Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a beautiful, family-filled, love-filled Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Raise your hand're so glad that the weekend keeps comin' around.  :)  Me, too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tonight I finished the last of these fleece each for my nieces Autumn and Adrienne, and one for my granddaughter, Mackenzie.  I consider these soft and cuddly kisses from me to them!  Merry Christmas, little girls!

♥ For Autumn ♥

♥ For Adrienne ♥

♥ For Mackenzie ♥

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Raise your hand STINK at keeping up on blogging and you are thisclose to getting banned from ever blogging again!  Ever!  Just me, huh?  Bummer.

We're all ok here, autumn is winding down and winter is inching closer, although we're due for 50 degree temps next week.  School is good this year, especially since I get to be with my crazy school gal pals during the day.  They keep me laughing, focused, and sane (well, sane-ish).  I've been a crafting fool for the last few weeks because my best childhood friend bullied, peer pressured, arm-wrestled, cajoled me into doing a craft fair with her.   Did that today and it was fun, and I made about $100.  Not too much, but enough that Bob is at 99 Restaurant right this moment picking up our supper.  :)

I hope everyone out in Blogland is wonderful and preparing for the holidays.  Oh yeah...I haven't even STARTED shopping yet.  How about you?  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

RAISE YOUR HAND did TWENTY ONE jumps using a "Skip-It", only to be outdone by your granddaughter who did 37!!  Show off.

Of course I had to rest for almost an hour afterwards, but whatever!

Friday, September 16, 2011

First and foremost.....TGIF!!  Then...

RAISE YOUR HAND're FINALLY wearing warm socks, LL Bean slippers, jeans, and a sweatshirt because the chilly weather arrived overnight!!

The outdoor air smells heavenly, like the very beginning of Autumn should. It makes me feel absolutely marvelous! (does anyone even say "marvelous" anymore??)

I hope you're loving the weather wherever you are, too. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

Ten years ago today our lives, our hearts and our country were changed forever; futures, lives and innocence were all lost.  Strength and courage to those who survived; peace and rest to those who didn't.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Raise your hand obviously haven't posted anything new since last weekend because you're posting THIS AGAIN!!
Sheesh!  But I do love Fridays!! 

Friday, September 2, 2011


    ~Happy Long Weekend to  You~

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friday Eve

Guess what today's Friday Eve!

Guess what that means...tomorrow is FRIDAY!!

Guess what's a long weekend!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of School...Done!

Survived the first day with went surprisingly well, too!  Let's hope the rest of the year goes as well.

Bob and I just spent over two hours with a financial adviser and let me tell you, my head is spinning! We are overwhelmed with information, so I'll leave you with a photo of my favorite place to be, where I'd like to be now as a matter of fact. :)

♥Caspian Lake, Greensboro, VT♥
Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two Days Down!

Just finished Day Two of our school year...only 183 more to go!!  We've been there since Monday getting "professionally developed", and the kids arrive tomorrow.  It's always exciting the first week.  Since I'm in grades 6, 7, and 8, I get to see the old ones and the new ones.  It's fun!

I've decided to get my head "back in the game" this year at school.  Last year didn't go well, and with my husband suffering all the medical issues he did starting back in January, it was more important that my energies were focused at home.  This year I have a good schedule, I like each teacher that I'll be with, and more importantly than anything....I get to eat lunch with my pals!!

The weather here has been glorious since Tropical Storm Irene blasted her way through over the weekend.  We survived relatively unscathed, although my sister suffered pretty serious water damage.  Their family is safe, which matters most.  We had tons of rain, some wild winds, but nothing serious.  Our favorite state, Vermont, got hit damn hard, however...lots of devastation up that way.

Well, I'm off to iron my first-day-with-kids school clothes.  Stay safe and healthy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School

The last time I saw the world this early in the morning was on June 23, our last day of school, and although I know it's a beautiful time of day...quiet, peaceful, promising...I do prefer seeing that from photos rather than firsthand.  I prefer staying in my cocoon until, well, until I drag myself out of bed because of some deep motherly guilt.  The good thing is that sometimes, that guilt doesn't kick in until around 9:45 in the morning!

