Candy Corn & Jack-o-lanterns

Confession time: I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween.

As a child, I wasn’t into scary movies . I didn’t like haunted houses or seeing folks dripping with fake blood. I didn’t particularly like jack-o-lanterns or black cats. In general, it just wasn’t my favorite holiday.

I remember going out to trick-or-treat a couple of times. Once as Raggedy Ann and once as Casper the Friendly Ghost. I assume there were other costumes, but these are the two I remember. Back in those days an average costume consisted of a plastic apron and a plastic mask which had eye holes and breathing holes. Do you remember those? Breathing was a challenge as the nose holes never seemed big enough, and if you could breathe successfully without putting the mask on top of your head; the inside of it would become wet with condensation.

No wonder costumes have evolved.

Over the years, I participated now and then in various Halloween activities, but it still never was a big deal. We all dressed up in college, and that was fun but (other than eating far too much candy every October) mostly I’ve watched from the sidelines. That is, until I became a parent myself.

We took Little Guy trick-or-treating last year, but only took him to a few houses in our immediate neighborhood and then to his babysitter’s house. Then we came back home, turned on our porch light and let him hand out candy (or try to anyway). He had fun, so I do think we’ll do something along those lines again this year.

I suppose my opinion of Halloween has changed some since I last wore a drippy plastic mask, but not much. I still don’t like scary movies. I still don’t like haunted houses or seeing folks dripping with fake blood. I don’t particularly like jack-o-lanterns or black cats. In general, it’s just not my favorite holiday... however, watching Little Guy all dressed up - that makes me like it a lot more than I did before.


Why this Bluebird Sings

Recently I began to realize that all I’ve talked about on this blog lately is my family and some craft projects. I adore my family, which is why they are so often featured. As for those craft projects…I have several in the works, but many are Christmas presents for those who read my silly blog, therefore I can’t unveil much at the moment.

So, to fill the void – and to mix things up a bit… I’ve decided to start a weekly post where I share with you a little bit of what is making my life so darn wonderful at the moment. These are the little things in life that get me going…the books, the songs, the movies, the food, the everyday stuff that makes me happy. You know about the people I love. Now you can learn about the stuff I love as well.

In no particular order… here are the cherries on the top of this week’s wickedhappy sundae:

What I’m Listening to: Heartbeat City by The Cars. I dug this one out of the old CD collection after hearing this week that they are now recording a new album! Hurrah!! For years they’ve claimed a reunion would never happen, so this is a wonderful surprise to fans everywhere. I’ve been a huge fan myself since 9th grade when a friend first handed me a cassette tape of their iconic Greatest Hits album. Everyone has that one, right? I typically prefer British music, but these boys from Boston have always held a soft spot in my heart. Reunion projects tend to be awful or amazing. Crossing my fingers for amazing on this one. Oh by the way… my favorite Cars song ever? Just What I Needed.

What I’m Reading: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Science Fiction is not my usual reading choice, but this one is quite interesting. Written in 1985, this book has become a classic of sorts. It was recommended to me by a friend maybe fifteen years ago, and I’d forgotten all about it till I saw it featured on a “Staff Picks” rack at the local library. I’m not done yet, but so far…it’s pretty great.

Teaser from Wikipedia: Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind who have barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien race also known as the "Buggers"). In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a school to find and train future fleet commanders. The world's most talented children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games including ones undertaken in zero gravity in the Battle Room where Ender's tactical genius is revealed.

What I'm working on: Dan got me a box of estate jewelry on eBay (sight unseen).  Some of the pieces are really fun, some need work, some are not for me... but overall, I see several projects that I can work on using the items (primarily necklaces) in that box.  I'll show you my first project next week maybe.

What Inspires me: The Bible verse that is on my mind right now: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
Over the past week or so, I felt in conflict. Two friends were at odds with one another. I treasure each of these folks and was worried and stressed. This verse reminds me that I don’t need to fear. God has it all under control.

My Weekend Plans: Relax a bit, clean a bit, play with my fellas.... Savor the loveliness of a weekend with no real agenda on the books.  I hope you also have a beautiful weekend ahead.

Full Disclosure: My opinion is not for sale. I am not being paid to say anything to you about any of the items mentioned above. Any and all wickedhappy content is written solely for my own amusement, and not for monetary gain. Rest assured, my taste in stuff is mine alone and is not subject to outside influence. If/when that changes, you will be the first to know.

