Saturday, February 15, 2014


I have this thing I do
all the time
where I'm driving along or walking along or just in my house
and I suddenly exclaim to everyone
"Oh my gosh, look at that!"
And I'm usually referring to snow or trees or a sunset or sunrise or maybe even a flower
It drives my family a little nuts.
They are like "ok ok, we've seen a flower before!"

But seriously, if something is beautiful and it strikes me with its beauty,
should I really keep that emotion inside?
I think not!

And part of me feels like
maybe I am training my boys to notice beauty around them

So I was filled with happiness when, yesterday, out of the blue
Carter yells to me from his computer (as I sat on the couch nearby)
"Mom! Look outside!"
It was beautiful.

The trees were all coated with ice
and the sun was setting and was shining from behind them
and it was just sparkling like mad.
White snow, blue sky
It was amazing.

Of course, I freaked out and sprinted up to my loft to grab my camera
(which turned out to be right next to me in the living room)
and I tried to capture it.
(without actually leaving the warm house...although I did open the sliding door)

I kept taking pictures as the sun went down, 
hoping for the same magical, shining tree but with orange!
It wasn't quite as shiny as it went down but it was still beautiful.

And my son noticed it first.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gym time

Yesterday I forced myself to go to the gym.
I've been meaning to go forever
you know
I have all these good reasons not to:

It's too cold outside
I'm tired at night
I'm sleepy in the morning
I prefer to stay home and eat bread

You know.

But I finally forced myself to go even though I was sorely tempted to go home instead.

What I did there could barely be called a workout.
I felt fat and out of place

The one main reason I went last night in particular is that my gym is starting a 
Biggest Loser
type of group and I wanted to join.
I'm not obese but I have some weight to lose.
But for me its more about motivation and accountability than weight loss.

So after my "workout" I went to the front desk to sign up.
They asked me to scan my membership card, which I did.

The manager then came over and told me that they've been trying to contact me because my credit card did not go through to make my monthly payment.
They didn't have my email and they had the wrong phone number in their system.
It had been so long that they had actually cancelled my membership!
They thought I moved away...

My card had not been charged since 

Holy Moly, I had no idea it had been THAT LONG since I stepped foot in the gym.
And now I remember that when we went on our vacation in September, my credit card was compromised and we had to get a new one.


"Biggest Loser" starts tonight
At 6:30 I'll be working out with a trainer 
(and wanting to puke, no doubt)
I'm going to get a workout plan
and some sort of eating info too.

I already know what I should eat, I just need to accountability to actually do it!

New Goal: Be in the gym enough that they know you exist and don't cancel your membership!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Upholstery Class Week 5

It's already week 5!
But I've only been 3 times...
Last week I missed class because of Carter's surgery. 
I arrived to class this week about 5 minutes late because I had to take Austin to work so I got a later start on the drive.
Traffic wasn't the worst its ever been but it wasn't good either
A couple of people in our class can actually walk there
(I am so jealous)
so when I told them that I try to give myself 2 hours to get there, they were flabbergasted.
It is kind of ridiculous when you think about it
but it's only once a week so it doesn't make me nuts.
If I was commuting daily, I would definitely be unhappy.

Anyway, I got a lot done today!
Today was a weird combination of fun and super stressful.

I took the chair home and painted the visible wood.
and didn't take a single picture
Then while moving it around to work on the upholstery, I scratched the heck out of it.
*tears up*

Fist step was to finish putting burlap over the arms 
(I did the straps last time)

I built up the arm by using some strapping and then filling it with cotton batting

Staple it down with a  small pleat so that you can have a pocket to fill.

the original chair had flat arms but I think I'll like the round, rolled look better

Now my chair had to be turned on its side for the next steps, so that's what your looking at.

I placed foam over the burlap area and stapled in place

Then a piece of cotton is placed over the foam
and it brought all the way over the arm in one piece.
I put smaller pieces of batting into any lumps or bumps that I could feel
so that the arm is nice and smooth

Next cover the whole thing with muslin
and staple in place.

It's necessary to pleat the area by the front of the arm.
I found this difficult to get looking nice
which makes me nervous for the real fabric!

