Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Reasons why I am Ecstatic about {Fall} - Writer's Workshop

Time to play/write along with Mama Kat and this week, I'm choosing prompt #5, "10 reasons why you’re glad it’s Fall." 

Hmmm.....I don't think that's good enough.  How about 10 reasons I'm ecstatic its Fall?!

1)  We have a kidlet birthday to celebrate!  And just as soon as I cringe that one of my babies is getting another year older, I smile & celebrate how they've grown & see the happiness across their face.

And there is happiness whether I stock the party with store bought decorations...

...or hand crafted decorations for a custom themed party.

2)  And before I blink my eyes, mini pumpkins of many hues are scattered about the house (depending on wherever whichever kidlet moves them!) and we're off to the pumpkin patch, a favorite family outing, to get the big ones.

Red wagons, chickens, a pig, sheep, half dozen old tractors to sit in, a hale bale pyramid that lets them climb to the skies, random farm kitties, and of course, oodles and oodles of pumpkins to ooo and ahhh over, pick and choose, and come home with four to six perfect for us pumpkins.

3)  And the night before Halloween, we gut, seed, and carve those plump pumpkins.  Most end up with jagged smiles or sinister faces, but at least one gets a detailed carve every year.  C-3PO and R2-D2 was mine!

4) Kidlets in costume!!  We've had The Great Carrot, a monkey, Cat in the Hat, race car driver, Mr. Incredible, Snow White, Buzz Lightyear, Aurora, Batman, and Cinderella parade these halls.  And rumor has it, we will see Harry Potter and either a scary witch or another Aurora trick or treating this year!

5)  November brings on cravings for edible pumpkin treats.  Scrumptious and savory roasted pumpkin seeds from all those carved pumpkins are enjoyed by all and since a kidlet went GF/CF (gluten & casein free, among other things that have been removed), close to three years ago, we try new holiday recipes every year.  Last year, it was delicious GF/CF Pumpkin Bread, which will make an appearance again soon enough.  And this year, I will finally make that GF/CF pumpkin pie!

6)  Cool, crisp air combined with rustic deep reds, golden yellows, and screamin' oranges make me giddy!  Then when those beautiful leaves fall, its a race to see who gets to crunch it.  In my past, I've even hobbled on crutches to get the best crunchy leaves and now, must admit, I've even cut off one of my own kidlets to get to that crunchy leaf first....but, where there is one crunchy leaf, there are many to go around. :>

7)  Thanksgiving!  We first arrived at our own perfect turkey recipe pre-kidlets for a Four Musketeer gathering here back in 2001.  And in the years since, it has been refined & made absolutely moist & scrumptious.  I'll let you in on just one of our turkey secrets......instead of butter on top of the bird, Hubby (who is ever so kind for cooking Thanksgiving dinner every year!) puts a couple of slices of bacon on top for the duration of the roast.  There are a few other perfect & moist turkey secrets, but we'll save that for another day! :> 

8)  And after turkey day, we love our family outing to pick the perfectly tall Christmas tree!  I request (demand?) a tall one every year.  And the kidlets ooo and ahhh and giggle and cannot contain their excitement, which always make us smile just as brightly.

9)  And then there's the magical twelve days in stampy, inky, creative, crafty land that make so many of us giggle with childlike giddiness that is brought to us by Tim Holtz himself...his annual 12 Tags of ChristmasHere are a few Tim inspired & guided tags that I made to pair up with dozens of smaller ones for teachers' Christmas gifts last year.

And as if the inspiration alone that Tim provides wasn't enough, he does giveaways all twelve days....and last year, I won one of them!!  Look at all those beautiful fabby Tim products!! :>

10)  And there's another kidlet Fall favorite that is mine as well because of the great thoughtfulness behind it.  An Auntie & Uncle always kindly got my kidlets a chocolate advent calendar every year.  But, once the GF/CF diet change was made, the regular chocolate advent calendars were no longer edible for one kidlet.  After a little research, she found a GF/CF one from Peanut Free Planet!  Wooohooo!