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Riding the Rails

Last year it was airplanes that most intrigued our Little Guy. This year his interest has solidly shifted to trains. We read books about trains, play with toy trains and watch movies about trains. We draw pictures of trains, build trains out of building blocks and even play-doh.

When Hubby recently suggested we take Little Guy on his first real train ride – I quickly agreed. So this weekend we drove to a town that boasted a scenic train ride. The weather was perfect: warm with a mild breeze.

We got to the station a half hour early, as directed. Little Guy was wearing his “All Aboard Outfit” and right away people were pointing at him and smiling. He took the extra attention in stride, waving and smiling back. We picked up our tickets and headed out to the platform. There we met the Conductor. He was very kind, and took quite a liking to our “Junior Engineer”.

The Conductor asked if we’d like to meet a real Engineer. We said of course. He lead us to the engine of the train and had Hubby climb into the engine, then he handed Little Guy up to him. They talked to the Engineer and looked at the buttons and out the window. I snapped a few pictures, and then it was time to go.

look closely, and you can see Little Guy peeking out the window of the engine.
By the time we got back, the train was boarding. We found our seats and settled in. After a few jerky moments, we were on our way. We were immediately taken with the scenery that slid past. Even though they have begun to fade, the colors of this Autumn afternoon were simply beautiful. The windows were open in our car so a nice breeze wafted through. Other families sat around us – all chattering amongst themselves. Occasionally our guide would wake from his nap at the front of our car to tell us something about the scenery or the history of the railroad.

About half way through our journey, Little Guy began to sing a little song. It went like this:

Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride the TRAIN…
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride the TRAIN…

The clickety-clack of the rails, the Whoo Whoo of the whistle, the chatter of our fellow passengers, the soft breeze and beautiful views – it all made for a truly perfect afternoon.

This is the life!


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Happily Ever After... And a Donkey

Today my Mom and Dad celebrate 38 years of wedded bliss. They offer Hubby & I a very wonderful example of how a marriage can work, and work well. These days, happy unions seem to be in the minority, so it is very refreshing to see a successful one. They’ve had their ups and downs (who hasn’t?), but they have always persevered. Maybe it is their faith. Maybe it is their unwavering love. Maybe it is just plain stubbornness. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, I can only hope I’ve inherited their ability to always work things out. (so far, so good!)

For their anniversary I usually try to give them something unexpected or home-made (or both). Typically, these gifts are a little bit corny or silly (okay, almost always). My family is a bit corny and silly though, so it works.

This year I’ve been dabbling in making softy toys. Recently I came across a pattern for a donkey. It was in an old 1970s craft book that I found at a garage sale. I wasn’t sure if it would turn out or not, but wanted to give it a try. I knew that if it was cute enough, I’d have to give it to my parents, as they are now the proud owners of Lucinda the donkey.

I have a stash of wool yardage, and one bit in particular is a lovely shade of grey that I thought would be perfect. For her mane, I used the blue yarn left over from when I made my Grandma’s Afghan. I cut out the pieces as directed, and then struggled a little bit with how to assemble them (not the greatest of instructions). Once I’d figured that out, she came together easily. I made a little blanket out of some leftover fleece and felt. Her bridle was made from a little scrap of trim that had been buried in a box of sewing notions we found at an auction. So, as with most of my little projects, she cost very little to make. In fact, the only true cost was what we spent at the printers, expanding the pattern to the correct size.

She’s about a foot tall, and though not perfect - I am very proud of the final result. I think I’ll be using this pattern again for sure. I gave her to my parents on Saturday while we were visiting them, and they were tickled with the gift. So the project was, in my opinion, a braying success.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!  I love you guys.  :)



So, my parents bought a donkey.

Initially the justification seemed to have something to do with Little Guy and how much he might enjoy seeing one in real life, and maybe eventually even go for a ride. They were right. Our son does indeed love the donkey.

Her name is Lucinda (named after a lovely little book that my Dad had as a child, and which I have now in my collection of children’s books). Real Life Lucinda is a pale grey and noisy and altogether entertaining.

My folks live on a little acreage and have space for a creature such as this one. Dad did have to modify one of his out buildings a bit, but overall it worked perfectly.

We went to their place for a visit this weekend. We petted her and led her around the yard a little bit. We had lots of fun.

