Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whoaaaa Baby!

I just walked into the bathroom for about the 20th time today. No I am not sick....the bathroom is right across from my I use the sink to rinse out my brushes and to get the glue off my hands while I am working on pieces. Since I have made 4 sets of coasters and 4 light switch covers already today...that's a lot of glue and a lot of rinsing and hand washing.

This time however I happened to glance into the mirror and whoaaaaa baby!!!! What a sight!

I got up at 6:00 this morning so I could get a lot done, and I have. I cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and got a lot of things made for my etsy shops. The only thing I neglected to do wash wash my face and brush my hair. Nothing liking being obsessed with my "to do" list and forgetting about myself! Thank goodness no one stopped by! The first picture is my kitchen. I went kind of nuts a couple of years ago with mustard and burnt orange walls and red cabinets. I'm already tired of it, but don't tell Irv...he'll kill me! The cabinets were a nightmare to do. This is about as cleared off as my kitchen table ever gets. I think the only time we sit there to eat is at the holidays. Normally, the table is piled high with "stuff".

Sorry for the quality of the photos, but my hands are a bit shaky since it's 1:30 in the afternoon and all I have eaten today is the rest of my dessert from Chilis last night! Healthy I know!

So, I am done with the glue and stuff for today. Here is what I made today. Tomorrow it all gets sealed and then next week listed in MyOtherShop!

Now I am going to start working on the photo album I am sending out to Matt in Telluride. Matt is a teacher and he is going to put the album in the teacher's lounge for me. I'll have it filled with photos of things from FourDogDay and MyOtherShop with a brief description and how they can find other items like those pictured. I'll include some business cards and some coupons for a discount. We'll see how it goes.

Once that is done, then it's budget time. Yes, I am going to sit down and look at our credit cards and figure out which one we are going to tackle first. Then I will try to decide what to sacrifice in order to find the extra money to get it payed off. Should be fun!! I'm kidding of course.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the day and I'll see you tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Read a Book, or Two or Three

I am currently reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, and Kala of Kala Pohl Studio was is a difficult read. I usually read before bed and I find it relaxing, but with this book, I need to really focus. The author sometimes writes using very L-O-N-G sentences....what he writes if very "deep", and then he uses words in contexts I've never seen before. He usually explains HIS use of the word, but by the time I get to the end of the sentence, I have no idea how the sentence started. I also haven't the slightest clue what the point was that the was trying to make in the first place. So, it's back to the beginning of the sentence to read it again and try to decipher his "code". I do like what he has to say, once I figure it out and I am actually enjoying the book.

I am also reading a book that is being shared among the blogging community by Angela of Pickles on Pizza. It's called "Lost & Found" by Jacqueline Sheehan. I just started it, but so far so good. I am the third reader and when I am done, I will post about it. Then anyone that would like to read it next can post a comment and I'll mail it to the winner. So far the book has been in Mississippi, Washington and Illinois. Where will it go to next?????

When I posted yesterday about trying to pay down our debt, the same Angela commented that she was going to send me a book by Dave Ramsey. She and her husband Aubrey used this book to help them get out of debt a few years ago.

Holy crapola....I've gone from reading no books right now to having three to read at the same time. My brain will be fried! Maybe I'll see if Irv will read the Ramsey book first while I finish the other two. Then I will read it and we can plot our strategy!

I forgot how wonderful reading is. I don't really have a favorite author or genre. I just enjoy reading. I usually am attracted to books that will teach me something rather than ones that entertain. Do you have a favorite author or type of book you like to read? I was reading John Grisham for a while and those were actually pretty good....I've also enjoyed a book on Meditation, one by the Dalai Lama, and one on nutrition. Interesting mix!

Well my wonderful blogging friends, time for me to go. I have so much to do this weekend that I want to dig right in. Chat with you soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flying Without A Flight Plan....

That's how my personal life feels right now. I know where I want to go, but I have no clue how I am going to get there. That's really how Irv and I have done things our entire married lives. We just went with the flow and what happened...happened. Not always a bad way to live, except where finances are concerned.

So, now we find ourselves utterly tired of working....yearning for a glimpse at retirement....with no chance in hell of that happening any time soon.

Irv has had some nice jobs over the years, but none of them offered a decent pension plan. I was a SAHM (stay at home mom) until Matt was in high school except for selling Avon and cleaning houses. No pension plans there.

Most of our married lives we barely made enough money to pay the bills, so saving and investing weren't even in our vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, we had some great times living on what we made until things like birthdays, Christmas, medical emergencies, house disasters or any unexpected expense popped up, and then our survival mechanism was plastic and even today at times, it still is. We have a very large amount of credit card debt that we are trying to pay down.

Unless we sit down and take a serious look at where we are and where we eventually would like to be and figure out a way to get there...we will continue to flounder and retirement will forever be out of reach.

