Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gettysburg Homestead Exchange!

You should see the goodies I received!! I am so thrilled!! For those who didn't know...Mary at Gettysburg Homestead had a Christmas Exchange, and I signed up. I haven't done an exchange in ages.....and so decided to go for it!

Last week, I was greeted by this HUGE box when we got home! It was unbelievable!! OH, I should tell you, that Char from The Pickled Pepper Patch, was my swap partner. And, for those of you who don't follow her blog? You HAVE to go and Follow her! She has the greatest tutorials you have ever seen! Need to have some inspiration? She's the one!! Anyway, back to my box! I was headed to bed, and Max brought in the box from the deck and said..."Oh, Jan? Before you head to bed? Maybe you should check the mail?" I said "tomorrow"...he said, "No, really, today"....so I reversed direction and lo and behold...there the box was, in all it's glory!

So, grabbed a pair of scissors and went to work.....and could not believe my eyes, and I pulled goodies out of the box!

First these handstitched pillows and the waayyy too cute Elf Stocking:

And then these darling handstitched pillow ornies:

I found this....(this was her "Thrift Store Find"...she said that they were baby themed boxes! Who would have thought? She remade them into this awesome stacking set with the grungy lamp....she even grunged the bulb) Can this girl create or what?

And this: OH! And some of her awesome Cinna-bun tarts...forgot to photo them...they went into all my tart burners, and the house smells sooooooo good!

I don't have my Christmas decorations up yet....I am way behind this year...but I do have Char's goodies up...

And my Pillows are at home on the couch
So, did I score or what? Thanks so much Char!!! It was so much fun! And, I hope your like your goodies as much as I love mine!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One more photo........

Here are a couple more photos from the Jazz Half Marathon that Brandi did last weekend! I just had to show them! They are of Brandi and her sister Dawn. I have never met Dawn, but I love her sister, and if she is anything like Brandi...(which I am sure she is), then I would love her too!!

What do you think? I would be saying "NOOOOO" if the weather first thing in the morning said I might get wet.....I'm thinking New Orleans Coffee and a Beignet. (I have never had a Beignet...but Brandi assures me she makes the BEST. Another reason I was very sad that we didn't get to GA.....I have always wanted to try one. I just know that I would be hooked...actually, just the thought makes me smile...so maybe I'm hooked already. Can that be possible? Thinkin' it might!)
But our Fearless Two...suck it up...and off they go.....running the streets of New Orleans..... OH!! Can you tell they are sisters?!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This morning, I was awakened by a Text Message....It read 2:38:40!

It had come from Brandi...and the numbers? That is the time she ran...13.1 miles....Wow!! She has been running for a while now, and she has kept busy doing Marathons. Just lately, she did a 5k run, did the Buddy Walk (which they do every year as a family). She did a hear4hope, the Susan G Komen Run, and today the Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans to benefit the Children's Hospital. (I hope I got that right). And, as you can see from the photos below...Alex is right there with her! When Jamie and Brandi were first together, Jamie said "Mom...you have to find Brandi a hobby". Brandi was fine with that too...I think...she never said "no", but then, maybe she couldn't? LOL

So, I undertook that mission...."Cross Stitch"? "Scrapbooking"? Well, Brandi found her hobby! That was where the Running came in!

Here is a photo of The Buddy Walk, which the family does every year:

From L-R...a friend, Brandi, Jamie and Alex in the wagon....(not sure who the other little one is)

Last week, it was the Susan G. Komen Run.....

Alex joins in.....(don't you love that head tilt?)

And here is a photo of Alex and her first 5k run with Momma...

Alex missed the run today...instead, she stayed home with Daddy....where I am sure that they spent the day watching football!

I am just in awe of her!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meditation Rug

Good morning! Have you missed me?!!! I missed you all! I have been thinking that I needed to get back on and blog...(for all of you out there that have been holding your breath? You can let it out now! LOL).

I have been working on my hooking projects...(noooo, silly people...not on the street corners in my classic red dress and black fishnet hose.....), but on my RUG hooking projects. I joined the "10 Minutes A Day Rug Hooking" challenge...so far, so good. Not content to leave it at that? I also joined a "Meditation Rug" Challenge". April, who is in charge of the group....will give us a word on the 1st of the month, and we are to design and hook a 12" x 12" square. It lasts for 12 months, and at the end of the 12 months, we will all have a large rug, and it will be filled with items that mean something personally to us. I LOVED that idea! I said "SIGN ME UP"....and she did!!!

So, I needed to get some more fabric (bummer on that, right?), and then do some thinking, and then do some drawing.......we will be on square 3 on Sunday. So, I am right where I should be...fabric bought....and panicked and brain-dead......you see, I can think......I can (and have), draw out the lines and squares.....but I cannot make my mind up.....and I cannot DRAW!!! All of my hooking has been on pre-drawn Monks Cloth. So, last night.....with all the lines drawn on.........I put my pen to the fabric....and DREW! Yes, I did!!! And then, I CHOSE MY COLORS!! Uh huh....chose those puppies with nary a thought!!! (so, I will admit here...all the colors that I have? Are the Fall colors, my most favorite colors.....so really, it was almost a no brainer...., but I do like to think that I did more than put my hand in my basket of tangled worms, and yank out a handful....close my eyes and just grab one.....I mean really, why would I do that?).....Then, I put the hook to my backing...and I hooked....and while I hooked, I meditated about the first word, which is "Turning". Took a photo, as I promised one on the Forum I would...(a day late), and looked at the photo....it looked much better than the original work. You see.....I don't think I am a Primitive Hooker....or, to put it more bluntly...I DO NOT LIKE USING 1/4" strips......I have decided that I am a 1/8" hooker.....I just don't like what I did!! Of course, if I could just look at it through the lens.....LOL! What I have done previously is the 1/4", (or #8 cut), and I have done wool yarn. I will be studying this square....shall I keep it or not? I have just ordered lots of the smaller cut.....I may have to reverse hook it, as I just am not happy with it.....and I have lots more to do!!! Looking at the photo now...I probably should have trimmed the wool before taking the photo! But it is the general idea...although........sigh.......