I could probably list another fifty things I love about the Fall season.  But, I'll spare ya & stick to the ten! :>

What are your Fall favorites?

Mama's Losin' It

Monday, September 27, 2010

Google, the kidlets say. What about You?

How much fun is this uber awesome blogging & online world to you?! 

Well, its beyond fun, fabulous, & informational to me! 

How many times do you look up a word online?  Its spelling?  Its definition?  Its relevance?

I do.  I  use the net to look up spelling, definitions, word or topic relevance, or even words to make sure I'm remembering them right from oh so many years (decades) ago. 

My kidlets even tell me when I don't know the answer to one of their never ending list of questions, "Its okay, Mom.  You can Google it." 


What generation is this?!  Where did the world of cassette tapes & dictionaries & thesauruses & floppy discs & Pac Man & Frogger (my Atari favorite!) & library trips go?! 

Hmmmm....I got older.  When did this happen?! 

I grew up. 

And my kidlets now ask me questions.

And when I don't know the answer, they tell me to 'Google it'.


Google has become a family friend.

One we know intimately, for all the time we spend with it. 

Answers, information, pictures, images, maps, and even more answers.

"Google it.", my kidlets tell me.  There I will find our answer.

Funny enough though, *there* is where I find my next question.

So, *here* is where I ask you, what do you want to know next?! :>

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A New Day

When you start traveling down memory lane, its hard to stop.  Its easy enough to find many paths to meander down and great sights to take in, thoughts to ponder, questions to wonder, and then more memories to wander.

When I saw Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt #2, "Tell us about a day you were sure you wouldn’t get through." and I knew exactly which trail I wanted to follow next.

Mom says she finds random bits & pieces of her Mom's, my Grandma (you know, Grandma & her boyfriend, Jerry Rice! :>), at meaningful times in Mom's life since Grandma passed.

I'm sure I gave Mom the "Yea, yea. Okay. Sure." response when it happened to her.  But, then Mom found a piece of paper with my name written in Grandma's script & a typed passage on the front and more writing from Grandma on the back about my confirmation.  She didn't tell me about it, but simply put it in an envelope & mailed it to me.

Fast forward to an extremely challenging morning with the most extreme kidlet meltdown in public ever.  No need to say anything else.

When the kidlets & I returned home and everyone was settled.  I walked out to the mailbox, still completely effected by the events of the 'extremely challenging morning' and what do I find, but an envelope hand addressed to me, from Mom.

Upon opening the envelope, I found the little piece of paper with the printed passage & Grandma's script on it.  I read it.

(Picture is clickable to enlarge & read!)

As I read, I was reminded to move forward in my day from that moment.  The challenging morning was over and I could choose to move forward and try to have a more successful day.  It reminded me that as challenging as that morning had been, it was gone and I could choose what I wanted to trade the rest of my day in for.

I put 'A New Day' up on our refrigerator four years ago and there it has stayed.  It serves as a daily reminder to me and somewhat recently, even Hubby said that he also often reads it.  Hopefully, you can find something positive to take from this as well!

What keeps you moving on your challenging days?  Share your keep moving forward mojo!

(I don't know what this is from or who wrote it.  If anyone recognizes it, please share with me, so that I may give proper credit!)

Mama's Losin' It

And because I have enjoyed meandering down memory lane so much this week, making it fabulous & I enjoy Minky {moo} (definitely take a stroll through both of these women's blogs...they are a riot!....but after you say 'hi', okay?! :>:>), I'm linking up with her too:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet Grandma meets Jerry Rice

Grandma grew up on a farm in North Dakota, taught in a one room school house in a neighboring town, before moving out west, later meeting and marrying my grandfather.

Grandpa was an avid SF Giants fan and loved listening to their games on the radio. Grandma never held any interest in sports, let alone following a specific team of a specific sport, let alone following professional athletes' careers.

However, all that changed when in the early 1990's Grandma's three daughters took her to dinner at Benihana's in Burlingame. 

