Sunday, October 31, 2010

I’ve got my eye on these

I think the changing of the seasons makes me want new clothes….here are a few I have my eye on.

(Cascades Tweed Skirt from Territory Ahead $139)

This skirt (above) got rave reviews from customers….makes me want it even more!

(Herringbone Check Skirt from LL Bean Signature $179)

I saw this in their catalog and loved the look, but it’s one of those that makes you go “is this TOO much?”, yes I’m talking the style and the price…..then I saw Mandy Moore wearing it in a magazine and I’m like “LOVE”! See her in it HERE .  Of course then while I’m on Oprah’s site I see this adorable picture… HERE! More love! I’m talking the basset hound….okay, and the boots!

I also love the look of these ruffled fingerless gloves… the color too!

(Fingerless Ruffle Gloves from Banana Republic, $29)

What’s on your “want list”?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What IS that sound?

What IS that sound? 

Sounds like a monkey!

No, it’s a bird…..someone was out mowing their yard when we were walking the dogs yesterday and we kept hearing this screeching sound…..I swear it sounded like a monkey……it was this bird!

Yes, it was just walking around the top of the fence……luckily Kenny had his iPhone with him and was able to get a few pictures…

Would you just let your bird walk around outside while you were mowing your yard? We thought it was a little odd, but definitely entertaining!

The dogs were just confused and curious……

It was nice out, but just chilly enough to need a coat when you walked in the shady spots…..fall is definitely here!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally……hooking…..or not

Last night, I headed out to the country to hook at eBay Renee’s.  Okay, we usually hook some, but last night I don’t think any of us pulled a loop.

Blogless Sandy was looking through Renee’s ProChem dye swatch book looking for some perfect sky colors to dye……


She’s going to dye a sky for this darling pattern that she designed for her step-grand-daughter, Aspen. LOVING the pink owl!  She’s envisioning her with button eyes for a great hoot-owl look.

Yes, she just sat down and drew this right on the backing……needless to say, I’m impressed!

Renee had a rug that was finished and just needs to be bound….isn’t that tree the bomb?!  She spent her evening binding a rug for another hooker as well as packaging up a few things to ship to her eBay customers.


This is just a shot of an adorable box that she purchased from one of our local hookers, Judith Groff.

Here is a shot of some of Renee’s wonderful STASH!  You can find her wools on SKIP TO MY EWE on eBay.

As for me, well, I sucked the friendship well dry last night :)

Renee serged around my 2nd garden rug, steamed it with her super-duper-steamer and then the quilt binding I had purchased after work…..well, I got it out of the package and I had bought the wrong size…..just so happened she had the size I needed in the color I needed…..WAHOO….then she proceeded to sew the cording into it for me as well, AND I had to borrow one of her needles to start attaching it to the rug… that is what I call friendship!  Oh yeah, the pictures…..taken with Renee’s camera! That woman is a saint!

A great night, no hooking, but one of those nights where everyone is just simmering.  That’s what I like to call it…..working on other little parts of the hooking process….letting those new ideas simmer until they are just right….I’m guessing that the next time we get together the wool will be flying and the loops will being pulled fast and furious.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Hour


We went to the park last night and it must have been “squirrel happy hour”……there were squirrels EVERYWHERE!  It’s funny how 30 minutes can make such a huge difference… can go at 4 or 4:30 and there are just a few, but if you go around 5 they are everywhere.

The squirrels last night were totally kamikaze……usually when Lonnie chases them, they will scamper up the closest tree, but much to my chagrin last night they would run past 3 or 4 trees before they would pick one to run up.  OR….there was one crazy squirrel who would act like it was going to go up one tree and then change it’s mind and go 90 degrees the other way and pick another tree.

I told Kenny that Lonnie must not have smelled any “sweat” on me last night when I got home and knew I had skipped my work-out so he knew he could run me extra hard…..and he DID!  We finally ended up under this tree and I sat down because I just couldn’t go any further…..about 15 minutes later Kenny and Cleopatra showed up from their STROLL in the park and Kenny got this pic of us on his iPhone.

Hope you’re having a great week,


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can’t believe I made this

I didn’t take pictures, but I’m still surprised I made this “Gorilla Bread” from Paula Deen……it is pure SIN on a plate!  I ended up eating two of the rolls…..sinful I’m telling you! Pure sugar, carbs and fat……I loved it and we sent the rest of it to work with Kenny this morning!

