Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Plaid Hat

My daughter-in-law is a beautiful girl...inside and out. She is also a very sharp dresser. She loves dresses and big chunky jewelry and she can wear just about anything well.

Occasionally she will come by without makeup, her hair piled on top of her head, a baggy shirt and well worn sweat pants dragging on the ground...but let me say...those occasions are rare...and the girl still looks good!

I had requested Christmas Wish Lists from my family and on Bernadette's list it said...Black and White Plaid Hat and Gloves from Eddie Bauer. I thought, "That should be easy. How many Black and White Plaid Hats and Gloves can Eddie have?"

Well, Irv and I arrived at Eddie's Thursday evening and started scanning the store for what we knew would be a cute little black and white knit hat and gloves, but there weren't any to be found. Around and around we walked and wherever they had hats and gloves displayed....we looked. No luck.

We stood in front of the main hat and glove display and saw one black and white plaid hat, but we immediately dismissed it and kept looking because it was not a cute Bernadette was some goofy, poofy bomber hat with furry edges.

We walked around a couple more times and decided they must be out of whatever it was that she wanted. Just to be sure we weren't missing something though, I texted Bern to get a better description.

Me: "Bern, what kind of hat and gloves were you talking about?"

Bern: "Black and white plaid down."

Me: "Cool, thanks."

I looked at the main display with the bomber hats and they said they were down, but nothing else said down that I could see. Irv asked a saleslady if they had any other black and white plaid down hats and she said no, not this season....just the bomber hats and matching mittens.

Irv and I looked at each other as if to say, "There is no way that Bern wanted THAT hat!"

I decided to text Bern one more time.

Me: "Bern, what does the hat look like?"

Bern: "The hat is kind of crazy. It's a bomber hat."

Me: "Okay, thanks."

I started laughing hysterically and Irv immediately joined in. The people in the store must have thought we were tired shoppers that were losing it right there in Eddie Bauer! This tiny little picture is the only picture of THE hat that I could find, but it will do.

Once we regained our composure, I checked the price on the Black and White Plaid Hat and Mittens. I had already bought something else for Bern and the hat and gloves would have put us way over our family agreed on spending limit for this year. So, after all that...we didn't get to buy the Black and White Plaid Hat and Mittens!

Bern, if you read this...I am SO hoping that someone else in the family buys you that hat, because I can't wait to see it on you!

If someone does buy her the me my blogging will see photos!

My guess is...she'll look like one of the models you see wearing them in all of the big ads now because like I said she can wear just about anything well....including a plaid bomber hat!

Love you Bern!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Hell Phone

Oops...did I say Hell Phone? I really meant to say Cell Phone...although cell phone from hell might be more accurate!

Irv and I have had our current cell phones for almost two years. Our service provider is AT&T, which use to be Cingular. When other people would complain about their crappy phones and dropped calls, we would just smile and say, "Wow....we don't have those problems. We have Cingular."

Well somewhere between our former good phones with Cingular and our current "hell" phones with AT&T something happened. We became members of the "I hate my cell phone and carrier"club. The sad thing is...we never signed up for the club and we really don't want to be part of it.

Irv and I aren't your average cell phone users. We don't need phones that do everything except make your morning coffee....although I'm sure there's an app for that!

Irv just makes and receives calls and I make and receive calls, text and take a picture now and then. Trying to buy a good quality phone without 500 bells and whistles seems to be impossible. Our contracts with AT&T expire in February and we have decided to jump ship. These phones have been awful and the service has gone steadily down hill. I think we are going to try Verizon. I just hope I never wake up in the middle of the night to find the Verizon guy and all of his friends in my bedroom. I don't really like crowds.

I also hope that we can find some decent regular old phones....if they even make regular old phones any more. I will say I love having a cell phone. I never leave home without it. It's kind of an extension of my right hand. I really don't need a super duper phone....I don't think....they are awfully cute, I don't need a phone like I? :)

So tell me, who is your cell phone carrier and what kind of phone do you have? Do you love it or hate it. If you don't have a cell are my idol. How have you managed that?

My first cell phone was a bag phone and let me tell you...I carried that thing with pride!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Successful Sale

Last year I didn't run any type of holiday sale in my etsy shops, FourDogDay and MyOtherShop. I just really didn't feel it would make much difference for me since at that time, I didn't see my things as being "gifty".

This year I had some things that I thought would make nice gifts and decided to have a sale. I had some free shipping, some discounts and a couple of clearance sections. I have to say that I am pleased with the way things went. I certainly sold a lot more than I normally do, and I tend to think that the free shipping and discounts helped.

