Friday, February 28, 2014

Quiet But Here


I have to confess I have been quiet on my blog this week.  
I have been following my favorites and reading but I am sorry I have not commented.
It has been a very tough week.
The boys (my younger two) have been fighting a lot.
Fist fighting.
End of one trimester and once again not thrilled with their grades.
At least one improved his failing, the other did not.

My Dad has been calling me.
Normally I call him.
He keeps repeating the same thing to me.
I think he is trying to tell me Good-bye in his own way.
He is tired and wants to quit.
He is tired of waiting.
He has no energy.
I can hear him struggling with each word.
He shared his worries with me.
He wants to me follow through and keep after my two sisters who abuse drugs.
As well as one of my nephews.
He does not want them to end up like him.
He is getting crankier.
He is trying to start fights at times.
I just do not give in when he tries.
I look past it and just smooth it over.
He is getting things confused so easily.
His birthday is towards the end of March.
Am I horrible for saying I do not want him to make it to his birthday?

I just do not want him to suffer any more.
I want him to be at peace.
If he wants to give up because he is ready,
Then I am ready to let him go too.
I will miss him.
I know he will miss us.
He told me so.
I just do not want to see him suffer any more.
It has been a rough week.
Please forgive me for not posting or commenting.
I am here.

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Mug o' Comfort Swap

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I am excited to have another swap to participate.  It is a great way to get to know someone and maybe the perfect pick me up which I need.  Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for this swap which is hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  (Beth and Miss Angie)

It is all about getting to know someone and fill your package with goodies such as tea, coffee, cocoa, cider and what not and MUST INCLUDE A MUG.  You can add anything else you want to as well.  THIS time I am going to bubble wrap my mug.  I learned the hard way last time I participated in it and poor Becca received a broken mug which her son was going to make something artistic with the broken pieces.  I felt awful and will not make that mistake again.

If you are interested in joining in you have time up until 12 AM tomorrow.  Click on the icon and head on over to Chaotic Goddess Swaps. 

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday's Song


I just love this song.  I know it is an old one but while watching 42 I kept hearing this song every time they said "Jackie" in the movie.  Great movie {I had a tear come down my cheek when the movie ended}, Great song!  Although the Jackie in the song is not for Jacki Robinson I could not help myself from hearing this song.  The song is referring to Jackie Wilson and since the song is playing over and over in my head, it should naturally be my Sunday's Song this week. Enjoy!


The Commodores wrote this song to tribute two singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both died in 1984.  Both artist remind me of happy days when I was much much younger and only had one sister.  I can still see the living room connected to the dinning room in the house my parents rented on East Madison across the street from my grandparents.  My parents would dance to their music.  Music and dancing has always been happy things in my life.  As an added bonus, a song from each of the men.




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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday #8


My throwback takes us back to the only family vacation my ex-husband and I had with all four of our boys.  Summer of 200.  We went to Minneapolis/St. Paul for the weekend.  We began at the Science Museum in St Paul, Minnesota. This is just up my boys alley. They all have loved Science

And dinosaurs, although Matthew looked less thrilled that he was holding his baby brother instead of the baby dinosaur puppets.
Ethan (4 1/2 yo), Matthew (10 yo), Noah (18 mo), and Joshua (7 yo)

Here the boys are standing with their father in front of a triceratops skeleton.  They loved the dinosaur section.

Our second day of the trip we went to the Minnesota Zoo, where we took in a dolphin show because Ethan was absolutely nuts over dolphins.  He cried because he was so happy to see on in real life.  While Noah was taking a nap in his stroller we had this little picture taken.
I love how the photographer had the boys screaming and the caption is too funny. After the zoo we went to the Mall of America for dinner and the boys played at Lego World.  Another favorite activity of my boys and still is.  We went to Underworld Adventures at Mall of America and had sharks swim above us as we walked through the attraction. The boys were able to touch a sting ray at one part.
I miss how close the boys were then.  I know part of growing up is also moving on but I wish they all would remember how much family means and keep close forever.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Woo Hoo ~ Old Art Work