On to other things.....Bob came home for a quick visit. We had a great time! It was good to see him, and catch up on things! Here is a shot of Bob and Grandma:
And Bob with Dad:
Now, Max is 6'.....so you can see that Bob is tall!

What else have been doing? Hmmm....life just goes by in such a blur! I'm not sure what all has been going on!

We have had a fairly regular visitor......This is Watts.....and as you know...you can't have October without a black cat or two! We awoke to rain and wind this morning. I love a good storm! However, the rain ended and the wind laid down...so Max thought he would get his walk in. That was about 1/2 hour ago. So.....he should be about a third to half done on his walk. Guess what? It just started to pour and the wind just hit again. My man is going to be wet! So, I think I will close this, light some candles (after all, why have a storm with no candles?), and do a bit more on one of my rug projects. What better way to spend a stormy day?

Monday, October 5, 2009


Another day in the life of the Franklin Clan. A very interesting day...one that has us thinking.....

Max and I were awakened this morning by a voice having a conversation. It was coming from the Monitor that we have alongside the bed. The other part is next door at Mom F.'s house. And she was the one having a conversation. And she sounded very alert. So, after a minute or so of listening and not making out what she was saying, I got up and grabbed my sweats and headed next door. I was very quiet as I unlocked the door, and then found my way to the kitchen and flipped the light on. As I walked down the hallway, Mom said "That light is so bright". So, I ambled on in, and asked her if she was feeling okay. She said "yes". So then, I asked her who she had been talking to. (Now, you need to know that she had her glasses on). She said that she had been talking to a "girl", but the girl wouldn't answer her, so she had just put her glasses on to see her better, and it was at that time I had turned the light on and come on down the hall. I looked around the room, and by the door, which is where Mom said the girl was. No one. Only the clock blinking the time. So, I told her what time it was, and told her she could get a couple more hours of sleep, if she could. And, I'd be over later to check on her. She laid her head back and said "isn't that funny"....

I came home, told Max and we both went back to sleep for an hour. I went over about 8:00, and she was up waiting for her coffee to finish. So, while we waited for the coffee to finish, we talked about it. She told me that there had been 3 women at the foot of her bed. But no one would answer her. They just stood there looking at her. She could see 2 of them very clearly, but not the "girl" at the far end by the door. And then when I came in "they left". She said it was the "weirdest thing".

So, I have been a member of this family for 30 years. And we have done lots of traveling with Mom, and then the years in AZ, where she slept in the living room.....she had NEVER, and I mean NEVER talked in her sleep. (Now, Max does......, boy, does he....).

I came on home, and sat down with my coffee. The phone rang. It was Larrie, Maxs' cousin. He called to tell us that Verna, (the wife of Dad F.'s cousin), had died. He had just got the call. So we had a nice long chat, and then he told me the time that she had died. My hair stood up on my arms. So, I told him about Mom's "talk". And what time it was. The hair stood up on his arms. Then he was quiet for a minute, and said, "Eva is the last of the three left". The three, born in 1917, were Larrie's Mom, (Aunt Winnie, who died in 1999, I think), Verna, who died today, and Mom F. The three had spent lots of time together in their younger years, (they were all married to Franklin's). And had corresponded regularly until recently, when Verna couldn't really see to write, and Mom wasn't able to write very much either.

I went over and asked Mom if she had recognized the two women she had seen. She said she couldn't remember. But when I told her about Verna, she got a funny look, but wouldn't say anything else.

So....here is the rest of the story........when I came home from town, Mom was over here with Max...(we got her to stay for dinner....YAAAAAAAAAAA!!!), and she asked me who that lady was that died. I said "Verna"? She said she guessed. But she couldn't place who she was. And how was she related, and how did they know each other. I told her it was Dad's cousin's wife. And said "you and Verna wrote back and forth for years and years....and we stopped to visit her when we were traveling. She said "really"? Then, "I have no idea who she was". Max's face fell. My heart started to cry. How sad is that. I know that we are going to go through all kinds of stages. And Dad spoilt us. He died at 89, and was sharp as a tack minutes before he died. Now, as I type this, Max has brought her a plastic bag full of hard candy to choose her piece. He hadn't undone the tie. She is trying to figure out how it opens. Lord, this is so hard..............

And Verna? We are so going to miss you....................

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So, Here I am......Sniffing.........

Lavender...(gotcha!), and sipping on a cup of Chamomile Tea...trying to calm down, and reduce that nasty ol' tightness in my muscles......and boy, do I look pathetic, if I do say so myself, and I do!