I for sure can’t have this sitting around the house!

The pictures are from various pics on the web.

Gorilla Bread


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh happy day!

This darling dog has FINALLY found a home!

Bentley has been on my blog for quite a while and I think he has the sweetest face.  Now off to find another homeless dog to feature!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reading and decorating

I’m up this morning and I think I have one chapter left to read of “The Help”

……I have loved this book so much that I think I will gift it to a few people,  just because I have enjoyed it soooo much. It’s one of those books you can just lose yourself in. If you want to read an excerpt from the book click HERE.

I love reading books where the author writes like the people speak….I think that’s why I also loved reading books by Mark Twain, which I read somewhere that his autobiography is being released. He wrote it and told the publisher not to publish it until he’d been dead for 100 years…..well, the time has come and Volume 1 is out. Maybe it’s been out for a while, but I just read this on the net.

I rarely purchase books unless they are hooking books or books that I give as gifts…..I’m heading to the library website and requesting this one now!

On the hooking front, things have been rather quiet…..I did order some wire wrapped felted beads to attach to one of the garden rugs and I’m waiting for those to come in the mail.  Maybe I’ll start working on the binding of rug #2 while I’m waiting for those to get here.

We have still been working on the front living room…the curtains are up, the light I ordered came in and we are starting to add shots of color and whimsey……trying to make it US!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keeping it at bay

Kenny has been sick for several days….coughing and hacking and spewing his ick all around.

I woke up yesterday feeling less than ideal, but I’ve been taking D3 and elderberry juice  concentrate

and eating oranges

and taking my vitamins and all that… far just feeling a “little puny”…..hoping to keep the “ick” at bay.

Up this morning having some new “Mexican Chocolate” coffee that I got at Marshall’s yesterday…..yummy!

(no, this is not my coffee art…..duh, like I have time to do THAT!)

Heading out to work even though I’d rather be doing what Lonnie is up to……

Lying in bed reading the books I picked up  from the library last night….one’s I’d requested months ago….finally arrived….



Monday, October 18, 2010

A good book

Tonight I finished “The Gin Closet” by Leslie Jamison…..after I read it, I read about the author and learned that the author is only 26…! She’s off to a great start!

This is one of those books that is so beautifully and descriptively written.  I had to check it out from the library twice to get it read….not that it wasn’t  a page turner, but my life has felt a little chaotic and it just took me a while to carve out bits of time to sit down and read. Read on for a review and an excerpt from the book. It’s rare that I find a book that I really loved reading like this one.

Here’s a review:

From Booklist

First-time novelist Jamison portrays three generations of “wounded women” in an exquisite blues of a novel. The youngest, pretty Stella, is living the hip, single New York life, but she takes the train to Connecticut at night to care for Lucy, her grandmother, from whom age is stealing strength and clarity. When Stella learns a family secret, that she has a long-estranged aunt, she finds Tilly in a trailer park in Nevada and becomes entangled in her toxic sorrows. Narrating by turns in each lonely woman’s voice, Jamison creates emotionally complex scenes of harsh revelation in language as scorching as the gin Tilly downs in terrifying quantities. Stella is nearly as bedeviled, having struggled with the weird, dicey power of anorexia. The two make their way to Tilly’s banker son’s fortress of an apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in San Francisco, where all three are forced to recognize the limits of love. With trenchant cameos by other women teetering on the brink, Jamison’s novel of solitary confinement within one’s pain is hauntingly beautiful. --Donna Seaman


And here is an excerpt from the book:

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


On Christmas I found Grandma Lucy lying on linoleum. She’d fallen. The refrigerator hummed behind her naked body like a death rattle. There were bloody tissues balled in her fists, but she was alive and speaking. “I just wanted a little yogurt,” she said. “I got a nosebleed.”

Her arms fluttered in the air, clutching for handholds, human fingers, anything. It was the first time I’d seen her whole body—her baggy ghost-skin and all the blue veins underneath.

I’d ridden a train through the brittle Connecticut winter with a wedge of gingerbread and a ham sandwich full of fatty cuts, her favorite kind. I had a bag of presents. From the floor she asked: “Are those for me?”

