Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Post

"I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!"

These are the beginning words from the famous song by Lee Greenwood - a song that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

I'm very patriotic and have a small flag hanging from my passenger visor in the car. I also have two small flags at the beinning of my driveway, which stay up all year long. My big flag got ripped over the winter and I haven't been able to replace it yet, but will in the near future. I love our flag and what it stands for and honor the men and women who fight or have fought to keep our freedom.

Seems like peoples from every country are struggling with horrible issues, us included, but I know the United States of America will always be a great country because of the people who are willing to serve and sacrifice for our ideals.

God bless them all. I thank them when I see somebody in uniform. Get some weird looks back sometimes, but I want them to know.

A Fairy Garden and A Frugal Tip

I wish I was clever enough to think of some words that begin with the letter F to begin this post...but my creativity lies in other areas. :)

I've been wanting to make a fairy garden with Alissa for a long time. Well a week or so ago, we finally got to make one. I already had this hose tub ($18 from WalMart) that I used to have a little water feature in. The seal wouldn't stay in place and the water kept draining out so I drilled holes in the bottom of it and turned it into a planter. I got several little plants the last day I was working at Big Bloomers (Gail's nursery) and Alissa and Laura just happened to be at the house when I got home, so we all three got to help create this cute garden. The little birdhouse was $1 from Michaels and I used the spray paint left over from Laura's glass bird feeder, which coordinated with the foxglove perfectly.

We made the fairies a little pond out of a sunken baby food jar; Alissa put the blue stone in it to make it show up a little better. I made the little arbour out of some twigs and placed it over the stone pathway. They even have a stone patio area!

We had fun making a little world for some lucky fairies. I haven't seen them but surely a couple have set up housekeeping. We're going to make some more later on. The patio is now a shady area perfect for some magical beings to live.

Now on to the frugal tip. I spend a lot of time cleaning...mostly the floors. Rarely do I miss a day of running the vacuum cleaner, especially in the kitchen. I used to "mop" the floor with an old towel on my hands and knees but that about killed my knees, so I broke down and bought a Clorox mop. I really like it - it's quick and easy to use, but I hate buying those boxes of "mops". I try to stay away from using disposable stuff, but sometimes you can't get away from them.

Well, I kept thinking about what I could use instead of the disposable things and came across these dishrags at WalMart. I think they were $5 for the package of four, so I kept two and gave the other two to Laura.

I want to tell you that these things work GREAT! They are thicker than the disposable things and they do a much better job of cleaning. Plus, you just toss them in the washer with your laundry and use them again and again!

Note the handy twist tie keeping the little squirter in place? I can jerry-rig about anything if necessary!

Well, I've ridden my bicycle for an hour this morning and mowed the field and two side areas of the property. The floors have been cleaned (toilets and sinks can wait) so now I'm headed to my sewing machine. I've started that special thank you wall hanging for my wonderful vet, plus I just had a super idea while mowing (heat does stranges things to me). I can't wait to get started on it.

I'll leave you with pictures of my Princess' neck. The first picture is when the bandage came off 10 days after her surgery. The second is today - all healed and waiting for her pretty white hair to grow back in. She's doing super!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Hi folks!

I've been stitching in between doing a lot of yard work the last few weeks. I finally finished the 2nd Catalicious block and still need to get busy with block #3.

Last night I worked on my latest project - the All Dressed Up quilt by Freda's Hive. I purchased this pattern last year and have been wanting to get started on it ever since. It's a nice project to work on when I have time or feel like stitching something a little different. I'll post updates as my work progresses on it.

I hope you are all having a nice weekend. It's been a hot day here and Gail doesn't use A/C much in their home, so I did some sweating while cleaning. Maybe I lost a few ounces :) She gave me starts of a few plants from her yard, so I had to rush home and plant them. I've already had my dinner, shower and am in my pj's listening the A Prairie Home Companion before my BritComs start at 8. Tomorrow is all mine and I've got tons of cleaning, sewing and yard work to get done. There just aren't enough hours in a day!!

Now to fix a nice glass of delicious iced tea (my favorite refrshment) and some stitching while listening to, and watching my favorite night of entertainment!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Catching Up

Yay! I've got my trusty computer back with all the software I need. Now I can post some pictures I've been taking for the last few weeks and haven't been able to share.

First, this one is gross but really funny. I baked a pizza in the oven for supper a while back and burned it a little. I ate what I could and put the rest out on the front porch, intending to throw it in the trash. As usual, I got busy with things and forgot about it. By the time I remembered to toss it in the trash, it was dark. What a silly sight to see all the little slugs having their very own pizza party on my porch!

I wasn't going to mess with the plate - slugs gross me out! So, I left it where it was and went on to bed. The next morning there was nothing on the plate. I don't know what critter visits at night, but it had a pizza party too...probably a racoon or possum.

Next up, look what I have in my little Japanese maple tree...a mocking bird nest complete with three sweet eggs. Aren't they pretty?!?