I ran the sale over Thanksgiving weekend and then left it in place. I will most likely end it this weekend.

I have so many things I will be changing in my shops over the winter that I am really raring to go. I know I will be offering aprons, tote bags and my clocks....but beyond that....I'm not really sure. It will be a surprise.....for you.....and ME!!

If you have an etsy shop...did you have a sale? If so, how did it go?

Make it an awesome day for yourselves and we will chat soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Memories

I opened those big old Rubbermaid bins and it was like opening Pandora's Box...only instead of ills, toils and sickness pouring out....what came pouring out were memories....sweet, sweet memories.

I unwrapped and I smiled. I unwrapped and I laughed. From things I made when the kids were little, to things the kids made when they were little....each little ornament or decoration had such meaning. How could I not display them?

Since I started putting up what I call my "big girl tree" a couple of years ago, most of the old ornaments don't really work. What I decided to do this year is to put them in a big basket and display the basket. That way when the kids come....the memories will still be there...they just won't be hanging on the tree.

A lot of my blog friends have been sharing pictures and stories of some of their favorite ornaments and decorations and I've enjoyed them so much....I thought I would share too.

Here are some of them:

This beaded ornament was made by my mother-in-law. She's been gone for many, many years, but I remember watching her sit and make these ornaments. She would buy the plain ornaments, ribbon, beads and straight pins and create some of the prettiest little ornaments. I have two of them left. One is on the tree and this one is in the basket.

Oh my! Mr. Cookie Monster....someone gave this ornament to us and I remember wondering if I really had to put it on our tree. It was so big and so BLUE...but as you can tell by looking at the condition of Cookie Monster....he was well loved.

This little bear and the clown that follows were two of the ornaments I made for my very first craft show back when the kids were little. I thought they were so that time. :)

Boy, did I love the little sequined ornaments! I use to buy kits and make these little guys all by hand. No glue guns either. Just sewing on beads and sequins and stuffing the little guys . It took forever, but the kids really enjoyed them. If you look at Mrs. Santa's can see that she actually got burned by one of the lights on the tree!

This little clay Christmas tree was made at school by Tresa in 1979. She would have been five years old. I pack it very carefully in a baggie every year.

Here is a wooden stocking that Michael made at school in 1987. He would have been seven at the time. I'm not sure what the teacher sprayed them with, but it's very shiny and has held up pretty well.

Matt the angel. We always got a good laugh out of this one. Probably the only time you will ever see a halo over his head! The ornament was darling though and I'm sure he had lots of help at preschool on this one, because in 1986, he was only three!

Ah, the styrofoam boot. This funny little ornament has made me cry more times than I care to remember. Tresa made this boot in 1981 in her religious ed class. She was seven. The kids were allowed to pick an ornament from a box to decorate. The ornaments were all different shapes and had written on them, "I pray for......" Well, Tresa picked a boot. She says she doesn't know why, but that was what she chose. Then she decorated it with hearts and glitter and wrote Michael's name on it.

Michael was born in 1980 with Hirschsprungs Disease. We almost lost him when he was four days old. He had a couple of surgeries, but we worried about him a lot. Tresa loved her little brother so much. She was an awesome big sister and grew up very fast during Michael's early years. He was always on our minds....including the mind of a little seven year old girl.

One day I will tell you all about Michael's early years and what it's like when you have a baby with Hirschsprungs Disease. It will take more than one post, so we will save it for after the holidays.

Anyway, every year as we unpacked ornaments, the kids would keep an eye out for "the boot". They knew that when "the boot" came out that mom would start crying. That little styrofoam boot brought back so many memories every year that I could never hold back the tears.....just as I can't now. It was a difficult and stress filled time, but thanks to some awesome doctors and a wonderful nurse clinician....we made it through it all. Michael is 29 years old now.

Do you have ornaments or decorations that touch your heart? We would love to see them and hear your stories.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger

You had me thinking that a wealthy, professional athlete really can be a good guy too. You had such confidence, but yet you seemed so "real" and down to earth. I never watched golf on TV until you came along. I was in awe of your talent. I enjoyed watching you play and listening to your interviews.

I admired your talent, but I didn't follow your personal life. I don't follow the personal lives of any famous people, because I really don't care what they are doing or not doing, or who they are doing or not doing. They are just regular old people that happen to be talented, or rich, or famous or all of those things. Anything beyond their talent doesn't interest me.

