The Superman Quilt

I was recently going through some old snapshots and found some of this early quilting project. This twin size quilt was my second attempt at quilting, and my first that was of a "standard" size. (Quilt number one was a lap quilt, which sadly I never took pictures of).

I made this particular one for my little brother back in 2001 (hard to believe it's been that long) but I really enjoyed this project. At the time, our local Wal Mart was selling a series of Superman fabric patterns, and it just so happened that both my brother and I have an affinity for that particular superhero, so the idea was born.

I wanted something simple, so I stuck with a very standard block pattern. My Dad crafted a template for me using plexi-glass, and I bought an inexpensive rotary cutter to cut out the blocks. I then proceeded to drive my then roommate crazy by laying the squares all over our living room floor, trying to find just the right pattern for the overall design. She humored me though, and eventually the sewing began. I quilted it using my trusty Singer (it's just a standard sewing machine, but did the job well). For backing, I used a plaid flannel because I wanted something manly to offset the juvenile fabric patterns.

I gave the finished product to David for Christmas that year, and I do think he liked it a lot. In fact, as far as I know he still uses it (though maybe just when he's watching movies on the sofa these days).

When I came across these photos, I also found some others of projects past that I'll share someday. For now, I hope that each of you have a truly SUPER weekend!

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Old Friends

A long (LONG) time ago… this photo was taken of my friend Sherri and I. We were in high school, and of course thought the world revolved around us. We were on a church youth trip when this particular picture was taken, but in those days you might have also found us cruising around town in her Ford Ranger, or my trusty Escort….going swimming at the lake or chasing boys.

Many years have passed, but we are still friends. This week we were able to get together briefly, which was a lovely surprise. She lives many hours away now, and we hadn’t gotten together in a couple of years.

We’re older now. We are both married. We both have little ones. She has another sweetie on the way. We aren’t chasing boys or swimming at the lake these days, but still we can find things to talk about. Isn’t it just lovely when that happens?

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was also able to meet up with a different high school friend Lori. Here’s a photo of us from long ago. I’m the one with the enormous bangs (geesh, what was I thinking?). Lori is standing in front of her New Kids on the Block poster. How cool were we?

Lori and I had lost touch after high school graduation, but have reconnected recently thanks to Facebook. We discovered we lived quite close to one another these days, and agreed we should meet. I’m so glad we did. Though our lives have certainly changed since high school, our personalities still gelled nicely; and we’ve made tentative plans to meet up (along with our hubbies) for a couples night of board games or some other fun thing.

Sometimes attempting to reconnect with someone from long ago can be a real challenge. Too much time has passed. Too many things have changed. Conversations don’t flow. Awkward pauses stretch for far too long.

I’m happy to report that this was not at all the case when I spent time with these old friends.

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."

~Elisabeth Foley


Weekend Recap

I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post. The last few days have been crazy here in the Wicked Happy House….

Saturday morning, we three went to some Garage Sales. It was a very successful morning. Among our many treasures of the day, we came home with a stack of vintage children’s books for my collection. My favorite being a mint copy of “Good Little Bad Little Girl” for a quarter. I collect Little Golden books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, and was super excited by this find.

We also found several gently used pieces of clothing for our little man (mostly in the size he’ll be wearing next year). I even found a couple of dresses for myself. I don’t wear dresses often except for church, but always like having new ones to choose from. There were several other goodies too, but these are the highlights.

Sunday morning started off with Willie getting sick at the breakfast table. Poor little guy has really had some bad luck with stomach viruses this year. He was sick off and on all Sunday and Monday. I stayed home with him yesterday, and Dan took today off to be with him. He’s doing much better, thankfully and will be back to daycare tomorrow.

Hopefully I'll have something new to post by then as well. Hoping you all had a lovely weekend.


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Sleeping Dandelions

Had she not passed away in 1989, today would have been my Grandma H’s 99th birthday. She was a sweetheart of a lady, and even though all these years have slipped by – I still think of her often, and fondly.

The photo on the left is of Grandma and I in the summer of 1975.
She was on my mind anyway, but I couldn't help but think of her tonight as I was pulling some weeds (mostly dandelions) from our lawn.

