On the Right Track, Now

It has been an interesting year. Beginning in January of 2013 my web host upgraded their platform. Suddenly I had no email address and my website disappeared. It was one of those things I only discovered much later when I realized I couldn’t possibly have offended everyone.  Unbeknownst to us, life was about to come barreling at us, dropping bombs and chocolates along the way.

Staying on Track

Staying on Track

In short the big hurdles (scares) were taken care of, nursed back to health, the garden was planted too late and yielded mini, not large, and very scarce delicious veggies (not enough).

We faced down Sweet Hubs being diagnosed with cancer, it being a long recovery, but he is now free of cancer. I learned to live with celiac disease.

The sun began to shine, we began to heal, we spent lots of time with our fab family and added a new son-in-law. You really appreciate everything more when you have survived the bumps along the way.

Three weeks ago I bravely waded into untangling missing accounts. As you can see, it all got sorted out.

I missed you and hope you all had a really great spring and summer and avoided having to dodge the bumps and hurdles life sometimes throws your way.

Cheers,

Shez

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Being Green

I did not write this, it came to me via email, but I am old enough to remember this clearly.  The photos are my cell phone photos that I took today to go with with fun piece. I added personal comments in green throughout. 
BEING GREEN…

Bright green recycle poster

This sign is required to be posted in our place of business. Did it use paper and ink plus gas for a young lady to drive to us, inspect our building, go through our trash can and hand us this poster? Did I mention we had been recycling for 13 years at work? She found a pop can in our trash and gave us a 15 minute lecture. Perhaps someone, it could even have been a truck driver from out of state, mistakenly thought the small recycling container would be the trash because the large container is should be the one for recycling. That could easily happen since at our homes we have small trash containers and huge recycling containers.

 

 
Checking out at the store, the young cashier  suggested to the much older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags
weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’
back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today Your generation did
not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the
store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really
were recycled.
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for
numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use
of brown  paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure
that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not
defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on
the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.
(There was almost no plastic, our bread came wrapped in waxed paper, which were opened up, cut in squares and used to wrap our sandwiches.And also to keep the irons gliding smoothly over the damp, starched fabric of our clothes)
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning
up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our
early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.
But  that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our
day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?),
not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended
and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do
everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we
used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble
wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by
working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that
operate on electricity.
Recycle box with recycle-able paper.

Paper recycling very light weight cardboard box container under my desk was brought in to replace the heavy-duty recycled cardboard box I had used for several years. It was had for me to grasp the concept of yet another box when the one I used had been working perfectly.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic  bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens
with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a
razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got
dull.
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service
in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before
the “green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire
bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from
satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger
joint.
Bright green poster attached to the lid of a recycle container.

Our very own special recycling container which replaced the large recycle bins that served multiple businesses.

But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks
were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back  then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in
conservation from a smartass young person…
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss
us off…especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t
make change without the cash register telling them how much.

The end !
There is so much truth to this, but I for one applaud having a cell phone, permanent press clothes out of the dryer and I love my computer. I do think we could make this a better world if we embraced the ways we each can recycle and keep junk out of the landfill and keep people slimmer and healthier with all the walking. However walking to work wouldn’t be good, unless I lived much closer.
So with thanks to an unknown writer and apologies for not being able to credit the right person, I hope you enjoy this and it brings back memories if you are one of the older among us. If you are one of the younger among us, perhaps you can learn something from history, or your elders and stop rolling your eyes, really it worked.
Cheers,
Shez

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Filed under Humor, Life's Contradictions, Random, Uncategorized, Words to Ponder

Doll Project

Doll pattern and fabric.

Doll pattern and fabric.

 

One thing I love to do is make doll patterns and dolls. It suddenly dawned on me that fox girl had not received her doll. I know she is more an animal person than a doll person and she has dozens of dolls, whole collections of Bratz, Barbies, Monster High, Disney Princes, all in multiple sizes plus lots of Polly Pockets, and miniature dolls that go with bugs and animals of all sizes. The one thing she didn’t need was yet another doll. But on the other hand she couldn’t be the only one of my girls not to have a soft, handmade doll. After the panic to get the fox dress done, nothing would do but I would burn the midnight oil to made a doll for her.

Since she had spent hours sitting in my lap “helping” and watching while I did all the drawings for my book, I thought it was time Lexi came to life. It was a huge gamble that she wouldn’t care, but for me I love to make dolls and this was a great excuse to make another one.

