Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stamping the Day Away

Yesterday was our monthly stamping workshop with our friend, Joy. I look forward to those days as if they were holidays. Well, they are sort of holidays. At least, I made yesterday one. We went to Joy's early in the morning, 8:30, and made five new cards. What fun!

When I arrived back home, Jim had a nice bowl of soup waiting for my lunch. Isn't he just the bomdigaty? After throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine I decided I didn't want to do anything else that resembled work. So, I took myself off to my workroom, put some cool CD's in the player and got out my stamping stuff.

I did, literally, stamp the whole afternoon away. I stopped for a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon. At 4:30 I walked in the kitchen for a minute and Jim was putting a salad together for our dinner. He said to keep going, he would cook. Let me stop here to say this isn't unusual. We really do share the cooking and cleaning up. Anyway, I thanked him and went back to my room to stamp some more.

What a great feeling it was to accomplish so much. I made some birthday and get well cards to have on hand as well as a handful of cards that I can use for whatever occasion comes up. I just didn't put any greetings on the insides.

I got some great ideas at the workshop for Halloween and Thanksgiving cards and my next project will be making holiday cards. Because --- before we know it, it will be time for Christmas cards. In fact, we will make Christmas cards at our next workshop. I almost always come away with a good idea for my Christmas card.

See the cute pumpkin on the middle left? Although I'll have to send him in a padded envelope, I think my great nieces and nephews will like him. I think the wreath is my favorite. I'm thinking that will be a good Thanksgiving card.

It's cold and rainy here today and I'd really like to spend the rest of the day here making a mini album. I'm going to make a little album of pictures I took of my niece this summer. I'm going to call it Kacy Daze. She and her mom are coming for the weekend and I want to have it done before she gets here. I'm going to leave room in it for the pictures I will take of her at her cross country meet.

I've been really struggling with blogging lately. Like Dana, I'm noticing that I have fewer and fewer comments. Not that I write for that reason. I write because I need to and I'm lazy about journalling. Blogging makes me write. Patti, over at Monogram Queen says there are less people blogging these days. That makes me sad. I just love my buddies in blogland. I wonder if FaceBook is taking the place of blogging? I know FB is quicker and easier, but it just isn't the same as getting to know people through reading their blogs.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get myself back in the blogging habit. It's not as if I don't have things to say. If you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you I'm never at a loss for words. I think maybe I've just gotten lazy, so I'll give myself a little nudge and hope to do better in the days to come. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves.

~Hippo Hugs~

"Never forget that it is the spirit
with which you endow your work
that makes it useful or futile."
~Adelaide Hasse

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Market, To Market

to buy a......

Fat Pig!

No, I didn't buy this, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. I know it seems a little unusual here, but in European markets we saw rows and rows of pigs heads laid out on tables.

The weather here has been just gorgeous this fall season. Saturday, another spectacular day, found us off to the Public Market to browse the fall produce.

It was really crowded, but people are generally in a jolly mood so you don't mind the crowds. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but did buy some apples, zucchini (mine are all gone from our garden), green onions and some prunes.
Besides the pigs heads and wonderful pork and beef which we didn't buy either, they have a really nice fish market.

If it's 10:30, it must be time for coffee. They have wonderful coffee shops and bakeries. We were really disciplined and only had coffee.

The coffee refreshed us and we continued to shop. Oh yes, aside from the above listed things, I bought some wonderful basil. I made pesto this morning and I'm dying to use some this week. I also couldn't resist the hats ---- and sunflowers.

We continued to enjoy the beautiful day by taking a walk on the canal path. Oddly enough, we saw no other walkers, but lots and lots of bicyclists. Jim is talking bicycle, but I'm not so sure.

And now I have to share another weekend happening. Friday evening was Homecoming at our High School. Now, mind you, we didn't go to the game and I' so sorry because the King and Queen were two of my very favorite teenagers. Mackenzie and Michael are best friends, members of our church, and all around great Christian teens. What an honor for these two to be recognized by their peers as upstanding role models. We are very, very proud of them.

The Royal Highnesses
And so, I'll close with this:
Home again, Home again
Jiggity jig.
~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Terrific Tuesday Thoughts

It's a beautiful September day here in Upstate NY. I started my day with Loser Breakfast. What better way to start your day than spending time with your dearest friends. Jim was waiting for me when I arrived home and we went on our walk. Now that school has started we can't walk on the high school track so we walk in the cemetery. It was a perfect day for walking, except that my iPod battery ran down on the first lap. Somehow that slows me down a little.