Once when I was very little (maybe four) we went for a walk. She and I wandered through her yard picking dandelions. We put our "flowers" in a little plastic cup of water, and sat them on the kitchen counter. We then went on to do other things (probably to sing songs or play "Cootie" or maybe examine her pencil collection). Later, when we came back to the dandelions, they had closed up tight.
I was very upset. After all, they looked ruined and dead as far as I could tell. Grandma smiled reassuringly and told me the dandelions were only "sleeping" and would be lovely again the next morning. She was right (as Grandmas tend to be) and our little bouquet was thriving once again when we woke to greet a new day.
Sometimes when things happen that I didn't want, or didn't expect... when things look ruined beyond repair -I remember those dandelions. I remind myself that appearances can be deceiving. What might look like a total loss today, may be full of promise tomorrow. Sometimes we just have to be patient to see what the morning will bring.
I didn't pick all the dandelions from our yard tonight. I left a patch just big enough for a little boy I know to pick a lovely little bouquet of his own. We'll put them in a little plastic cup full of water and sit them on the kitchen counter. I'll show him how the flowers sleep, and how they wake up refreshed and beautiful.

The fabulous TopChelseaGirl has nominated me for an award – how sweet is she? You should check out her blog, if you haven’t yet. You won’t be sorry. This is my second little bloggy award (I’m as shocked as you are) and the rules for this one are similar to the last one. To accept this award, I must tell you seven (more) things you may not know about me, so here they are:

I won’t eat any kind of melon
I’m wildly allergic to Erythromycin
I’m a bit horrified that stone washed jeans and neon high-tops are back in fashion
My parents are two of my best friends
I wear my sunglasses more often as a hair accessory than as eye protection
I’ve never particularly liked Elvis or the Beatles (I’m sorry, but it’s true)
I have a birthmark shaped like South America

I’m nominating everyone on my blogroll…and all the blogs I follow. If you have a minute…go check one (or all) of them out.



Three years have passed since our wedding day.

Three years filled to overflowing with love and friendship and faith and hope and laughter and dreams and surprise and joy and of course, the arrival of our adorable little William….
Three years ago today, I thought life couldn't possibly get any better. I was so very wrong...
Our wedding day wasn't the end of anything.
It was just the beginning... of EVERYTHING.

Happy Anniversary Dan. You are my world! I love you more each day. Three beautiful, amazing years are behind us. The future holds promise of many, many more happy years to come.



Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in our yard, playing in the dirt and enjoying our little chunk of the world…
Lately I’ve been savoring every moment spent with my precious little boy. He is in turns a tiny tornado and a cuddly teddy bear. He amazes me daily…


Lately I’ve been spending quality time with my awesome hubby, and reminding him how much he means to me (which is A LOT) ….

Lately I’ve been totally overcome with a sense of happiness, of peace, of grateful wonder.

Life is so good.


Fern? Or Enemy?

They have invaded my flower beds.

They are driving me crazy.

They are ferns…

Ferns (maybe the "bracken" variety?) which showed up last year unannounced and uninvited. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the time to deal with them at the time (Will had no regular schedule till he was well over a year old and last year’s yard-work was often limited to a quick grass cutting). So left unattended, they multiplied…and then like bunnies – multiplied some more.

“But ferns are so lovely.” you might say.

Sadly, you would be wrong. (note that this is only my opinion - many folks do love the fern)

If you love ferns or wish you had some in your yard; I wish you’d been at our place earlier this evening. I would have merrily given you as many as you would have been willing to take.

I know that I should appreciate all of God’s creation….and I do. But some of it, I appreciate LESS when it is poking up between my Hostas.

I’d honestly forgotten about the ferns, until I was weeding over the weekend and came across some dried fronds from last year. Once the dried out bits were cleared, the little bulb-y thing that sits atop the soil was revealed. I yanked on that one, and quickly found that the root system was fairly massive. Yuck. When I had pulled up quite a bit of that first one’s roots…I soon discovered it was connected to the next one etc. It’s like they have their own evil-fern subway system.

I gave up for that day. I needed to regroup and figure out a better plan of attack.

Tonight I returned with a shovel and a wheel barrow. I dug out as many as I could. With each bulb-y thing (no idea what the technical term is) lumps of soil and long tendrils of root came with it. I pulled and yanked on those till I couldn’t find any more. My wheel barrow was over half full when I finished.

I might have missed a few, but I can be patient. I can be vigilant. I will overcome!

I’ll go back tomorrow night to see if I can find any survivors. Mark my words - they won’t survive for long if I have anything to say about it.


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Making Our Mark

We've lived in our sweet little house for almost three years. In that time, we've made numerous changes/improvements to the interior; but for the most part, we've left the yard as it was when we moved in. We were lucky that it had all been professionally landscaped by the previous owner.

We did put up a flag pole (with an American flag), and added this mailbox two years ago.... and that was it.

Until recently. Now we've pulled out some shrubs that weren't thriving, and started planting some new perennials. Last night I planted two Peonies (in a corner flower bed as far from the house as we can get - I love the flowers, but hate the ants).