So I dug out my pattern, the fabric and I was off and running. Sweet Hubs was just shaking his head in disbelief that I would take on such a project with so little time available and I only had ten days to do it. That is ten days that were all fill to overflowing with work, housework, decorating, cookie making parties, dinners, guests, etc. Oh and let’s not forget a daily photo blog commitment plus and occasional post here and wanting to keep up with all of your blogs.

Parts growing.

Parts growing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even think about taking many progress photos. So you will see in the next photo that I did get the parts cut, sewn, stuffed and mostly together.

A doll in progress.

The headless doll is nearly ready for her head.

And she needed a bit more stuffing before the head was attached.

Doll has her head attached.

Head attached.

The next three steps are to add her face and give her a haircut and make underwear before the next photo.

The doll has a face and underwear.

Meet Lexi. I hope you recognize her from my blog icon.

Here is Lexi waiting for her new clothes.

The doll is named Lexi and she is finished.

Lexi is finished.

Now to make a dress and shoes for her. If only I had been able to take Monday off work, but I couldn’t and I realized that Lexi would likely not have shoes.

The doll has a dress that matches the young girl's dress.

Lexi in her Fox dress.

No shoes but a dress just like the girl’s dress. And in case you are wondering, while managing to applique a fox on a child’s dress was time-consuming and tedious, the smaller the applique the harder they are to do. To say this doll dress took hours would be accurate.

Wish I could tell you that my granddaughter loved it all, but that would be stretching the truth. Oh, she was sweet and gracious and would never hurt my feelings intentionally. She did not like the denim because it was shiny with silver threads, she doesn’t like dolls nearly as much a foxes. She knows it’s special, but I could tell it’s not really her thing, now. I had a ton of fun making it. Maybe she’ll let me borrow it.

Little girl with doll.

My sweet granddaughter with Lexi on New Year’s eve.

Little Granddaughter’s pajamas just happened to coordinate with Lexi’s new dress. The new black boots were too small.

My Christmas present was a NEW SEWING & EMBROIDERY machine!!! So some new clothes for Lexi was a great way to try it out. It’s my first computerized sewing machine and it takes a bit of a learning curve, but I LOVE it!! No excuses now not to get some projects finished up.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Thank you dear friends for sharing yourselves with me through this past year. It is wonderful to have friends all over the world.

Cheers to new friendships,

Shez

 

 

 

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Filed under Children, Crafts, Do It Yourself, Holiday, Random, Sewing

The Fox Girl’s Dress

My youngest granddaughter is in love with foxes. All kinds of foxes, fox books, fox photos, fox YouTube videos and fox toys. She lives and breathes foxes. In October my lovely daughter-in-law  sent me a message, “wouldn’t Greta love this dress? Could you make it for her for Christmas?” There was a photo attached of a little girl’s dress with a fox applique. My reply, “Absolutely! I’m on it.”

Finding the time was a challenge plus there were no patterns. So right after Thanksgiving I dashed to the store and bought fabric. Since my granddaughter loves blue, I decided on a blue sparkle denim for the dress, orange fleece with black velveteen for legs and white fur for the face, tummy and tip of the tail.

I sketched a rough drawing of a fox on my computer and printed it, jiggly lines and all. Shaped it up with felt pen, created pattern pieces and plunged in. Here are some of the photos of the process.

A sketch of a fox.

Jiggly rough sketch.

I told you it was rough, you probably didn’t think this rough, but this is where I started.

Pattern pieces were created from the sketch.

Fox smoothed out and pattern pieces for the three fabrics were created.

It’s quite amazing how smoothing the lines with felt pen and then making a pattern piece for each color shows there is promise in this fox.

Fabric pieces for the dress and the fox applique.

Here are the fabrics I chose to make this little dress.

You can see this fox will be fuzzy and soft and close to the right colors of a red fox.

wFoxDress-AppliquedThe fox appliqued onto the dress piece.

Blue denim dress with a red fox applique.

The blue denim dress with one fox appliqued onto it.

Since I couldn’t find a black or orange or white tee-shirt with 3/4 length or long sleeves in a size six and the only simple tee was in hot pink, I added bright pink facings, and appliqued pink flowers with orange centers by the foxes feet. On the bodice I added a bright pink butterfly with a fuzzy orange body. I also found a three pack of leggings any one of them would be adorable with the dress. I was set for Christmas.

I was sure she would love it. But then I knew she also needed a hand-made doll wearing the matching dress, something I had done for each of my daughters and my oldest granddaughter. It was one week before Christmas. It is year-end at work. The pressure was on. My priorities shifted, no Facebook, no blogging, just make the doll and dress, in the evenings, after dinner.