My Mom completed the remodeling her basement. She started this when I left my ex in 2003.  The boys and I lived in half of her basement, no plaster just dry wall boards up on the frame work.  We had to go through the unfinished basement the laundry room to go up the stairs and through the garage to use the bathroom or kitchen.  We had one small basement window and we lived this way for one year.  Now, the room has plaster and she has painted the walls. She has her old kitchen cabinets for a work bench.  She decorated her walls with our old art work. She has two of my art work hanging and one from each of my sisters. She plans to have art work from each one of the grandchildren too.  I took my camera down with me last weekend to take a picture of it.  I wish my best pieces were not ruined from the fire or my Mom packing my things up for my sisters to have my bedroom when I went off to college but here are the two pieces she kept.
Night Owl

This is a picture I did during my Art class when I was in eighth grade, I would have been 14 years old.  It is a 11 x 17 drawing with colored pastels.   You know, I can remember coming home from school with the back side of my arms different shades of brown from working with the pastels.  I liked how my Mom chose to boarder it with the black mat.  This artwork took first in the district and went on to State.  I did not place at State.

Reflections

This one is my Mom's favorite piece. I am very surprised it survived the fire. I do see a little water damage on one of the flower petals.  This piece I created when I was in tenth grade, I would have been 15 still since it was prior to the fire.  It is also an 11 x 17 in colored pencils, Indian Ink, and Fine Point Flair Pen.  My assignment was to have a black and white but a reflection through glass of some sort and inside this reflection or glass material we were supposed to have color. 

Inside my mirror I used colored pencils to color my drawing.  I then taped off the frame of the mirror and used Indian Ink in a small paint sprayer to create the mirror reflection. 

I wanted different effects in my drawing so I used stippling for the flowers, leaves, and stems.  I used this technique for a picture of a kitten's head and front paws when I was in ninth grade.  The kitten was black with white stripes in his fur. I think it is one of my favorite pieces I ever made but it was lost in our fire.  The center of the flowers I did not use the stippling technique.  I am not sure why I chose not to, if I could do it over, I would stipple the center as well.  The leaves and the center of the flowers I used Indian Ink with a pen, the type you have to dip into the Indian Ink jar.  The remainder parts of the flower I used a fine point black flair pen.

My stacked tea cups are drawn and colored with fine point black flair pen and the spout of my coffee pot I used a sketch shading the with fine point black flair pen.

I like the blue mat my Mom chose to go with this art work it compliments my reflection but the frame, I just love the frame.  I have never seen any of my art work displayed like this. It made me feel very special.  Definitely a Woo Hoo to my Mom.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Snow Snow...


Well what a Monday today was/is. We knew a storm was coming.  It was supposed to start freezing rain Monday early morning around 2 am and then turn into heavy snow fall during the morning rush hour.  Todd had to go into work early at 4:30am.  I knew I had to leave early because of the weather.  Sunday night we got a call from the school district, school was going to be 2 hours late.  I had no idea how Ethan was going to make it to school.  He and his girlfriend split or are taking some time off or whatever it is now, so I have been taking him to school.  It is close to a 30 minute walk on a good day.  I did not want him walking during a snow storm.  I guess that worry was for nothing because at 6 am we received another call school; it was cancelled for the day.  This will be the fifth day they will have to make up this year. 

While I was getting ready, I could hear the ice pellets hitting my bedroom window.  I debated and debated if I should call in.  I tuned to the local station to see how the roads were.  The Interstate I take was 100% ice covered.  Todd called me and wanted to know if I got the call from the school and tell me to take the roads in town.  He knew Iowa City roads were cleared but was not sure how Coralville was.  I did as he said and there were not very many cars on the road.  Thank goodness.  I was only scared once, when I was slowing down on a bridge over water because the lights had turned red.  I slid right on over the bridge and by the time I reached the end of the bridge, thank goodness the lights turned green.  I made it to work fine.  While I was there we received four inches of very heavy snow and our snow removal company, plowed all of our cars in where we had to get a shovel to dig our cars out.  Not a great day.  The drive home was wonderful.  The sun was out and the winds did not pick up as they predicted. 

