Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I've been making bags with the plan to list them on Etsy. I've had an Etsy account for awhile now but have yet to set up my store. I guess I'm a little spoiled by Ebay because all you have to do is click on a button and they do most of the work for you. No so with Etsy. You have to know at least half-way what you are doing and well... I don't. I need to do my homework, look at how other sellers have set up their store and figure it out. In the meantime, I thought I'd better get pictures of these bags on my blog so those of you that have been asking about them can have a peek!

 The big fluffy flower pins are made from a wool sweaters.

Next on the list; Christmas stockings and purses made from wool sweaters. Fun!

HEY!! Remember me?

Anyone out there? Hello? Anyone? I'm sure most of you (the whopping 5-6 of you who check my blog) have probably given up on me all together but I'm going to try REAL hard to get back in the swing of blogging again. Of course, most of you also know how crazy my life has been these past 6 months as well. But I'll re-cap anyway.
 We sold, trashed and gave away as much of our stuff that we could, packed up the rest and moved across country to Missouri on May 12. We came here to be able to help my Mom care for my Dad. (Her health needed a little attention as well). Doug's Dad went to California to stay with his daughter Jane for a few weeks while we got moved & settled in. We moved to the same little town as our son and his family. It was so wonderful to have them here happy to greet us as we were having a little trouble leaving the familiar & venturing into a new life. We got here on Saturday morning and Doug had to fly out for work the following Monday. I bustled like crazy to get the house cleaned, painted and a two-car garage full of boxes unpacked and the house set up the best I could before my Mom & Dad got here about 10 days after we did.
Then I had another garage full of stuff to un-pack! :) Jake and Maria were so much help, I was glad not to be completely alone!
About five days after Mom & Dad got here, Dad got sick with a UTI and ended up in the hospital for a week.
Don got here in June. Doug was kept pretty busy through the summer and most of Fall. Shortly after we got here the company he works for bought another company out and doubled the amount of employees. He and the other CCE were kept pretty busy getting everyone up to speed.
We had a wonderful summer but it was a busy time getting everyone lined up with Dr's and getting all needs met to settle everyone in comfortably.
I sewed like crazy July through the first week in October to participate in a craft fair. It was great fun and my bags were well accepted. It was probably the most successful sale for me since I left Alaska.
My Aunt Brenda & Uncle Ronald from Northern Idaho came to visit the same week-end as the fair bringing with them Ron's sister Beverly from Arizona. It was so nice to visit with them and get to know Beverly.
Two days before Halloween, my Dad got sick again. He had another UTI. People with parkensons get very sick very fast when they get an infection. And since my Dad really couldn't communicate any more it was hard to ever know what he was feeling. He was in the hospital for 9 days. In that time he never really regained his strength, wouldn't wake up to eat and pulled out his feeding tube. It was evident that he was done fighting it all, bless his heart. He sure dealt with a lot these past 10-15 years. He came home with hospice care and stayed with us for about 2 weeks before quietly passing away on November 17th.
Jessica and her family came from Colorado for the funeral and Thanksgiving. The day after my Dad's funeral, Doug's Dad got sick and ended up in the hospital with penumonia. He walked in from the hospital right to the Thanksgiving table just in time!
Things are slowly getting back to normal and we are looking forward to Christmas. My two brothers who live just a few hours away in Southern Missouri will be here. Jake, Maria, Ben & Jonna will spend Christmas Eve with Maria's family then come here on Christmas morning. It will be so much fun having little ones in the house on Christmas morning. Ben can hardly wait for Christmas to get here.
Well that was a long one and really barely skimmed the surface of our last six months. I'll try to fill in the stories here & there in the future.
I feel so blessed and grateful that I was able to be here with my Day for the last little bit of his time on earth. I miss him terribly and have learned a little about the grieving process. Thank you all for your support, care and love!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gifted...or just plain Goofy?

I have a gazillion things to do but I just had to blog about my dog. She did something that I think is beyond wierd. I had a box of pint sized canning jars out on the back patio. Twelve jars with rings but not lids. I'm working away in the kitchen and I hear "Thunk". Hmm, what was that? I continue to load the dishwasher and pretty soon I hear it again, "Thunk". I went around to the dinning room and looked out the sliding glass door just as she was depositing her third jar on the wooden deck at the back door. "Thunk".

 What the heck? When I left that box out there I never dreamed I'd have to worry about the dog getting into it. So, what do you think? Gifted or Goofy?