We've mowed today and I finally got some household chores crossed off my list. Now I can blog without guilt .

Cheryl had some fun Random Tuesday thoughts today which gave me an idea for this post. Hers were all the best things happening in her life right now. Mine are just going to be really random thoughts running through my mind right now.

The most amazing thing I can think of is my ornamental peach tree. While we were working outside a while ago, Jim said I should take a look at the peach tree. I couldn't believe my eyes. The branches were loaded down with peaches. I was afraid some of the boughs would break under the weight. I picked over a hundred peaches, not edible, of course.

Without any segue, I think the most disappointing recent happening would be the behavior of both Serena Williams and my favorite, Roger Federer at the US Open. The media has made much, as they should, about the horribly unacceptable behavior of Serena on Saturday evening. Her outburst has been shown over and over. In spite of what she said on her website, I don't think her actions on morning talk shows and in press conferences show any remorse. That said, Roger Federer who I always thought was a gentleman behaved badly on Sunday evening when he swore at the referee during the men's final. Granted, he didn't threaten the ref' with violence, but his language and demeanor didn't show any class.

Hey, how about the best thing I've purchased? Oh yeah, baby. Yesterday we finally bit the bullet and went out to buy a new flat screen TV. Jim has been talking about this for quite some time and I'm okay with it too. We had a little disagreement about the size and finally agreed on 47 inches. That, however, is not the best purchase. While Jim was finalizing the delivery arrangements, I was browsing around and found the Complete Second Season of Designing Women. OMIGOSH! I was so excited. I looked for the first season, but it wasn't there. Nevertheless, now I know it's available and will purchase it when I see it. In the meantime, the second season is sitting here waiting the arrival of the new TV. As excited as I am, it won't be quite as much fun to watch it without my girls. That was our favorite show. When Paige went off to college, Gretchen and I taped all the segments and we had a Designing Women's night when she came home for Christmas vacation.

The best thing I've listened to would be Paige's You Tube posting of Patsy Cline. I forget sometimes how much I love that woman's voice. Thanks, Paige.

Jim's waiting for me to go the garage and drop off my car for it's yearly inspection so I'll close with the best thing I've eaten. Jim and I provided dinner at his brother and SIL's on Friday night. On the way to Pennsylvania, we stopped at a Weg*man's store and bought their new Ultimate White Cake to share with the family. There aren't words. It was scrumptious. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Talk to you soon.

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Birthday Celebration

I don't know about anybody else, but it's always hard for me to find any reason to celebrate Labor Day. I'll admit to it being a little better since it no longer means my family going back to school. When Jim was teaching and the girls were in school, I just dreaded Labor Day. Even though the girls were always ready to get back to school, their friends and their routines and Jim's return to teaching meant regular paychecks, I still hated to see it come.

I was one of those Moms who loved my kids being home. I always looked forward to school vacations. It meant sleeping later, leisurely breakfasts and hanging out with the girls and Jim. Of course, after I went to work, that changed a little but thanks to a very flexible schedule (I was after all, the maker of the schedule) I usually managed to have time at home with them. And summer, well summer was just a wonderful time. All during elementary school, we found plenty of ways to fritter away our summer days. Jim usually painted houses and the girls and I, well we had lots of fun.

High school years found the girls working away at Circle C Ranch - that was hard at first. I really missed them. It was easier after I went back to work, but still I missed them. Somehow Jim and I managed to get through those summers and have lots of fun together. Most of their college years found them working around here so we, once again, had lots of leisure time together. We usually managed to have a family vacation during that time. I think one of the best summers was when they both worked around home and we celebrated Christmas in July with totally useless gifts from the Dollar Store. That summer, the girls decided to write a musical, believe it or not, to the music of ABBA. I think theirs was much funnier than Mama Mia.

Okay, so where is all the summer nostalgia leading? Back to my not particularly loving Labor Day. I think in the depths of my soul I see it as a harbinger of WINTER. But this year, I was happy about Labor Day because Shelly was throwing a surprise party for Bruce's 60TH birthday. And did she ever surprise him. It was such fun.

Doesn't he look surprised. Shelly had invited friends, his children and granddaughter, and his sister and hubby for dinner at 5. No problem, so she thought. Except they were in their summer home in the mountains and he was in no hurry to start for home. She finally got him on the road at 12:30 (a 3-1/2 hour ride from home). Luckily, she was driving her own car. She ended up calling his sister to pick up food ordered from Wegman's.

Pat and Jim to the rescue.

Jeremy and Kara and Charlotte stopped by and decorated the house and we all arrived just about the same time and really surprised him. It was loads of fun and the gifts were fun too.

