December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Wishes...

As I reflect upon the past twelve months, I am reminded of all the blessings in my life. Those of you who know me, know that Handsome is at the top of my list, closely followed by our sons and their families. Friends and family whom I love and with whom I've spent time - and I can't forget the special blessings and new-found friendships that came my way simply because I chose to start a blog and share my daily life with you.

Special thanks to my blog friends Shell, Debra, Marcie, Brenda, Katie, Cathe, Karen V., Dawn, Sharon, Karen, Linda, Margaret B., Anne, Dee Dee, Barbara, Suzanne, Twyla & Lindsey, Paulette, Claudia, Jane, Maggie, Marydon, Sandi, Kari, Christine, Mary W., Beki, Kate, Jill, Damjana, Betty, and last, but certainly not least, my pal Loreen. My life is richer this year, because this collection of talented, intelligent and giving women are a part of it. (You can click on each of their names to visit their inspirational blogs.)

I also look forward to getting to know each of you better this year, and to making my blog a place that you can't wait to visit each day. Whether or not you have a blog, or just enjoy reading them, I look forward to getting to know you better, too. Your comments let me know you're out there, and I'm so grateful when you reach out to me to let me know what you think.

I wish for you and your loved ones all the blessings of love, peace, good health and prosperity in the new year. Thank you for the blessings you bring into my life every day. Happy New Year from Handsome, Kessie and me!
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Feel free to use my image today. It's a vintage card from my own collection...and belonged to my mother-in-law, Evelyn. It made me think of all of you today. xoxo

December 30, 2009

Finished - With A Surprise...

The wedding hankie project is complete. I picked up the last one from Adele last night and to say they're breathtaking would be an understatement. Adele tells me that she and her mother used to sit for hours working on hankies together, and although it's been many years since she's done one, she rose to the occasion to create true heirlooms.

The bride and the recipients of the other hankies will be speechless when they receive them. Adele did most of the magic, but the monograms were my work, and I think the result of our combined effort is truly elegant.
When Adele gave me the last hankie, she said she had a little surprise for me, too. I looked into our project box and saw four pattern booklets. She told me that they were her mother's - and they were duplicates - that she was gifting to me...TO ME!!!

I had told her that once the holidays settled and my projects were caught up, I'd really like to learn how to do the hankie edgings. Her response was to give me four of her prized booklets, along with a promise that she'll be there to help me when I'm ready to try to do what she seems to do so effortlessly. (The booklet on the top of the pile in the second photo is the one she used to make the edgings for these hankies.) These pattern collections are from so long ago that they were priced at 10¢ and 25¢ per booklet! The copyrights are from the 1940s and 50s!!

I was nearly in tears when I realized the wonderful gifts she'd given me...not only the patterns, but also the promise of the gift of her time to show me how to do what she does with such finesse. I'm really looking forward to the special time we will spend together.

Thank you, Adele, my dear, talented friend. I know that your efforts will make one bride-to-be very grateful. I also know that I am excited to be looking forward to learning at the knee of one talented needlewoman. Happy New Year to all of us!
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Thank you to each of you who left anniversary wishes from my anniversary post (both here and on my FB page). Handsome and I really enjoyed reading your kind comments. They meant the world to us. xoxo

"Wild Hare" Wednesday, Currently In Progress....

Today's "Wild Hare" Wednesday is currently in progress. Please return later today to find out which "wild hare" has affilicted me, and just how I resolved my "issues"...
A few hints:
• a walk-in closet
• a guest room (more on that on another day)
• oh, my goodness!!!
Thank you for your patience...Later, gator!
UPDATE:
Just so you know what I'm up to...The Wild Hare that grabbed me today was to clean out my closet. What was I thinking? It's 3:15 in the afternoon. I have filled TWO yard waste sized garbage bags with clothing to donate to Goodwill, and I'm still not finished. I just wanted you to know that the mountain of clothes under which I'm buried is only half as big as it was when I started.

Thanks, Shell for the motivation to do this the last part of December. My closet will be clean and clutter-free in the new year! More later...(sigh)

By 6 pm today, I had filled THREE bags full, put all my clothes away and cleaned up the bedroom. Handsome came in, saw my progress for the day and said, "Hey, you want to go out for dinner tonight?" Isn't he just the best??? (We went to Sonnys for barbeque.)