Night before last I woke up about 2:00am, with a horribly tight chest. So I laid there a bit, barely awake, trying to separate all the pains and aches....now, bear in mind...I truly was barely awake. After separating everything, I decided that I must be fine, as my left arm didn't hurt or go numb. Now, as soon as I reasoned that out....my left arm started tingling. I laid there a bit longer, and decided that the arm was waking up.....I must have laid on it wrong. I took another deep breath, and decided that if I was having a heart attack, I didn't particularly care, and settled down to go to sleep again. A couple minutes later, I knew I had to hit the bathroom, and no heart attack could stop that...so I dragged myself out of bed, down the hall, and into the bathroom. After that, I decided I was thirsty, so I shuffled to the kitchen, got a drink, and then went back to bed. By then the chest had loosened, and I dropped right back to sleep. I woke up, feeling fine, but with tired muscles in my chest. Yesterday, I was tired, and achy, but no more chest pain. I mentioned it to Max and he about had a heart attack, but I assured him it was NOT a heart attack. Last night, went to bed, and slept the night through. Then within about 3 hours of waking up, here came that nasty ol' tightness again. So, I called the Dr., and had to leave a message as no one answered the phone. Jackie called back right away, and wanted to know WHAT was wrong....the message that I had left was that "I have a spot that needs to go, and I hadn't been feeling too sharp lately". Turns out I had never called and said that I hadn't been feeling well....so, it struck alarm bells with Jackie....(I used to talk to her daily, when I was in Radiolgy). The Dr. was gone, and so Jackie told me that the Triage Nurse would call me right back....and she did. Tina called, (I used to work with her too) and asked what was going on...so we had a lovely, long talk. I told her not much, then said that the trip had ended right after it started, and then, with a little (actually, very little) prompting, the last two months unfurled, and...well.....wow......I was and am stressed. So, I have a dr. appt for the 12th.....if I have any more 'episodes', I am to go right in...and I needed to 'calm down'. So, I asked, "any ideas on that calming down thing?" "Chamomile Tea before bed, and maybe some lavender by the pillow". HELLLLOOO.....I am the Homeopathic person in the family. What do I tell everyone? Chamomile and Lavender Tea, and a sachet in your pillow or next to the bed.....and "Turn It Over To God"....."Share with a friend", what was I thinking? Oh, obviously NOT thinking!! And the second I stuck a Lavender Dryer Bag under my nose.....ahhhhhh...tightness gone......

Now, I just have to "Turn It Over", and "Share with a friend"....and I consider you all "friends", so I am sharing this with you.....

Our Family has had lots of "happenings" lately. Without hauling it all out, and stressing myself more......

Our Christy, had a Bi-lateral Mastectomy a week ago. It was her choice, and a wise one. But, my heart still cries for her.

Our Lauren.....and the whole family....are facing terrible stresses right now...our Lauren is about to have her world ripped apart...she will be meeting a Birth Father, that she didn't know about. She is 5. (He didn't want her, and has wanted nothing to do with her, but now.....it's a bloody mess). Along with her, Brad and Livvie, who are trying to keep it all together, and pay for all the lawyers, and keep the family as "normal" as possible. Brad is her "Daddy", (he's had her her whole life), and that will never change, and she will know that, but in the meantime......

Brandi and I spent the last two months planning our trip....that is what has held me together the last few months, whenever I would hit "overload", I would think about the trip South, and things would calm down for a bit. It was my safety net this Summer and Fall.

And there is more.......and, we are not the only family that are dealing with bad things right now, and so many more families are worse off.....and my thoughts go to them.....

Life will settle down, and things will be fine.....and me falling apart will certainly NOT help! Whew!!! Thanks for listening! I promise to not post like this again!!! Well, not for a long time, anyway!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We are Finally Home!

Oh, yes, and what a trip it was!!! We finally got the car on Thursday morning, and headed home. We were both tired, and thankful.....okay, I must admit, until we got the car, we were both rather cranky. But after a test drive or two, we loaded our stuff and and hit the Interstate. Where we cruised home....both of us really upset that we were headed North instead of South. We stopped at Canyonville, and had lunch, then a little bit later we went off of I5 and headed West on 138....which is a beautiful, if a bit narrow at times, drive. There are very few pull-outs on that road, and most of them, if you don't know that they are there? Well, you notice them as you whiz by.....which by that time is too late. Unless you are one of those talented drivers that can whip the car around in the lane....which I am not....and while I have mentioned it to Max a time or two, he doesn't seem to feel strongly enough about that particular pull-out to do it. So, to be honest? I've always wanted to be in a car that does that.....as long as it is a policeman, who knows what he is doing....(Oh, Bob...hint, hint?)

So, we meandered West, admiring the turning leaves, and trying to talk ourselves out of the blues. We finally got to Elkton, and Max pulled over so we could switch drivers. It was MY turn!!! (I do love to drive!) As I walked around the back of the car, I noticed this trail of drops....and they seemed to lead under the car....hmmmm....so, I mentioned (okay, waved my arms and screamed like a banshee...the whole town of Elkton probably thought that Death to all had arrived).....to Max, who looked at me like I was insane....(he's had a LOT of practice at that). Then he calmly said..."Move the car forward so I can see if it is leaking under OUR car". So, I did.....he looked, and then reached down to poke at the PUDDLE where the car had been. And it was oily. Now HE looked like he could scream like a Banshee...but of course, him having more restraint than I do, he just clenched his jaw....(I love it when he does that....just gives me the shivers..though of course, that is not the time to tell him...sigh). We pulled onto the gravel parking lot, and he checked the transmission fluid level...it was almost non-existent....time for a call to our Personal Transmission Builder, (here-after known as PTB) which Max made...(still clenching his jaw)....who told us to find a station and fill up the transmission fluid. When I heard that? I reached into the back and grabbed the Beer Nuts......(remember, stress eater here).....so we carefully and slowly drove to the station which was across the street. Spoke to the guy who owned it, and then called our PTB, so he could talk to the station guy. Within about, oh.....1 minute, the station guy HUNG UP on the PTB. Seems our Ashland Dude had made the station guy VERY angry. So, I reached back to grab something to drink with the beer nuts.....no beer. Darn.....so, I grabbed the next best thing....Pepper Jack Chips and started in on those. As I sat in the car, watching the discussion going on in front of me....I thought, what a shame....no popcorn......WAIT....there WAS popcorn!!! Another quick grab to nab the popcorn and Pepsi (gotta have Pepsi with Popcorn), and I was all set to enjoy the rest of the show. By then, however, things had quieted down, they added the fluid...and the plan was to head for home. Checking the fluid on the way....so, again, off we traveled.

