Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back It Up---To August and Oklahoma

I need to back up -----way back!   So much has happened in such a short period of time, that I have been having a hard time keeping up here on the blog!   Just about the time school was starting, Tyler came to visit.  He wasn't able to stay that long, but we sure enjoyed the time we had together!!!  Ron was able to take off from work to head to up to Oklahoma on Wednesday
and I followed them up there after work on Thursday night.
By the time I got there, it was late, but we headed back down to the river to do a little fishing.  
Ron and Tyler had watched the river rise some when the flood gates were opened in the late afternoon, but when we returned, it was crazy high!!!  Higher than we'd ever seen it!   Ron did a little fishing, but the water was moving too fast to do much good.

We moved back to our "beach"---a small inlet on the river where we often set up our picnics.  There, Tyler and I amused ourselves by skipping rocks while Ron fished.  Actually, Tyler did most of the skipping---with no wrist movement, my rocks mostly just plopped into the water.


Ron caught a few little ones.
We watched as the fog rolled in over the river and then it became dark.
Really dark!  We hiked back up the hill by the light of the fireflies (always one of my favorite things about our trips).



Look Up

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 2 - LOOK UP
As I LOOKED UP while writing this, I could see the kitchen ceiling of Jana's kitchen.  However, if I moved a few feet back, looking up gave me a completely different view---going up the stairway with light streaming in through a window on the second level.   Even that view changed depending on where I stood.  
If I moved a few steps in the opposite direction and looked up, I could see a cloud-filled sky through her glass patio doors.  
Sometimes, the slightest movement or change in our thought pattern opens up a whole new perspective through which we can view things.    

Today, try LOOKING UP.  What do you see?  Clouds, trees, architectural features?  Is it time to move over a little to take a look at things in a different way.  

If you are interested in joining us in the project and would like me to send you the daily email prompts, just comment below with your contact information and I'll add you to our growing list.

#SeptemberSNAPS2014

LABOR

Well, I'm back home again and wanted to back-track a little bit to catch you up on a new project called September SNAPS!  For the month of August, I participated in Susannah Conway's Instagram project at the suggestion of Valine.  It was so much fun---no pressure and lots of inspiration.   Since I didn't really want it to end, I decided to come up with a new set of prompts for September and invite any of you to join me in snapping pictures each day.  Once again, there is no pressure!!  If you can do it and post it. . . great!  If you need to skip a day . . . no big deal!   Interpret the prompts any way you wish and have fun!  
The first prompt for our September SNAPS project was LABOR.  (wonder how I thought of that??)   I think that many of you are off work today, as I am---at least the paying variety---but we will most likely have many things that we will labor at regardless.  What  does LABOR mean to you today?  Or perhaps it is the absence of labor that motivates you?
This weekend, I have been busy with one of my favorite kinds of LABOR---sewing!  And let's face it, it doesn't get much better than sewing for a grandbaby!! 

Don't forget to label your photo #SeptemberSNAPS2014, and then check to see what others might have posted.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hands-Free

As those of us that have been around tiny babies know, it is hard to get much of anything done around the house when you have a tiny infant.  Of course, they are cute and snuggly and entertaining even when they are sleeping.  But, of course, they like to be close their mamas.  Really close.   With that in mind, Callie decided it might be nice to try using a baby sling of some sort.  Eventually, he will fit into the Ergobaby pack they received as a gift, but not until he can hold his head up a little bit better.

Callie checked out a couple of different styles online and decided that the best option seemed to be either a "ring sling"
or the "pouch style", which provides an area for him to perch and is not adjustable.  We decided to try the pouch style since he is so young and it seemed to provide a little extra support.
I read lots of different DIY instructions for each type and found a great tutorial for it  on Pinterest.
Here are the directions I used.  Before shopping for fabric, I looked through my rather large stash and found one that was perfect.  I bought this fabric several years ago with Callie in mind---I planned to make a skirt, but never got around to it.  (these photos were all taken with an iPhone in pretty horrendous lighting situations)  And yes, there are loose threads on the fabric---as you've probably guessed, there are loose threads all over my house!
After studying the directions Tuesday night before bed, I ended up dreaming about sewing the sling all night long.  Ugh!   But, in my dreams, I had it all figured out, and by morning I was pretty sure that it couldn't be too difficult.   I made a self-lined sling, and it really went together quickly.  I cut the fabric, sewed the one long seam,
then turned and pressed it and top-stitched the edges.
I don't have pictures of the next step, but I sewed the curved edges together and finished them with a flat fell seam, providing a little extra strength to the seam and covering all the raw edges.    And that was it!!  So easy!
Once it was completed, we couldn't wait to give it a try.  Great fit and he seems to be quite secure in there.
Getting him in there without any assistance proved to be a challenge, however.  In fact, it was downright funny!
BUT, today she managed it all by herself on the first try!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

One More Shower

Cindy's daughter is getting married.  Callie and I have always had a special relationship with Cindy and Elizabeth since we were the mother-daughter duos on those early Mexico trips with our church.   Mission trips have a way of doing that---creating bonds that are deeper than normal, everyday friendships.   For this shower, we once again divided up the jobs so that it was such an easy party to put together.  My main task was to design, print and mail the invitations.
 Look at the beautiful quilt that her fiance's mother made!!
Elizabeth is such a sweetheart--we were all thrilled to be able to honor her.

