Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ghost Phost

I think I watch too many ghost shows. Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel and Psychic Kids on A&E, being my favorites. LifeTime has Lisa Williams.

Ghost Hunters has always been our favorite, a time for Tom and I to both enjoy a show together. Either our tastes are changing, or we both have major remote control controlling issues. Tom will often walk around the house asking out loud "Is there anyone here that would like to speak with us".

Someone in this house (aka Tom) tends to leave the medicine cabinet doors and the front hall closet doors open. I feel like I close each at least twice per day, perhaps an exaggeration, but it is now blamed on "the ghosts". We pretend that we have ghosts in this house, but sometimes I actually believe it.

My father in law died when I was four months pregnant with our first son. I love Don. He was such a good hearted person, but didn't take any crap. He kept the family together and gossiped all the while. He always had gossip. In fact, I think he gossipped more than an adolescent girl on prom night. And this is why I think he is around. Always looking for a story, he wants to know what we are up to.

When Tom and Sam and I moved back to Buffalo from Chicago, things were difficult. We were spending a lot of time together, we lived with Tom's mom, we were trying to buy a house, get settled and Tom was looking for a job. I was having real doubts whether or not we could afford to live. It was around this time that I had THE dream. This dream was 50% dream and 50% real life. I could feel the dream. I can still feel the dream.

I was pushing Sam around in the stroller and feeling frustrated and in tears. I felt Don's hands on my shoulders. It wasn't just a hand, it was the energy coming from that hand, the way the fingers pressed harder in places and the slight squeeze of the right hand. I can see his thumbs and how short his fingernails were. He told me, "It will be okay". I know that sounds general, but I knew exactly what part of IT would be okay. This dream has stuck with me for six years now and I can see it and feel it as vividly today as I did back then. And as proof of the tissue in my hand as I type, it still carries the power of the message through my days.

Our cousin, Don being her uncle, has had psychic readings where Don comes out to chat, gossip, joke around. He is definitely the type of person to come through.

It is with all this that I believe in ghosts. Not the white sheet kind, and perhaps not a FBA (full body apparition), but a sense that someone is there, someone is watching, someone is enjoying my kids just as much as I am.

On Lifetime, Lisa, that chick with the white and red hair, once said, "if you are thinking about someone that has passed on, then they too are thinking of you."

I truly believe that when I think of Don, he is with me.

Although it kind of freaks me out when that happens and I am on the toilet.

Sick Goal

We are finally out of the 'flat on the couch no talking head throbbing sweating shivering sickness' and into the 'moving around coughing gagging headache sickness'. In other words, getting better. Sad to say that my favorite pair of flannel monkey pj's have become thread worn in some very important places. I have to retire the pants, and that makes me very sad.

What also makes me sad is the lack of sales. It has been 49 days since I have had a sale from Etsy. I did one custom order for a friend in January, so it isn't completely dried up. It is hard to keep creating when there isn't really any response.

And speaking of no response, I am feeling less desire to write this blog. Although I love it, I feel guilty if I don't add a new post every couple days. I don't want to disappoint a reader that comes for something new and finds the same old post. Yet, I rarely get comments, so maybe no one would mind if I stop or slow down my posts. But then, I feel like a failure, I want to succeed. I want to be good at this stuff and I want people to enjoy my blog whether it is to learn a little trick, crack a smile, ask a question or to lose themselves for just a minute or two.

(interesting turn of events, I was going to write about ghosts in this post!)

This can only mean that it is time for a goal. I encourage others to set goals, now it is my turn. My new goal.


A goal.

uh....tch tch tch.

Okay. My Goal. Going to make this simple.

Start a new blanquilt. I have so many scraps leftover from the first three, probably 8 pounds worth. I think I'll just start cutting them into squares, strips and rectangles and see what happens.

That's good. Since no one seems to be buying purses...we'll try something new.

A date. Since my life doesn't allow for a ton of 'me' time, I'll say that by April first, I'll have something to show you. Even if it is a pile of pieces or a small section, you will see my progress.

Stay tuned: Blanquilt photo on April 1st

Perhaps you would like to join me in setting a goal.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wann ist Ihr Geburtstag?

We have 'that' neighbor.

No, not this one.

