July 30, 2008

Back to School with #3 and #4

Today was my back-to-school outing with granddaughters #3 & #4. It was actually #3's turn, but she wanted to include #4.

Granddaughter #3 is 7 3/4 yrs. old and will be in the 3rd. grade. Because she is the youngest of three sisters, she LOVES to mother her 4 1/2 yr. old cousin, who of course hangs on her every word! #4 will be in Pre-K. These two love to play together any chance they get, which is often, since they only live 2 miles apart. (see here)

The girls chose lunch at MacDonalds where there was much sharing.........

Then to Wal-Mart for new lunch boxes, notebooks, and fancy pencils........

New hair accessories........

and of course.....matching dresses!

During our outing I was asked "Mimi, can cousins be best friends?"........ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

What could be better than having a best friend in your own family!!

July 27, 2008

Baby Shower x 3

This afternoon I'm going to a baby shower for my co-worker who is expecting triplets in early October, two boys and a girl. I haven't seen his wife since they announced their exciting news so this should be fun! She is only 5 1/2 months along and apparently already looks like she is ready to deliver!! This is a couples shower at my boss's house for just the 10 of us who work together, so I'm looking forward to this.

This is my gift..........

I started with this LARGE tote bag ( think how much stuff you need to lug around for just one baby and multiply by 3!):

I made a second set of flannel blankets (first set is here):

(Dad loves camping and woodworking)

OF COURSE I made 3 little aprons (see here):

Dad is an ANGELS baseball fan, so I found 3 onsies:

I needed to give them some of my favorite children's books:

(Mom is a second grade teacher)

and I even included some doggie treats for "big sister" Maggie-moo, their australian shepard, who has been an "only child" for 3+ years now....

I made it all fit in the tote bag:

So I'm off to have some appetizers and off-duty socializing with the people I spend every day with........How many people get to attend a baby shower for triplets!! This should be great!

Congratulations Keith and Christine! You're going to be great parents!

July 26, 2008

Back-to-School with #1

Today was my back-to-school outing with granddaughter #1 (see here).

#1 will be 13 yrs. old in a few weeks. She'll be in the 8th grade.
(HEY! Wait a minute! 13 yrs. old? A teenager? No,no,no,no! I absolutely refuse to be the grandparent of a teenager!!#*&#!) excuse me... I had a little panic attack for a minute there.....

#1 chose lunch at Souplantation:

Then to Wal-Mart for some school supplies

and hair supplies

and Target for a new backpack

She also picked out a short sleeved hoodie, plaid bermuda shorts and a tank top.

This was a quick outing....she knows exactly what she likes (or not) so decisions don't take long! And she was anxious to get to the movies with her best friend to see "MAMA MIA!".

What a different dynamic from last year! I forgot how different things are when that teenager thing starts happening!!

July 25, 2008

Sports Fans

Something seems to be happening here with my little apron business....I may have discovered an untapped market in the handcrafted apron world!

Last year I designed an apron my for my son, a rabid "Angels" baseball fan.

I showed it off a little and sold two just like it over the next few months. The "sports team apron" idea got me several more custom orders.

New York Yankees
Denver Broncos (reversible) I sold two of these
and a soccer apron in the style of a fondly-remembered childhood team (green and white stripes) for a 70-ish gentleman.

I also made a San Francisco 49ers apron (my favorite one so far, I think) that I forgot to take a picture of, darn it!

Now that I've opened my ETSY shop, I've posted about my CUSTOM SPORTS APRONS and am seeing a lot of interest again! Just this past week I made a San Diego Chargers

and am working with someone on a possible UCLA Bruins.

Since I am NOT a sports fan, I rely on my adult son to help me come up with the designs.
Who would have ever thought I would be making sports-themed aprons? I guess you just never know where things will lead you!
Do any of you sports fans, or anyone married to a sports fan need an apron? I can certainly make one just for you.......

July 21, 2008

Doggie Treats

I needed some dog biscuits for a gift. (more on that later).
Have you ever made your own dog biscuits? I suppose not. It's not the kind of thing most people care to spend their time on.....