Here are some photos of the lovely Lucinda:

Lucinda with Dad
and with Mom


The Spice of Life

The other day I decided it was time to organize our spice cabinet. This decision may, or may not have been due to bottles tumbling out willy-nilly the last time I opened the cupboard, but I digress.
It’s not really a spice cabinet. It’s just a big portion of the top shelf of our old Hoosier Cabinet that we have designated for spice storage. Hubby and I both love to cook and bake, and we both have an affinity for spices. So, we have a lot. My personal favorite spice shopping destination is The Spice House in Milwaukee WI. Walking into that store is like going back in time, and the fragrance that hits you at the door is amazing! Unfortunately we don’t get over to Milwaukee all that often. We have found that another (similar though not quite as awesome) place to buy good spices is Penzey’s. There is a Penzey’s within driving distance of our home, so it’s where we now buy the bulk of our spices.

Sometimes we go to a spice store just for fun, and even if we have no intention (or need) to buy anything new. Places like The Spice House and Penzey’s offer you something that your local grocery market won’t – smells. Every spice they offer is displayed next to an apothecary jar of the same spice. Sniffing our way through the spice store is a lot of fun for us. We evaluate each new spice, appreciate the old standards and plan imaginary menus around new dishes we are suddenly inspired to try. It’s good fun, and if we are careful – it’s also fairly cheap entertainment.

Where do you shop for spices?


Those Stupid Overalls

Last Saturday I went to a consignment sale that was sponsored by a local parents group. Everything a parent or child could need or want (from birth through grade school at least) was there. Clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, bedding, d├ęcor etc. Everything was organized by category and/or size. Each item was labeled by its consignor with a description and price. It was a big venue and very clean – all in all it promised to be a great sale.

For the most part, prices were good, but surprisingly I wasn’t finding a lot. As I rummaged through the racks and tables, I did pick out a couple shirts that Little Guy can wear now and a new sheet for his crib. Most of the things I liked were the wrong size or the wrong season. I was a bit disappointed, and was almost ready to leave when I spotted one rack that I hadn’t checked out yet.

Almost immediately I spotted them - a pair of striped railroad style Osh Kosh bib overalls. I glanced at the tag and was very happy to see that they were Little Guy’s size AND only $2.00. Bargain! Also, with Little Guy’s fairly intense love of trains and railroads, I had a feeling he’d like them a lot.

I had already removed the hanger from the rack when the item description caught my eye. In neatly hand printed ink, it said “Those Stupid Overalls”.

“That’s curious” I thought to myself. I looked them over carefully but could see nothing wrong (or stupid) about them at all. I shrugged, made my way to the cashier and paid.

On Monday morning, we brought out the freshly laundered overalls for Little Guy to wear to daycare. To say he liked them on sight, would be quite an understatement.

“All Aboard Pants!” he yelled in glee. “All Aboard Pants”. He clapped. He did a funny little jig. He grinned from ear to ear. He was in two-year-old ecstasy.

We laughed as we helped him put them on. How adorable! How cute! Nothing stupid about these overalls at all.

He was happy as a clam….until bedtime. When he realized that we were making him take off his (now beloved) All Aboard Pants and replace them with pajamas, his little heart almost broke. He was crushed. The only way we were able to console him, was to promise that he could wear them again the next day.

I’ll admit, we intended this to be an empty promise (bad parents I know). We (wrongly) assumed that if they weren’t laying about where he would see them the next morning, he wouldn’t even remember.

Not so.

After breakfast on Tuesday morning, we walked hand in hand back to his room to get him ready for the day. Before he had even crossed the threshold into his room, he looked up at me with those beautiful eyes glowing, “All Aboard Pants, Mom?” he asked excitedly.

“Oh.” I replied, “Yes, of course Sweetie.” And (after retrieving them from their hiding spot) we put them on - again. And once again he was happy all day long – until bedtime.

I bet that you have now guessed how this week has gone. It’s Friday, and he’s now worn the same “All Aboard Pants” to daycare every day. Granted, they’ve now seen the laundry room on two of those five days (and will again later tonight), and each day we’ve put a different shirt under that striped denim, but still…. FIVE days we’ve shipped him off to the babysitter in those same overalls.

Grrrr Those Stupid Overalls…

Oh, wait. Now I get it. Now I understand the Mother who filled out that consignment tag. I bet she had a little train-loving toddler too. I think I know how frustrated that pair of pants made her, but I also think I know that they probably brought her little boy so much joy she couldn’t bear to get rid of them until he’d outgrown them completely. I know, because that’s how I feel. Nothing makes a parent feel as good as seeing such sheer and unadulterated joy in their child. I wouldn’t give that up for all the different outfits in the world – though he has lots of other cute clothes he could be wearing.

