Sunday, November 28, 2010

#2, day and night

together again
family photo shoot
Me, EG, Brandon, LC, MK, MB, Beth, CA....CJ was sleeping
MB is my DIL's niece. I picked her up and she rode up to the mountains with me. Her grandparents came along later in the week.  The girls are 11, 10, 8, 6, 3 and the baby who was sleeping is 4 months. 

The cloud cover is rolling in over Clingman's Dome.  I stayed with the baby while the rest of the crew climbed to the highest point in the park. They said they were able to get a good view despite the clouds. 

Google images

More later.....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What about that Witzelsucht?

Witzelsucht, that's the name German scientists have given to a dysfunction that causes some people to compulsively tell bad jokes or corny puns, as well as indulging in just plain silly behavior.  Supposedly, it is caused by an injury to the right frontal lobe and could be caused by trauma, stroke, infection or tumor.  My question is, what about people who have always been that that a result of an injury at birth?

My ex has no sense of what constitutes a good joke vs. a bad one or even when a joke should be told and when it shouldn't. Example: He is a huge Alabama football fan. Rachel's in-laws are huge Auburn fans.  While we were all in the hospital waiting room eagerly awaiting our first opportunity to meet Emma, the ex told numerous Cam Newton jokes to the in-laws.

(for those of you who do not live in Alabama and therefore may not have a clue as to what I'm talking about...Newton is Auburn's star quarterback. His name is being tossed around for the Heisman. There is also talk going around that his father campaigned improperly for cash incentives for his son to choose Auburn to play for..which would result in him being ineligible to see not a great topic to joke about with an Auburn fan...which I also happen to be...)

Back to the topic of brain anomalies....I put my name on the waiting list at the library this morning to get the new Oliver Sacks book, The Mind's Eye and also to have his autobiography, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, sent over from another local library.  Sacks' neurological research has been a topic of fascination for me for a long time. I just hope my myelin sheath is in good enough condition and the synapses fire fast enough for me to understand more than every third word of what he writes.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name Oliver Sacks, the 1990 movie Awakenings, staring Robin Williams, was based on Sacks 1973 memoir of the same name.  The story is of his discovery of the effects of the drug L-dopa on catatonic patients who survived the 1917-1928 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica.

The human brain is a remarkable thing....when it works correctly and even when it doesn't. But, fascinating or not....I will never think the ex's jokes are funny.  Thank goodness I don't have to listen to them very often anymore!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rain, Leaves, Seeds

 View of downtown Birmingham from Rachel's hospital room on Sunday.

 The view Monday when it rained all day long.

The view out my window Tuesday morning.  Someone get started on the ark please!

The driveway when I left the house later that afternoon.

I came home that night to find that my neighbor had blown my driveway completely clear of leaves. 
Thanks Neighbor!

On a different note, I'm 56 and I've never tasted a pomegranate, so I bought one the other day. 

Interesting....crunchy....citrusy....think I'm going to add the seeds to my spinach salad for lunch.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


shameless gramma bragging......

loving how she's all stretched out and comfy in her own skin. This little girl knows what she likes already.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Girl

Hope you have a great life cupcake! 
I know one family you've made a little sweeter with your appearance today.
(even if it was at 3:32 in the morning)

Emma Elizabeth
6 lb. 5 oz. 
18 in.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Painting on Walls

As promised last week, I thought I would share some of the painting I've done on various walls.

My first foray into big scale illustration was in the nursery at the church we attended at the time.  Walls in Sunday School rooms and nurseries have always been under utilized spaces to me. Children are left in the care of adults that they may or may not know each week. Sometimes they are scared. Often times they get bored. Having larger than life pictures to talk about and relate to has always seemed like a great way to begin a nursery stay.

For about 9 years a partner and I shared booths in various mini-malls around town. For those of you that don't know what a mini-mall was a store that had been divided into many different booths which were individually rented out.  My friend and I could share a space easily since our work tended to be small. I sold white washed shelves, wall plaques, small pieces that sat on the shelves....lots of stuff. 

One of the mini-malls where we rented asked me to paint the surround on their check out counter.

A friend wanted the top of her kitchens cabinets painted with a medley of fruit.

The last walls I painted were for a co-worker's wife after I'd quit crafting and had gotten a "REAL" job.  It was in a power room which was literally too small for me to get far enough away to take a picture of both sides of the toilet at one time.

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. I had to scan snapshots I made, as all of these paintings were done in the pre-digital age. 

Hope I'm not boring you with these reminiscents of my past crafty days.  I've enjoyed being off work so much, because I've gotten to get back to my creative roots. I feel comfortable, capable and efficient here in ways which I will never feel in the "REAL" working world.  There, I always feel like a fish out of water.

But, reality is that I must get another job.  I've written this post while waiting on the phone to ring for a phone interview which was set up a week ago....It's been an hour since the time for our appointment...obviously I've been stood up.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Shower Curtain and A Movie

First, the movie....I watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin last week and want to recommend it to anyone and everyone.  Temple is a doctor of animal science, a professor at Colorado State University, a best selling author and she is autistic. She is a remarkable woman and Claire Dane plays the part to perfection. Watch it. You'll be glad you did.

Second, I thought I'd give you a look at the shower curtain it took me a couple of years and a party to make.

I put grommets, for the curtain rings to go through, along the top of the buttonhole attachment is broken....I thought I would pound my kitchen table to death before I could get them set correctly. But now that they are done and hung, they look pretty good. 

This bathroom has always been a problem because whatever is in there has got to match this gold tile.  Way back, I painted the room nail polish magenta....ugh!!!! Let's talk decorating emergency! You can see the primer I painted over that before giving up and wall papering.