Aunt C recognized Jerry Rice, the legendary San Francisco 49er, Wide Receiver, #80.  Neither my Mom or Aunt D knew who he was.  (Even if you don't follow football, its not easy to not know who Jerry Rice is, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area!)

And with a "Please, please, please its my Mom's birthday??!" from Aunt C, Jerry came over to meet Grandma!

He gave her a kiss and took a picture with Grandma.  I can't help but look at their hands & difference in size here, no wonder he didn't drop the ball!! :>

Here's Grandpa & Grandma at Grandma's 80th birthday party, wearing the Jerry Rice 49er jersey and holding the Grandma/Jerry cake that Aunt C got for her. 

Once again, Pre-Jerry, Grandma had no interest in sports, let alone football, let alone one specific football player.  Post-Jerry, she would look for him in a game and called him her boyfriend.  Too cute!

Did you know that September is  Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?

In 1999, we lost Grandma to ovarian cancer.  Thanks to last week's Back 2 Blogging event through SITS, I learned about how Kelly Ripa has teamed up with Electrolux to support The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Grandma meeting Jerry Rice is one of many fun stories that I keep close, even though she's no longer with us.  What fun grandma stories do you hold on to? 

I'd love for you to say hello, then come back to this page & click on the link on Kelly Ripa's name and learn more.  Hope everyone is  well into a great week today! :>

And because I love my Grandma so much & this story so much, I'm linking up in the new home for Wordful Wednesday:

And yes, Grandma & Jerry have me Tickled Pink...come to 504 Main and see some fabulous & fun!
504 Main

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why I Blog ~ SITS Day Five

Today is the last day of the Back 2 Blogging event via SITS!

And I have had so much fun this week, not only in posting, but in visiting so many other wonderful SITSta bloggers and catching a ride along their journeys. 

Today, we have been asked to "write about what blogging means to you. Why do you blog? What purpose does it serve you and how have you benefited from sharing a piece of yourself online this way?"

Why I started blogging was much more vague than why I continue to blog now that I have dived into this online ocean. 

When I began blogging, I was serenaded by the creative & crafty, particularly papercrafts, even more specifically, stamped papercrafts.  Once I waded into blogging and inhaled the vapors of this amazing world, I was hooked. 

While papercrafts will always hold a very special place in my heart & inky, stampy hands (I started stamping in '94, scrapbooking in 2000...yup, after sixteen years, I think my love is here to stay!), I was hooked on the creativity that exists across the board and no longer wanted to limit myself to papercrafts.  I wanted to celebrate all kinds of creativity and began to share friends' & family members' creations as well as explore new ways to adventure through my own creativity.

All the while and from the beginning, I've been me, a Mama of two amazing kidlets, a wife to Hubby, a friend, daughter, sister, and yes, since February 2009, a blogger. 

And yes, blogging has given me the technical, aka kept my skills current, forced me (sometimes unwillingly) to learn to read a bit of html and even write a line or two, and taught me what social media is (and yet every time I even start to blink, there is more to learn!).

And yes, blogging lets me write and write and write.  I've been writing since I was a kidlet...its where I find my voice, where I am braver, where I can play.  And can I just tell you, I am sure that since I began blogging, my wonderful friends are probably thrilled that I do not write novel length emails to them so much anymore (occasionally, I still sneak them in....shhhh! :>).

With all that, blogging has given me something even greater than I ever imagined.  I have been amazed, time and time again at the community that is amongst bloggers, around the world.  Always curious how other people live, in different parts of my own country and across the globe, its the connections that have formed via this wonderful world of blogging that keep me writing, learning, and full of inspiration.

So, why do I blog?  To write, to learn, to find inspiration & hopefully inspire a wee bit myself, to connect, to learn some more, to appreciate where I am in life, to aspire to where I might go, and to continue to seek out and find the little bits & pieces o' life that make me {smile}.

Amazing what we can find in places that we never even knew to look.