Some were funny - Here is Super Senior Citizen.

Some were fun - and useful. This will go on a wall in the mountain cabin.

Silly grownups forgot about taking pictures of sweet Charlotte until the end of the evening when she was ready for sleep. She is such a darling baby, so good natured and easy going. She was passed from person to person all evening and kept a cheerful spirit through it all.

Yesterday was her first day of school so to speak as Mommy was going back to teaching for the first time since Charlotte's birth. I got a great picture of her back to school shoes.

Aren't they adorable?

Even though we managed to have a good time celebrating Grandpa Bruce's birthday, Kara was struggling with the thought of leaving her baby to go back to work. Full circle. Every Labor Day, there are Moms and Dads feeling sad about the end of summer and special time with their children. As I am praying for Kara and Jeremy, I remind them, "Before you know it, Christmas vacation will be here."

~Hippo Hugs~

If you want an accounting of your worth,

Count your friends.

~Mary Worth

Friday, September 4, 2009

Health Care

The quote going around on Facebook yesterday was, "No one should die because they don't have healthcare and no one should go broke because they get sick", and to each one of these quotes, I commented that I agreed but wasn't sure the plan before us was the right one.

Well, talk about being misconstrued! Apparently, my friends took that to mean that I wasn't concerned about those who are dying or suffering in other ways because they lack health care. As I lay awake last night pondering this situation, and licking my wounds, I decided to just let it go. But, I've been thinking about this for days, long before this quote began to circulate on FB.

As Christians, I think we need to be concerned about those around us who are hungry and hurting. I think we need to do whatever is at hand to alleviate the suffering we see on a daily basis. I met a woman this summer, a nurse, who had serious back surgery. The result was that she wasn't able to go back to nursing, she lost her job, she lost her health insurance and has been denied Social Security disability twice already. She has gone through most of her savings, had to sell her rental property (which was her retirement back up). She has very little. I stood and listened to her in awe. Was I concerned? Was my heart heavy for her? Absolutely.

I believe we need a plan. A workable, well-thought out plan. I don't, however, necessarily believe the one on the table is right. Does that make me a bad person? Does that mean that I don't care? I'm just saying, let's go back to the drawing board. I ask our legislators to cross the aisles. Let the smartest and best and most qualified of those we've elected forget their party affiliations and sit down and draft a plan that works.

And while I'm on this soap box let me say to those conservative Republicans who have been interrupting the Town Hall Meetings all across America, "Get over yourselves." So many of us (Republicans) claim to be Evangelical Christians. So, let me ask you this question. Are you praying for the right plan? Do you pray for our president? Do you pray for the Congress? Are you trying to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem? I'm so very tired of the partisanism in this country.

In our little community here in New York, there is a huge to do going on between a citizen's group and the School Board. As I stand by and listen to both sides of this issue, I keep wanting to say, "Are you praying about this?" I truly don't know who is right and who is wrong. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle, as is usually the case. What I do know is, that these people are angry and hurt and it's sad. Again, if we could just sit down and talk, disregarding the need to be right, we could accomplish so much.

So, in closing, I want to say to my Friends. I love you all or I wouldn't call you friends. Isn't it great that we can disagree and still love and respect one another.

~Hippo Hugs~

Help publicly. Help privately. Help in your actions
by recycling and conserving and protecting, but also in your
ATTITUDE. Help make sense where sense has gone missing.
Help bring REASON and RESPECT to discourse and debate.
Help science to SOLVE and faith to SOOTH. Help law bring justice,
until justice is commonplace. Help and you will abolish apathy--
the void that is so quickly filled by ignorance and evil.
~Tom Hanks

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And The Winner Is....

Here is the actual journal that I am giving away in celebration of my 250th posting. It was waiting in our post office when Jim and I returned home on Monday. It is even prettier than this picture shows. Once again, may I recommend you check out Dagmar's blog and Etsy shop.
Oh yes, I did title this post And The Winner Is, so I imagine you would like to know who that winner is. Well, it is my friend Dana. I put all the names in a basket last night and had Jim draw the winner. I really had to laugh when he pulled Dana's name as, not too long ago, I won a giveaway from Dana. In fact, she sent me the cute hippo bookmark that appears on my blog.
Anyway, thanks to all of you who commented and sent anniversary wishes. We had a wonderful time in the mountains. I have stories and pictures that I will, hopefully, post tomorrow. Until then...
~Hippo Hugs~
Peace is when time doesn't matter
as it passes by.
~Maria Schell