On a fun side of snow.  Saturday I had Taj for the day and once Todd was home and Taj's nap was over, he went out to play for the first time in deep snow.  Todd and I put his snow pants on him and bundled him up minus the new hat we bought, he was determined to wear his ball cap.  Papa found the snow inter-tube sled and used some rope to pull little Taj around the yard.  I was rather surprised how deep the snow was, it was nearly to my knees (now think of 4 inches more how deep it may be.)



They were having a great time until...

 He fell out.  Then he was done because his hands were cold.
 He wanted picked up only Papa just picked him up and placed him on his feet.

 The two shared some laughs...
 ...but then Papa made him walk. 
 He fell through the snow and did not like how deep it was.  He is standing here.
Nana wanted to see if he would like to make a snow angel, so Papa made one.   Taj was so concerned that his Papa fell until he got up and we talked about the snow angel.
 Finally Nana coaxed him enough he actually did it.  He smiled and then tried to run to Papa.

Once he reached him he asked if Nana could take him inside but I was able to get a picture of the two snow buddies.
I think we are the luckiest Nana and Papa to have such a lovey little grandson.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Valentine's Day


My Valentine's Day was a good one.  It started off a little scary driving to work.  I slid through an intersection nearly hitting a street light.  Thankfully the curb stopped my car.  While at work I had a special delivery. Todd sent me a dozen roses with a small box of chocolates and a card.  I look forward to his cards every year.  He finds a poem and sends it to me. 

 
 The flowers are from ProFlowers.  They usually do a great job.  The vase is from the very first Valentine's flower he sent to me when I lived in Des Moines.  I love this vase for so many reason.  I typically put my flowers in it every year and the new vase goes into the pantry.
We had dinner reservations at The Brown Bottle.  It is located in downtown Iowa City.   They have great Italian food and has a romantic setting. This is where Todd took me for my birthday when he proposed to me.  
 After dinner we went shopping for our favorite grandson.  He had spent the day with Todd and I was going to have him the next day.  We wanted to find snow pants for the little guy to take him out to play in the snow.  What a great time to purchase snow pants if you can find them.  We were so lucky to find one and they were on clearance with an additional 40% off the clearance price making them around $6.  They should fit him next year too.  While we were there we picked up 7 pairs of pajamas for him next year too.  We both looked at one another and made a comment how we had to leave this department NOW or Taj would have several new outfits too.  They had so much fun playing in the snow.  Look for my post tomorrow about it. 

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Sunday's Song


I thought this would be a great song following up Valentine's week and to keep up with honoring the Beatles (or a Beatle) since today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Beatle's second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  60% of Americans televisions were tuned to the broadcast just as they were the week prior setting record for the show.  Their first set they played this time was: "She Loves You", "This Boy", and "All My Loving" and they later closed the show with the following three songs: "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me To You", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."  This week's song is not one of them but one from Wings and is easily one of my top ten songs of all time. The song was written in response to John Lennon's remark about Paul McCartney writing silly love songs.  Well, thank you John for inspiring Paul to write this.   Enjoy!

 
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

February's Bulletin Board


Where I work, each team has a bulletin board they are responsible to decorate.  I wish I had been taking pictures of each one our team (okay, me and another co-worker) has decorated.  There are several other departments who look forward to our boards because we do such a good job.  It makes our work even more worth while.  My team's name is Goal Getters.  Our first board was in July shortly after it was hung on the wall.  We created a soccer filed with a goal post, you know...Goal Getters.  ;)  The next time we decorated it was for Halloween.  Next we did a winter theme and went with a snow hill and a 3-D snowman made out of tissue paper and sleds with each of our names on the sleds.  Which leads us to this month's bulletin board.
I think this one is my favorite yet.  We also had a company contest this time.  Originally we were going to have the conversation hearts as the boarder but the other co-worker was out and our team started to get antsy so I began it without her.  I thought the tulle was a new romantic touch.  I also enjoy the ruffles I made on the hearts in the corner.
 