I've also planted twenty gladiola bulbs just inside the fence line in our back yard. I've got some Holly Hocks that I'm planning to plant intermittently with the glads, but the package says not to do those till early summer. I think it will look lovely when they all bloom around the perimeter of our back yard.

Tonight I'm going to hang the birdhouse that my Dad made for me. It's similar (though not identical) to the photo below:

These are all such small things, but when you put them all together.... it means (for us) that the outside of our home will soon be just as cozy and inviting and US, as the inside is. It's really exciting to finally feel we've made our mark.


Every Day is a "Special Occasion"

In the early 70’s my Mom’s sister was in a traffic accident that claimed the life of her husband. This happened before I was born (in fact before my folks had even met), but my Mom has told me one particular story about this time that I’ll always remember.

As my Aunt was enduring her own painful recovery from injuries sustained in the same accident that took her husband’s life; she talked of some of her regrets. One of them that always stood out to my Mother was that the newly weds had never once used their wedding china. It had been carefully packed away. They had planned to wait for just the right special occasion to unveil those lovely dishes. I’m sure they were excited, as those in love tend to be, about the special occasion that would someday be worthy.

But tragedy struck before that special occasion came.

My Aunt lamented after the death of her husband that every day with him had been an occasion worthy of fancy dishes and celebration. She wished that she’d realized no honored guest existed who could have been more deserving than her spouse.

This really made an impact on my Mom. When my parents got married, she vowed that they would use their wedding china daily… and they did.
By the time their first anniversary rolled around, a few of the pieces had broken, but they had memories of meatloaf and biscuits and gravy and silly conversations over every day meals.

By the time I was entering grade school, most of the dinner plates and cups were gone. But we all could recall the glistening turkey served on that big platter...and I still had my Malt o Meal in a china bowl each morning for breakfast.

By the time I was a teenager, the original collection was down to one cup, a creamer and a sugar bowl with no lid. Those three lone pieces were finally retired, but lovingly displayed for all to see.
When it came time for Dan and I to pick out our own wedding china a few years ago, I asked my Mom if she regretted it… Did she ever wish she’s saved those dishes for formal meals with company?

She just laughed, and said “Absolutely Not”. Her family had enjoyed them, literally to pieces. That china was long gone, but the memories of meals served on, and stories told over them would never fade. She had witnessed her sister’s grief, and learned a valuable lesson. Every day with those you love is a special occasion. Every moment that we are blessed to have our family and friends surround us is a day worthy of the grandest of celebrations.

My own wedding anniversary is swiftly approaching (I’ll tell you more about that next week); and thinking about it brought this story to mind. Our china does spend more time in our display cabinet than on our table, but sometimes we do get it out and use it “just because”.

I think this is going to be one of those days. I’m going to pull out some of our wedding dishes and use them tonight….just because it’s Tuesday….just because I love my husband more than ever…just because my family deserves to know how very special they are – any (and every) day of the week.

Note: The china photos above are from Bing! Images…but they are the right patterns for this story… at least mostly. I don’t know what pattern my Aunt & Uncle had. However, my folks had the Johnson Brothers Friendly Village pattern. Dan suggested we choose the Johnson Brothers English Castles set since I’d enjoyed my parents’ china so much (and because he knows how much I love pink). Ours is similar to theirs without being too “matchy”.

Now, I just have to figure out what we’re going to have for dinner tonight, and I’m set!


Spring's Simple Pleasures

Here's Our Little William,
stopping to smell the flowers...

Isn't Spring just glorious? Watching Willie discover all the wonder it offers... makes this time of year even better than I remember it being before.


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Surprise Day at Home

Today started like any other.... Willie woke up way too early (4 am) but that's not totally unusual. Dan got off to work without a hitch. Willie ate a big bowl of hot cereal for breakfast - well most of the cereal. He was sloppy enough that an emergency bath was in order. Then we were all dressed and ready to go (he to daycare, and me to work).

We were standing in the kitchen... Will was jabbering about something in his sweet little baby voice, when suddenly a strange look flitted across his face.

And then he vomited. A lot. All over.

He seemed to be impressed with himself, standing and pointing at the huge lumpy puddle... when he hurled again. **ugh**

At this point he still didn't seem to be any the worse for wear. He was bending over to stick his chubby little fingers in it, when I swooped him up and stripped him down to his diaper. I handed him his little ball of yucky clothes (yuck all folded to the inside) and asked him to put them in the laundry basket. He said "yes"and trotted off while I hurriedly cleaned up.