So here I go, off on another school year at the middle school.  I do love my co-workers, most of the kids, my building and the constant movement, but really...I'm looking forward to June again!  Tally ho, and all that jazz.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene

G'morning.  We're still here, watching Tropical Storm Irene outside the windows.  So far, so good.  We had lots of crazy rain during the night, with some good wind gusts.  My husband Bob, aka Weather Guy Bob, just said that it will be a little crazier later on, but nothing like what was originally predicted.

Our oldest daughter is riding it out in southern Connecticut at her boyfriend's house, so I'm very grateful for cell phones.  I don't care how old they are, they're still our kids and we still worry.   They just don't get that until they have kids of their own, though.

We're due to start school tomorrow, but will know later on today if that changes or not.  I'm in complete and total denial about having to go back, so maybe one more day off will help (yeah, right!)  My mom stayed here last night, so we're all hanging out watching the Weather Channel, getting ready to put a ham in the oven for later on.  Not so bad for a Sunday afternoon, provided everyone stays safe. :)  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

RAISE YOUR HAND should be booted out of the entire blogging universe because you haven't blogged since Spring...GUILTY!

I hope everyone is healthy, happy, safe and enjoying life these days.  We are here, although we've gone through some pretty major changes since my last post.  The short story is that my husband is now officially retired from UPS, due to medical issues, where he's been a driver for almost 30 years, and we've all been going through that life transition.  So far, so good, especially if he decides that cooking supper every night is FUN!  He should be ok, but we all know how quickly life changes, don't we?

Well, here in Western Massachusetts we're bracing for Hurricane Irene's arrival.  Just over two months ago, on June 1, we had a slew of tornadoes pass through our town and surrounding towns.  It was a freak thing and very terrifying, not only because we've never had one like that, but also because it was so sudden and unexpected.  The only "good" thing about a hurricane (and I use the word "good" loosely), is that we've been given a few days to prepare.  We're as prepared as we're going to get; now all we're waiting for is my mom to come here where she'll be staying until it's safe for her to go home.  She's 90 years old and survived the Hurricane of 1938 (among other things), so she's taking all this in stride.

I have supper in the crock pot today, we have plenty of propane for the grill if we need to cook on it for a few days, the laundry is done, the yard is cleaner than it's ever been, and we have plenty of cases of water.  I'm not real sure why we have cases of water, but every emergency expert says to get water, so we did.  The only thing we didn't get was a generator.  I did get 70 pounds of ice, though, so let's hope the coolers do their job!

I'm going to do my best to be here more regularly and get back to reading my favorite blogs, too! See you sooner rather than later. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Raise your hand've had a migraine since Friday and it's the first one you've had in 15 years or so.  Yeah, me too.  I'm not sure I've ever had one that felt like this, either.  Last night I ended up coming in early from my cottage and spending about three hours on the couch with a hot pack on my temples.  Today, it's been trying to get back into my head and as of right now, it almost feels like it's winning.  Anyone know of any OTC migraine medicine that actually works? 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Raise your hand're DAMN glad it's a weekend!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Woke up to a sunny Saturday morning which is so very nice.  :)  My "plan" is to spend the day in my cottage working on signs for my friends who are doing a craft fair in Troy, NY.  Then,  I "plan" on measuring/cutting four signs for orders at school.   Tomorrow I might just get to spend the day with my sister-in-law, one of my closest friends. 

Notice how I wrote "plan"?  I'm not foolish enough to think everything goes as planned.  One of my favorite sayings is..."Wanna' hear God laugh?  Just tell Him your plans!" 

I hope that wherever you are, it's sunny and warm (not too...let's not rush Summer), and that you can spend the day doing something you love.   Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whew.  Weigh-in yesterday wasn't too painful.  I was down 1.6 pounds for a total loss of 4 whole pounds in two weeks!  Yay...only 37 more to go. (thank goodness for mini pretzels!)