It occurred to me, as we started the twisty curves that maybe I should call someone, so that if we didn't show up at a special time, they could come and find us. So, first a call to Mom and Dad...no answer...no machine....next a call to Craig....no answer.....before the machine could cut in, we had lost the signal....I'm ready for home...the beer nuts are gone.....Chips are gone....Popcorn has lost it's appeal...and the Pepsi? I now had to find a bathroom.......

A half an hour or so later, we got to Reedsport, where Max pulled off at a station that he used to deliver fuel too...they checked the fluid....we're good....just then Craig called....so I told him why I had called. He said that he had figured that was why we called....(Like I never call just to say "hi"?), so we set a time, and he said he'd head South if we hadn't checked in by the set time. Of course, now that we had a set time? We ran into construction....so we made it to the lake with five minutes to spare, so I called him, said we would be there in about 15 minutes. Made it there, got the keys, ran to our mechanics, where they set up an appt on Monday at 8:00....so we'll see. So far, no leaking. That's what so great about life at our house...you just never know what is going to happen!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It is all a matter of Perspective....

Today was another day in Paradise.....well, for a few minutes anyway! We stopped by to see how the car was doing......unfortunately, the mechanic was not thrilled to see us. In fact, he mentioned to Max that he felt Max did not trust him. Hmm....anyway, not getting into that, except to say that my fairly mild husband took exception to that.....and did possibly mention something to him concerning trust....and then he got into the car, and we headed into Ashland to the Wild Goose for breakfast. Now...the story gets even MORE exciting. Are you holding onto your knickers?? Not to keep you in suspense, but do you recognize the item in this photo?

Yep, you got it!! It is a ticket!! I cannot believe it, still. And here is my story, and I am SOOOOOO sticking to it...(I know, everyone says that...but really....)

Max and I are driving through downtown Ashland, we pass a police officer on a motorcycle....who looks at me...makes eye contact, and chases me down. Really......I was sure he had mistaken me for someone (anyone) famous.....well, he didn't even ask me for my autograph...instead he asked me "do you know why I stopped you"? "Not a clue" I replied...maintaining a calm voice....(it pays to be a Drama Queen sometimes). "Well, I stopped you for doing 37mph in a 25mph zone". My husband, you know, the one I mentioned above? says "why did you stop her....she was with the traffic"? My policeman says "She was leading the pack"......"She was not leading the pack...she was following". "She had cars behind her"....came the reply from my personal officer...(indeed I did).....Seems the gentleman chose to see me as leading, instead of following......Now, I could be pleased...I never see myself as a Leader.......soooo.....to look at the bright side...I have given MY favorite cop something to tease me with....(our son, Bob)......what with me being the proud owner of a $145.00 ticket.....

Now, I am leaving you with a photo I took while I was waiting to pick up the car today....(his wife just called....it might be ready tomorrow.......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another day in Ashland....it is

HOT! Hot, hot!! Today it is 104*, and it is warm!! Although, it is another beautiful day. And, they got all the fires out last night....turns out that there were actually 3 that started yesterday! It is so dry, and with the wind, it doesn't take long!

The car is still in........it looks like it will be tomorrow....he is having to rebuild it. The one he had wouldn't work.

We called the kids today.......oh, how hard that was. We won't be going to GA or FL. Max and I are heartbroken.....but, hopefully, we will get there sometime soon. It is just that it has been two years, and we need to see and hold those babies.....and meet Katie.........(she is Katie-did to me, in my thoughts....will be fun to see how she fits that tag I have given her!) The bright spot...(there's always got to be a bright spot, right?), is that the Postal Service will be making a small fortune from me.....lots of stuff to send on!

Now there is one thing that you probably don't know about me....okay, Brandi has it figured out...and I know that Deanna knows.......I cannot travel without junk food. I think that it is yet, another one of those unwritten laws.....(my Mom taught me......and she always follows the rules). Now, add to that the fact that I am a stress eater........(raising my right hand, here, and repeating solemnly...."my name is Jan....and I am a stress eater).....LOL...and Max is always up for junk food.....(he never gains a pound, how unfair is that?)...this is what we had....some of it left Florence with us yesterday, but in all honesty? The majority came from the Chevron Mart that was next to the motel last night......are you ready? REALLY ready? Look carefully.....

So, what is missing? A bag of popcorn......a pepsi, and some chocolate-chili bars...those are in the car.....melting, even as we speak. As are the ones that I got the girls....luckily, I stashed them in a freezer bag...so they won't be muckin' up the rest of the stuff!

