue of my shirt, and added about an inch to each side seam, to give the *girls* some more breathing room. This is the final result:

Even though I still will be arrested by the fashion police for wearing this, I'm quite pleased with the refashion! I'm not sure any of my clothes are safe from my scissors now.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I think I need a cup of coffee now, but really, I need the coffee so I can get out of the chair and get the coffee! Then I need a nap!

Your Personality Is Like Marijuana

You're laid back and easy going, so much so that taking a shower is often too much trouble for you!
Nevertheless, you're quite popular, and many people enjoy your company. You're rarely turned down.
You're prone to giggle fits, paranoia, and forgetting where you are exactly.

At your best: You're relaxed, mellow, and without a care in the world.

What people like about being around you: You're accepting, non-judgmental, and often quite insightful.

What people dislike about being around you: You can be a little too spaced out and apathetic.

How addicted people get to you: A lot, but they're having too much fun to notice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Power of the Wind

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about our horrible night of tornadoes last night. We here are fine, but north of us in Jackson, TN (the closest *big* shopping area to me) they weren't so lucky. Union University is in Jackson and was hit very hard. I was up there this morning and took these pictures through my windshield.

Metal power poles carrying main power lines. The next pole to the left (out of the picture) is poised to fall at the hospital if they don't relieve the pressure from these two soon!

Power pole into an eye clinic. See how it bent at the base?

This one crushed a gas station.

Regions Bank building lost it's roof.

On the other side of the road, in front of Union University, the Bancorp building.

Another picture of the Bancorp building. The metal thing that looks like a ramp is (was) the canopy over the drive-up teller windows. This was a brand new building!

This use to be a stand of beautiful trees in front of the university.

Behind the munched car are remnants of the Union University dorms.

The university is closed off by the police as there are numerous power lines draped around the campus. Fourteen students were trapped in the dorms, the last one rescued at midnight. Nine students are hospitalized. A UPS truck was picked up and thrown from the street onto the campus, where it landed upside down.

I understand that worse damage occurred further in on the campus, but you can't get there from here.

Stud Muffin and I, plus two scared dogs, spent part of the night in our storm shelter. We actually slept there for about an hour waiting for a tornado warning to expire around midnight. It was quite comfortable actually considering it is a steel box with bunk beds made out of plywood. The dogs curled up together in one doggie bed and Sassy started snoring immediately. Wish I had the camera for that picture! Stud Muffin says I snored too, but I don't believe him.

You know, tornadoes almost never happen in February and this is the second year in a row that they have. The news reported that the Memphis area had more tornadic activity last night than it had in 200 years. But, not to worry! Our President says there is no global warming, so I'm sure this is the end of it! He is the President, after all!