The other one, the good kind.

Meet Annaliese

Annaliese lives two doors down and could possibly be the kindest woman I know.
She is the neighbor that sweeps the street in front of her house. She is the neighbor that brings in the garbage cans for all the neighbors in a two house radius. She is the neighbor that clips coupons and gives them to us. She is the neighbor that slides German chocolate bars in my pocket for the boys. She has a beautiful English garden in her backyard so that she can make arrangements for her church friends that are ill. She is the neighbor that is just going for a walk and comes back with a bag of candy to share. She still goes skiing and sailing. She has the 'special' candy on Halloween for the 'special' trick or treaters - you know, the HUGE bars of German chocolate. And I have now learned, that she is the neighbor that leaves the Easter basket INSIDE my house without being heard or seen (and we were at home, eating brunch). She is the giver of Christmas presents hanging on our door (we must have been away and had the door locked). And if you asked, or looked like you needed it, she would give you the shirt off her back and then go inside for a coat and pants to match. She always ends our conversations with "You are so nice, the boys are lovely, and have a nice evening, nice talking with you."
The only difficulty I have with Annaliese is understanding her over her thick German accent. I am learning, though. I have to look at her mouth to be fully engaged. There is no guessing with her and nodding my head doesn't always work. Her questions don't have the same reflection that a native English language speaker would have.
As difficult as it is for me, my boys have no clue. She talks they look at her with blank faces wondering when she will stop speaking Jivanese and let them tell their story of the crash or which car won the race.
Sam said to me the other day, "I like her, I just don't understand what she is saying." I agreed with him and suggested he smile and nod.
Today, it was somewhat sunny so we played outside and stopped to visit with Annaliese. I told her the story about my conversation with Sam as he gave her the blank stare as he rode by on his scooter. She found it funny and agreed. We joked that perhaps she should speak in full German and see what happens.
Sam stopped the scooter and told us both, "When I turn 16, I am going to change my name to Wall-E".
"Oh, is your Birthday on Monday?" Annaliese asked (perhaps neither party understands 100%).
"Yes, I'm going to change my name when I am 16" Sam restated.
"Wall-E, the robot from Disney Pixar Films." Loosing interest, Sam strained to get her to understand.
The conversation was flat as a toad on a well traveled highway. Until...
"Wann ist Ihr Geburtstag? "
"June 26th."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Icy Sunday Morning

I know, it is Wednesday...I'm a little slow.

Little O and I went to our local 'duck park' on Sunday morning.
It may be 28 degrees, but the sun is shining - get outside, it's Buffalo.
I still remember the day my grandmother drove me by this park on the way to show me our new house.
But now, I am rediscovering it in all seasons with my boys.
Winters in Buffalo are long, Sunday morning pictures and my little buddy make it worth it.

And the ducks? Sunny or not, they are in warmer parts.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moving On...

A long, long time ago, I was tagged by a gal with the above award. The deal is to include six blogs that deserve this type of award as well as six things that I love.

We all know I don't follow rules very well, but lets see how this goes first try, no edits (well, limited edits).

Cary at Big Grey Birds gave me this award. At the time, we read each other's blogs and tooled around on Twitter a bit. I have come to truly enjoy her blog. You never know what you are going to get. There are some blogs that I expect a baby picture or a nature picture and a note of what I should try to make or be or contribute to. But not Cary. She is always keeping me guessing. I just clicked on her blog today to find this post. If you have the time, read a bit of it. And I know they say, 'no backs', but tough, I am tagging Big Grey Birds as my first favorite blog.

Six things that make me happy (or piss me off):

1. When people use a K in place of a C. It isn't cute. In fact it makes me cringe. While I was researching day care facilities for Sam, I skipped right over anything with a substituted K. If a day care facility can't spell correctly, then how will they teach my son correctly. It goes further, too, I can't camp at any KOA Kampground in the Kottage Kabins.

2. I dream of yarn. My dreams include fast paced plain crochet so that I can get to the fun decoration part. One day I hope to have my own working studio of art. Weaving (me), painting (Dad), quilting (sister in law Brooke), random project of the day, Shrinky Dink Tuesdays (sister in law Lisa), chef in the box (Keith Lil bro), flower arranging and make in a minute crafts (mom). I'm taking applications if you want to join us!