So to finish off this interminable post...What the heck was I thinking?! Holy Moly! I'm thoroughly bushed! I think tomorrow I'll do something completely fun. Certainly nothing that involves emptying a large space, cleaning and restocking it! I also think that next week's Wild Hare Wednesday will involve a past experience. Also, although my back is a little tender, I was really careful not to re-injure or hurt myself today. We don't need any of that! Thanks again, Shell!
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December 28, 2009

Twenty Five Wonderful Years...

Twenty five years ago today, I married my best friend and the love of my life. We had been together for three years before we wed, and I knew then that he was the man with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

We married in our home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, witnessed by twenty eight of our closest friends and family. We had the usual snow and cold leading up to our wedding day, but on the 29th of December in 1984, the snow melted and we were married on a record 60º day! After our ceremony, we moved our group to a golf club for dinner, and then, along with about 250 guests, we partied to music provided by a jazz ensemble (featuring Janet Planet) until the wee hours. We were the last couple to leave our party, thanking each and every guest for sharing in our special day.

We stayed home for the next day and then flew to Grand Cayman for our two week-long honeymoon. Wonderful memories of the beginning of our married life, to be followed with many, many more of our time together.

I love being married to Handsome. As with any relationship, there are ups and downs, but our life has been many more ups than downs. I know that my life is better with him in it.

Thank you, Husband, for loving me as much as I love you, for sharing the life that we "signed up for"...good, bad, sickness, health, richer, poorer. In all ways, for all days. I love you. The inscriptions in our wedding bands have worn down through the years, but in my heart the letters and their meaning will always be as bright and clear as the day we first wore them.

"A. B. & A., A.M.L."
Your Wife
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December 27, 2009

A Few Words From Kes...

No need to panic. Mom asked me to write her post today because she's on drugs right now. We got in the car Sunday morning and headed to the emergency room because she didn't want another uncomfortable day, and it was obvious she was headed in that direction.

I didn't get to go inside with her, but Dad said she got three shots while she was in there. Turns out it wasn't that butt nerve thing going on, but a muscle spasm of some kind. (Obviously the "bad" kind, if you ask me!) She got one shot for pain, one for inflammation and one so she wouldn't throw up from the other two. Now I'm not surprised that she slept all day. Well, actually, so did I and I didn't even have to get a shot! It's just my usual doggie "Eat, sleep and let me out" schedule. Kind of nice spending the day in bed with Mom.

She asked me to tell you that she's feeling better, but wanted to have my help with your message today. So, here it is! My very first post! Are you proud of me? I know Mom is. I know she'll be feeling much better tomorrow and will be back to check my spelling and punctuation. (That's just a little quirk of hers.) Til then, I'll be sticking close to her and making sure she doesn't drool all over her pillow.

She said "Thank you" to everyone who left messages yesterday. You guys are all pretty cool!
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December 26, 2009

Shoot...

My back is still bothering me. Shoot! I'll be back tomorrow,
my dear friends. Hoping to be pain-free when next we visit.
Enjoy your Sunday.
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Christmas Giveaway Winner...

And the winner is...Marydon from The Blushing Rose!
Congratulations, Marydon. I have your address, my friend, but let me know if you'd like a set of goodies in the coffee motif I used in the photos, or if you'd like me to surprise you with something made with you in mind. I'm happy either way.

If you didn't win, don't feel bad. I'll be doing more giveaways very soon! Thank you to all who left such gracious comments. I love you all.
Huge apologies for not posting the drawing results overnight as I usually do, but a late afternoon visit from the "Sciatic Nerve Fairy" kept me out of my blogging chair yesterday. I'll be close friends with my Aleve today and yes, I am feeling much better, thanks. So instead of spending a lot of time sitting here, I'll leave you with an image of the always-fabulous and tasty White Chocolate Cheesecake, made by our dear friend, Richard, as our dessert yesterday. This is his own recipe, which he refines every time he makes it. (This was also the best version yesterday!) He also made the beautiful and perfect accompaniment of Raspberry Sauce as its festive topping. Thank you again, Richard for the best ending to a meal shared between old friends.
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**Just so you don't think I made a mistake...Marcie from The Rustic Victorian added her thank you note last night, and our drawing was held yesterday morning. You're so welcome, Marcie...I'm so glad you like your gift from me.

December 24, 2009

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...

Merry Christmas 2009
from Our Home To Yours

Handsome and I wish all of you
A Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year

December 23, 2009

The Night Before Christmas...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
This blogger was decorating, with much help from her spouse...
A sweet vintage Santa with eight perfect mugs,
Reminders of parents and holiday hugs

We don't have a mantle or new-fallen snow,
But we deck out our schooner with small lights that glow
And Handsome exclaimed, as he walked out of sight
No opening presents til later tonight!


