6/30/2008

Mosaic Madness!!

A few weeks ago I said I was off to mosaic our mailbox. This is my first attempt and I was pleased with the outcome. It was a lot of work but in the end was very worth it.
This is the side that faces out into the neighborhood and what people see when they drive up.

close up of broken pieces of whatever
this was the BEFORE.......so a very nice change dontcha think?
The girls wanted to mosaic as well. I found some dishes at a garage sale for $1 for the lot of them and here we go!

SAFETY FIRST.......ALWAYS! GOGGLES GLOVES AND SHOES ON FEET......NO EXCEPTIONS! dISHES TO BREAK INSIDE PAPER BAGS LAYERED BETWEEN NEWSPAPER.
creating their masterpieces. Old shirts over their clothes and cementing
pieces to their dishes.
Going very well. Always lots of 'chatting' while working....number #1 rule is NO GOSSIPING so we have great conversations most of the time. Oh yeah....that is my coffee in the picture not the girls! HA
all cemented and drying.................how cool are these?
this one is finished and all grouted. Some made theirs to hang on the wall
some for their gardens and some to put in their rooms to hold 'doodads'.
This was a great two week project.
We all bring something to share for lunch and so far we have managed to always have a protein, fruit, grain and veggies!!! We also sit down at the table outside 'as a family' and say grace and remember our pleases and thank you's!!!!!

6/24/2008

IT'S HERE!!!!! WOO HOOO

OH MY!! After waiting 6 months and researching and trying out used and new cars we finally bought this!! I picked it up last night and we are both like little kids!!
This is a 2008 Toyota Rav 4 mini suv. The color is a green called everglade.

The interior is very roomy....we can haul our grand daughters three at a time....hint hint mommies and daddies!
It came with a sun roof which is something we can live without but it is fun just the same.

The back is very accessible for me. The door opens out....much easier for me than lifting. I can get my walker in and out easier than a car. Of course I can haul my loot when I go garage saling!!!!!
There is a hidden compartment under the carpet as well as a shelf that folds out to make a double layer storage for costco trips etc.
I drove it off the lot with a BIG 6 miles on the odometer!!!!!

I just wanted to share with everyone our new transportation. I am thrilled. I can't drive the stick pick up and so this is mostly mine......I laugh when I tell john that. He is so happy to have a dependable and very comfortable ride!!
I am breaking it in with my mom as my first passenger. We are heading off to see Debbie Reynolds in a matinee performance along with lunch!!
My Mom adores HER!!!
see ya!!!

6/23/2008

SLOOOW DOWN

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast -- you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."~~the late Eddie Cantor....comedian and musician.

I am sure all of you can relate to the above message.
Every day we rush through the things we THINK we must accomplish before writing a new list of "to do's" for the next day.
Lately I have been guilty of just that. I do not go out to work, I do not have children at home and I don't have grandchildren living near.
At the same time I keep myself BUSY.

I was born with the gene that makes me 'not able to sit still' and the other one: I HAVE TO CREATE!
Not sitting still can lead those around me to become nervous but I am compelled to 'do do do'.

With RSD these two genes are very important to posess. I can't 'cure' it so I have had to learn to 'calm' it. DOING makes me forget the pain and short circuits I experience.

I have always lived in the fast lane---when kids were home I would get up at 4:30 and write on my novel or make something, go to work for twelve hours then come home and cook and do laundry and run the kids here and there or try to spend some time with everyone.
Or I would work 12 hours and John and I would go over and play raquetball for at least an hour before swimming laps in the pool. You get the idea.

The kids aren't close by but now I have adopted 'half' the neighborhood.
Those 12 and under love coming here to spend time with me.
We have our art class day and now they come knocking at other days to just 'hang out' or help me with chores or 'make something small' ha.

I have to confess I LOVE the company......it breaks up the monotony of all our friends still working full time and not available....and insures my vocabulary and communication skills move beyond trading meows with the cats and kissy kiss noises with the fish!!!

I don't sit in front of the tv and watch 'sporting events' to vent my frustrations like 'what is he thinking?' 'oh sure drop the ball idiot'
The HGTV craft shows don't lend themselves to the same venacular.
Can you imagine.............."What the heck is she doing painting the wall like that.' "Who wants to watch her have fun in that beautiful studio?'
HECK I CAN MAKE THAT Hey what do you know? It actually DOES work......HA!

I have been feeling better because the weather is more stable.....our last snow was June 6th and after all the rain it is warm and sunny. I have been weeding and cleaning.........today I decided to show some of the pics I took over the last few days 'taking time to SLOW down and enjoy the little things in life!!
I do know where I am going but I don't have to do it at 100 miles an hour EVERY minute of every day!
I am amazed at all the honey bees in my gardens when the bachelor buttons are in full bloom. You can actually just sit in the grass nearby and 'hear the hum' as they move from blossom to blossom.
Callie came running onto the deck with this little baby bird. I praised her and she opened her mouth and dropped it........and I picked her up. I hope the little one made it back to the nest. I put her in the flower bed where she could run and hide under lots of 'greenery'.
HMMM Anna has the right idea......just stretch out and NAP.
This is my exercise ball.....but to the kids that come for class.......this is the best kick ball ever....we always take a break from intense crafting to run and squeal and get the kinks out. Callie is in the back ground..she walks the fence every day looking for mice in the field.
I love this picture. I walked out early saturday morning and lifted my face to heaven to 'give thanks to our maker' for granting such a glorious day. I noticed the criss cross of two jet streams and ran for the camera.Within minutes it was dissipated!
Hoping you can all slow down and notice the minute details of the 'fabric' of your lives.