And surely this phase will pass and he’ll soon be wearing a different outfit every day again… right?
Our Little Guy, all decked out in his "All Aboard Hat" and "All Aboard Pants"

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Doing It All For My Baby

My Little Guy loves music. He loves to sing. He loves to dance. He loves banging on his piano or xylophone, or playing his plastic sax. He plays a pretty good air guitar for a two-year old, and he uses his little fingers to “drum” on pictures of drums. He’s really into it.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling a little low or tired – all I need is to hear his giggly voice singing along with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…and I perk right up.

One morning this week, I was rushing around, trying to get everything lined up for a busy day ahead. I was going over lists in my mind, applying mascara and slipping into loafers when Little Guy ran over to his Dad’s clock radio, hit the “on” button and when the music started (Huey Lewis); he said “DANCE MOM!” and began to dance himself.

So what did I do?

Well, I danced of course. I couldn’t say no after all… not to my Little Sweetie-Pie. And every time he spun in a circle, or jumped up and down, or attempted to shake his tiny rump – a little of the day’s weight fell from my shoulders. By the second verse, we were both shaking it pretty hard, and laughing even harder. It was a perfect start to an otherwise typical day. That quick little dance was calming and healing and energizing. It was exactly what I needed & I think Little Guy had a great time too.

Laugher may be the best medicine, but dancing with a toddler to Huey Lewis comes in a solid second – for this Mom anyway.


Everyone Goes Home

This past weekend Hubby, Little Guy and I went to our local Fire Department. They were hosting a Pancake Breakfast & Open House. There were several fire trucks on display, and children were allowed limited access. Little Guy got to sit in the driver’s seat (of each and every one – he wouldn’t let us skip any). They gave him a “Jr Fire Marshal” hat, a sticker and a little drinking cup. We toured the station, ate pancakes and sausage and then sat in some more trucks. The firemen and women were all terribly kind and it was an honor to spend a little time amongst them.

The bravery of those folks often goes overlooked. I think we sometimes take for granted that there are people out there who are willing to risk life and limb to keep us safe. Firefighters, Emergency Workers, Police Officers, and Soldiers to name a few. We are so blessed to have so many who are willing to serve in such selfless fields. We are forever grateful for their sacrifice and our lives are better because they are here.

The event was fun and upbeat. There were no somber faces or sad tales told. The feeling in the air was festive and light. It was almost easy to forget the risks they take… almost. But there were reminders. The heavy boots and coats to keep skin from burning. The oxygen masks ready to help folks breathe. The hoses used to keep the flames at bay. And this simple message painted on the inside of each fire truck exit:

Everyone Goes Home

Wow. That sure says a lot, doesn’t it? It tells me that they know the risk is great, but that they are willing. It tells me that they will do all they can to bring back their brethren and also the citizens they help.

It tells me they are heroes.

I hope that our Little Guy will find men and women like these to be his role models. Super heroes and Sports figures are fine, but when it comes to finding a real hero, I hope he looks for more than a cape or a box score. I hope instead, that he looks to the local police station or fire department, the armory or the ambulance garage. That’s where the real heroes are.

I’d like to send out a big hearty “Thank You” to each and every real hero out there. God bless you all.


David's Big Sister

I was almost nine when my parents told me their “exciting” news. I can close my eyes and remember the conversation as if it happened yesterday. They sat me down, and standing there in front of me, they were both clearly happy. The air nearly vibrated with anticipation. My mind was reeling with what the news could be. A trip to Disney World maybe? A new pony? When the words came: “We’re having another baby!” my immediate response was one of tortured disbelief.

“But, WHY?” I choked. “Don’t you love ME anymore?” It was difficult for me to wrap my (until then “only-child”) mind around the idea that I would now have to share – everything. No longer would I be the center of attention. No longer would I bask alone, in the glow of my parents’ love.

I knew it was selfish, but I didn’t want to share. I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t want to be anyone’s big sister.

Time passed. The house began to fill with tiny little clothes, snuggly baby blankets, and infant furniture. There were Teddy Bears and mobiles to admire. I would watch my Mother gently rubbing her swollen belly – talking and singing to the little person living inside. I started to imagine that a sibling might become an ally, a confidant, a friend. Slowly, I began to come around to the idea of sharing my family with this tiny intruder.