She was shivering. I’d never seen her this way, so fluent at this grasping. Her face twitched as though she were trying to hold her features steady while something happened underneath. She took my hand. Her fingers were greasy with lotion. “I need Matilda,” she said. Her voice was calm and sure, as if this request was entirely reasonable. I’d never heard of anyone named Matilda.

I gripped her wrist and slid one hand under the hunch of her back. Her skin was loose between the bony marbles of her spine. “Don’t pull,” she said. “It hurts.”

I called my brother. Tom said, “You need to ask her: ‘Lucy, did you hit your head?’” I cupped my palm over the phone and waited for her reply. He waited for me.

“It was only yogurt,” she said. “Just a little bit I wanted.”

I knelt down next to her. My boots squeaked on the linoleum. “But did you hit your head? Can you tell me that?”

“If I had,” she said. “I’m not sure I would remember.”

I reported back to Tom. He said I should keep her awake for at least two hours. This was the rule he remembered about concussions, in case she had one. He was with our mother, Dora, on the other side of the country, probably sipping seltzer at a Pacific restaurant where everyone was thinking cheerfully unconcussed thoughts about their sushi. It was a first-generation place, he told me, mercifully open on holidays. It was the first day my mother had taken off work in months.

“Tom?” I asked. “Do you know anyone named Matilda?”

“One sec,” he said. “I’m putting Mom on the phone.”

Her voice was loud and sudden: “You need to do what Stella says! You need to let her take care of you!”

“Are you trying to talk to Grandma?” I asked. “Should I give her the phone?”

“Oh,” she said. “Of course.”

Grandma Lucy gripped the cell phone with her quaking fingers. My mother spoke so loudly that her voice sounded like it was coming from the floor under Grandma Lucy’s ear. She rolled onto her side and handed me the phone. Tom said, “Two hours, yeah?” I heard noise in the background, the rustling of glass and gossip. I hung up.

Grandma Lucy didn’t want any gingerbread or tea. She didn’t want presents. She just wanted to go to sleep. It wasn’t dark yet, not even close. The day had been ruined, she insisted. She wanted to wake up and have Christmas tomorrow.

I checked my watch. I took a breath. Two hours: I would do this. We found a holiday special on television. Animated clay reindeer scampered across the glittering snow. I had to keep shaking Grandma Lucy to make sure she was awake. “Hey,” I said. “You’re missing the part with the reindeer. With the snow.”

“This show is terrible,” she said finally. The opinion itself, saying it out loud, seemed to give her a second wind, and she suggested we open presents after all. Her thick curtains made the sunlight feel oozy, as if it were coming through gauze bandages. She lived on the third floor of a block of condos with stucco walls the color of blanched almonds. Most of her neighbors were bankers who commuted into the city.

My grandmother loved Connecticut. It was where she’d fallen in love with my grandfather and where they’d gotten married. He came from old New England stock, but he’d been the one to insist they move west, to get away from his family. Then he took off to roam the world and never came back. He left her with a little girl to raise all by herself. His family promised her as much money as she needed for the rest of her life.

Grandma Lucy had fallen in love with that whole family—their old blood, their traditions—and she’d wanted to give my mother a sense of where she came from, so they spent summers on Cape Cod in a family property that my mother recalled with disdain. “It was nothing but a dirty bribe,” she told me. “Giving us that beach house for a couple lousy months. Money was like a bastard child out there—everyone knew about it, but you never heard it mentioned.” My mother didn’t have any memories of her father, but her anger toward him seemed vast enough to cover years of open wounds. It extended to his people with a ferocity that made up for my grandmother’s forgiveness.

Lucy had always understood, without needing to be told, that she wasn’t welcome at the year-round family haunts. That perhaps it was better if she stayed out west. But after she’d finished raising her daughter in Los Angeles, she’d come back to this sacred desolation, the eastern cold and money of Greenwich. She could buy anything she wanted, but she didn’t want much these days, and her sparse rooms seemed mournful in their neatness.

“She never blamed him for leaving her,” my mother said. “I never got that.”

Lucy was like a well-behaved child with her Christmas gifts, orderly and attentive. I’d gotten her a variety pack of bubble bath and a pair of pot holders that said in stitched letters: I’M HOLDING NEW YORK’S FINEST CASSEROLE. I’d always known Grandma Lucy as a maker of casseroles full of cream soups and canned corn, fridge biscuits torn into chunks. They were ocean-salty and smooth as silk. She cooked our dinners whenever she came out west to help take care of us, whenever my mother’s work got especially intense, but my mother usually hated what she made. “These stews have been processed up the wazoo,” she said. “It will take me years to shit them out.” She actually said this once at dinner. Grandma Lucy frowned and started clearing dishes from the table.