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's been awhile

Ooops I knew I was way behind on my blog posts, but I didn't realize it had been over 2 months! I've been a bit busy. As many of you know, my husband's Dad moved in with us last August. Last October upon visiting my parents in Missouri I knew they needed help too. My Mom has way too big of a job caring for my Dad by herself. I'm worried about her health suffering too much as she cares for him 24-7. So, we decided it was time we moved them in with us too. Our house is not large enough nor does it have bedrooms on the main floor. We will be moving to Missouri next month. We found a place in the same little town our son and his family live in. It is nice and big and has two bedrooms & bathrooms on the main floor for our parents and more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs for Doug & me. Mom and Dad will be moving about 3 hours away from where they are now, but still in Missouri so my brothers will still be able to visit easily. Doug's Dad is a little nervous about going that far away, but is willing to give it a try. Most everything has gone smoothly except for the fact that our house has not sold. We've been so focused on cleaning, packing & getting the house ready to sell, we haven't done enough to actually get it sold! :)
I'm anxious to start this new adventure but of course nervous about the huge responsibilities I'll be taking on. Mostly excited though. I'm just so glad that Doug's job is one that allows him to move almost anywhere and that we are in a position to do this for our parents. Most people try to be supportive but kind of think we're crazy for taking this on. Well, not crazy yet, anyway! ;) We are not oblivious to the work load and challenges that lie ahead for us. However, we know it's the right thing for us to do so it will all work out just fine. I saw a quote on someones blog once (I can't remember who's) that stuck with me and means even more to me now. "If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!" My heart is so full right now. We are so blessed and loved and supported. We have no need to doubt. Thank you to all of our sweet children for the encouragement and support you've given us these past months. Oh how we will miss being near our girls and their families! Oh how thrilled we are to be close to our only Son, our favorite Daughter-In-Law ;) and their two sweet babies. I'm also thrilled that our youngest daughter has the freedom to fly in & out as she pleases, so we'll get to see her often. At least until some lucky young man snaps her up! So, thanks for stopping by. It may be awhile before I am able to add posts on a regular basis so please be patient! The next three weeks will be stuffed with packing, cleaning, visiting our girls, grandkids, sons-in law and friends, then heading out mid-May! Woo Hoo! My next post will probably come to you from Missouri!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Well, kind of. Actually it was so stinking cold outside and the wind started to blow so hard, that we had to abort the photo shoot. I'll get close-ups later so I can list them. My husband is always impressed with the crafts I make but he gets ecstatic when I sell the crafts I make! :)

My oldest daughter, Jessica is here for the weekend. It's been great fun having her and her 4 children here. We don't get to see them very often as it is, but it's looking like we will be moving this spring. We haven't made a definite decision yet, but it's looking like Missouri. I like Missouri, it's beautiful there and my Son, his wife and their two sweet children live there. It will be SO nice to be close to them and grow closer to their babies.

 But when I think about leaving our four daughter's and their families which include our other (8) grandchildren I get a lump in my throat and my vision blurs. I just want it all...okay?

Jessica is trying to help me with some packing, cleaning and listing things to sell. It seems like I've been tossing stuff forever. I swear it's like the loaves and the fishes!! I think I need a chalkboard to write "I WILL NOT ACCUMULATE UNNECESSARY ITEMS" 5000 times. Maybe I should make a decorative wall hanging with that saying on it for every room in my new house :)! I'll need to hang them next to the "Finish more, Start less" signs I also need to make!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh Yeah, I forgot.

I've been thinking about a few things I knew about myself but forgot.

1) I sometimes (usually) have a short attention span when it comes to projects. Therefore I have more than my fair share of unfinished projects! Want some? :)
2) I get cranky when I go too long without sewing or some kind of crafting.
Chocolate helps lessen the crankiness but it never goes away completely until I get a little sewing time. (a little chocolate WHILE sewing is pure bliss in my book!)
3) I Get REAL cranky when too much time passes between visits with my grandkids!! Skype is awesome but I need to do some huggin' and squeezin' on those little people!

So, I set all the cleaning, packing & organizing aside and got my old friend out. We've been spending some quality time together. I've been working on bags. I don't have any to show just yet because I sew several at once in assembly line fashion (see # 1) ;) Oh, and my father in law gave me some yummy See's Chocolate for Valentines Day so, life is good! Thanks Don!

I did finish a new kind of flower pin today, though. About a month ago I made a solid turquoise bag for a special lady who was having a birthday. None of the wool I had was what I was looking for to make her flower. I thought about those singed flowers I've seen on the Internet, and the box of men's neckties in my craft room and thought that might make a fun flower for the bag. Well, they did not curl at all, just turned brown and black on the edges and stunk up my house. Plan B. I made gathered ruffles from three different ties, made a rosette style flower and put a vintage button in the center. So stinkin' cute! I love it.

