Thursday, November 24, 2011


Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. ~Native American Saying

There are a log of things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving but the biggest one is hope.  I wake up each morning to a day filled with possibilities and for that, I am grateful.  I know that my prayers will be answered even if I'm not completely thrilled with the timing these days.  The unknown blessings are out there, of that I am sure.

I pray that each of you is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people that you love.  In spirit, I am with my family even though it's been many years since we've shared Thanksgiving together.  Maybe next year.


Friday, November 11, 2011


I hate craft stores.'s not actually hate, it's more like I'm really intimidated by craft stores.  It's genetics.  The crafty gene in my family diminishes from generation to generation so by the time it got down to me, there was barely a speck left.

At least that's what I tell myself to make me feel better but it can't really be true because EVERY woman in my family, older than me, is really crafty...some, like my sister, to the point of being damned artistic.  My only consolation is that my niece (who is more like a younger sister - don't ask, too complicated) seems to be as un-crafty as I am.  That's how I know I wasn't a changeling.

That's why today's blog post is about a very unusual subject for me.  I found a craft project that I like!  I willingly, without force or threat of violence, drove myself to a craft store, walked in and actually bought raw materials to turn into a usable and attractive object!  I can barely believe it myself.

I took these raw materials

and made this sweater clip!
 Apparently sweater clips are somewhat trendy again because of the character of Emma Pillsbury on Glee.  Apparently you can find them all over Etsy.  Apparently I didn't know any of this before I  decided to go the DIY route and willingly walked into that craft store.  At least my sweater clips are going to be unique because I had to use whatever I could find at my local store and they didn't have any actual sweater clip bottoms (probably not the technical term) so I improvised with badge clips.

I like to wear cardigans, it's always sweater weather here in Fogville.  I don't like to button them up but they slip off my shoulders when I leave them open so enter a staple of the 50s (resurrected again in the 80s) - the sweater clip.  I have an old one but I wanted other styles and colors and somehow, before I knew what was happening, I got the bright idea to try to make my own.  The interesting thing is, I enjoyed making this first one and already have ideas for several more designs.

And just like that, I'm crafty like the rest of the women in my family!  Hmmm, now I'm starting to wonder about my niece.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


We had a really great Halloween this year.  It's not a holiday that we've celebrated much over the years.  Of course I LOVED Halloween  as a kid back in Chicago but once my family moved to a very rural area of Virginia, the Halloween fun stopped. 

When I got married, Halloween was more inconvenience than fun - trying to keep dogs in and kids out.  Jasper never really enjoyed Halloween.  It was too much commotion for a puppy with issues and he never understood why so many people were showing up at our front door and not one of them was delivering pizza!

When we moved to California we were out in the boonies on a gated property with a long, dark, uphill driveway.  No parent with a brain would have let their kid walk up that driveway especially since the house was buried back in the woods, not even visible from the gate so we just locked our gate each October 31 and ate all the candy ourselves forgot all about Halloween.

We moved to our present house in 2007 and I got all excited about being able to enjoy Halloween again.  We were finally living in town, in a neighborhood with short driveways and SIDEWALKS!  We even had the cutest little front yard with a white picket fence, the perfect setting for a spooky graveyard.  I bought a few decorations and spent October turning my house into the scariest on the block.  Then Halloween night came and we discovered we had a problem because we couldn't keep our porch light on. It's a motion sensor light and kept going off so parents and kids probably weren't sure we were home. I kept opening the front door to turn it back on but we only had 5 kids stop by. So for the next few years, we just gave up on Halloween and tried to be away from home on that night.

This year I was determined to enjoy Halloween once again.  If everything in my life is different this year -some of it because of questionable decisions, some of it out of my control - it became very important to me to have at least one of the differences be something good.

I gave T the task of figuring out how to keep the light on all the time. There were 2 little buttons on the light fixture itself and he figured out what combination to push. He also found the switch in the garage that worked the lights at the end of our driveway.  I'd been looking for that switch for 4 years. :-/

Once the light was fixed, I got busy decorating the yard with all the decorations from 2007.  I had  big plans to buy even more things, tombstones and bones, but all the good stuff was gone by the time the light was fixed so I guess that'll have to wait for next year.

I love the bloody hands!

Pooh didn't go with the graveyard theme but he was too cute to pass up.

At first it got dark and nobody stopped by, a little disappointing, but then the kids started coming. I was happy with 10...but they kept coming. I actually stopped counting around 25 but I estimate we ended up with over 40. I wasn't worried about running out of candy but they did go through most of it. We kept the light on till 8:30 but we had our last kids around 8:15. It was so much fun, can't wait for next year; we've got big plans for graveyard expansion.

As much as we enjoyed Halloween, we're not really celebrating the other two big holidays this year.  We don't plan to be home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  We don't want to be "home" in Florida either, too many memories of our perfect Christmas there last year.  We're going to be moving targets, on the road both days - off for adventure and a little denial.  I will go celebrate early with my mother but I don't plan on doing anything traditional on December 25.