I'll be heading out this morning to make my annual Christmas Eve gift at the Suncoast Community Blood Bank. A pint of my O negative blood may help save someone's life over the holidays. I'll pick up last minute supplies for Christmas dinner, and then I'll look forward to getting back home and spending the rest of the evening with my sweetheart.

If you're traveling, please be safe and I'll look forward to seeing you back here soon. If it's cold where you live, I'll remind you as my first grade teacher used to "Button up your overcoat, when the winds blow free. Take good care of yourself, you belong to me." Merry Christmas Eve to you and your loved ones.You are all true blessings in my life.
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December 22, 2009

A "Wild Hare" Christmas...

In November, I got a "wild hare"...but didn't act upon it until November 30th. I had only started one of these projects prior to that date (the pink beaded Nantucket Scallop scarf). Nothing else had been cut, planned or decided until that date.

Since November 30th, I've been sharing my works-in-progress, and I can now officially declare that with one very small exception, all of my projects are finished! Ta Da!!! This "wild hare" has had this designer/blogger/seamstress/wife B-I-Z-Z-YYY! Now, I can slide into Christmas Eve without a project on my machine, stitching away like a little elf. Nope, not this year. But, I will admit, these past 23 days were a little hectic and I can attribute my successful completions to:
  1. Having a list that I checked every day
  2. Keeping track of my mailing deadlines
  3. Three awesome sewing/serging machines
  4. Having all my supplies on hand for each project
  5. The support and belief from all of you, urging me to completion
  6. My loving, understanding, Handsome husband, who always offered to take me out for dinner when he knew that I'd been really busy all day...and who praised me for every single project when I showed it to him.
Really, these were all the ways it was possible for me to accomplish this list. Next year, I promise to Handsome, with all of you as my witnesses, that my projects will all be finished by the end of November. There, I've written it down! I've said it! I mean it! I hope I remember it! Thank you to all of you for being my huge, loving, supportive cheering section. No more Christmas (sewing/knitting) Wild Hares next year! (Perhaps I'll bake instead!)

Thanks again to my friend, Shell May from Tales of the Raspberry Rabbits for hosting our "Wild Hare Wednesdays". Visit her blog to see more "wild hare" contributors.

Last, but not least...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our wonderful grandson. Grandpa and I hope you have the best eighth birthday a boy ever had.
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Thanks to everyone who left comments on the Orchestra and Handsome's performance. He loved reading everything y'all said! Oh, and don't forget to go to my Dec. 21st post if you haven't already. You may want to join in my Christmas Giveaway Drawing if you're one of my followers.

December 21, 2009

A Little Holiday Fun...

Today, I'm sharing a little of Handsome's talent with you. (He's sitting at the drum kit in back on the right-hand side of the orchestra.) I hope this brings a smile to your face and a smidge of Holiday Spirit to your day. The piece (performed by the North Port Orchestra on Sunday afternoon) is called Tintinabulations. You'll hear familiar classical music with a Christmas twist. Turn up your sound and prepare to be tickled. I'll look forward to adding a little more music in the coming days.

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If you missed my post for yesterday, you may want to check it out. No hints...

December 20, 2009

I'll Give You Another Peek...

I thought I'd share another peek at a few of the gifts I sent North...
I sewed up a couple of zippered pouches in a coffee-themed fabric...
added some ribbon in a latte shade of tan...
and finished it with a sweet little coffee pot charm on the zipper pull.
(Go ahead - click on the photo so you can see it better!)
Perhaps they'll use them for their Starbucks gift cards - or coffee fund.
You've already seen the lavender-filled, linen sachets
that I made as part of these gifts.
I added the little zippered pouches and placed everything
in the muslin bags I embellished with sweet machine embroidery.
Do you think the recipients will like them?
Is this a gift you would appreciate?
Well...Because you've read all the way through this post,
I'm going to offer a set like this to one of my faithful followers.
Just leave a comment on this post and
tell me what you like about this gift set.
I'll choose a winner on Christmas morning and
I'll tell you who won on Saturday.
(That will give all my busy friends a chance to stop in and enter.)
Aren't you glad you stopped by today? I certainly am!
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December 19, 2009

Raspberry Surprises...