I cut a gazillion necktie strips out and gathered them then put them away for a few weeks. So assembly was a snap today. Fun stuff. And they are gorgeous on my bags!!

And to remedy #3, one, maybe two of my daughters are coming to visit this weekend. That means I'll have at least 4, possibly 6 of my grandchildren here. I am SO excited to see them all (kids and grandkids!)

I'll probably need to put the machine away for a few days and concentrate on getting my house ready for their visit. Hopefully I'll get right back at it and have some new bags to show you soon!

So... maybe take a minute think of something you've missed doing for awhile that would make you smile. If you can't think of anything, chocolate is always a winner unless you're one of those rare people who don't like it or can't have it and well, that's just sad.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Loooong week

Last Monday I went to the doctor with a few concerns and for a routine check-up. She found a lump in my right breast and ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. I went in for those on Thursday. They did find a lump or small cluster and did a biopsy right then. Since it was so close to the week-end, I was told not to expect to hear anything until Monday or Tuesday. That seems pretty quick but let me tell you, it was not. One good thing about having your days stretched out so long is you find plenty of time to pray! :)  My husband and I prayed a lot and we both always felt calm and reassured after praying. I knew it would be okay, but I didn't know what that meant exactly.
I didn't want to tell anyone, not even our children because I didn't want them to worry for 4-5 days. I did want them to know though because I wanted their prayers. I decided we'd tell them on Sunday. It was good to tell them even though I hated to worry them. There's strength in numbers, and I felt strengthened. I got a call yesterday afternoon letting me know all was well. The tissue was benign. Whew! Thank you Heavenly Father. I am so grateful!
This morning when I woke up the first thing my husband said was "Hi, pretty girl!" Then he snuggled me up in his arms and said "Thanks for not having cancer." Man, I love that guy!
Your welcome, Honey. I'm sorry to have worried you, but I'm so thankful I had you to lean on all that long week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Twice Around The Block

My parents live in Missouri. My Dad has numerous health challenges and requires constant care. My dear mother is the one who provides that care. Last spring Mom was standing on Dad's wheelchair ramp that had a thin layer of dew on it. Her feet flew out from underneath her and she fell HARD! She was taken to the ER where she was told she just had some severe bruising. "Go home and rest". After a few days she was really hurting and not able to take care of Dad. I flew over to help out. Mom was not doing well at all. She couldn't even get out of bed, the slightest movement caused her terrible pain. I called an ambulance to take her to a different hospital and have her checked out. She had FIVE broken ribs! Poor lady. I've since learned that it is almost impossible to see rib fractures on an x-ray until they start to heal, then the calcification shows up. But come on, with that knowledge and her age you'd think they would at least follow-up. Jeez.

Mom spent five days in the hospital and I spent that time learning just what a big job she has in caring for my Dad. Once I got the routine down and chores caught up, I was looking for something creative to do. I'd been wanting to learn to make some of the cute fabric flowers I'd seen on several blogs but, the little town they live in has no fabric stores. None. Nothing. I finally had the idea to go to a thrift shop to buy something lovely to make into something lovelier. It was so much fun. I was feeling pretty happy about that and finally had something to do while Dad slept.

I was cutting a men's wool sport coat apart when I got the idea that it would make a pretty cool bag. Especially if I incorporated the pockets into the design. I had a blast with it. They were a big hit with friends and family back home. I decided to try to sell them at our local Farmer's market. Since I make most of my items from previously loved clothing, I named my business 'Twice Around the Block'.
I also make custom orders. A bag and/or flower pin made from the clothes of a loved one who has passed on makes a lovely memento for a daughter or grand-daughter.
As with any other craft I've ever loved, I'm VERY good at step one; Gathering Materials. I have an unhealthy inventory of thrift store finds in my sewing room. With Farmer's market closed for the winter the pile thins ever so slowly. Maybe it's time for me to get them on Etsy...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Here We Go.......

I've been thinking about starting a blog for sometime now. I love to wander around in blog land, drop in and see what talented ladies are making out of worn out treasures they find, or learn interesting ways they've developed to make everyday life more fun, efficient or fullfilling. I've learned, laughed, cried and been inspired countless times. I've wanted to start but worried that I wouldn't have anything interesting enough to read more than just once or twice a year, plus I had no idea how to get started. I was talking to one of my daughters today and the blog subject came up. She said "Just do it Mom, I'll help you." So (from another state) she walked me through it (held my hand). I'm excited to learn more about blogging. If nothing else it might just encourage me to be a more interesting person so I'll have something to blog! Thanks A.J.