Update on the car....no go.....seems the owner (who was the one who was doing all the work on the car...so please don't call, because it is so technical.....and he would just get confused? And it would slow him down? You know...that guy? Well, we got there when we were told too....he unfortunately chose to not be there.......so we waited and waited.....met the guy who was actually doing the work....who was young, but looked like he knew what he was doing...(well, he had blue surgeons' gloves on...and a headband...)....told us that the boss would be back in about 20 minutes......so, I felt good about him....you know...gloves and all?....welllllll, we went outside and sat on the bench to wait, and I admired Caroles Colors....lovely flower beds...I must say.....and then up came this cute little car, with this cute little girl.....who bounced up to the door, and we told her that the owner was gone, but was expected back...she had a lovely pout...so we sent her on in, around the corner and through the kitchen...and there was the "guy with the gloves".....who she quickly grabbed and out he came, in he went, back he came with a thingymajiggy to hook to something...he managed to honk the horn...(I am getting a bit nervous here...he had taken his gloves off...), and then he popped the hood, and looked up at the sky (looking for directions maybe?), and then he poked about on top.....(remember...no gloves.......), and the next thing I know...he is peeking out at the girl.....and then really looks.....(she is looking at him...)....and the next thing we know...his headband is off, and he is driving off with the girl....test drive, I guess.....all I know is we sat there for about 45 minutes more, when another guy shows up to tell us that the owner called and we should go home...it won't be ready until late tomorrow.......at the earliest.....HELLO, we knew that...the guy who was working on it is driving around town with the cute little blonde...no headband.......

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a day......

Well, what a day, indeed! As you can see......we had plans! Yesterday, we took Mom F. to Bandon to spend the month with her sisters.....and we loaded up and headed out this morning, bound for Georgia and Florida. This was the scene as we left town.

It was a lovely morning, and we enjoyed the sun...and well....we were HAPPY!! Going to see our babies.....we have been planning this for MONTHS!! As we hit the pass outside of Grants Pass, the car gave a couple little burps...but the road was horrible, and the wind was howling, and I hadn't given the car much gas to get up the hill......so we put it down to that.....we traveled on...no more problems. As we came to Ashland, our "fill-up" place before we hit California....we noticed the smoke coming from the hill behind Ashland. They had a fire start this morning....

It was so close to the road, and the town? Right behind some of the homes. We haven't heard whether anyone lost their home. Hopefully, they didn't. The fire was contained late this afternoon.
We headed on up the Siskiyou's, on our way to California.....and then it happened. The transmission went out. Thankfully, Max was driving by then, and he got us out of the road, and along the edge....pretty hairy, as the eighteen wheelers were flying by. Went to use the computer....looking for a tow company....(someone, who we won't mention by name, did NOT renew the Good Sam coverage..seems she thought she was too busy). Anyway, the computer couldn't do anything...we were in the extended coverage area, and the fee was $27.00 a Mb......so I called the 411 number and told the operater I needed a tow company...any two company, and she found us one...they came and got us, we dropped the car off at a Transmission fixer-upper, rented a car and found a motel...and now we wait. I have a feeling that the trip to GA and FL will not be happening, and I am sick. So is Max. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
Oh, and as we came back to Ashland, there was another fire...5 miles from where we left the car. It had started in the time we were waiting for the tow truck. Very scary!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Girlfriend for Max....a new project for Jan....

Max is quite the man about town these days....he has followers from everywhere!!! Here is one of the girls...just look at the love and devotion in those beautiful brown eyes...

It is true love....for Max, and for the cookies that he carries in his pockets when he walks! This is Bebe, and she is always willing to visit!

A closer look...now, the sad thing is...she never got her cookie! She was a bad girl and ate a large portion of her Mama's rug. And it stayed in her stomach long enough to cause some ulcers...so she is on canned food until this weekend. Poor girl! She could not understand why she didn't get her goodies! So, Max promised her doubles next time.....now, if she just won't eat the rug...............

Now, my new project! We spent last Monday in the Valley at friend's. And we went out to Grandpa's Farm...

We bought corn, potatoes, fresh green beans, cucumbers...you'll notice I don't have a photo of those, but what I do have a photo of is a quilt that they had. It was gorgeous! And just what I had been looking for. I bought some beautiful fabric for a quilt for our Anna, and decided that I didn't like the quilt pattern I had bought to do it in. So, it has been sitting here for ages, waiting for a spark of inspiration...which hit on Monday, when Kathy and I went into the little shop that they have. So many fun things to see! And then, I saw this, my little heart pitter-pattered....out I rushed to the car to get my camera, and snap......this is what I will do for Anna - but instead of the white background, it will be black....like this: So, now the fabric has left the "what will I do with this" pile, and relocated to the "gotta get this done soon" pile. (I am ever the organizer....)!

Other than that, life has pretty much just cruised by, like it does, in a blur!! I have two penny rugs cut out...they are in my "what the heck have you been doing?" pile. They have to be done by the end of Sept. so they can travel to their new homes...along with several table mats, and a runner, and a reading pillow.....a rug, a dolly quilt.....(didn't like the first one I did), three dresses, some wall art, some snowballs.......candles and soaps......well, I just had a horrendous hot flash...I must be tired...couldn't possibly be stress? LOL! It will all get done, and I will be a solid, red, heating unit....those hot flashes could power New York City. And of course, had I managed to have started on some of this earlier, I wouldn't be stressing! But it seems that is how I live my life, and it must work......and in the winter? We never have to turn the heater on!

Well, I am sitting here, looking at Brandi's table mat, and thinking, if I got started on it tonight, it could be quilted by Monday, so think I had better do dinner, and get busy on that! 'Til later!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crab Lasagna

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that we had been to a friends' house for dinner....which was Fresh Crab!! I took a photo....it isn't the best...but the poor crab was naked.....and well, the other side just looked wrong!

