Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Changes

Something else changed around here yesterday.

I never thought I would see this happen.

Ernest was tired of the pony tail.

Halfway through...

Ta da!

Friday, December 23, 2011


I've said before:  in this house we have musical instruments from A to Z. Accordion to Zither.

With some others in between:  alto sax, tenor sax, oboe, piano, organ (that little thing in the background with the pedal), electric piano, ukulele, theremin, harmonica, an unused bagpipe practice chanter, numerous recorders, and various electric guitars and basses. I may still be forgetting something.

Today, a new instrument (rental) joined us. This is only a half size. OMG, how big is a full?

♪   ♫♪   ♫♪   ♫♪ 

Loving it!

Tell me what you're loving today!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Homes Tour 2011

Welcome to the 2011 Edition of the Holiday Homes Tour. Please, take a walk up the path and join me in my little storybook cottage.

I try to do something different with the wreath every year. This year I went with the traditional woven Scandinavian Hearts. It was a pain to make them so tiny!

I never really have a theme. I just put the same old things in new places.

We have my vintage elf collection.

Now I have a tree collection! The tree on the left I've had since I was young. The candleholder tree I found at a thrift store last year. The matroishka tree was a gift from a friend. And the pinched clay tree is a masterpiece by young Frank.

I have to display my favorite holiday photos. Look at how cute the dandelion fluff Ernest's hair is.

The nutcracker collection has grown since last year.

Frank was instrumental in lighting and decorating the tree.

He chose a cat to top the tree. It has been The Year of the Cat around here, hasn't it. Yes, that is Chewbacca underneath.

He picked out the ornaments most similar to Homer and Francine (Fifi).

But you can never have too many cat ornaments. So I hung the rest of them in the powder room  Gallery of American Vernacular Cat Art.

Last year's creative masterpiece, the Recession Wreath, has new life as a tree skirt for the Charlie Brown tree.

And the Recession Tree itself? I saved the whole thing. Stuck it in the closet, lights and all, ready to use again this year.

I went a little wild on the piano, with the leg lamp and disco balls.

Why yes, that is a theremin. Doesn't everyone have a theremin?

The tomato cage Recession Tree so inspired me last year, I painted another cage and hung some of my overflow ornaments on it. I kept it up through Valentine's Day, redecorating with a red, pink and silver motif. But wouldn't you know, I didn't take any pictures of either version.

This year I gave the extra tree a theme -- my bubble lights, which are older than Frank, and all the cute home made ornaments. We've got the jigsaw puzzle piece and cotton ball frames, the cardboard angels, and some other assorted semi-hand made wooden pieces.

I've got another tomato cage painted. I'll decorate it if I can just find a place to put it!

Thanks for visiting! Stop by any time. (If you'd like to visit prior years, here are the links:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I changed to the Facebook timeline. Same old sh-- arranged differently. Big whoop.

Blogger has changed too. I think I like it. Pictures are easier to work with.

What's changed for you lately?

See you on the Holiday Homes Tour tomorrow!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Ran Out of Apples

I'm sure the family is happy that the apples are gone and I have stopped making strange food with them.

I have to confess, I had a small rebellion on my hands when I told Ernest I wanted to make meatloaf with apples in it. "Please Mom, make your regular meatloaf. I love it," he begged. So I did. But a week later I was tricksy and made Claudia's Friend's Grandma's Apple Meatloaf on a night when he wasn't home. It was deliciously different. I guess I was forgiven but they are stuck in a rut and don't want me to mix up the meatloaf ever ever again. Sigh.

The last of the apples went into the Thanksgiving pie, thanks to Frank the pie man. That is a turkey outlined on the top.

The Handy Husband's birthday is this weekend. I was all set to make a fancy cake, but then Frank offered to make the traditional cheesecake. There's no bucking tradition in this house. Cheesecake it is.

So, meatloaf and cheesecake.  Two traditions I can't mess with.  What traditions are cast in stone at your house?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Say Hello to My Little Friend

We are often entertained by a pair of squirrels who scurry along the fences and up the trees. I wish his tail was showing. It's bushier than the cats'.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Project Previews

I've been hoarding collecting holiday-ish fabric and embellishments for years, intending to make a whole bunch of Christmas stockings. But somehow I never got started.