Thanks to Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances for sponsoring SITS Back 2 Blogging and offering up the uber beautiful Turquoise Sky Thelma & Louise from Electrolux! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Women who { Inspire } ~ SITS Day Four

Women who inspire us.

A woman who inspires us.

A woman who inspires me.

That's what SITS gals are sharing for day four of the Back 2 Blogging event going on this week.


Initially, I thought of the present...

...and some of the women who inspire me creatively (including Dana of Paper Daydream & Elise of Mamacow Creations).

...and women who inspire me personally through over twenty years of Four Musketeer friendship.

As I kept thinking about the subject of women who inspire us, I reached into my history.  Actually, I reached into all of our history and arrived on the doorstep, quite literally, of a woman who has inspired me since childhood and was inspiring women long before that.

We share a birthday, this woman and I...though many years apart.  I remember meeting her in books as a child and learning of her strength, her fight, and determination to make this world a better and more equal place for women, for all humanity.


Susan B. Anthony was an abolitionist, educational reformer, labor activist, temperance worker, suffragist, and women's rights campaigner.  I highly recommend (when you are done reading here, of course! :>) clicking on her name to learn more about her.  

Those were all her titles, for all the different peoples she fought for.  But, to me, she was was someone who didn't take 'no' for an least, not when it came to treating people fairly, equally.  As a woman, I owe her (and many other women, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton) my right to vote in this right to have my voice count. 

I can't help but wonder, without the rights that Susan B. Anthony fought for, would so many of us women be blogging today?  Would I?  Could I?


For a time, as a kidlet, I lived near Susan B. Anthony's old stomping grounds, in upstate New York.  And I remember a classmate's birthday party that I went to at her house.  All these years later and I still remember the sort of reverence that a room full of young girls showed while 'partying' there, learning, and celebrating our growth.

One hundred ninety years since her birth, one hundred four years since her death, and she still inspires.

Who inspires you?


Thanks to Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances for sponsoring SITS Back 2 Blogging! 

Mama's Losin' It 
Prompt #2:Describe a woman who inspired YOU.

SITS Day Three: What's in a name?

What's in a name?  Or in this case, blog post title? 

Suppose I must admit it here, my post titles are not overly witty.  Having thought of them as identification rather than an enticing call has led to that.  Post titles that are identifying for creative challenges are quite helpful (such as KWerner Color Inspiration first time playing along!), but not witty.

And there are informative & identifying post titles (such as Thank You Temple Grandin & HBO) that work great for search engines.  But, there's no flavor and it certainly does not convey how excited I was by the end of the Emmy's.

In the last few months, I've wanted my post titles to be more interesting (such as A Keen Party).  But, what was keen about what kind of party?  That's not so great for peeps using search engines looking for you or your topic.

And while I'm quite obviously still working on it, there are a few post titles that while not overly witty, do mean the most to me, the ones that make me smile (Acrylic Play, How do you create?, and the post I'm re-sharing with you today, Strawberry Charm).  And that's mostly due to how I felt about the topics I wrote on, which ranged from nervous anticipation to creative playfulness to sweet Mama joy.

May 12, 2009
Strawberry Charm

Last month, my son and his class went on a fieldtrip to the local Ag Fair. He had SO much fun and is still talking about his experiences today. In addition to that lasting excitement, he has a little something growing rapidly that he brought home from that Ag Fair.

They sent each kidlet home with a little strawberry plant. His Dad helped him plant it in the backyard and other than that, we, hubby & I, have done nothing. We watch our son drag the hose across the yard to go water it pretty regularly.

While I was out back taking pictures with the kids yesterday (they had control of the camera, so most of them are of the cats and a few Really unflattering ones of me!), I was so delighted to see just how big his strawberry plant is getting! I snapped a quick pic and thought I would share it.



And in case you are wondering, that sweet strawberry plant grew into a healthy producing plant that over the last almost year and a half, has divided itself four times.  Our sweet boy has picked a handful of strawberries off of it every week this summer.  In fact, he just harvested two more sweet red berries to eat earlier tonight!