We are so fortunate to live where we can actually get fresh crab, and most of the time, I don't think about it! Before Max went back to trucking, he was a Commercial Fisherman. Sadly, now, the fishing industry is about gone. It was slowing down in the early '80's, which is why we moved to Florence.

But there are times we can't get fresh crab.....and canned crab is all the crab we can get. We hate that! So, I have this wonderful recipe which I use whenever we have company coming from inland....and, I can't get anything but canned! It is easy, and it actually goes together fast....AND, it is a great make-ahead dinner!


1/2 lb Lasagna Noodles, cooked

2 cans frozen Shrimp Soup...(I use Cream of Mushroom)
2 cans Crab Meat

1- 8oz package of Cream Cheese

2 cups Small Curd Cottage cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp Basil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

dash of pepper

Tomato Slices

1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated.

Cook noodles in boiling, salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Thaw the soup and heat (if using canned Cream of Mushroom soup...just open it and pop it into a bowl)

Add crab to soup, and mix it in.

Mix Cream Cheese until soft, in a separate bowl. Add Cottage Cheese, egg, basil, onion, salt and pepper.

In a buttered baking dish, place one layer of noodles, than a layer of half of the cheese mixture. Add the soup and crab. Cover with a layer of noodles, then the remaining cheese mixture, and top with tomato slices.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 350*. Than add the grated cheese, and cook for 1/2 hour longer, until bubbly. Let set for 5 - 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

I serve this with a green salad, and garlic bread.....hmmmmmmmmmmm, it is looking good....might just make it one night this week!

Life here is just buzzing along! We are busy trying to get things settled around our trip to see our kids the end of September. Max is spending his time telling me that we "don't have that much room in the trunk"...but really, we will be gone for a month, and I have to have some something to do, and a good variety of it!

I am still sorting stuff that I took out of the fifth wheel....I am pretty sure that the "stuff fairy" has been paying regular visits, as I refuse to believe that I could actually have put that much stuff into the fifth wheel! The good thing is that I have found several things that I had been looking for! I swear, I need a Twelve-step program....one made especially for those that have to know how to do everything.....suppose they have one for that? I was talking to a friend last night, and telling her my sad tale, and then I said "maybe I'm a Hoarder"....but I don't think that fits, as I actually use everything I have. It has been mentioned that Max might possibly need a counseling session to maintain his sanity as he lives with my "stuff" all the time. I think he is doing fine....his eyes haven't rolled back in his head for several days.....and that foaming around his mouth isn't so noticable now....so I think he just might be coming to terms with it................

Show-n-Tell Tuesday!

Well....here I am again, a day late!! I thought that I would be able to post this last night, but.....we went to a friends house to eat....(fresh crab....yummmm), and then, I stayed and visited....and visited.....and dragged home at 10:00 last night. Max and Mom were home by 6:30.....so I guess you know.....(if you didn't already), that I can talk and talk and talk....LOL!

I had been junking the other day, and found some great goodies! I have a hard time finding goodies here, as we really have only 2 places to go, other than garage sales. But this is what I found at St. Vincent De Paul:
I was thrilled! I found the two Louet Carding Combs...I have been looking for them, and they are expensive new.....and there they were...just waiting for me to grab them up. Now, however, I am wondering...should I keep them or sell them...I don't have my wheel now....and well....no fleece now either...this will require some thought! And I LOVED the coffee cup and saucer....it is an old restaurant one. Basket? It was the perfect prim color, and I couldn't pass it up! AND, it won't need redoing..it is perfect as it is. The two boxes, will be makeovers this week, and see all those spools? Punch Needle threads...in PRIMITIVE colors! Where on earth did they come from? Florence is not a prim place! The baggie? It's full of little artificial apples, that have been dusted with clear glitter. They will be going in a glass jar for the new kitchen when it comes!

NOW, for the real prize!! See the wood paper towel holder in the back? Well, I found one just like it in Country Sampler...for the price of $39.95, plus $11.00 postage. My price, (and it is identical, I just need to paint it), ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........I paid $6.99 for it! I danced all the way out to the car!!

I also found some tin molds..... this one being the coolest:
It is nice and heavy, and the design is incredible! Here's a close-up of the top:

I couldn't believe it! How could someone just not snatch it up? I can hardly wait to do some pantry cakes out of it....Now, if I could just figure out how to make the old-fashioned food screens.......there is always something, isn't there?!!!

Today is my Mom's birthday...Happy Birthday, Mom!!! (why aren't you answering the phone???? And where is the answering machine??????) Max was right, we should have called EARLY!!! Hope you and Dad are out having a good time!!

Well, that is about it for today! It is lunch time, and for once, I am hungry! Hope you all have a great day!! Check back tomorrow, as I have a wonderful recipe to post....Crab Lasagna!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

So Long...Farewell....Auf Wiedersehen......

Well, it was time.....but it was sooooo hard......today was the day......

The truck was backed up......
Craig raises the jacks on this side, Max is on the other...then.....

Craig, the truck and the 5th wheel head out. We will miss them!! We had a LOT of fun with these rigs! Several trips to FL.....A LONGGGGG trip around the country in 2002, and 5 seasons in AZ. We certainly used them alot!! Now they have a new home! There is a BARE spot in the lot now! Sadly enough, that can't be said for the house.........turns out I had a lot of stuff in that 5th wheel. The couch is now hidden, not to mention the kitchen table and the kitchen floor....and well....let's just say that if we want to sleep in our bed? We will need to spend a bit of time clearing it off?