My mother had always criticized her mother’s cooking—how hard she tried and how she still wasn’t much good. She gladly took recipes from the family who had disowned her. Like she didn’t have a speck of pride, my mom said. And they always tasted terrible. There was a blueberry pie whose flakes of crust peeled away like dead skin. Finally, she just gave up and threw those recipes out, my mom said, her voice proud. She said: “I’ve had a lot of pies in my life. Never had a pie like this.”

So these NEW YORK’S FINEST CASSEROLE pot holders were a kind of wink, delayed by years, and a bit of a victory stamp. We weren’t on my mother’s side of the country anymore, and Grandma Lucy could make her casseroles in peace. She squinted at their diamond-quilted squares. “I can’t make New York’s finest anything,” she said. “I live in Connecticut.” She laid the pot holders neatly on her coffee table. “Six kinds of bubble bath,” she said. “How about that?”

When she pulled her wool skirt over the sticks of her legs, her panty hose were thin enough to show the damage of her age—plum-colored bruises across her shins and thighs. “It’s like a cage in here,” she said, meaning her body. “Every part of me aches, or else it itches.” She insisted that the itching was a deeper discomfort than I could know. “It’s not on the skin,” she told me. “It’s happening underneath.”

Then she paused as if trying to recall something. “I got you a present, too,” she said finally. “But I can’t remember what it was.”

I told her we wouldn’t worry about that for now. What if I ran a bath instead? Maybe it would feel good against her skin?

“We’ll use the bubbles!” she said. She was so lonely, so ready to please me. How was I only seeing it now? Her eagerness came loose like unspooled thread. You couldn’t yearn like this unless you’d been lonely for years, practicing. Now her body was weak enough to yearn along with her.

I ran a bath with honey vanilla, her choice, and sat on the toilet seat while she folded herself—thin legs, white belly, arms like baggy insect wings and glimmering with soap—under the steaming surface of the water. I brought a book and kept my eyes tightly locked on it, line to line, so she wouldn’t feel me staring. I glanced up once. She curled her finger to beckon me closer. I leaned in.

“She filled a bath,” she told me. “To bring them back to life.”

“What?” I said. “Who did?”

She closed her eyes and shook her head. Very slowly, she inched herself farther under the water. I could see the red flush of heat marking her skin where she’d gone under. Who had filled a bath? Who’d died? It could be from a movie. I knew she watched a lot of them. What else could you do, alone all day, with every body part giving up separate ghosts—eyes and legs, lobes of the mind?

“Who did what?” I asked again. “What came back to life?”

“She was gentler than your mother, no matter what she did. She gave me a bruise here once, but she was always gentle underneath.” Lucy ran two fingers across her cheek, leaving a film.

I said, “I don&...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I’m not feeling cynical…..I guess I’m just feeling more like I need to be true to myself….maybe a bit more sarcastic than usual.

Yesterday, I left at the break of dawn with some of my besties to head down to Arkansas on our annual trek to the “War Eagle Craft Show”.

We always love driving by Beaver Lake and seeing the mist rise off of the lake… beautiful. 

We get to the show early, so we don’t have to wait in a super long line of traffic…..that part went well and we also got there early enough to beat the BIG crowds.  We always hit the bit tents first on one side of the bridge….I think this must be the juried crafters, because the things on this side of the bridge are nice.  Lots of handmade pottery, paintings, jewelry, etc.

The day started off cold…..40ish.  It was REALLY EARLY when I was getting ready and I changed purses and didn’t have any lipstick or chap stick so I did buy some great lavender lip balm from Clear Creek Lavender, and I must say it’s GREAT!  Very soothing and I just love the smell of lavender.

We also met Gretchen who makes BEAUTIFUL tightly braided wool rugs…..I so wish I would have gotten a picture of her rugs!  I did get her card, but the website that is listed on it doesn’t work….I’ll e-mail her and see what I can find out and maybe I can share her rugs with you on a future post.  I told her I would get her hooked up with some great wool suppliers like Rebecca Erb and Heavens to Betsy.

Next we headed “over the bridge” to the rest of the show…..