Were there any berries growing in your garden this summer?  And of course, what do you think about blog post titles?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I {heart} Fort Bragg: SITS Day Two

Its Day Two of SITS Back 2 Blogging event and today, we've been asked to "Re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you."  

I wrote & posted Where I Wish I Was in June, 2009 when my blog was quite the youngin' at a whopping four months of age.  At that time, I was predominantly posting papercrafts, specifically, stamped cards.  So, this was one of the few non crafty posts that I had shared at that point.

Why is it important to me?  Fort Bragg is somewhere I love to go.  In fact, there is NO WHERE that I relax quite as fast as I do when Hubby & I drive into town.  Hubby & I have celebrated most of our anniversaries there.  Many bits of our wonderful Fort Bragg anniversaries remind us of our fantastic honeymoon in Seattle, Friday Harbor, Victoria & Vancouver.

Hope you enjoy taking a quick blogging trip to Fort Bragg with me as I stroll down memory lane! :>

Every year for our anniversary, hubby and I take off to Fort Bragg on the northern California coast. We absolutely love it there. I'm one of those people that has a hard time shutting off my brain and whenever I arrive in Fort Bragg, it always amazes me just how quickly I completely let go and relax! But, can you blame me?

This is the view, looking to the left, from the deck off of our room at the Beachcomber Motel. Sigh. Gorgeous panoramic views, fresh ocean air, and sleeping with the door partially open at night (yes, there's a security bar!)....its like heaven, to me.

Thanks to this lovely economy that so many of us are experiencing right now, we have made the decision to not go this year. Booooo!! Boooo!! The pricey projects around the house that need to be done will thank us for the decision, but I'm not too thrilled about being a responsible grown up right about now. Hmph! Thank you for indulging me in my pout for just a moment. Now, I'll move on! :>

I love this large single tree that I always watch (and take a gazillion pictures of every year) the sun slowly set behind. Each year we come back we always notice which limbs have crashed down below. These pics are from our 2007 trip. Somehow I forgot my camera in 2008 and so the only pics I have are from a disposable and are not on the computer.

In 2007, we lost our sitter, my Mom, at the last minute due to a family gathering and so we brought the kidlets with us and made it into a little family vacation. Consequently, we altered some of our activities that we usually do to accommodate young kidlets interests and patience levels.

Each year we gallery hop through Fort Bragg and Mendocino in search of a new piece of original art to give as our anniversary gift to each other. That particular year, we knew the kids would not be up to a long gallery hop, so we only visited about four or five. We also took them to the toy store, an ice cream cone after dinner, and a walk through town to eat it.

In the morning, after breakfast, we took the kidlets to what is always our last stop on the Sunday of our annual trip, Glass Beach. Our son had a blast climbing the rocks, checking out the sea critters, and looking for drift wood, cool rocks, and sea glass. While the larger pieces of glass have all been picked over through the years, there is a ton of little colorful pieces of ocean washed and smoothed glass all over the beach. And when the tide is out, there are great tide pools.....lots of sea weed to walk through, but wonderful treasures to look at!

You can see sea anemones, mussels, limpets, jelly fish, and a crab or two. Do you see him? If you can't, enlarge the pic by clicking on it. Say "Hi, Mr.Crab!!"

What? Are you coming to see us? Coming to say 'hello'? Hi Mr.Crab! Come closer, I want a better picture...please? Oh no, after this pic, he'd had enough and quickly scurried below the water.

Fort Bragg, Mendocino, and most of the northern California coastline is just a dream and I feel fortunate to live so close by. I know we'll make it out to the coast a few times this year and I really look forward to our next trip to Fort Bragg. Where are you looking forward to visiting soon?


Some thanks to shout out to Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances for sponsoring the Back 2 Blogging event put on by SITS!  And of course, Electrolux's Thelma & Louise are mighty beauties that will go to a blogger participating in this event! :>

So, over a year later, into fall rather than summer, I still ask again, where are you looking forward to visiting soon?