Once I knew I had to do it, I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t get started. As it turned out, I didn’t sleep, much.

Cheers,

Shez

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Filed under Children, Crafts, Decorating, Do It Yourself, Family, Sewing

Has GOD Been Taken From Us?

The following is from Darrell Scott whose beautiful daughter was killed at Columbine. This truly are words to take to heart, from a man who is being rational. Please do take the time to read this and re-blog it everywhere.

I copied this from Facebook. I will attempt to attach the url at the bottom of the page, so you can read it and see the photo of his beautiful daughter from the original source.

Black and white photo of waterlillies.

In Memory

Word’s from a Father who lost his daughter in COLUMBINE 12 YEARS AGO!!

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.”

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.”

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.” 

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy, it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.”

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.”

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

– Darrell Scott

Do what the media did not – – let the nation hear this man’s speech. Please send this out to everyone you can!!!

Rachel Scott on Facebook

Thank you so much,

Shez

 

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Filed under Children, Family, Reblog, Words to Ponder

The Baker

On Wednesday my grandson wanted to come over and hang out in the evening. I told him he could, but he had to help me cook for Thanksgiving Dinner which was the following day. He thought about it and said he would help. This came as a shock to everyone, he never wants to help. But Wednesday evening when he got there, he was ready to work.

His job? Make bread sticks from scratch.

His experience? None.

So we began by a discussion of measuring, he got it. He scooped, he measure and the ingredients began to fill the mixing bowl. We heated milk and butter, he added it to the bowl. He cracked his first egg into an empty cup, we fished out some shell, he added it to the bowl. I showed him how to turn on the mixer. From there on he would stick his arms out to guard the bowl because, “I can do it.”

When it was ready to turn onto the board to knead is when I remembered to grab my camera to document this event.

Dusting the bread board.

Dusting the bread board, concentration on getting it just right is evident by his tongue.

Kneading the dough.

Kneading the dough, gently squash it down, turn and fold.

The dough was put in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel and placed in a slightly warm oven to rise. While we waited we moved on to peeling potatoes.

Peeling potatoes

A pan for scraps, a large bowl filled with ice water for the potatoes.

His enthusiasm for peeling waned fairly quickly but he hung in there working until the bread had risen to the top of the bowl and was ready for the next step.

Punching the dough down.

Turned out on the floured board, Hayden punches down the dough.

He was so surprised at how soft and tender the dough was. Again a lot of concentration as he flattened the dough.

Folding and turning the dough

Folding and turning.

Marking the sections into even amounts

Marking the sections into equal sizes for cutting and shaping.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

A Ta Da moment for Hayden. He wanted a commemorative photo of the event.

Laying them on the pan.

Laying the bread stick dough onto the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the baking pan. Hayden is brushing melted butter on the top of each bread stick.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Into the oven they go.

Into the hot oven they go.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe. At this point he set it on the door of the oven and told me to put them in.

Done!

Done!

Next time we will not do gluten-free. He will be experienced and not intimidated by getting them smooth. I was so proud of his enthusiasm and his “I CAN DO IT” attitude, I simply let him roll.

They are awesome!

Thanks, Hayden for your help.

Hugs,

Grams (Shez to the rest of you)

PS When he arrived the next day the first thing he wanted to know was had I posted the photoz to prove to everyone he had actually “made the bread sticks all by myself.” So here you go Hayden, proof you actually made them all by himself. You Rock, Buddy.

(No I do not call him Buddy, I call him Sweetheart, but at 12 and in middle school, it’s not cool to call him that in public.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children, Do It Yourself, Family, Food, Holiday, Random

Where’s Waldo?

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes

Okay I apologize, but I had to post this photo of my daughter-in-law the mama fox and my granddaughter the fox kit. They look so cute in their little costumes and the great face paint. But the big question here is this: Were you able to find Waldo?

A close up of Waldo, the mother fox and the fox kit.

A close up of Waldo, the mother fox and the fox kit.

I thought perhaps a close up would help you find my grandson aka Waldo.

We turned the page on the calendar and that means Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we blink. What is it with time rushing by so fast?

We have much to be thankful for simply because of where we live. I do worry about everyone one on the east coast that was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Such devastation, where are the people whose homes and everything they own are gone, going to spend the night? Will they be warm? Will they be fed? Who is there to help them tonight? How can I help them?

Until we meet again, be thankful,

Shez

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