I ran an errand for Handsome while he was at his orchestra rehearsal yesterday morning. When I returned home, I opened the front doors to let the sunshine and cool air into the house. I was surprised by this box greeting me in the entryway. (Can you see it's from The Raspberry Rabbits?) I was doing the happy dance. I had a package from my sweet friend, Shell May!!!
I opened the package and there were multiple wrapped bundles inside. I opened the card to find the furry faces of the Raspberry Rabbits themselves - Sugar and Razzy - looking back at me! I read the heartfelt sentiments from my friend and then commenced to open those bundles.

Inside Bundle #1 was a cute trio of rabbit tails with a sweet friendship message. On the back is an attached clothespin, perfect to hold a project in progress or a bundle of papers. Three bunny tails...so cute!
When I opened Bundle #2, I was greeted by this bunny-adorned mug. My favorite flower - geraniums - next to the Marjolein Bastian bunnies on front...and a reclining rabbit with a cute message on the back. I love this mug and decided I would fill it with the ball of yarn I use for cording on my pincushion creations. That way, it will be front and center on my worktable instead of closeted away. There's something tucked inside, too. I'll come back and see what it is when I've opened all my bundles.
Then I opened Bundle #3. When I realized its contents, my eyes welled with tears. Shell sells these beautiful bunny embroidery scissors and scissors holders (here) in her online shop. I've been eyeing them for months...really! Is the lovely Shell also a mind reader? I think so!
On a recent "Wild Hare" Wednesday, Shell wrote that her wild hare was to change out all of the drawer and door pulls in her home. I told her I admired her pink rose pulls, and look!!! She gifted them to me! Now, I have to decide where to use them, but for now, they'll also be on my worktable, inspiring me to do my best and most charming work - just like the elegant pieces that are born in my friend's studio.
I didn't forget... Look what was inside the bunny mug.
Ghirardelli Raspberry-filled chocolates!
Now you see 'em...
Now you don't!!
(Trust me. They were delicious!)
Isn't this the most magnificent array of gifts? Handwork from the graceful Miss Shell, touches of her decor, her hand chosen gifts and a photograph of her beloved Sugie and Razzy. Best loved of all are the kind and generous words shared with me in her card. I cherish our new-found friendship and look forward to the day when we can share a cup of kindness in the same room.

Thank you, my dear and precious friend. Your generosity is truly overwhelming. Hugs to you and the rabbits from this friend who is grateful beyond measure.
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December 18, 2009

Let's Get The Party Started...

My pal, Debra over at Common Ground posted about a Pajama Party with the Trash Queen at Talking Trash. I always love a girly pajama party, so I've decided to skeedaddle over there, too.
I'm grabbing my favorite pillow, Bazooka bubble gum and the Dippity Do so we can spike up my hair later. Lee is on her way over in her vintage Mustang. Her dad, Hal, always lets her drive and we love her convertible. We just had to promise not to hang out the windows and shout at boys. ("You two-timer! Does your girlfriend know you were out with me last night?") We can get pretty bad!
Cindy and I saw The Sound of Music, and we're inspired to organize a mini talent show! I get to sing "Climb Every Mountain". (Badly, too, I might add. But what's a wrong note among friends? We'll all have a good laugh.) Oh, and it's a good thing we'll be at Trash Queen's house this time. Cindy's dad always hides in the closet when we're at her house. Scared the crap outta me last time!

We won't forget to pick up Laura. I'm so glad she broke up with Mark. Mike is a much nicer guy and he doesn't mind when she goes out with the girls once in a while. Heck, he might even show up and serenade her outside the bedroom window! He's pretty cute that way.
Handsome won't be coming around, for sure. All the girls hang on my guy when he stops by. Everyone loves a tall drummer, you know, and he fairly mesmerizes them with his witty repartee. He promised to stay home with Kes and keep the home fires burning. I'll be back early in the morning anyway. Miss him too much to gone all weekend!

So, you're all invited to come over and join the party. See you there!
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December 17, 2009

Peel Me A Grape, Honey...

Some days, a girl just has to take it easy. I'm still basking in the glow of my finished Christmas projects...all on their way to their new homes. Yesterday was spent in Sarasota running errands and when I returned home, I was outside for a little while.

Then, there was the wonderful Christmas band concert last night. Handsome played the drum kit for a holiday big band number and the patrons loved it. (I could tell from the cheering when his part was announced after the number.) We had a late dinner with some of our musician friends afterward and then came home.

Today, I'll be working in our office for a while, and then I'm going to start decorating the house for the holidays. I'll take photos to share with you. Til then, enjoy my image of Ophelia (courtesy of The Graphics Fairy)...and think of my lovely, lazy day. I will!
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