3. I love my boys. I am amazed at how different they are and how resilient they can be. I also love when they let me do number two (above and in the restroom!).

4. I don't like tagging in Facebook (25? I am having a hard time with 6), lists, chain mail (USPS or electronically) and I really didn't care for that bread that people used to babysit for weeks on end adding water to on the second Thursday after cutting it in half on Monday of the full moon.

5. Procrastinating is fun. I thoroughly enjoy it.

6. Although I don't mention him much on this blog, I love my husband. We have had some tight times but I can see the light. I am so proud of your dedication to go back to school for something you are really excited about that will provide for us all and enable us to do the things of our dreams (or my dreams...hee hee).

And with that, I want to encourage you to check out these cool blogs:

1. Big Grey Birds: If you want honest, vulnerable, edgy, tart, and unexpected, check out this blog.

2. American Girl in Germany: This was started when my brother's wife, Brooke, moved to Germany for 6 (ish) months for work. She is continuing to blog and her photo's are lovely. She is an amazing quilter, but rarely talks quilting (if you aren't into that).

3. inleaf : I love this blog. Lotta's photographs are spectacular and the posts are always entertaining, while keeping the text short. Check our her shop on Etsy, too.

4. Potty Mouth Mama for sure! If you want funny, go here. Be sure to look back in the historical posts about her bin diving in the dark.

5. Twitter: It is technically a micro-blog, right? It is interesting and sometimes totally bizarre, especially when Big Grey Birds starts twitting before her coffee - or late at night.

6. G Whiz Studio This is my high school friend-and sister in law Lisa. I love Lisa's posts. She takes nice photos and is a wealth of daily ideas. Some great ideas, some a little wild that could use some reigning in. Either way, check out her blog and let her now you want more. Keep blogging, Lisa!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I had planned on telling you about my amazing GF bread.

Or I was going to write about our great German neighbor that is very kind, and very hard to understand.

I could tell you about the beautiful flowers my husband got for me today because he thought today was Valentine's day.

But, things just aren't working right these days. We are the next town over from where the plane crashed last night. My eyes and brain are glazed over with all the news coverage I have been absorbing.

So far, we don't know anyone that was on the flight, but there are still about 24 names yet to be released. I wish they would just post the entire list so that we would know. And I feel out of sorts about being so distraught about this crash since I don't live in that town and I don't have a loved one on the flight or in that house or neighborhood.

Time works. I am going to give it some time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rosa Monster N

Rosa Monster N

We have been doing a little Spanish speaking in our home thanks to Dora and Senor Alvarez from Williamsville South High School. It has been a long time, but I can still hear Senor correcting my pronunciation. Rosa Monster N (for Nose) has a three gem nose ring...if you are into nose rings. Or eyeballs on your purse.

The zipper on this purse was insane. I kept getting the thread wrapped the wrong way around the handle, or it would snap on me, or I would enter a half inch from where I exited, creating a long thread in the wrong place. But, I learned and the Rosa Monster I has a zipper that is almost perfect. It has only taken me 21 purses to master the hand-sewn zipper in tight spaces.

Both of these Rosa Monsters will be available in the Wash My Cloth shop no later than tomorrow morning (I have this 'work' thing I do that is getting in the way (funny, right boss?)).

Rosa Monster I

I must be going through a mid-life crisis...I have been touching pink so often. And it isn't even burning my fingers!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kiddie Bling

As I mentioned in this post, the Poncherello needed a little something. At Tom's suggestion, I made a strawberry. It took a really long time. The seeds weren't right so I did those a couple times over. Then, what little two year old would be happy with just one option? A monogram and a flower were added to the batch. I am sure someone has already discovered my idea, but by attaching these to barrettes, they can be changed on the poncho or the more obvious, used separately in her hair. Four little wraps around the barrette are enough to hold it securely.
I guess it is a good thing that I don't have a girl of my own, I would never get anything else done!
Have a happy Saturday.
The next post will be of a new sculptured purse I am working on, it is pretty wild.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Mouse Click

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed or encouraged by Little O's web ability. He is just over two and a half years old, but sometimes I see a full fledged 4 year old in this little guy. He is big enough to walk himself to bed, as long as I carry his towels (two hot pink hand towels that are his comfort). He is big enough to get his own 'drinks' from the refrigerator (pre-poured in sippy cups). And, he is big enough to navigate through the games on the Sesame Street website. He was clicking through new games and followed the directions and clicked or used the keyboard. I was amazed.