None of the grandkids have pets (I'm told hamsters don't count) but both sets of GKs have other Grandmas with dogs. I invited some of the GKs over to help me and to make some treats for their doggie friends at other Grandmas houses.

This is a great thing to do with kids, but make sure everyone wears an apron and if you have any kind of plastic tablecloth, use it to cover the work area. This is a very flour-y project!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all until well blended. Turn dough out on well floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1/4 in. thickness and cut with dog bone and cat shaped cookie cutters. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes until browned and crispy.

Mix all ingredients together

Roll out dough and cut with dog bone and cat shaped cookie cutter.

Bake at 350* 25-30 minutes until browned and crispy.

When completely cool, pack in zip lock bags for traveling to other Grandmas houses or in plastic jar tied with cute dog & cat printed ribbon for a gift.

Two-fold mission accomplished! Fun project for the GKs and a gift ready for me for this weekend.......

July 20, 2008

Bird with Attitude

We have a bully in the backyard.

This little guy has obviously never learned to share! I know they can be posessive, but come on! This guy spends most of his time actually sitting on top of the feeder, chasing off anyone who dares to come near!

Even with his little birdy bad attitude, I knew something was up, since the nectar level always went down too quickly for just one greedy little bird. This is a 4 cup feeder and I'm filling it every 6-7 days!

So I executed a little surveillance........and sure enough! All the other hummers have apparently gotten together and made a plan......A lone hummer comes along and lures Mr. Bully away. As he chases off after him, all the rest swoop in and quickly have their fill and are gone before Mr. Bully returns! HA! Tiny little brains planning some tiny little teamwork!

Tomorrow I'm putting up 2 more feeders just to mess with Mr. Bully! We'll just see how he handles that!

July 19, 2008

Back-to-School with #2

With a new school year fast approaching, I will be taking each grandchild individually on a "Back-to-School-Outing with MIMI". I always look forward to some one-on-one time with each of them. They'll each get to choose either going out to lunch or dessert and some shopping for a clothing/shoes item and some school supplies/goodies that they want (hey! Mom can get them what they need!)
Today #2 granddaughter got to have the first outing. She has been pretty much isolated for the past 2 weeks with a serious ailment, and now that she is back to feeling like herself again, she deserved the first special day.......
#2 is 11 yrs. old and will be in the 6th grade. She chose lunch at PANDA EXPRESS, just I like knew she would. That girl would live on the Orange Chicken if she could!
Then shopping at Wal Mart, where she picked out 2 pairs of capris, a tank top, a lunchbox, a new journal (she is quite the budding writer of short stories), and various basic pens, pencils, and papers.
...and all through our outing there was MUCH conversation with this quieter middle child, who often feels like she isn't heard above the volume of older and younger sister.
Back at her house, we enjoyed another hour to ourselves, just the two of us, watching recently re-discovered videos of herself as a baby and little girl. What a joy to share memories with her from her perspective and adding my own to her birth-video (I was there) and all the birthdays and special occasions that seem so long ago to an 11 yr. old and her Mimi..........
Just the two of us, laughing and sharing memories....there's nothing better than that in the whole world!

July 11, 2008

A Chicken Love Story

One of my favorite read-every-day blogs is written by Kathi D who often writes about all the chicken-y things going on at her place. This has inspired me to tell a story from my own past.

The grandkids love this story the best of all the family stories: the one about Grandpa Dave and his Chicken Girlfriend..... a Chicken Love Story (and I swear every word of it is true!)

About a thousand years ago, in the early 80's, when my kids were small and I still had a husband, we lived in the middle of a 200 acre avocado grove (not ours) and we had chickens. My (then) husband LOVED those chickens! He spent a lot of time up the hill near the chicken coop, hanging around observing those chickens. Now, even though we had a coop of sorts, these chickens had free run of the avocado grove most of the time.