And then on October 12, 1983, while watching TV at the Babysitter’s house, the phone rang. I held the bulky receiver to my ear with a trembling hand, and heard Dad proudly say, “It’s a Boy!”

And for some reason those three words changed my outlook once an for all. I wasn’t just a Big Sister. I was the Big Sister to a Little Brother. I was “David’s Big Sister”. It would be my job to protect him, to help my folks take care of him, to give him hugs and spoil him.

Even before I saw him with my own eyes, my heart filled with love for the newest addition to our family. Over all these years, that love hasn’t wavered.

Don’t get me wrong. There have been days when my baby brother irritated me beyond belief.

When they first brought him home, it became clear that my dog Lucky did not like the new baby. Fearing for David's safety, my parents had to make a tough choice.  When Dad told me that they’d found a new home for my canine companion, I was crushed….but I got over it.

As a toddler David once smacked me in the mouth with his waffle ball bat. I’d gotten braces on my teeth just that morning and the pain of a busted lip was almost unbearable…but I got over it.

When he was a little older still, and we would go on vacations, we would fight over who had more space in the backseat. He drove me crazy, poking his feet (in Ninja Turtle sandals) into my space….but I got over it.

As a teenager, he was a parent’s dream child. He didn’t stay out late. He didn’t lie about where he’d been, or make up excuses. He didn’t yell at our folks or throw things. He was a good kid – the opposite of his older sister at the same age. Was I annoyed that he was showing me up? Yes, I was… but I got over that too.

He probably has some stories he could tell too, but alas he has no blog so I guess you’ll just have to hear my side of our sibling saga. **insert evil big-sister laughter here**

The truth is that all those years ago, I worried for nothing. Yes, our family grew and I was no longer the lone center of attention. But I didn’t lose anything at all. My parents still loved me unconditionally. They were there for me when I needed them. They loved me no matter what. And they did the same for David. In a way (because of the big age gap), we were both “only children”, living in parallel sibling universes:

• When he was learning to ride his tricycle and playing with toy trucks, I was in Jr. High school – immersed in social and school activities which kept me away from home.
• When I was moving out to my first apartment, he was in grade school writing English papers and learning about the American Civil War.
• When I moved out of state for some adventure, he was entering High School.
• When he went to college, I was getting married.
• When my Little Guy was born, my brother was enjoying his first real job.

So, because our life paths have been on very different tracks since the beginning, we’ve never had to compete as some siblings do. We’ve just always been there for each other. We’ve been able to keep in touch and stay close over the years.

My Little Brother is an awesome guy. He is smart and funny and loyal and kind. He has integrity and firmly stands by his beliefs. He is a man of God. I’m terribly proud of him, and consider our friendship one of my most treasured relationships.

I couldn’t be luckier than to be “David’s Big Sister.”

Happy Birthday Kiddo! I love you.


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Image from ReallyGreatToys.com

Yesterday we officially changed pediatricians for Little Guy. This will probably sound silly, but I feel really bad about saying Goodbye to Dr. R.

We like this doctor. We like him a lot.

When I was a nervous wreck of a new mother, and called his cell phone at 10pm, he answered and calmed me down. When Little Guy had a terrible rash on a weekend, Dr R opened his office on a Sunday in a blizzard to check our sweetie out. He made an opening for us each and every time I called for a last minute appointment. He took extra time to talk with us at every visit. We always knew he genuinely cared.

But then he moved his practice.

His new office is in the downtown part of our city. We live in a suburb, and the drive to his new location is not quick or easy. He now practices in the county hospital. The folks there have always been very nice to us, and we certainly have continued to receive excellent care from Dr R, but the drive was driving me crazy.

Instead of zipping to an appointment over a lunch hour, I’ve been having to use vacation half-days for check-ups. With Little Guy in and out of the doctor’s office this summer, those days have been piling up. We’d suspected we would eventually seek out a new doctor, and with winter coming (and the winters have been ugly here lately), this seemed like the right time. I hate to drive long distances in snow and ice.

We found a new doctor for Little Guy who comes highly recommended, has an office just over a mile from our home, and has extended hours (open till 8pm most nights). I’m excited to start going to her, but sad about leaving Dr. R.

I wrote him a letter, telling him how much we appreciate all he’s done and that we are only switching because of the distance. Writing it made me misty eyed. That’s kind of pathetic right? I couldn’t help it.

It felt like a break-up, or like losing an old & dear friend – and that’s certainly something I hate to do.