 I also recruited more help this time.  I showed one of them how to create the ruffles and had her finish making them.  This way more could participate and I could meet my actual work deadline.  I think it turned out nice.  We ended up 2nd place.  First place added lights to their board.
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Bonus Song of the Week #6


Their first single.  Enjoy!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Confessional


It is Friday and you all know what that means?  Yep you guessed it, time to fess up.  Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love.  She host this little party every Friday.

 I confess...

All of my post this week have two themes.

I confess...

They are all about LOVE.  I managed to throw love into my weekly post Wednesday Woo Hoo, Throwback Thursday, and Literary Friday.  If you have not read them yet, go and take a look.

I confess...

The second theme is THE BEATLES. To celebrate 50 years ago their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (The Beatles Invasion in the U.S) I have been posting a bonus song all week by The Beatles (except Monday, it is a Wings song sung by two other artist because I have posted it prior sung by Paul).  There has been The Beatles invasion on With A Little Help From My Friends this week. Not only are the songs from The Beatles but they all have to do with LOVE.  {Aren't I cleaver?}

I confess...

Here is another bonus song...Enjoy!




What do you have to confess?


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Literary Friday


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I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party  Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.

The Wedding Dress 

I have saved this review for today.  I loved this story and thought it would be so appropriate to review on Valentine's Day.  Today's review is about The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck.

This book takes place in Birmingham, Alabama (A special place to me because I have a couple of friends living in this area.)  It begins during modern time where Charlotte a bridal boutique owner has taken some time to clear her head and figure out if she should marry Tim.  Again, Charlotte is a bridal boutique owner who is known for assisting brides find the perfect unique dress for her special day but she could not even find the desire to begin to look for her own bridal gown and her wedding was only three months away.  She found herself at an estate sale and purchased an old trunk.  The trunk was welded closed.  Eventually Charlotte with assistance from Tim, opened the trunk and inside it she found a beautiful vintage wedding dress.  The dress was in excellent shape and shimmered like gold when the light would hit it.  The dress spoke to her and had such mystery she had to find out more.  At first all she found was the dress, she searched and searched the trunk only to find dog tags in a little sachet bag.  The name on the tags was at least a starting point for her investigation about the dress.  

This book also tells another tale which took place in 1912 where Emily was preparing to be a bride.  She wanted to have a dress made special for her wedding day.  She was having two dresses made, one from a well known white dressmaker and another from an unknown dressmaker who could make magic of her own.  Emily found the woman who was unknown knew exactly what she wanted and was making the dress of her dreams.  This was the dress she wanted but her mother refused and demanded Emily to stop the non-sense and wear the other woman's dress.  Emily did not care she wanted this dress but the problem was if Emily wore the magical dress or went to the dressmaker's house for fittings, she would breaking the law because the dressmaker was black and during this time in history segregation laws existed.  I loved how Emily did not care about the laws and saw people as equals.

As Charlotte searches for the history of the dress, the dress itself becomes the story, one of mystery and beauty.  The dress, Charlotte finds is 100 years old and has never been tailored to fit the bride who wore it. It magically fits each bride perfectly as if it was made for each bride.  The dress had three brides prior to Charlotte finding it. First it belonged to Emily in 1912, then Mary who wore it in 1939, and then Hillary in 1969.  Each bride's story held happiness and sadness.  Each had a destiny and which ties with one another.  Charlotte is committed to find the perfect bride for this beautiful dress.  Oh, one thing I have not shared besides the mystery of the dress, Charlotte comes across a very mysterious man dressed strangely in purple two different times during this story. He is very mysterious and different something I just wanted to share to intrigue you more.

I enjoyed this story, it felt like I was reading four real love stories and I loved how Charlotte who was all alone with no family knowing nothing about her past found her heritage.


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