Tiger the golfer is amazing....Tiger the man is just a cheat like thousands of other men and women that don't take their marriage seriously.

I have never understood infidelity. If you don't love your spouse or respect your spouse any more...why not do the right thing and get a divorce? Maybe I just live in my own little perfect world. I just don't understand how anyone could do that...and live that lie for as long as some of them do. How do they look at themselves in a mirror?

There is such debate over the private lives of the rich and famous....are they allowed to have private lives or are they required to live publicly because of who they are? I wish their private lives could be private, but our society loves the "dirt" so that will never happen.

I have no idea what will happen to Tiger and his family, but because they are human beings and I wish no ill toward anyone, I hope they are able to figure things out and move on with their lives whether that be together or apart.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Move Over Furniture....

Here comes the tree!

Putting a tree up in our tiny living room is always a major project. Depending on the size of the tree, it can be a little major...or major major.

This year was somewhere in between because we have a new furniture arrangement.

That meant having to map out our living room in order to figure out where everything will go so that 1) People can still see each other and talk to each other when sitting on the couch or in the chairs, 2) People can still see the TV from all seating positions, 3) People's arms and legs are not being stabbed by a long branch of an evergreen while they are sitting on the couch or in a chair, and 4) We don't have to remove much loved pieces of furniture or decor to make room for the tree.

See the challenge?

Well, we had our plan in our head ever since we redid the living room, and guess what? When we put the tree in the stand on Saturday and rearranged things the way we "thought" it would work, it looked like crap! We both looked at each other and went, "Uh what?"

So, we tried to visualize some different arrangements and then we were "on the move". Put the couch here, the tree here, the chairs here, the little fake fireplace here and the record player here. Hmmmmmm. Nope, let's try the tree here and the chairs here. Nope, how about the couch here, the little fake fireplace here and the tree here. Nope......tension building.....blood pressures rising. Okay, let's put the couch here and the chairs there.....tape measure out....nope, that won't work.

"I'm going out to have a cigarette," said Irv. "I'll go in my workshop for a while," said Kathy.

About 10 minutes later, we came back and I about the record player here and the tree here, the couch there, and the TV there and the chairs here?" "What about the little fireplace?" asked Irv. "How about we just squeeze it in right there." answered Kathy.

Hmmmmmmmm.....not bad. It definitely isn't something out of House Beautiful.....but it will work!

Irv put one string of lights on the tree and quit. He was whining and crying the whole time because he just didn't feel like doing it. I also realized that I never bought the ribbon I wanted to hang the ornaments with this year. "But you have a huge box of ribbon," Irv said oh so sweetly. "I know, but it isn't the right size or color," was my oh so sweet reply.

On Sunday we went grocery shopping, stopped for the ribbon, came home and worked on the tree. Irv didn't whine at all while putting on the lights....well maybe a little...but he did it. Then I tied all of the ornaments on with ribbon. I really needed a tiny little ribbon so when I tied it I could leave long ends hanging down. They didn't have enough, so I bought this kind instead. It isn't the look I was going for, and what a big pain in the butt that was! I've never been stabbed so many times in my life. It looks cute, but UGH!!! I will rethink that one next year.

Here is the finished project! Need to find a new tree skirt, but otherwise we are ready for Santa!

Have an awesome day everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Power of Gratitude

I was going to write about us putting up our Christmas tree on Saturday, but since Irv started whining after putting up one string of lights and I didn't buy the ribbon to hang the ornaments....we will have to save that post for tomorrow.

Instead, we will do this....

I love this! It's by Melody Beattie....

The Power of Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Isn't that awesome?

When we stop wishing we had more and we stop thinking that things would be better if they were different....when we stop thinking that all will be happy when we get this or do that.....when we stop wanting different than we have....that is when life becomes the beautiful.

That's not to say that we can't want things or that we can't have goals...but we can't make the focus of our life to be wanting things we may never get. We can work for them....but we have to enjoy what we have. When we do that, it puts our minds at ease and we realize how very fortunate we are.

We need to learn to accept the fact that today, this moment is all we really have. We must learn to cherish it for exactly what it is and realize that things we want may not really make our lives better. If we are always waiting for better....what if it never comes....where does that leave us...was our life a waste of time?

What if today is really the best that our life will ever, ever be? Can we not then love it for what it is and not for what we wish it would be?

We must be grateful, wrap our arms around ourselves and our lives and love it just as it very moment.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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