Okay, I think someone forgot to tell a lot of vendors over here (now don’t get me wrong….there are vendors on this side that have nice handmade items…..for example, Vicki Hardcastle has her tent on this side and she makes beautiful felted pins and hooked rugs and patterns) that this is a CRAFT show, not a CRAP show and that CRAFT means things that are handmade, not crap bought in China…..I’m sorry, but if I want to look at a  bunch of dime store shit, I’ll go to the dime store…..I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to the dime store!

I mean, seriously, who buys this stuff?  We did see a little innovation this year….these dime store towels actually had sunbonnets on the top, rather than the crochet! Yes, these are handmade, but REALLY?!

Even the dog was not impressed…

We headed on next to “Spanker Creek” in Bella Vista, Arkansas….this is the spot of our annual picture together. (by now I think it’s in the 80’s….we had shed our jackets and scarves and pushed up our sleeves)


We did buy some Arkansas Black apples here…..I ate my first one last night……tastes like a crisp apple cider….I’m hooked!

I can’t believe I’d never even heard of Arkansas Black apples until now!

Next we headed to our favorite spot….Abuelo’s, where some of us (yes, that would be me and Reba) had margaritas  (Renee was driving and Haylee is still too young)

and we all had chips and salsa and the best Mexican food….yummmmmmm.

I totally splurged and had “Enchiladas De Cozumel” which would be this:

three delicious crepes filled with fresh guacamole, covered in a rich white wine sauce with a medley of perfectly seasoned shrimps, scallops, mushrooms, fresh spinach and roasted peppers….this also came with refried beans and these wonderful mashed potatoes that had peppers and sour cream…… (that is what I call a “top button” meal… of those where you have to undo the top button of your pants when you’re done :)

What are your experiences going to craft shows in your area of the country…..are you seeing lots of crap or are you still seeing handmade items?

Honestly, the best part is  getting away and spending the day with your friends.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My DVR my best friend

I love my DVR, it’s my best friend :)

I know I can come home any evening and watch shows that I love.

One of my favorite shows is “Whatever

…..this is where I found Brooke

…..her blog, “Things Your Mother Never Taught You”, is now on my blog roll.  Make sure you check out this page here…. “Yeah, I Said It”  She cracks me up and NOW I’m going to have to DVR the show she is on… “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills”

To all my bloggy friends

Thanks so much to all of you who continue to comment on my blog.

Recently, I haven’t had time to peruse YOUR blogs, but I hope to have a leisurely Sunday where I can do just that……I really miss reading what all of you are up to.

Work has been busy and by the time I go to work, work out, walk the dogs, cook supper…..well, my internet usage has gone way down lately…..still trying to learn and settle into a new routine.

I’m going to War Eagle Craft Show with some of my besties on Saturday, so I hope to have lots to post on that when I return.

For now, I’m off to work. Hope to have time to stop by Starbucks!

This is a picture Kenny took of me and the dogs the other day when it was nice enough to wear shorts, but still a little chill in the air…enough to need a hoodie. Hey, that’s fall for you!

Lonnie is pulling because he thinks he smells a rabbit!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Long lamp story

Only the best eyes would pick up the lamp against the wall…….Ter’e (one of my readers) did just that.

Ter’e, the lamp has birds on it, but they are not crows.  I think they are sparrows or wrens.  A few years back we made a trip that started out as a trip where we were going on the “longest yard sale in America” ….well, that lasted about a day and a half.

Kenny asked if I had “had enough”……I said “yes”.  He said, “if I see one more fat old man, with no shirt, with a confederate flag, holding a lap dog, I’m going to puke”.

It was more like a dime-store sale…..gobs of vendors on the route, but the pickins were slim.

At the time, we had made it to Kentucky.  We saw a sign for a “Shaker Village”, so we visited that…..AWESOME

and then headed east through the beauty of the Smokey Mountains and then on to Asheville, NC where we visited the Biltmore Estate and then headed on to Charleston, SC and then on out to Isle of Palms, SC where we got to walk on the beach at sunrise and found all sorts of sand dollars and shells… was really beautiful.

On the way back home, we stayed in Asheville, NC again.  We really loved the town. It was there that we found the lamp in a lighting shop…..we both loved it, so we bought it, and it rode home in the back of my Subaru Forester.

So, essentially, it’s a reminder of a wonderful road trip.  Aren’t you glad you asked?