Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our first of the season!

Hubs spotted a Red Admiral butterfly from our window. Not typical for our area and an early butterfly for us anyhow! Enjoy! :)

- Free bagel and shmear at Einstein's. Find your coupon here. Thanks Mommy Saves Big!

Friday, April 30, 2010

I have this issue.

The season is here. What season is that? Sandal season. I pull out the pumice stone and polish to get my feet a little less wintry looking and more sandal friendly.

I've come to realize that not all folks take to my seasonal foot maintenance.

On Wednesday we had some customers in wearing sandals on a brisk 54 degree day. The two sandal wearers were offenders. First was a young man being taken around by some young girl, no doubtedly the friend of his girlfriend, showing him all sorts of things that he could buy. He was physically incapable of walking without dragging his feet everywhere. [slide, slide, slide] I looked down, and realized that his sandals were 1. too small since his toes were curling over the front, 2. his toe nails were excessively long and 3. his toe nails were chipped, funky and very visibly dirty. [scrunched up face yelling EWWWW! inside.] The second offender was a woman in her 50's, incapable to make a decision to save her life and she was walking around in similar fashion to the young man, 30 years her junior.

Y'all, I have some serious foot issues when it comes to people wearing sandals.

Men, I don't care how much you try, as a population, you generally only have utilitarian type feet. Those are best strapped inside of something that will kind of mask those things. The airy sandals? Your better bet. If you insist on wearing flip flops, please consider taking care of not only nail length and cleanliness, but ridding your feet of the tufts of hair growing on tops of all of your toes.

Ladies, there are pumice stones. They are our friends. Munchy, crunchy heels are not good. Even my 6 year old will notice that she needs to use it and the little elephant nail brush that I have at the tub for her. Please also consider wearing the correct size of footwear. I know that sandals let us cheat with sizes, but if you wear a size 8 1/2, it doesn't mean that you should be wearing a size 7 sandal just because it is open or too darned cute and on sale to pass it by. If your heel is lopping over the end or your toes are curling over the front, you need to bump up a size or two. It's okay. We don't care what number you have on your feet. Toe paint is certainly not required. A little trimming and some lotion may be all you need to get your feet rolling for the season. Remember, the same rule applies for toe hair. Thy razor is thy friend.

A note about sandal styles. A friend at work calls flip flops shower shoes. She's right, you know. But, for those of us (even late bloomers like me) that like flip flops (though I'm a snob and won't wear cheapies or any without the fabric thingy between my toes), can be cute. Just make certain to follow the size suggestion in the paragraph above. Ooo, and remember not to run in flip flops. That's just plain dangerous. God never intended us to run with a sole slightly strapped to our foot.

There are sandal styles that fully expose the full front of the foot. I don't get it. I'm usually a let-a-little-toe peek out kind of girl. These sandals expose the entire full set of pigs and an inch or two of the top of the foot. I've never found these to look attractive on anyone. That much foot exposure cannot be that good for walking either. All I can figure is that the front would tend to want to flap in the wind. Argh.

Now, I don't know who decided that toes need to have acrylic extensions. Really? All I can think of is all the grossedies that might gather up under those things. Y'all really can't be wearing full shoes with those. The shoes have to press down on those and cause pain. Are acrylic toe nails really worth it? Will I find them swimming in the public pool this year? EWWWWW!

And since we're on the foot subject, plenty of people wear toe rings. Though I find them uncomfortable, folks like them enough. Just remember, a little goes a long way. You don't need to have four per foot.

This concludes my foot maintenance clinic. If you have any more suggestions regarding sandal season starting, please feel free to include them in the comments.

Smiles in my day:
- The hawk doing his morning fly-by as I was hanging laundry.
- The woodpecker hard at work tap-tap-tapping on a tree when I was readying to leave.
- The chickadee couple that appears to have decided to use our back birdhouse box that I! built as a home for their soon-to-be chickadeedeedees. :) (Mama duck appears to have vacated the premises, though.)
- Listening to all of the migratory birds as they are on their way north. We've enjoyed the Tufted Titmouse and his peter-peter-peter-peter call this spring. It makes us happy!
- The 100 book challenge board is fully updated.
- I was able to track down the last set of Bob Books that I need for K- for summer. I needed Bob Pals and found it on
- My husband bought me a new mop and left it downstairs as a surprise! I know that this seems like a very 1950's statement to say, but I have a love for the Vileda mops with the flippy handle. I've been looking for an additional mop for the upstairs (we share between the basement and upstairs and we wanted a upstairs exclusive mop) and I couldn't find one.

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am so excited!

All of you know that my husband and I have hearts for adoption. We are advocates for domestic adoption, as that is where our hearts called us. (It's not to say that there is anything wrong with international adoption. It was just not the path for us.)

Sandra Bullock is adopting a domestic baby from New Orleans!