I have a couple planned.

That's going to be a snowflake, believe it or not, and I think this one will have a tree motif.

But I got sidetracked from those because I decided I needed to make Lego-themed stockings for two very special legomaniacs. Do you know how hard it is to find Lego fabric? Hello, Lego? You could make some money there. I eventually came across Spoonflower and there it was.

Those stockings are actually finished, as in completely sewn together, but I want to put names on them. Rather than use glitter glue, I thought I'd sew the names on with sequins, which can be easily ripped off if the recipients wish to re-gift.

Don't ask me about a pattern. Pattern? We don't need no stinkin' patterns here. A little free-form freezer paper is all it takes. And some special spatial engineering skills, to get the loops coming out of the cuffs in the right place!

I'm delighted to have finished something! What has delighted you today?

Monday, December 12, 2011


Well, this is what I have to work with.

The difficult part for me is I have too many ornaments, too little tree.

The easy part for me is totally humiliating the cat.

And how is your holiday decorating coming along?

Don't forget to sigh up for Jen's Holiday Homes Tour!
Sign up by the 19th, the tour day is the 21st!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Pink Saturday: NHRA

I know this isn't holiday related, but I meant to post it a few weeks ago. Whoops! Next week with the holiday theme.

So you might be thinking "What does Drag Racing have to do with Pink?"

Well, here you go. One of Ashley Force's cars.

And we must not forget the great Shirley Muldowney, of course.

Shirley Muldowney

My husband is not a big sports guy, but he does love cars. Drag racing in particular. We've been down to Pomona numerous times as the season starts and finishes there. Sometimes he's been able to score tickets for one of the tower suites, courtesy of one of his company's suppliers, but he's always taken someone else, not me! This year I was wily. I'll go with you if you get Cooner Wire tickets, I purred. And he did.

So there we are, on TV. (Behind the glass above the word WIRE. What, you can't see me?)

Here's our view.

And the view 50 years ago.

It was a lot of fun. Not only because there was free beer and food in the suite!

Pink Saturday - Beverly at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the colorpink inspire you!

Fine Print

When the Handy Husband had LASIK last month, we were offered 0% financing for 24 months. Take it, I said! In perusing the fine print on the paperwork, I noted the fact that if you took longer than 24 months to pay, the interest went up to a WHOPPING 26.99% Scary. I made sure to read all the fine print when we got the first bill.

If you pay only the minimum payment ($143.00) you will pay off the balance in 15 years and will pay an estimated total of $10,411.00. If you pay $157 you will pay off the balance in 3 years for a total of $5,655.00. (The interest rate is not actually 0%, the 26.99% is deferred for 24 months keps on adding up.)

We only financed $3800. That requires a payment of $158.34 for 24 months. I'm going to pay it off as soon as I can.

When you think something's too good to be true, you're probably right.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Strike A Pose

The olive boy had short days last week because of Parent/Teacher conferences, so he came over to my house a few times. We had Board Game Day, Cookie Baking Day, and Craft Day. Although he didn't want to do any crafts, I got my Christmas Wreath assembled. No pictures of it yet -- I'm saving it for the Holiday Homes Tour.

Anyway, Mr. Thomas showed off his new haircut.

And Frank had a haircut as well.

Strike a Pose!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


It was a good Thanksgiving, highlighted by the fact that I got my traditional "boy with olives on his fingers" picture. The boy is growing! Good thing I bought the jumbo olives.

He has short days this week because of school conferences, so I am a lucky auntie to have him visit. Tuesday we played board games: Battleship, Candyland, Operation (its 10-year-old batteries still worked), and Don't Wake Daddy. We tried Whack-a-Mole, but it didn't work correctly. I'm sure the moles were relieved.

During today's visit, we are going to bake cookies. His idea. Frank was a little sad that he wouldn't be around, since he is our champion cookie baker, but he is letting us use his recipe. Don't forget the special ingredient, he said. He said it's cinnamon. I think it's the cookie scooper. Or maybe it's just love.