To be ready for kindergarten, I had to be potty trained, know my name and be able to sing the ABC song. When Sam went to kindergarten, he needed to know shapes and how to spell and how to hop on one foot (still working on that one). So what will happen with Little O? Computer skills? Phonics? Writing in cursive?

I do feel guilty for letting him on the computer, I should be working with him one on one. I also feel guilty for letting him watch too much television, I could be reading to him. In our home, we do what we can. We are in no way even close to perfect. We fight, we yell, we hit, we don't all use the bathroom and some of us still use baby talk. But we have fun, we play, we wrestle, we do lots of crafts, we play board games and we read books.

It's all about balance, or so I hear.

Last night while singing the third of three songs to Little O, he corrected me. This is what I was told to sing, after all, bedtime songs are all about this boy:

Rock-a-bye Toddler, on the tree top...and down will come Toddler, cradle and all.
Then a kiss goodnight to "my little boy".
"No, I'm not a little boy, I'm a TODDLER."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It's Birthday time again! Knowing I have an extra-credit project at work taking up my evenings, I had every intention of getting a handful of books for this sweet little two year old. The sound of the cash register dinging and adding and asking for all that cash was a little daunting and 'panic attack' like. Ever since the December show, I've been feeling that way and it is starting to scare me a bit. I can always justify and control myself out of it. I need to follow Polka Dot Cottage's lead and re-think my schedule.
Back to the little girlie. I was out with Gretchen and after talking about how much she spent on books for the same little girl, I jumped to 'I'll make...' A poncho was the first thought and I knew it couldn't be pink (I don't do pink very well). Green was the obvious next choice for me. I am gravitating to greens and blues lately. This is the Martha's Coming Home pattern from Lion Brand's website (I won't divulge the pattern name to the mother!). This is one of the fastest projects ever! I got the yarn on Saturday, finished it Sunday night. The trim on the pattern is strange, as others have commented. I tried it, thinking I could figure it out, but the second round was frustrating. I did a simple shell and it looks adorable, at least I think so. I might need a little something...flower? bumble bee? strawberry (thanks tom)?

Either way, I am sure Poncherello and John would approve.
Well, not really, they wouldn't give a rat's ass, but it is a nice title, right?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Buffalo gets a bad rap.

Snow, snow, snow.

Yes, we get our share of snow but it rarely causes any damage. We don't have to worry about terrible rains and flooding or mega winds that beckon a terrible rendition of "Oklahoma".

The difficult part of Buffalo is January. A Buffalonian can go an entire month and never see the sun, as it seemed this past January. And it wasn't until I started writing this that I realized January is over. January and February are depression inducing months in these parts. People hibernate, lovers quarrel at simple things, the gray gloominess outside can seep into ones body and mind like a virus. It is these months that I often wonder if I would benefit from some meds. Our economy and my empty pockets don't help with the entertaining of the wee little ones.

So, instead of 11 degrees or lower, we got up to high 30's, maybe even hit the 40 degree mark. But that 20 degrees is huge and very welcomed around these parts. We all went out for a little shoveling, building, falling, crying, laughing, creating, and photo taking. Ahhh, the power of the sun.

Welcome February! Oh, how sunny are thee. Forty and sunny, almost planting season.

But not too sunny, tomorrow is Groundhog Day and we don't want that little furball to see his shadow (or did I get that backwards again?)

See that carrot nose? I whipped that up two years ago for a snowman that was created while baby carrots were in our fridge. It was a triangle of orange, sewed up the long side and stuffed with whatever is around. I then did a couple rings (what are those little indents on the carrot called?) of thread to show the indents on the carrot and sewed up the end after inserting a long hook screw thing from some old project. It is the perfect touch for a house without edible carrots. It also is easy to insert, just remember to place in at an angle so that when 'Ned' melts, his nose doesn't droop.