Why is her adoption such a big deal to me? It is because celebrities have pull. When they do something like helping storm victims, calling attention to mistreatment, and adopting babies, people stand up and listen. Wow! How this will bring to light all of the children in our very own country-- in our own backyards-- that are equally as homeless as other children in other countries. These children have unfortunately been the victims of abuse, they have been hungry, they have seen things in life that they shouldn't have. That is here. That is in America.

I am so thrilled that we now have a celebrity face of domestic adoption. She has been so quiet about it. Instead of thrusting this child into the limelight, she went about it in stealth mode.

He is gorgeous. He is so lucky.

To see more Hollywood adoptions, click here.

Smiles in my day:
- Despite the horrible cramps that woke me at 2:30 AM, I slept through the night. The previous night, I had not.
- The rain stopped, so K- and I were able to walk to school this morning.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Short-lived crabapple blossoms

The blossoms were gorgeous, then very rainy weather came in and knocked all of the blooms from the trees. We enjoyed their beauty for the short time that they were here, though!

Smiles in my day:
- Getting atagirls from our boss. She had written a letter to all of us letting us know "how proud they were" of us in regard to the show opening on Saturday. Later, another letter was sent around in regard to an issue that she had come up against at the end of last week. She hand delivered the note and let us know that it didn't apply to us. She told us that she doesn't stop in that often and check in on us not because she doesn't care, but because she knows that she doesn't have to worry about us. She knows that we'll do what needs to be done. We thanked her and my heart smiled big.
- I got a call at work today. "Is this Amy - - - ?" "Yes." "This is the school nurse at - - Elementary." [Insert concern.] "Yes." "K-'s teacher sent her down to me because her cheeks are really red." "Yes, well my guess was that she was just running around chasing the boys at recess." [Insert chuckle from nurse.] "That is EXACTLY what she just told me!" "K- is just one of those kids that get rosey cheeks. The warmer the weather gets, the rosier the cheeks become. Did you check her temperature?" "No." "Does she seem okay?" "Yes. Well, there was some concern since 5ths Disease seems to be going around." "Oh! Well, she already had that!" "Great! Okay then! Bye!" Glad that it was a false alarm! And yes, her cheeks do get that rosey when she is very active, very tired, or very sick.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Something I never knew existed


Now, I never knew this existed.

I know nothing about this other than what was represented in this report. I know that it doesn't make me happy. It makes me sad for the kids, as my husband and I feel that a formal education (we're speaking of public/private/homeschooling . . . ) is necessary. We have a child who is in need of boundaries. She needs to have a firm, but loving hand. This style of learning would not work for her at all. Given the choice of how to conduct her life on her own, she would live in a too small Hannah Montana shirt with a Tinkerbell skirt, leopard print Halloween socks while eating dry cereal and living on PBS kids all day.

I admit that children that are left to their own devices without structure make me worry that they will grow to be extremely flaky and unreliable adults. I worry that they are missing the chunks of education that they might not find appealing, but in a more formal setting (this includes homeschoolers as in many cases, they do many things to socialize their children) opportunities, experiences and whatnot are required of the children-- even for a limited amount of time.

Experiences with their peers is just invaluable. While Hubs and I certainly agree that we don't want K- to be picked on, learning to stand up for yourself and your friends is necessary in life. Learning to do so within the confines of a school or a school type atmosphere is essential. Life isn't always going to be a bowl of cherries. It is up to us to shelter K- to a certain extent while young, but to have her use the skills that we have given to her to advocate for herself. School provides the opportunity to do this in bits and bites.

Children learn with and from each other in a school setting. In homeschooling settings, the younger children learn from their siblings, as they advance in their paces in learning. It is important to learn from their peers, as not everyone learns the same. Learning from peers gives an opportunity to help to problem solve. "This isn't working for me this way, but Zoe works these problems out like this. Let me try to do it her way."

We absolutely love K-'s elementary. We bought a house in the area that we did for several reasons, including the quality of schools. We wouldn't change our choice for anything in the world, but we know that our choice is not a choice for everyone.

How do you feel? I am aware that the news piece is biased. I know that I don't have the full scoop. Honest opinions are always appreciated.

Smiles in my day:
- My friend, Laurie, was able to tweak on my purse so that it stops falling off of me. She put some grommets on my bag to secure the strap. Hooray!
- K-, Hubs and me doing a play with the McDonald's Madame Alexander version of the Wizard of Oz. K- remembers the details much better than us.
- Hubs found the source of the cat smell in our basement. Smudge is mad at us for leaving her down in our very nice, very clean and very spacious basement. She is in a fit of disobedience and we are letting her know who her "pack leader" is. (Thank you, Caesar Milan.)
- The doctor called my mom and confirmed that her test results came back fine. Hooray!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Art openings always have the best food and other fine, fine stories that you don't care about.