Adventures With Dan

Dan came to visit this weekend. Ron and I picked him up Saturday morning and took him to eat lunch and then headed north.  Before we left Alexandria, Dan told us about a local pawn shop that he'd heard had the original "General Lee" car from the Dukes of Hazard TV show.  Just as he finished telling us about it, we turned a corner and there it was in all of it's 1970's glory!
Dan was pretty excited (as was Ron, actually) when we stopped to get a closer look.
We did a little shopping for some new clothes and shoes once we got into town.  The pups were quite ecstatic about Dan's visit.
Later Dan got to meet his new great-nephew over pizza and pasta at our house.
Baby D looks pretty content in his uncle's arms.
Ron had previously signed up for a virtual 5K because he knew Dan would like the theme---"Howl At The Moon".    Rather than just handing over the cool medal, he decided that he would appreciate it more if he earned it, so once it got dark and everyone else went home, Ron got Dan suited up in a race bib.
Then they went for a walk.  Instead of a 5K, they did 1 mile, but Dan was so proud.   When they got back, Ron awarded him the medal and he loved it!!
Weekends with Dan are hardly ever absent of some sort of drama.  Fortunately, this time it was minimal with a quick recovery and we went on to enjoy the time together.  I hosted a bridal shower this afternoon, so armed with bottled drinks (he's now switched to Dr. Pepper) and leftover pizza, Ron drove him home for me.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guilty Pleasure

#augustbreak2014

Here are a few pics from my latest roundup of August Break prompts:

Handwriting - 8-11-14
Hoping to focus on the words penned here during this school year.  Need to really re-read it in the morning---it was a trying day in the office!
On the Table - 8-12-14
We ate at Panera last night and guess what our number was---our lucky number 13!
Guilty Pleasure - 8-13-14 
The "guilty pleasure" got me thinking about other things that I love, that perhaps I once (or even still) felt a little bit guilty about enjoying.
**Reading my morning blog roll - I can get so wrapped up in reading blogs that I used to feel bad about spending so much time on the computer rather than doing housework, or whatever.  And truthfully, I often still do.  But, lately, I've decided to put the guilt aside and just enjoy the inspiration.

**This sort of goes with the first one, but I love to sit out on the deck in the mornings or evenings.  For some reason, I have always felt the need to be "doing, doing doing".  If I wasn't busy, I was thinking about being busy and or feeling guilty that I wasn't busy.  After spending the first summer in about 15 years NOT working, I gave myself permission to enjoy that time of just being outdoors and relaxing.  
**It is definitely not everyone's "cup of tea", but I have to admit that I really do enjoy watching an occasional reality show.  There, I said it!  And I've decided not to feel guilty about it anymore.  Sometimes, if just feels good to watch a show that requires absolutely no thinking on my part---mindless entertainment.

**Saying "no" has been a very difficulty lesson to for me to learn and I am finally beginning to do it without feeling guilty--usually.  I discovered when Ron and I were dating that I could not possibly keep up the same pace of volunteer activities and nurture a new relationship at the same time, so I began cutting back.  And it has been great--for both of us, but for me especially.    I think it has helped keep my volunteer work more pure, as I've selected things that speak to me the most and I don't resent participating because I've been a bit more selective.

**I was a grown woman, in my later 40's actually, before I received my first pedicure.  I loved it and decided that it would be my special treat to myself from time to time.  Now, I have a regularly scheduled time that I go, with two other friends, and I look forward to that time each month.  We call ourselves the "Beauty Buddies" and we've also become friends with the technicians we see, which has also been fun.  (don't worry---this photo was taken several weeks ago after my baby toe collided with a cinder block.  It's doing pretty well now)
**Due to financial reasons, mostly, I've always had a plain-jane, no-frills vehicle--cloth seats, only power windows and doors and nothing else extra.  Now, for the first time ever, I have a "luxury" car---well it is to me anyway. (not sure that everyone would agree that a Ford Escape is a luxury car)  And I am TOTALLY loving the moon roof!!!