And in this photo you can see the wall paper. My girlfriend helped me one morning and we pulled it down everywhere else,  but had to quit with only a small bit left over the tub.  

My son came last Christmas and took down the toilet paper holder and soap and toothbrush holders that had been glued to the sheet rock.  He patched the holes ( he is the expert sheet rock finisher in the family) and got the room ready for me to finish the wallpaper demolition and paint....last Christmas.....ever since then I've been procrastinating.  

Yesterday, Rachel suggested that I just go buy the paint and paint everything except the papered area. (she knows how much I despise the idea of pulling...scraping...the rest of that paper down).  I kind of like her idea. If I paint the part of the wall that shows, then the bathroom will look pretty good....even if it takes me another year or two to get the paper over the shower down. 

And after all isn't that what the shower curtain is hide the wallpaper I don't want you to see??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pretty in Pink

My daughter, Rachel is due anytime now.  Friends and family got together today and showered mother and baby with lots of pink pretties.

I can't believe I did it, but I finished her quilt just in time. For the front I combined three prints from this collection with a solid and a gingham check. The back is a soft flannel from the same collection as the three prints on the front.

Here's a list of things I learned while making this quilt:

1.  Take lessons instead of attempting to teach yourself the art of quilt-making. 
2.  If you insist on teaching yourself, research the internet. There are lots of helpful web-sites. 
3.  There is a lot more math involved in this hobby than a mathaphobe (such as me) may feel comfortable.
4.  Buy more material than you need if you can't cut straight. 
5.  Stop worrying about what you don't know and make the first cut. 
6.  Accept that it won't be perfect.
7.  Have fun. 
p.s. My DIL Robin makes the best Italian Creme cupcakes ever!

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I Used To Do

Way back in the nineties I used to have a craft business.  I sold my work at a big craft show twice a year, as well as maintained two mini mall booths year round.  Because most of my work was small and to save on costs, I had a partner. We both did our own work, but our styles and focus blended really well.

One of my favorite things to paint were children's table and chair sets. I had the best woodman...who was also super affordable, which made painting them cost effective.  Well, that is cost effective for someone who basically worked for $2 per hour.  Let me tell you folks, crafting has got to be a business you love, not one you plan to come a millionaire from.

Anywho...thought I would share a few photos of those table and chair sets.

 This one was a commission. The mom wanted it to match her daughter's room and to feature the Bible verse. 

 I saw the Moon and the Moon saw Me. 
God bless the Moon and God bless Me. 

 Mary, Mary quite contrary. How does your garden grow?

This set was done to match all the fabric in two little girl's room.

 This piece was a chair only, but I always thought a table to match would have been just right. 

 This set is my all time favorite. It has the words of Old McDonald painted around the edge of the table. 

I've always regretted selling this one. I would paint another for my grandkids, but the old guy that made them hasn't been in the business for years. Besides that a nice set like this unfinished would cost a lot more than the $40 he used to charge. It would probably cost more than what I used to sell them for.

I made a couple more sets, a Noah's Ark and some tables with ribbons and flowers, but I guess I forgot to take photos of them. I tried to take pictures of most of the major things I made because I was afraid I wouldn't remember how to paint it if I wanted to do it again.

I painted walls too. I'll show you those photos another day  if you like.

Cleaning the house today to get ready for the baby shower Sunday. Baby is due a week from Saturday. It won't be long now!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Recent email from TX son to me about three year old

RE: CA was so quiet upstairs by herself

photo attached to email:

My reply:

Yikes! I don't know what you do about that.  My advice would be to call Stanley Steamer.

Is she banned for life from crayons?


Son's reply to me:

She apparently just trying out different mediums:
crayon on paper
crayon on painted wall (eggshell finish)
crayon on carpet (medium pile)

My reply to him:

Apparently, we have another artist in the experimental artist.

Photoshopping Around

I've been browsing the random photos on my computer again. I love this old photo of two sisters. 

Their personalities seem so different, yet you can tell they are sisters.
I had to see what I could do with their picture in Photoshop. 
I could get lost playing with the paint and the filters.
Especially when I should be sleeping.

I feel that I should give a little explanation about my late nights since everyone assumes that I am an insomniac....which I'm not.  I'm a night owl and not having to get up early to go to work has feed my love of late nights. I struggle with myself  (some days more than others) to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Last night I turned off the television 30 minutes later than I meant too at 11:30, but then sat at the computer randomly playing around until 1:30.  Because I had already been so bad I didn't allow myself to read any because I knew that would add another hour to my late night. I slept in until 9:15 so I got a reasonable amount of sleep, but another late start to the day.....although not as late of some......One thing I know, going back to a regular schedule when I get a job is going to be HARD!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 fellow Americans.....

Did you?  

If not most of you still have time to make it before the polls close. 

Get out and exercise your rights.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday Random After 12 am Monday Morning

Are you like me?  Do you have tons and tons of images saved to your computer simply because you liked them?  I have no idea where I found this one or who to acknowledge for it, but isn't she pretty?

Youngest son came over yesterday to hang the curtain rod that fell off the wall back up. I was so proud of myself for putting it up....but it didn't last, so I got a expert to come help me out. He brought is new kitten, Bones, who is quite a friendly fellow. 

I'm still working on the baby quilt. It is almost ready for the binding. I've done lots of things incorrectly...hope it doesn't fall into the hands of the newby quilter police...I'm a goner for sure if it comes to that.

And while my mind is jumping around randomly....I watched Sister Wives on TLC Sunday night for the first time. For those of you who have no idea about this show like I didn't, it is about a plural family in Utah....polygamy in other words.  Why would any woman want to enter into that kind of relationship?  I just don't get it.