At home, I'm looking forward to visiting with family and friends who will be visiting two weekends in a row for a kidlet's birthday.  And after that, I'm looking forward to visiting my friend Jenn to celebrate her birthday! 

Your turn!  Looking forward to hearing what's coming up for you! :>

Monday, September 13, 2010

SITS Back 2 Blogging: Day One

Its Back 2 Blogging week with the SITS gals this week and just look what kind of incentive they have come up with!!

Just look at that beautiful Turquoise Sky Electrolux Washer & Dryer, aka Thelma & Louise!  OOooooo...soo pretty.  What?  What's that you say?  They're uber functional too?!  Happy sighs.  Thanks to Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances for sponsoring this blogging event! 

Today, we are uploading our first blog posts ever.  For me, that was February 6th, 2009.  Have to admit, I was a little daunted by that....probably why its taken me so long to post today!  But, I am here and I am posting.  So, here ya go, my very first blog post evah!

A little over a year ago, I didn't even understand the point of a blog! It simply did not make a whole lot of sense to me. Then, I discovered the wonderful world of craft blogs......and boy was I hooked! I'm sure I spend way too much time blurfing, but I just love seeing what all the talented crafty people are up to and creating. I have been amazed at not only the talent that is blogging, but also the community that develops between bloggers. All of it began to seem a whole lot less impersonal. So, here I am, dipping my toes into this ocean and attempting to gain my own first hand blogging experience. Wish me luck!


Okay, so my toes did more than just a playful splash in this blogging ocean and while I have so much more to explore & learn, I must say, I have loved this blogging adventure.  I am so glad I have embarked on it. 

Come back tomorrow to see what we're working on next.  And if you are participating in SITS Back 2 Blogging event, let me know so that I can come by & see your take on it!! :>

Friday, September 10, 2010

Are you getting {YOUR} Friday On?

Oh so ready to get my Friday ON!!  How about you??

And this Friday, today, (or I should say, tonight) while the kidlets have their movie night at home & then gently lay their sweet heads on their pillows and wander off to dreamland, I will be having dinner & playing with some creative gals!

I'm bringing this plaque of sorts.

And these wooden letters.

And though I have a general idea of what I'm making, I'm not quite sure exactly which kind of bling I'll want or need, so glitter, rhinestones, sequins, and dew drops will all be tagging along and begging for their turn to swim in some glue!

A chance to be social and creative and out on a Friday night makes for a Fabulous Friday!

What are you doing to get your Friday on??


To see what's fabulous for other peeps this Friday, I'm linking up with:


New Friend Fridays


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Inspiration: {Orange} You Lovin' It

With Autumn just around the corner, I am dreaming in hues of oranges, golden yellows, deep reds. Want to come along?

 '{Orange} You Lovin' It' by TimeCrafted

Bird Amongst Poppie...

Lunastrella Camera ...

Orange Cream Dewy R...

Leaves Falling On B...

4 ounce Soy Candle ...

Rose Hair Pins. Yel...

Kindness Freshwater...

Oranges and Cream B...

2 oz Bottle Sweet ...

Sale - Mini Orange ...

Candy Corn Loofah S...

Mini Yellow Buttons


Efflorescent - Fine...

Orange Cream Carame...


Note:  When I made this treasury in Etsy, it was four items across (like most!), but my blog's width only allows for three across, max.  Nevertheless, I'm still happy to share it.  You can also click HERE to see it as it was put together.  Oh yes, and don't forget to check out some of the Etsy sellers who make up that candyland of creativity & handmade goodness! :>

Early this morning, I awoke to a cold nose and when I pulled back the covers, I felt the chill in the air.

We had an unseasonably cool, completely atypical summer here this year. But, even with the marine layer hovering most mornings, leaving the sky dark until it burned off, sometimes into the early afternoon, the cool chill of the mornings did not speak of autumn to me.

This morning, when I pulled back the covers at the early morning hour, it did. I felt fall in the air. And I breathed in deeply.

What makes you *feel* fall is descending and on approach in the land you live?
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