You know how my husband has been having medical issues that are forcing him to retire early and apply for Social Security Disability?  Let me tell you, what a time-consuming, mind-numbing ordeal.  But, you know what a very cool benefit is to all that?  Guess who does the dishes, laundry, and COOKING now??!! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hi there.  Another Monday in Paradise, if you think Paradise is defined as a cold, damp, gray, snowy, rainy Monday (and some of us do!).

You know how I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago?  Well, I did ok last week, but this week has been a serious emotional struggle, which translates to serious emotional overeating.  Tomorrow is weigh-in, so I'll know more.  I'm still going to try, though; I've done it before and can do it again.

Onward, dammit!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Almost Ready to Sell

Hi again.  I just spent the last 2 1/2 hours uploading more photos of new signs to my selling blog.  Whew.  How clueless I was last November when I innocently posted that it would be up and running in about two weeks...yeah, if I had nothing else that required my presence!

Anyway...I still have to get the descriptions, price and shipping costs recorded, then I'll be DONE!  Or maybe I'll be STARTING...who knows.  Either way, I'll keep working on it til it's ready. :)

Til then, here are a few more signs I finished recently.

This one speaks for itself!

I did this one in four different color combinations.

One of my favorites.

I highly distressed this one, which I love doing!  I think if you click on it, it'll show up better.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hi friends.  Happy Monday to you. :)

I hope everyone is well and able to feel the warm sunshine on their faces.  

Things are ok here, although my  husband is facing a "forced" early retirement because of the unexpected blood-clotting issue he's been facing since January 20.  It sure wasn't in our plans, but it's here, so we're doing our best to  move forward.   We were sitting in the doctor's office today, waiting, and told each other that no matter what, there's always someone who has it worse.  We'll be ok, one way or another. 

I hope everyone you love is healthy and safe, and thank heavens Spring is on the way FINALLY!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weight Watchers Again!

Raise your hand started back at Weight Watchers today.  (sigh)  Me too.  But the cool part is that now I get to use a cute little calculator to measure points. :) 

The only part of my body that doesNOT depress me is, um, ears!  Yeah, my ears are quite lovely in both their shape and their flatness to my head.   Besides that, I'm disgusted with every inch of me. 

While going through all the old paperwork from my past WW ventures, I found out something interesting.  Turns out that whenever I get to within one pound of a certain weight, I start going back to meetings.  I don't weigh myself at home because, let's face it, even though I know I'm more than that number on the scale, it still controls my  moods.  Not good when you use food as armor.

So...let's see how this WW trip goes.  If I can lose 50 pounds, I'll be at a number I can live with.  I've done it before, I can do it again.  Tally ho!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Raise your hand've had a cranky day but felt way better after a nice visit with your mom and your brother.  Me too! 

Also, raise your hand if it's raining like hell and will be until tomorrow and you have water in your basement and the street drain is blocked and that water is making its way sneakily back towards your house!!  AAAGGGHHHH! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Raise your hand're very VERY happy that tomorrow is Friday. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Now this is what I call "following my bliss"!

And what have you been doing to follow your bliss lately?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Only two more work days til winter vacation, when I can finally get caught up on blog-reading and writing, painting, and maybe even sleep! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Raise your hand got to (finally) spend the afternoon in your art cottage playing in your own creative energy!  Yay!

Finished these four signs today...finally!  With all that's been going on here, it's been a few weeks since I could get out into my cottage and work, so today, barring any medical emergencies, I was headed out there come hell or high water!

The two town signs are for a teacher at school who ordered one for herself before Christmas, then ordered two more to give as gifts.  The black "Welcome Home" is for my daughter to give as a gift, and the cream "Welcome Home" will be for sale.   I took the DE-stressing quite literally on the cream one and distressed the hell out of it!   :)

Tomorrow I hope PLAN to get out there again and start on three new ones that are itching to be painted.  With February vacation coming up, my plan is to spend time each day painting or will be so therapeutic.