Best of luck to Dr R. We’ll always be grateful that he was Little Guy’s first pediatrician.


A Keeper of Things

The above Clutter cartoon found via Bing! Images
Many, many years ago (when I was a silly teenager) I often teased my Dad about his massive collection of STUFF. In hindsight – who did I think I was - making fun of anyone? To put my teenage years in perspective…think George Michael posters, peg-rolled frosted jeans, enormous bangs & braces on my teeth. But I digress. I teased him because he saved everything - and I do mean everything! If you walked into his barn or his little workshop, you would be greeted with towering stacks of boxes and crates and chunks of wood. His tool bench always seemed orderly, but it was surrounded by a steadily evolving halo of chaos. For some reason this irked me.

“Why do you save all this junk” teenage Me would ask.
“It’s not junk, Young Lady.” He would patiently reply. “I have plans for all of it.”
“But how will you ever find anything when you need it?” I would whine.
His patient, but firm reply would be, “I know where everything is. I have plans for ALL of it.”

Fast-forward twenty years, and that conversation could just as easily be reversed if my Dad took a peek into my craft room. You see, I too have become one of those folks who keeps everything (especially of the craft and sewing supply variety).
He might, for example, hold up a box of mis-matched bits of colorful cloth and ask, “Why don’t you throw this junky old fabric away?”
“That fabric is vintage feed sack material. It’s not junk, and I will use it in a quilt.”
“What about these canvases, or these bags of felt, or this jar of buttons, or this dresser full of fabric?” He might go on and on, and I’d probably be defensive by this point.
“I have plans for ALL of it!” I’d cry.

And I do. I have more projects in my head (and corresponding supplies in my craft room) than I will probably ever have time for. And yet…I keep looking for more.

This past weekend we went to a big flea market. I have been on the lookout for green corduroy (I want to make a stuffed dinosaur for Little Guy for Christmas), and found a good quality twin size bedspread in green corduroy (circa 1970s) for just $1.00! Woo Hoo! And imagine my excitement when I found an orange one right next to it, also for $1.00. Yowza! Did I plan to buy orange corduroy? No. Do I have a plan for this new orange fabric? Well, I didn’t until I saw it hanging there on that lonely hanger. My mind began to race, and now I have several ideas for what I’ll use it for…someday. So, into the stacks it goes.

My keeping things is really the product of another trait that I also share with my Dad: We like to save money. Call us cheap or frugal – we are always interested in finding a bargain. It’s this need to pinch pennies, that sends us scurrying to garage sales and flea markets before ever looking for things we “need” in retail stores. It’s the feeling that we can’t pass up a great deal, even if we have piles of other great deals at home, just waiting to be addressed.

Regarding that halo of chaos that I once poked fun at my Dad for: I have tried to keep my own disaster area (craft room) in check. I get it now. I understand that there can be order in disorder (well, to some extent anyway – Hoarders scares me).  But I also know that a little chaos is okay.  You just have to know your limit.  (I know mine, by the way.  I just haven't reached it yet!!)

Now, when I poke my head into my Dad’s cluttered workshop the conversation will go something like this:

“Oooh, what’s this one for?” I ask as I pick up a strangely shaped item.
“It’s going to be a birdhouse, I think.”
“What about this old medicine chest?” I ask, pointing.
“I’m going to restore it.” He answers.
“Nice! How about these tiles?” I stroke the dust off the stack and he eyes me suspiciously. “You don’t really plan to use these for anything do you?” I ask, sending him the little girl puppy-dog eyes, “Because I think I could…”
“Don’t even think about it, Young Lady! I have plans for everything you see! Don’t you have some stuff of your own to go through?”

And I’ll laugh and nod… because I certainly do.


Hootie PaTootie

My latest creation is this little pink hoot owl. She’s soft and sweet and kind of girly.

I made my own pattern (so this first one is a prototype). I’ll make some tweaks when I use this pattern again. I used my machine for the seams, but did the facial and belly accents by hand. She’s made mostly of fleece with felt accents and stuffed with fiber-fill. She’s about 11” tall (not counting her little feet).

Why did I make a pink owl, you ask? Well, someday I hope to open an Etsy shop, and this is the first thing I’ve made to store away until I have enough stock to make Etsy worthwhile. I don’t know what (if anything) I’ll specialize in. I like to dabble in everything, so I anticipate offering a variety of items when the time comes.

Hoot  Hoot!


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