One day husband came in the house and said to me," Come with me, you've got to see this to believe it!". As we got near the chicken coop, one of the hens came running over to husband and turned around and squatted in front of him, doing the typical chicken mating dance! (if you've ever had hens AND a rooster you know what I'm talking about!) Every time he walked away, she would chase him, run in front of him and squat down again. She'd been doing this all day! That poor little hen was in love with my husband! Believe me, this was the funniest thing I'd ever seen in my life! She continued to do this for several days every time she saw husband come near.

Well, unfortunately for everyone (you'll see) this little hen already had a husband of her own! We had a VERY LARGE rooster, the size of my 3 yr.old! Because he was big and mean and black, (and it was the 80's, remember) his name was" MR.T" and we were all afraid of him. Well, everyone except husband (although he did collect eggs with a childs baseball bat in his hand...)

After this chicken-y flirting had gone on for quite a few days, Mr.T obviously had enough of seeing one of his hen-wives giving too much attention to another male and decided to do something about it. One afternoon as husband was making his way through the grove, Mr.T leaped out from behind a tree and attacked husband at eye level, wings flapping and claws and spurs extended. He really meant business!! He clawed, pecked, and spurred husbands head and face, catching the corner of his eye and just missing hitting him in the temple with one of those deadly spurs! There was much blood and gore, but really only superficial wounds. I could hear the commotion all the way down the hill in the house!#*!/#*!!

Needless to say, that was Mr.T's last hour on earth, because, as you know, love triangles ALWAYS end badly. Someone always gets their heart (or neck, in this case!) broken.

...and that is my Chicken Love Story.

July 9, 2008

A list for the 3 day weekend...

I am a list-maker.

I make lists every day, several times a day, for many different reasons. I have so many things bouncing around in my brain at any given time that I need to write them down, in list form, so I can stop thinking about them, knowing I have them on paper.

I have a note pad in my bedside table so I can write things down if I wake up at night, thinking of something I don"t want to forget.

I am a bookkeeper/office manager during the day and have sticky notes all over my desk.

I have left myself brief lists on my cell phone voice mail when I don't have pen & paper handy.

I carry this notebook, my "List Book" with me at all times. I have perpetual, ongoing lists in this book that I am constantly adding to:

right now in this book are these lists:

Potential sewing projects
Potential craft projects
Books to read
Movies to rent
Songs to download on itunes
Things to do on my Wednesdays off
Places to go/things to do with grandkids
Recipes to try
Things to buy/do when I have the money
Apron ideas
Apron orders

(hey! I just made a list of lists!)

In my purse I have temporary lists of things like:

things to ask/tell my son when I call him this weekend

things to ask /tell my Mom when I call her

Grocery/Walmart list

phone calls/ e-mails to take care of

Every morning when I get to the office I make a list of what I'd LIKE to accomplish that day. As the end of the workday nears, I make a list of what I'd like to accomplish when I get home.

On Fridays I make a list of what I'd like to get done over the weekend, both necessary (cleaning, fixing, etc.) and fun (sewing, crafts, cooking).

But, hey! Please believe me when I say these lists hardly ever get completed! I am absolutely NOT rigid about my lists. In fact, there are times when I never even look at it again, after I've put it on paper. I just feel better knowing I have it written down so I don't have to mentally try to remember all these things!

So..... all this was just the long way of mentioning what projects I crossed off my list for the past 3 day weekend.....(3 days always seems like so much time! Still not enough time to accomplish everything I want to)

I tried something new.....I made aprons from some colorful bandanas I found at Walmart and some wide ribbons. I'm really happy with them! I'll definitely be making some for the ETSY shop.

I made a purse-bag for a co-workers birthday. This went over so well with several people at the office I think I'll try some of these in the ETSY shop as well!

I made a new cover for my ratty old ironing board, following a tutorial I found on one of my new favorite blogs, GROSGRAIN GARAGE. I'm going to make one for Daughter this coming weekend (......writing down on weekend list)

I also had plenty of family time! A swimming party/potluck (with the ususal over-abundance of great food) at My Sister's house.

............not much crossed off the 3-day-weekend list, but a little bit of all my
favorite things = THE BEST KIND OF WEEKEND!!