Getting out of debt is difficult when every penny you earn goes to pay bills. I know that we have two options...we either make more money, or we spend less money....or a combination of the two.

My plan is for us to write down how we spend our money...every penny of it. Once we see where our money is going, we will need to decide where we can cut our spending. Making more money will come through my etsy business down the road....neither of us would have the energy to work a second job right now, so etsy is our best option. It's something I love and I can see it being a big help at some point.

We don't spend a lot of money on clothes, jewelry, fancy dinners, movies, cars and "toys" so our cutting will mean sacrificing the little things that we enjoy and that isn't easy. You feel like you are working so hard, but yet you can't afford to spend $15 a week on Starbucks and that sucks...but it is what it is, and if giving that up will get a bill paid faster....I know I can do it.

It's all about accountability and responsibility and sacrifice AND how badly we want to reach that ultimate goal, which is a debt free retirement before we are too darn old to enjoy it! I am not upset about it so don't feel bad. We made choices along that way that made sense at the time. It doesn't matter now if they were the right choices or not. What matters is the present and how what we do today can help us in the future.

So, if you have any little money saving or expense cutting secrets.....I am all ears!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunrise Serenade

When I get up in the morning, I always make my bed before I leave my I head to the bathroom to pee and then I go straight to my computer! I check my personal e-mail, my blog and my shops. I pop into the etsy forums to add my two cents to a couple of "positive" threads that are usually running and then I start thinking about getting my lunch together and getting ready for work.

I get up really early so I can take my sweet old time.

This morning I finished all of my stuff and found that it was only 6:00. I don't leave for work until 6:30, so I decided to take Wrigley for a walk. Before the ugly winter hit, we walked every morning. We both loved our walks, even though it can be a bit creepy when it's pitch black outside.

Wrigley watched me this morning as I put on my jacket and somehow, some way, she knew it wasn't 6:30. Her ears perked up, she got off the couch and she came into the kitchen. She kept a careful watch as I looked around for her leash and as soon as she saw me pick it would have thought she had hit the jackpot!! If she could have yelled, "Woo Hoo" she would have!

I put her leash on her and grabbed a plastic bag to clean up what she usually does when we walk and out the door we went.

I tried to walk her a couple of time in the winter, but there is so much salt on the road that she would start limping because her feet were burning. Even if it was gorgeous outside, the roads were white from all of the salt and we still couldn't walk. Next year we will try boots for her.

We started down the street and I immediately remembered why I love walking in the morning. Except for an occasional car pulling out of a is perfectly silent.....except for one thing......the birds singing their glorious sunrise songs!

There is nothing like it in the world!!! new fabric covered ceramic tile coasters...I love this fabric so much, and Wrigley our sweet little "rescue" puppy when we first got her, and now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Do you have siblings? I have three sisters and one brother. My oldest brother passed away many years ago. My mom married very young, had three children and when they were little, their dad passed away. Years later, my mom and dad were married and had three kids. There is a 10 year gap between the two "sets" of kids, which made things a bit unusual....I didn't really get to know my brothers very well, because they both spent 20 years in the Navy when I was growing up.

My sibs all live out of state....Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee and South you see a pattern there? They all took off for warmer weather and left me here all by myself!

Did you get along with your brothers and sisters when you were young? How about as teens and young adults?

My sisters and I fought like crazy when we were younger and then got closer as we grew up. My younger sister Kay was able to come up from South Carolina for the wedding last weekend and we decided that I must have been adopted! I have always been the black sheep of the family...I've always marched to the beat of a different drummer.

Kay and I have absolutely nothing in common, but we love spending time together. The only things we have in common are our parents and our love for each other. We don't look alike, think alike or act alike. We don't like the same kind of clothes, we don't eat the same kinds of foods, we don't enjoy the same kinds of activities and even though we both like to travel, our idea of a great vacation is not even remotely similar!

How is that we all grow up in the same house being raised by the same parents and we all end up so different? I realize we are all individuals, but wouldn't you think there would be some similarities somewhere?

Do you see that with your siblings and with your children? My kids are all very different, and my siblings and I are all so very different. I guess it would make for a boring household if everyone was the same.

Being different is what makes life interesting. Do you and your siblings have similar personalities? How about your kids?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Land of A Thousand Dances

I can't even begin to tell you how tired I am today. I wanted to stay home from work so bad. Irv was hitting himself in the head this morning for not taking the day off. I didn't take it off because I am trying to hang on to my vacation days to take a real vacation this summer. He didn't take off because he didn't think he would need it! HA!

I feel like I was hit by a semi. Every once in a while I will move a certain way and something grabs and hurts. It takes me a moment to realize that it's hurting because I danced up a storm and used muscles that you don't use sitting on your rear end all day! Here is me sticking my tongue out at Matt because he wouldn't stop taking pictures of me on the dance floor...and yes, I am barefoot. I had already changed into my little silver flip flops, but you can't dance in flip flops, so those came off too!