He soon returned, happy as a lark and empty handed. "Good" I thought. Clothes are in the hamper. By then I had noticed that our issue was bigger than vomit anyway, and we were off to his room for a much needed diaper change.

Once he was diapered and dressed; I gave him his blankie and parked him on the sofa while I called Dan, the babysitter, and my boss. Once everyone knew I was going to be home for the day, Will and I settled in.

But then I remembered that I'd never verified the laundry was put in the basket. Uh oh. I know that I should always double check.... I looked in his basket. I looked in our basket. I looked in the tub, the toybox, his bookcase, his crib... no dirty clothes. I asked him where they are? He shrugged.

Tiny little stubborn man! Grrr

Eventually I found them, oddly folded... and placed carefully in the proper shelves in his closet. Yucky, right? But also terribly funny - or at least it struck me that way, but maybe I was getting tired. **sigh**

He's sound asleep now, lovely little lamb. His fever has broken and he's been able to hold down both fluid and food for a few hours now; so I have high hopes that this was a short little bug and that all will be back to normal by tomorrow.

Hope you all had a wonderful day.


Let the Garage Sales BEGIN!

Spring has sprung & the first wave of Garage Sale season is upon us! I’m so excited! I just love hunting for treasures at garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales… whatever you want to call them. This weekend I'm kicking off the season with a big annual church sale that will be 100% children's clothes, toys, books etc. It will be fun!

When Dan and I first started dating (years ago), he was skeptical of my Saturday morning adventures. I don’t think it was till much later after we were married that he came to fully appreciated my thrifting efforts. I would point to some cute outfit at the mall, and say “Oh, I got one of those for $1.” After looking at a few of the price tags in the stores, he was convinced it was a good thing. Now, on occasion, he and Willie even go with me and we make an outing of it.

Here’s Will (you can see him if you look closely, I promise) sitting amid the bargains from just one morning’s effort last summer. Almost everything was name brand. It was all just like new, and I spent less than $20 for the lot.

So are you excited now too?

If this is going to be your first year trolling the streets for bargains, you might enjoy some advice from an old pro such as myself. If you are also an old pro when it comes to tag sales and the like, maybe you will be able to add some good tips of your own.

My Personal Rules for Garage-Sale Shopping:

  • Know where to go. (ads from the paper may help guide you, or maybe you know of a specific neighborhood you like)
  • Set a budget & stick to it.
  • Know what things are worth TO YOU. It doesn’t matter what the seller might have paid for it last year. What do YOU consider a fair price?
  • Inspect items carefully - there is no return policy
  • Only buy what you have room for. (Don’t be like those scary folks on Hoarders. If you don’t have room to store it, and can’t use it now… don’t buy it. It’s that simple.)
  • Be very careful of baby equiptment that looks rickety or dated. There could be a recall.

My Personal Rules for having my own Garage-Sale

  • Pick a good location
  • Price everything clearly (I just hate it when nothing is priced, and they say to "make an offer". I'm not much for bartering, so I usually just leave empty handed.)
  • Price everything reasonably (So you paid $40 for that Nike running suit? Sorry, but nobody shopping at your sale cares. If you want more than a couple bucks for it now, sell it at a consignment shop.)
  • Put an ad in the paper or post on Craigs List or similar on-line posting site. Be specific
  • Put up signs (for those who don’t read the paper and don't go on-line)
  • If you are selling anything that requires batteries or electricity... make some available so your customers can test items like radios or mechanical toys

Most importantly, whether you are selling or buying... remember to have fun, be polite and don't give up if you have one bad outing. Next week might just offer you the mother lode!


Crochet Class

The local public schools offer adult education classes on every topic imaginable. If you want to learn how to make cold process soap – there’s a class for that. Looking to learn self defense? How to research genealogy? Hone your Karate skills? They have classes for that.

Wendy (friend and co-worker) and I had discussed learning to crochet on several occasions. She mentioned recently that she’d bit the bullet and had signed up for a crochet class that would meet every Monday for eight weeks. It sounded like fun to me, (and honestly teaching myself was getting me nowhere!) so I signed up.

We meet in an English Lit class room at a local high school. We sit in those plastic chairs that have desks attached. In addition to Wendy and I, there are maybe five other ladies of various ages that attend. Our teacher (a fun gal who pulls no punches) rolls around on a wheeled office chair – coming to each of our desks in turn to review and critique our work so far.

Tonight was our third class.

In our first class we learned how to “Single Crochet”.


In our second class we learned how to “Double Crochet”.