Craig is headed out today for a vacation......well, his idea of a vacation...he is headed to Eastern Oregon for a week or so of 10+ hour days of painting. We're not talking a vacation of painting canvas', or creating art...no, he will be painting dorm rooms before the kids come back to school. Now, I'm not sure, but maybe we all in the family should be, dare I say it? Offended?....is that the word I want? He was just HAPPY to be leaving us for a week or so.....In fact, last night, after working on Mom F's bathroom, and the neighbor's house....and then several hours of him and Max going over the ins and outs of the fifth wheel........he was positively giddy....and that was before the mojitos we had........and yes, he was still smiling this morning when he came over to hook up the 5th wheel.......my baby brother is just silly!! I will probably be calling him once a day to make sure that he remembers us.......

Other than that, things have been going on as usual. I have been going through fabric, and well, going through fabric.......I have decided to do more down-sizing! The Humane Society Thrift Shop will be receiving a LOT more bags and boxes of goodies. I have enough stuff, that even I am thinking that I need to downsize.....the thought of it just gives me the shivers~~I want to learn to do it ALL!! Of course, even if I lived until I was 500 years old? I would still be discovering different arts and crafts! Wouldn't that just be great?!!!!

This week, I will be matching the last of the fabric to patterns, and then fabric to the quilts I have planned...then the rest goes. I have already gone through my wools, and decided on the penny rugs, and I have gathered all the rughooking goodies..and they are all together......I will be stitching all the way to FL and GA next month!

Candles are on the list for Wednesday, then on Friday, soaps..........That will clear out a HUGE area of stuff!!!

Well, it is dinnertime......Blueberry Pancakes and Bacon..............I LOVE when we do breakfast for dinner!

Tomorrow? I will do a Show and Tell from my last trip to the TS...St. Vinnies...I do love them!!!
Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life in the Fast Lane.....

A visit to the hospital, and a haircut....What? A Haircut you say? Indeed!!

So, we'll go back a couple of days.....about a week ago, Mom F. had to go in and have an Endoscopy.....she had been losing blood. Got that done, and then last Friday, we went in and talked to the surgeon. Life gets interesting here! We got her in, and got all settled...Theresa took her BP. I was glancing around, and my eyes landed on the BP stuff. (Like those technical terms?). Anyway, I am watching and waiting for the little tick.....which was not appearing. So, I watched and watched and when it hit 100, with no tick? I lost the view of it, Mom's head was in the way. So I watched Theresa, whose eyes were getting larger and larger....bottom line? 77/42!

So out she went, in came the surgeon who informed us: Didyourscope, didn'tfindanything, makingyouanappointmentwiththeTriagedoctorattheclinic,outyougo.Talklater.

And out he went. In came Karen, who informed us we would need to go to the clinic. Mom was feeling fine. But we went to the clinic, did some blood work, and waited. Turns out that they needed to get rid of some meds, which we did.

Now, they also discovered that she needed another couple of units of blood, (still losing blood), so yesterday morning, we got the call and out to the hospital we went. This was at 1:00, so once we got her settled, I ran out to get some lunch. As I passed Radiology, I decided to pop in and say "hi" to Laurie and Lisa. Hugs all around then some catching up...then, I said, "Cut my hair"? (middle of the day here, and I like to live life on the edge). Not one to pass up a challenge, out came the rubberbands, and scissors...(we're talking office scissors here...). Into the film room we went, where with several snips, off came my hair....19" of it. Into a baggie it went, and today, it went to "Locks of Love".

It needed to be done ages ago.....but I just couldn't. Every time I decided, someone would say "Your hair is so beautiful" or "Love your hair".....so I would back down. AND, I hate going to the salon. (okay, mostly, I am vain....I admit that!). Luckily, Laurie is always up to a challenge, and Lisa donates regularly to "Locks of Love", so she has a hairdresser that will mail it off. Then, I discovered that you can do it yourself, online.

This is something that I feel strongly about! My hair grows so fast, and it is so needed! There are so many people who lose their hair during treatments for cancer and other diseases. My hair is now scheduled for a yearly cut....yes, probably in Radiology, at the hospital...in the film room......with Laurie, scissors in hand, and Lisa, standing around, making comments...("it's okay Laurie...she won't be able to see that bald spot in the mirror....). So, if you have some extra hair that you don't need? "Locks of Love" will take it right off your head!!

Mom was finished at about 6:00...it was a long day for her. We capped it off with Chinese, and all of us hit the bed early!

Other than that...life is just cruising on. Mom F. will be getting some meds for ulcers..they have decided that she must have a bleeding ulcer in her small intestine, so hopefully, that will solve the problem. She went through this about five years ago. She has been afraid that she had cancer, and has not been sleeping. We are trying to convince her that she doesn't, but for some reason, she has that in her head, and it is taking some work to convince her!

Well, just got a phone call...we have friends coming from the Valley. It is nice here - 61*, and going to be over 100* out there...so they are coming to cool down. Now I need to get the couch cleaned off. Why is it that when you start going through stuff, and putting it in piles, that invariably you have company? Hmmmm....wonder if they have a Grant for that....?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Whine, Whine, Whine...........

I am horrified to discover that it has been TWO months since I last posted!! I cannot believe that! And I do believe that I pledged the LAST time I missed so much time, that I would do better! I need a keeper!!