The dull head ache is because I haven't recovered from the noise level. When I would go into the bathroom at the reception and close the door, the quiet was so sweet. I made many trips to the bathroom and to the little dressing room just to give my ears a much needed break.

The raspy voice is because I did nothing but talk from 5:00 a.m. on Friday until about 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. It felt like I never stopped...that isn't all that unusual for me, except during the rehearsal dinner, the bar and the had to talk loud in order to be heard. My throat is a mess. Oh, and I LOVE music, so I also did a lot of singing...when I was dancing and when I wasn't. I have a terrible voice, but no one could hear me anyway so it was awesome!

One of the funniest parts of the night Saturday was when Chris's frat brothers "forced" him to do his "Pinocchio Dance". (Peer pressure never ends). Tresa had heard about it but had never seen it. Not sure how it evolved, but I imagine Chris and his frat boys were over served at some point during their college tenure and Chris did this ridiculous dance....the guys were probably rolling on the floor laughing, and now it's performed at every gathering...including the wedding.

They sat Chris in a chair and then each frat guy did what seemed to be his own rendition of the "Pinocchio Dance" . They moved awkwardly around in a big circle with a very serious look on their face. When one guy was done, the next guy stepped in and did his little performance. The crowd roared! After the guys were all done, it was Chris's turn. He did a little stretching first (you can see his family behind him cheering him on...they have seen his "dance" many times) and then he started. It's really hard to describe the "moves" of the dance...just a lot of bending and leg just really reminded me of the courtship of some bird species! The last picture is Chris from the back, but what makes me laugh is the guys all cheering and photos being snapped. What an event!

Michael was standing next to me laughing so hard he had tears running down his face. He said it was so typical of the kind of thing you did in college.

I could see Tresa chuckling....even though she had swore there would be no "Pinocchio Dancing" at the wedding.

Then came the frat guy that did the Greek Oompah dance......but that's a story for a different day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Whirlwind Weekend

Well....Matt missed his flight! He was standing at the "Closed" Frontier Air Line ticket counter 25 minutes before his flight was going to take off. He could see his gate at the tiny airport and all of the happy people that were getting ready to board HIS plane, and no one would do anything to help him get his boarding pass and get on the plane...not people at the other ticket counters, not one.

So, he watched everyone board his plane and fly off to Denver where he should have been going. To make a VERY long story short...he had to pay $370 to get on another flight to Denver and then on to Chicago. He missed the rehearsal dinner, but made it to the bar we went to afterwards. It was a long day for him and a very costly mistake for someone that works two jobs to pay his bills. He was so upset with himself. He isn't sure where rent money will be coming from this month, but he made it to the wedding and that's all that mattered at the time.

The wedding was awesome. Everything about it was fabulous. The ceremony, the facility, the flowers, the food, family, the music, the fun and the friends. We had a fantastic time, as did everyone else.

Tresa looked lovely. The necklace I made her looked did come apart twice during the reception...thank goodness it made it through the ceremony...and so much for the jeweler I had tighten everything up for me!

The guys all looked wonderful. The food was so good and the flowers just took your breath away. The Drake Hotel was great. We had a wonderful view of the Louis Vuitton and Gucci stores across the street! Bern, Michael and I managed to take a peek in a few of the stores...including Tiffany's. What fun!

I've posted some snapshots that were taken over the course of the weekend. I will have the professional ones in a week or so. Get this, their photographer isn't a wedding photographer...he is a fashion photographer, but when people have their wedding at the facility which he owns, he will do their photography if they want at a great price and just gives them all of the photos on a CD to have printed as they choose! He had taken 200 pictures before the ceremony even started! I can't imagine how many he took over the course of the evening. He was such a great guy.

I am glad I am just writing and not having to talk because my voice is gone from all of the loud talking and loud singing!! I do feel like I was hit by a Semi though...and I don't drink. I think it was using all of those muscles dancing that I wouldn't otherwise use!

Enjoy the pictures and I'll post more as I get them! You will notice a lot of pictures of Matt. We always try to get as many as we can when he is home since he is only here once or twice a year.

The photos are: Irv and Matt (2 non-tie wearing guys) trying desperately to tie those ties before the ceremony, a table in the entryway of the venue. The florist did an unreal job. Those are leaves wrapped around the tall candle holders....the seating for the ceremony, the bagpiper that greeted the arriving guests outside...he also played during the processional, Tresa...with her eyes closed (ready to cry) and her dad, Chris and Tresa giving a thank you speech at the reception, the first dance as Mr. and Mrs., yours truly and Irv, Matt and Michael, Matt and Michael's wife Bernadette, Irv, me and my little sister Kay from South Carolina and Matt and Tresa.

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