Tonight we learned to “Triple Crochet”


Next week we will tackle “Broomstick Crochet”


… and I think we'll learn maybe one more stitch after that. The rest of the classes will be spent working on individual projects in the classroom (which we choose based on our comfort level and specific interests). Our teacher will roll from desk to desk to help each of us as we tackle these solo projects.

I have no idea what my first real project will be yet. So many options. Maybe a little blanket for Willie? That lap afghan I want to make for my Grandma? A scarf? Your thoughts? What would be the perfect first full size introductory project (using the new “skills” referenced above)?

Note: I’m using the term “skills” very loosely! And obviously, these are not pictures of my actual work. I will show you photos when I have some that are worthy of sharing. For now, you get images from Bing! Search.

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking...

No, it's not Mother's Day. It's not her birthday either.... but it is a day when I wanted to remind my Mom just how much she means to me, and how very blessed I am to have her in my life.

My Mom is pretty awesome. She's always set a good example... even though I haven't always followed it. She always loves me... even when I probably don''t really deserve it. She's always kind... even in the face of unkindness. She is a woman of Faith, and Charity and Love. She is the one I go to when I need advice, support or a big hug.

She's the kind of Mom who (when we were kids) would sneak little notes in our bookbags or under our pillows... notes that said "You are Loved" or "You are Special". She still takes the time to make sure we know we are important to her... even though both my brother and I are all grown up, and she's no longer making our beds or our lunches.

That's just the kind of Mom I'm lucky enough to have. She's always there for me no matter what it is I need. This week she is the one with a need. She is facing some challenges and uncertainties and needs a little encouragement herself. If I were at her house today, I'd give her a big hug, tell her how much I love her and make her some tea. Maybe I'd tuck a little note under her tea cup that said "You are Loved".

I'm not there to give her the hug or the tea right now. What I can do is send her my love via snail mail and phone calls and even this blog. And I am praying too. Praying for guidance. Praying for strenth. Praying that my Mom will always know just how loved and appreciated she is. Just Praying....

Maybe, if you are also someone who prays, and are so inclined... you wouldn't mind saying one for her today too? Her name is Jenny. God knows all the other details.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Mom & Dad on my wedding day in 2007

Mom & Willie last summer on vacation.


When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
- Author Unknown

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked...
and wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.

I love you Mom!!!


The Envelope Please....

It’s no April Fools joke… I’ve actually received my first blogging award (how sweet is that?). I must say a humble thank you to the lovely and talented Crafty Helen for the honor. I'm very flattered that she thought of me.

By accepting this award, I am required to tell you 7 things about myself. After some pondering, I’ve come up with the below list…

1. I’m terrified of geese. A couple of those psychotic birds have chosen the entry way to the office where I work as their nest. If you walk too close, the male will hiss & charge with wings flapping! Horrible beasts!

2. I am a complete homebody. I love spending time with my fellas at home or visiting with my folks. I love to curl up on the sofa and craft or read. If I didn’t have an office job to go to, I might not leave the house for days…

3. I love, love, LOVE talk radio – my guiltiest pleasure is anything political! I’m a politics and news junkie (though this blog will remain a politics-free zone, I promise!)

4. I’m currently enrolled in a crochet beginner’s class! It’s put on by the local public school system. Two classes down so far (six to go). Loving it so far. Hoping to be “skilled” enough to finish an afghan by Christmas for my sweet Grandma B… assuming I can put aside all my other little projects long enough to do it, that is.

5. The Ultimate Comfort Food, for me, is a tall creamy milk shake and a giant order of hot greasy French fries.... mmmmmm

6. My first car was a 1979 Chevy Monza – I named her “Mona”. All of my cars have had names… after Mona, there was Myrtle (best car ever!) and then Lucy (horrible girl), followed by Isabella (lovely lady) and now I drive the strong and faithful Ethel.

7. When it was time for our sweet Willie to be born - he was in quite a hurry! The time that passed between my first contraction and my holding him in my arms was a whopping four hours and 15 minutes!

So enough about me.... Now it is my duty to pass this little award on to 7 very deserving bloggers...

I’ve chosen the following ladies (and their blogs) because they each write beautiful and uplifting posts about their lives, their families and their passions. They have wonderful stories, projects and photos to share with you, so if you have a few minutes… give them a visit.

These are truly "Beautiful Bloggers"...

The Ramblings of an Everyday Mummy
Coffee Tea, Books and Me
Contemplative Joy
Gumbo Lilly
Plain Ol Vanilla
Heart Shaped
A Vision Splendid

For the record… it was so very HARD to pick only seven! Check out my blogroll or the list of blogs I follow for even more wonderful blogtastic reading!


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