Our weekend was jam-packed. My Friday was the point where I couldn't take it any more and I stripped the garden window of all the plants that decided to pass by way of our very cold winter and on to compost heaven. They just hadn't reached their place in the compost heaven yet. I rolled up our city issued gigantic garbage can and just started dumping plants. Don't worry. I saved the pots to refill. I had a lovely pot that died just from being root-bound. I didn't realize! The shamrock died because of the intense cold in the window. I had a few that lacked proper moisture and the cat decided to dig the aloe up and spread all of it's baby parts and pieces all over my faked out console table that I had behind the couch.

Death was around us. It was so sad.

The window was stripped and cleaned. The pots are now in storage on my newly built shelving unit in the shed. (I organized and made my very own potting area in there.) I do have two plants left that were fairly well taken care of during the winter. They were not in the window. Mentally noted for next year.

The dead plant clearing inspired me to go out to the back beds and clear those. Yes, I realize that I should have done it about a month ago but I didn't have the time. As I was clearing one particular section, apparently I frightened a critter that shot out of the hole and bounced off of my leg. I never did find it or what did it, but my guess is a chipmunk.

I folded the laundry I had hung on the line.

K- wanted to go on a walk. We did that, got her ready for bed and I continued to stay up to tend to the pesky task of readying my supplies for the leaded glass demo I was scheduled for the next day.

I had nothing cut out.

I had nothing gathered up.

Diet Cherry Coke took me to where I needed to be.

Hubs had gone to bed early since he had to get up at 4 AM to ready himself for a fishing derby he was overseeing. After I got all of my studio work done, I snuggled up on the couch, so as not to disturb sleeping beauty. I did wake to the smell of coffee at 4 AM, something that neither one of us drink, but Hubs volunteers do. They would withhold work if they didn't have coffee.

Y'all, even though I don't drink it, I have to tell you that the coffee did not smell good. I guess I'm used to the smell of gallery coffee. It is so strong that it would make you peel your eyelids off the ceiling.

Very sweet-like, Hubs o' mine gave me a kiss on the head and whispered, "Honey, you can go to bed now." I staggered to bed and fell asleep to something on TV that I turned on and don't even remember.

I dropped K- off with my friend, Laurie. Laurie took her to her Lowe's building workshop. I went onward to work and hung out there for over four hours. I made three frames, all the while on the clock, ate some lovely food, talked to people, showed them how to solder a smooth, straight line and went back to get K-.

A side note: Taco Bell's Cherry Limeade is FANTASTIC. 'Nuff said.

K- had such a great time that she didn't want to leave. She never does. I swear, I don't know what Laurie does with the child but I think K- would live there if we told her it was okay.

When we got home, Hubs was there! His fishing derby went well, despite the rain that both he and I experienced while doing our outside work things. (I was undercover, don't worry.) It was 3:30 PM when I walked in. I smelled of soldering smoke. I was tired. We were all tired. I took a bath. We did a catch-as-catch-can dinner and we sacked out with Storm Chasers videos and our end-of-the-evening flick of Twister.

I think that K- may grow up to be a storm chaser. I just don't think that she knows it yet. Driving down the road today, she yelled, "Step on it! There's a tornado!" Then, she was just laughing and laughing. Who knows? She used to want to be a vet.

Anyhow. That brings us to today. K- and I went to Sunday School and church. Hubs met up with me at church later. We ran home for lunch, then on to the last swim lesson of the season (PRAISE JESUS!), onward to an early dinner at Bob's, then on to activate our gifted-to-us swim pass (which required more time than getting a drivers license and even required K-'s birth certificate!) and since we skipped getting K- the celebratory ice cream at Bob's, we waited for digestion to take place and took her to our favorite home owned place. Yum. After that, we decided to have a good chuckle at the "aisles of misfit products" that Big Lots had to offer.

We giggle at some things that didn't make the cut. We laugh at the winter packaged products that are still priced the regular "mark down" Big Lots price regardless to the regular products in the same pile with the items. I did find Kashi Cinnamon Wheat Square cereal, Terra Stripes and Blues Chips, Kashi Apple Bars, Curious George Band-Aids, a car wash mitt, a new litter mat for Smudge and a replacement paint pan for church since I think we pitched the one I used last year. Yes, the food is well within date. I love finding good food at a good price. It made me smile!

K- and I busted out the rest of the Geronimo Stilton book that we were reading. Frankly, Geronimo Stilton is not my favorite (this is the first book, so I should give it more of a chance since she liked it well enough.) The book was K-'s prize for getting to 700 on the 100 book challenge.

That brings us to the end of my day. We're all bushed. But, here is a picture of my baby on her last day of swim class. Smiles in my weekend:
- Sprinkled in above.

Have a great day!