Happy Weekend to you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hi there.  First follow-up visit with Bob's doctor today and most everything is ok, with a few "small" glitches.  But, the doctor advises that we begin to explore Bob retiring early from UPS which is most certainly NOT what we expected at this stage of our lives.  Oh my.

As Roseann Roseanna Danna used to say...."it's always somethin'!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Raise your hand spent two hours shopping for stencils on eBay and ended up ordering three new ones!  I did too!

It was a perfect way to get mentally lost for a little while.  I can't wait to get to work on more signs asap. :)  Everything has been on hold for awhile...and now I want to get back to "playing in the creative energy"! I just hope Life obliges.

Crazy Two Weeks!

Holy crap, what a crazy two weeks!  Since Friday, January 21,  I have...been shocked, waited, prayed, cried, stared into space, read, worried, prayed some more, paced, been grateful, fell in love with the "angels in scrubs", texted everyone and their brother, walked to my car in the hospital parking lot at midnight, made phone calls to Bob's semi-estranged family, learned new medical lingo, walked the hospital halls with Bob leaning on an IV pole, asked questions,  and learned that even the "experts" don't know everything.

Once that was done, I...learned to rely on home nurses, got to know about Coumadin, did the damn snow removal, watched my youngest daughter learn to give her father injections, kicked and swore at the snowblower, threw a shovel,  changed bandages, went back to work, paid some bills, did some laundry, shoveled, kicked and swore at the snowblower again, mopped up the water leaking in to both bathrooms, filled my knee-highs with salt and threw them up onto the roof, then broke out into almost hysterical laughter at just how foolish it all looked, waited for the Coumadin Clinic to call with instructions, then brought Mom to the E/R last night, and inched home on ice-covered roads at midnight. 

 Through it all, I've been reminded of just how lucky I am to have my husband, my family, my friends, a job I enjoy, my health.  I'm also lucky to have Girl Scout cookies; I ate seven of them for breakfast today. :D

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hi friends.  What a long, long, week.

Bob ended up having surgery last Tuesday on his left groin area.   When they had cleaned out one area and sewed him up, they found no pulse in his foot!  They did an angiogram, found that his entire leg was blocked with clots, opened up his calf, then did a small bypass there.  His recovery from anesthesia was tough as they had to put him back under right before he woke up in order to do his calf. 

By Wednesday morning, there was no pulse to be found in his right leg!  After another ct scan, it was found that his right groin area was blocked...and they don't know why.   He had another surgery Thursday evening, two units of blood Friday,  and as of this moment, he is finally home.  He is getting injections of a blood thinner twice a day from a visiting nurse, as well as taking Coumadin, which he is expected to be on for a long time once the level is safe.  The specialist is baffled as to why all the new blood clots appeared while Bob was on a blood thinner.  His exact words were "I am extraordinarily bothered; people lose their legs over this"....

Our life has changed dramatically in the course of ten days, to say the least.  We have no idea how long he'll be out of work, or if he'll even be able to go back to work at UPS...the weight limit there is 150 pounds and with this artery issue and being on a blood thinner, who knows. 

I'll be going back to work tomorrow with a little trepidation.  My mom called today and asked if she could come here and sit with Bob, so knowing she'll be here is reassuring.  Funny, no matter how old we get, our moms are still our moms and I am grateful to have her.

And so, onward, putting my faith where it His hands.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And now....raise your hand've apparently lost the ability to get any photo to fit into your blog header.  I present to very boring blog header. Crap.
Raise your hand should be kicked out of Blogland, never allowed to return, for failure to keep up.  That's me, I'm raising my hand.

Truth is that until yesterday whenever I had free time, I was working on my selling blog, which is still a work in progress.  Then, yesterday, we got blindsided to say the least. 