I've been riding my bicycle - not every day as I wanted to, but frequently and for at least 30 minutes...usually longer. I've also been taking magnesium citrate and between the two changes, am feeling better physically. I've even lost almost five pounds, which I'm very happy about! I've lost some of my appetite and just don't feel like eating. This seems to happen to me periodically and I am always glad when it does.

I've got more catching up to do with you, but need to get a few things done around here before it gets too late. I will post more tomorrow evening.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Starting All Over

Hi everybody,

I hope all of you are well and having a good start to summer, even though it's still technically spring. It sure has felt like summer here with the heat and complete lack of rain. Thank goodness we finally had rain yesterday and it will continue today!

Now for some positive news! As of late this week, I will be an employee of Lowes Home Improvement! I interviewed last Thursday for an entry level cashier position and got it. The pay is very low, but the important thing is that I will have insurance after 90 days - just in the nick of time since my COBRA is ending the end of July. I'll only be without insurance for a couple of weeks and then Lowes benefits kick in.

The pay isn't something that will make my house payment, so I will be dependent on drawing from my retirement funds. I'll never recover the money but am thankful that I gave till it hurt for so many years. I have access to enough funds to last me through this year if I'm very careful. Surely the economy will be better by then!

I'm encouraged because I was told that the store is making some changes (they couldn't go into details) and that I will be moved into a position that is a better fit for my background. Now that I have a job of my own at a place that I'm comfortable in, it's easy to pretend that life is normal again.

With this change in my life, my attitude has already changed for the better. I have already started taking better care of myself and my health. I bought a bicycle Saturday and have enjoyed riding it for the last two days. I started a log with my weight and how many miles I ride and am looking forward to seeing some good results. Yesterday, I rode for six miles and I feel a new sense of determination that I haven't had in a very long time.

My computer is in the hospital being repaired by a friend. I don't know what happened but I lost MS Outlook....all my contacts and more importantly, my job search records for the last 16 months. I sure hope he can restore all my records. In the mean time, I'm using my little Netbook and since it doesn't have Kodak software on it, I can't share pics. I have lots to catch up on and will post pictures as soon as I get the computer back home though.

I hope you all have a good day today and be thankful for what you have!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finally, I Got To Make Something!

I've been so busy trying to keep my head above water and then taking care of Princess, that I just haven't had time to make anything fun or pretty. Well, I did make that quick cell phone case for my mom, but that's been it in the crafty arena.

But look! I made a pretty birdfeeder for Alissa to give to Laura for Mother's Day. I saw these last year at the Atlanta Market and knew I could figure out how to make one. I think it turned out really pretty, don't you? They retail for $45, but I'm selling them for $35 and already have an order for a red one.

Each one will be unique due to the fact that the plates and cups are coming from thrift shops. The possibilites are endless though.

All is quiet on the job searching nibbles at the moment so am still at Gail's nursery. Thank goodness for that!

I hope you all are having a good week. The weather here has been very cool, but I love it that way!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Popping In To Say Hello

Well, we're all into another busy time of year, aren't we? I worked at the Garden Market yesterday and everybody is buying pretty gifts to give for Mother's Day. I told several customers that I wish I was their mother to be on the receiving end of all those pretties!

I've been working furiously in the heat at the garden center and am exhausted by the time I get home....but, the money helps a lot and I'm very grateful to Gail! In the evenings, I've been trying to get my yards whipped into shape, but there is never enough light out for long after I get all the critters taken care of. Still, I'm working away each night and happy with anything I get accomplished.

I haven't been able to sew or do anything really fun for a few weeks, but did manage to make my mom a cute cell phone bag last night for Mother's Day. I made a long strap so she could hang it around her neck. She told me that when she mows the yard, she puts the cell phone on the deck so that she could get to it if she had any sort of accident. I fussed at her and said that she needed to keep the phone ON her. If she fell, she might not be able to get to it. I'll get it in the mail tomorrow. I want to make one for myself as well, but with a short strap to hook onto my belt loop.

This morning I was greeted by my tropical iris that blooms once a year. I shared some pictures with you last year, but here is what I'm looking at now. The blooms fade in less than 24 hours, so I'm happy I caught this.

Princess gets her stitches removed Saturday and they will be drawing blood to check on her thyroid activity. My vet called Tuesday to say that the tumor was malignant but hopefully the surgery will be curative. I'm not going to worry about her and know that she will be with me for several more years now...she's a tough little cookie!

I'm trying to get some laundry done in between other chores while I'm home today. What is it about a stripped bed that cats love so much? No sooner than I took the sheets off my day bed, all three kitties jumped up to groom themselves (or each other).

Our Lowes is hiring sales associates, so I've filled out my application and will talk to the HR manager tomorrow when she gets back. I just found out about the openings yesterday and that they pay higher than minimum wage, plus offer benefits. Since I've resigned myself to the fact that I have to draw on part of my meager retirement funds, I can make ends meet if I can get a position that offers insurance. It will be hard, but I can hang on till next year when the economy is supposed to be in better shape. At least the extreme pressure is off me for a little while and I have hope again.

Well folks, I'm headed outside to make something I've been wanting to try for a year now. I'll show pictures if it turns out ok! I hope the week has been good to you all!