6/05/2008

MONDAY CLASS"S BIGGEST PROJECT

This has been an ongoing project for our monday class. Back in April we started planting seeds. I always think I have everything well organized.

Everything is set up for the girls when they arrive. We have a snack and then get right down to the activity. We often have a 'play break' and they go outside to play kick ball with my large exercise ball.

Planting seeds was more frustrating than I had anticipated but nonetheless got accomplished.

The girls always talk about their days at school but the biggest rule is NO GOSSIP at my house. I think it is not the place for it. I want them to focus on other topics. They have even got so that if someone starts to talk in that direction one or more will pipe up and say "no gossiping'.
I filled bowls with potting soil and had plastic cups with holes in the bottoms for drainage. I told the girls one or two or maybe three seeds per container at THE MOST!. oh well................
a few times i would look up and see an envelope of seeds pouring into a cup at will!! They were also supposed to plant BOTH flowers and veggies.
Later I heard " I only like flowers so that is all I planted." I don't like vegetables" "I only planted peas. " Ha they ALL have veggies in their gardens and we will use my flowers for art projects. I am thinking this summer later when produce is appearing that we should have a luncheon for their mothers using what we have in the garden plus a few other things.

I have been making John save old lumber from our fence. When we had the house fire he removed the fence separating the back yard from the front. They needed to drive trucks in the back as well as the front for various restoration. I told him to save them for me because I had a project in mind. At the time I didn't think I would be 'disabled' and dealing with this intimidating illness. So four years later the wood is being put to use and John is all for it. He made the project happen. I just had the ideas.
Here the wood is being laid out to get an idea of what we want:
John taking care of the measuring and putting together:
This is the side of the yard that is crying for some 'beautification."

The girls dragged the boards from the side of the house and hosed them down to get the dirt and mildew and "EEK a bug a BIG bug' off!

They all had turns to help screw the boards in place:
We have four 12ft by 6 ft raised beds:
We have an ongoing theme of 'recycle, make do and reuse' when we do any project: So we have been saving newspaper and our grass clippings to put down for mulch and to choke out the grass:
Add a dump truck full of dirt: ( oh yeah I didn't think a thing about the sprinkler heads in the yard and he ran over two of them that have to be replaced: ) sorry honey!!

We piled dirt into each garden box and got it all spread out then the girls planted their seeds and the plants that did actually grow: John and I bought them each a tomato plant.
Callie has to be a part of everything we do. She thinks the girls come to play with her!
I also saved a bin of these dreamsicle angels. They were ruined with the heat/smoke from the fire so I salvaged them with the idea of using them in the gardens outside. They too still sat in their bin. Each girl got to pick an angel to wash off and put in her garden area:


Some of the left over dirt for other gardens in the back:
I want to put gravel or rock around each box and in front so we will probably put that on our to do list next pay day. I will take pictures again when that is all done.
Now I am off to start a new project: mosaicing!!! My first project is our mail box.
I will be back to show you before and after pics so cross your fingers for me that it turns out the way I envision it!!!!

6/03/2008

MONDAY CLASSES

Okay I am back with no 'big events' upcoming. We have been back from Hawaii exactly one month. I have no idea where the time goes anymore.

The first two weeks back we were trying to spruce up the yard for Sarah and Ryan's back yard reception. That was two weeks ago and went very very well. We were excited to meet more of Ryan's family. The weather wreaked havoc the entire two weeks preceding this affair but two days before, the sun emerged and the temps went from 50's to 90's in a short three day span!!!
Ever since the weather has been fluctuating between calm and sunny to rain and wind and much cooler temps.

The ever changing barometric pressure is making me crazy. My pain levels are all over the board. Couple that with my need to 'appear and act normal' I have over done it. Today is a day to catch up on blogging and reading or anything 'quiet' until the girls arrive at 3:30.

These are a few of our activities I haven't talked about.

Here we go with 'our' trusty leader...........me.....who got a few blocks into the walk to collect 'found objects' and one of the girls yelled out....."You are wearing two different shoes!!! Every one come look." Ha They WERE both black but definitely not a 'pair'.

my 'little buddies' armed with large ziplock baggies and wearing protective gloves. Tiffany is carry water for everyone in her back pack.
The rules were: no bottles with liquid, no straws, spoons or really 'icky' junk. We walked a mile circuit and I was amazed at how much junk we all collected.
We brought it home and then each girl dumped her loot and selected what she wanted to keep. We then 'washed' stuff off to store for warmer weather.
The girls were so gung ho and we had a few laughs over 'finds'.

We are going to glue or just lay the found objects on a cardboard and then mix plaster of paris and pour over them to make a 3 D relief picture. Before it dries we will add other 'stuffs' on the outside of the plaster. Once that is dry we may add paint or frame them the way they are,
A very easy and fun project was this one: The girls took glue and squirted it out all over their paper (cardstock)
in globs and squiggles. We helped those dry with the aid of a hair dryer or three actually.
Then we used pastel pencils and chalk and crayons. The girls then drew a picture incorporating the glued areas. It was fun and went quickly, depending on how detailed the girls were.