My husband, Bob, had surgery 20 months ago to have the arteries leading to both legs replaced with artificial ones.  It was a long surgery (six hours) and a long recovery, but recover he did!  For the first time in years, he was out of pain and could walk endlessly.  Well, Thursday morning while making a delivery (he's a UPS driver), the pain hit him like a sledgehammer, this time in his "good" leg!  It got so bad that by noon, he was having to use both hands to actually lift his leg so he could back into the truck.  Of course UPS had "no one" that could go out and take over his route (don't get me started), so he worked until around 5:30, then headed home.  He usually gets home around 8:30 or 9:00, so it was a very early day for him.

Well, after a visit to the vascular surgeon Friday morning, it was determined that there was a blockage in the left artery, possibly a clot, and he needed surgery.  They admitted him last night, he's been on a blood thinner since then, and the surgery is scheduled for Monday morning or afternoon.  We are stunned to say the least.  And nervous.  And truth be told, scared. 

I spent all day there with him today and finally got him to walk a little.  The pain stops him in his tracks; he waits til it diminishes and starts up again.  Not good.  No way to live.  No way to be able to work either. 

So...we'll see what Monday brings.  We're praying they don't find any surprises when they get in there and that the recovery is a steady, short one.  We were planning on a getaway next weekend to Vermont;  one doctor says that if all goes well, we can still go, as long as it's to sit and NOT to ski.  I told him I am a professional sitter!   Let's hope that by this time next weekend, I am freezing my ass off in northern Vermont!

I'll keep you posted.  Stay seems as if everywhere is in a deep freeze! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

There is nothing like a snow day right in the middle of January to boost the spirits.  :)  As soon as I get motivated, I'm going to do some needlework (she said, as she realized that it was already 2:00 in the afternoon...any motivation best get here fast!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Hi everyone.  I hope you are all safely at home with your family tonight, tucked in and content.

It's been a draining day here.  Earlier, we received the sad news that my son's first serious girlfriend (from about 14 years ago) died of a drug overdose yesterday.  It hit me hard...I've always had a soft spot for her.  I can still see her sitting at our dining room table, diligently working on her homework because she was "heading to college someday".  But life had other plans for her. She'd never had a stable upbringing and to make matters worse, her mom died of cancer when Rose was in her late teens; it seemed to be a downhill swing from there on. 

I can only pray that she is finally in her mother's arms where she always wanted to be.  Rest peacefully, sweet Rose.  You're safe now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back of the Barn Signs

Raise your hand've been busy creating during this past week off.  Me, too! 

First of all, I hope everyone's Christmas and New Year's were safe, loving, healthy and wonderful, filled with family, friends, good food, and great gifts! (I admit it...I love the "getting" almost as much as the "giving"!)

I've been off from work since two days before Christmas and it's been wonderful.  I do so enjoy being a domestic goddess.  Anyway, today I went out into my cottage to mentally sort through things...lo and behold, four hours later, I had created four Back of the Barn Signs(how do you like the name I chose for my sign-making venture?)

This is a close-up of how much I distressed the signs. It's my favorite part...I actually put them down in the gravel, step on them, and go to town with the distressing!

Good advice...I gave two of these signs to teachers at school; they now hang in their classrooms!

I decided that I'm going to go a little easier on the distressing of signs with a "spiritual" message (I think).

  They all still have to be varnished and hangers added, but after that, they're done.

Oh yeah...I LOVE this gift!  Bob gave me this wonderful little "wood-stove" heater for my cottage.  It's actually electric, but I pretend it's real.  Talk about cozy.

 Getting back to the name I chose...Back of the Barn Signs.  I chose it because each of my signs is made to look as if you found it lying underneath the hay, next to the old tractor, way in the "back of the barn".  When (please note I said "when", not "if"; I'm working on being more positive) I display the signs for sale, that'll be my name. We shall see, we shall see.

Ok gals.  Off to shower and hopefully, truck shopping tomorrow.  I'm in the market for a "new" vehicle and am hoping for a Ford Explorer.  Wish me luck.  Stay well and warm!