I really have several good reasons why I didn't post, so will list them below for you:

1. I was busy whining about the rain.
2. I was busy whining about the wind.
3. I was busy whining about the fog.
4. I was busy whining about missing the kids.
5. I was busy whining about the fact there was NO chocolate in the house.
6. I was busy whining about the fact there was NO Pepsi in the house.
7. I was busy whining about the fact that I was whining.......

and on and on and on. Now, I can see that there is a definite pattern to the last two months. I knew I had been busy...but couldn't remember exactly what it was that I was busy doing. I asked Max? He said he couldn't remember......and he looked me straight in the eyes when he said that. Didn't blink, turn red, or choke on that lie.....Lord I love that man!

It truly has been a busy couple of months. Even with the whining, I managed to get quite a lot done. We have the new bathroom finished.......it is wonderful! As soon as I get the camera back, I will show the before and after photos......Still have to take that After shot!

I have been busy emptying out the fifth wheel....Craig is about ready for it, and he seems to feel that he doesn't need all the fabric, sewing machines or scrapbooking goodies that are in there now.......I'm not sure that he really thought that through too well........I find that those items are totally indispensable, and am sure that they should be within reach at all times (along with the afore-mentioned Chocolate and Pepsi....). I am a firm believer that one should have priorities......and I am thinking that he might need to work on that.....

Brenda came home a week ago, and was up here for lunch the other day. She took us out to the Firehouse on Bay Street, where she and I gorged on Garlic Fries. They were so good, and so very effective......I am able to report that when it got dark that night, Max and I were not bothered by Vampires. While I haven't talked to Brenda since then, I feel that it is safe to say that she was able to protect her folks as well.....

She is actually home to help her folks' with the haying. Then she and Jeff will be in California for the next couple of years.....Jeff was transferred to Beale AFB....it is amazing how things wrap around....I was born in Grass Valley, lived in Penn Valley, which is right down the road from the Base. In fact, my Dad worked at Beale! And to make it a smaller world yet, Don, one of the guys I worked with when I was working for the Airparts co. was born when his Dad was stationed at Beale! I just love how things come to be!

Well, I don't want to put your systems in too much shock, so I think I will close for now....(okay, Max is hungry and is making growling sounds......he says that it is his tummy.................)

Friday, May 15, 2009

What is it about 13 year old boys.............?

Today is the second day of sun, and my aches and pains are almost gone, and I feel ALIVE again!! I will be spending the weekend catching up on all my favorite people and blogs! Yess!!!!!

I thought I would share some photos with you..(I threat..no......warned, yeah, that's the word.....my nephew that this could happen......silly boy, he doubted me!)

We spent the afternoon with Mom and Dad several weeks ago, and I, of course, had the camera with me. I just wanted a photo of Jamey and his Grandma. Surely not too much to ask? Right? Apparently it was.....silly me, I had forgotten that he was 13 now. Life changes at that age. Obviously. Check these photos out......

Grandma gives me a beautiful smile......

So, we try again:
Grandma still has a pretty smile.....hmm....Jamey? Okay, we try again:
Notice, Grandma's smile....but Jamey, he gives me one....well, more or less. So, one more photo:
Grandma is tired.....but finally, he's not being toooo silly!
Thirteen is a cool age...as Jamey reminded me the other day. The family was together and he was being him....Jamey informed his Dad: "I'm Aunt Janet's favorite nephew". To which his Dad replied, "You're her only nephew". Jamey's comeback? "Yes, but I am her favorite only nephew". He is right! I love the logic!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peg Looms Are Coming!

Hello! It has been a while! But I have been busy...making plans, (changing plans..), creating things, (changing things), pretty much just busy!! And to top it all off, we are in the process of remodeling (Halleluja!!).....right now, we are doing the bathroom (THANK YOU, Craig!! It is unbelievably great having a brother who can and will do a remodel job)!

And, while all of this has been going on, I have been busy with the site, though you won't see much of a change for a bit...I have been deciding how I want to re-vamp the site, and that is something that has been keeping my mind whirling about!

One awesome item that we are adding is: PEG LOOMS! I have searched and searched for these, and the only places that I can find to order from are in England...which I really didn't want to do!

Now these looms are not the Knitting Peg Looms, or the ones that you used to make pot holders as a kid....but the looms that you use to weave rugs and wall hangings. And I have wanted one forever!!! (okay...maybe a couple of months...but sometimes I am like a little child, and a little while can seem like FOREVER!). And Craig, after listening to my whine......(okay, WHINE), about not being able to find one, said "Send me the directions, and I will make one....then after talking to him again, and pointing out that I was not the only one in the country looking for these, he is going to make them, and sell them!! I simply cannot wait!!! So, if you have ever wanted to make a rag rug.....well, check the site!! I should have them listed this next week!!!

Other than that, not much has gone on here. The weather has been awful...just like the rest of the country, though yesterday was absolutely gorgeous!! And, my baby....(taking some poetic license here...), Jamie turned 33 yesterday!!! I cannot believe it. How that happened I have no idea..at the rate he is aging, he will pass me up before too long! Here he is with Alex and her PawPaw Max, when we were last back there!

Now, his wasn't the only birthday this month...nope, Jordan turned 7! I cannot believe that either!!

And Lauren turned 5 on March 31st! She shares that day with her Grandpa Max!

Deanna, turned....well, I won't say...but her birthday was on March 30th....

And Dad turned.....well, he had a birthday too in March!
Well, I guess I had better close this for now...I have masses of "blog catching up" to do!

Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!