I also had to cut slits in the fabric to go around the wood pieces along the bottom
so that I could pull it down into the bottom of the chair and get it tight.
Whenever I cut the fabric it totally stresses me out.
No going back from a bad cut!
Again, I am imagining having to do that with the real fabric.

The burlap, foam, cotton and muslin are all pulled down through the bottom area of the arm
and brought UP and tacked in place.
This hold it temporarily until I can put the fabric
After the fabric is placed, everything will be pulled DOWN and secured

Once the arms were done, I began to put the webbing on the back of the chair.
On the seat, when you put the webbing, you use a webbing stretcher to get it very very tight.
But on the back we leave it slightly loose so that the back is comfy and has some "give"

When class was over I was pretty happy with how much I got done!

Sadly next week is a vacation week so no class!
I'll be bringing in my fabric next time.

I'm sort of amazed how much stuff is required to do this.
And everything is BIG.
Big rolls of batting and foam are not easy to store.
Not to mention the furniture itself.

Someone in another class is making a King size tufted headboard
and I was kind of jealous...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grateful for Boston

In October
I was returning from grocery shopping
and my hands were full of bags
So my son, Carter, ran up to the door to open it for me
And when I looked at him to say "thanks" I was kind of freaked out.
He had a growth on his neck.
It was like a second Adam's apple but higher up.

When I questioned him about it he told me that he'd had it for a couple of days
(How did I miss that?)

That day, my brother, Dion was supposed to fly into Boston to visit us
so in order to get him at the airport we took Carter to Mass General's emergency room
(right by the handy!)

As soon as the doctors saw his neck, they knew what it was
and it required surgery.
Which, strangely enough, was kind of good news
because up to this point the child was seriously annoyed that we'd taken him to the ER at all.
So, to hear that it was something real was good info, in a way.

We were referred to a Pediatric ENT at Mass Eye and Ear.
We have some experience working with Mass Eye and Ear because that's where the specialists came from when Frank's eye freaked out during his Leukemia treatment.

Frank picked up my brother from the airport and instead of going out to eat or doing something fun as originally planned, we brought him to the ER.
But he did get a little tour of Frank's old stomping grounds on Lunder 10.
So that's something...


He had the surgery this week, on Monday.
It went really smoothly and he is recovering amazingly well.

Here he is before surgery...not nervous at all.

They took out a big chunk of tissue from his neck
and hopefully the growth will not return.

The view from his room...not bad!

Post-op. Playing games and not in need of pain meds!

I'm so grateful to live near these amazing medical facilities!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Confession time

Today Frank and I spent some time cleaning out and organizing our storage room.
The house we are renting has a wonderful storage space in the basement.
Part of the storage includes a big cedar closet.

So today I went through the clothes I had in storage.

It was...eyeopening.
Those who know me, know I have a bit of a skirt "problem"
I counted 16 skirts in there.
That doesn't count any dresses in that closet
That doesn't count any skirts or dresses in my normal closet upstairs.

And I still like them all.
So many cute skirts!
Very few tops however.

I'm just drawn to them
but I can never find a top that I like.
So I just get the skirt and think, I'll find a top later.
Apparently later doesn't always happen.
Actually, let's be honest, it almost never happens.

I'm a skirt addict.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Ink About It
The store I have worked at for years now
(how many? why don't I know this?)
is closing.

It's a sad thing
and a loss to the paper crafting community

Some people probably don't even realize yet how much they will miss this place
the products, of course
the ease and convenience of having a store like this locally
but most of all
the community of people

that is what I will miss the most.
I have gotten to know a lot of great people in the years I have shopped and worked here.
other employees
the owners
members of my friday night crop group
members of the kit club
customers that I just liked and bonded with

And when Frank got sick
the people that work here and the people that shop here
got together in a big way to support us
I still get people asking about Frank on a regular basis whenever I work
It means a lot to me.

those of us who work at the store
(past and present)
are like a little family

We are interested in each other's lives
We are interested in each other's art
We care about each other

We had occasional get-togethers outside of work
Pickety Place for lunch
Lori's vacation house for dinner
The Yearly Holiday party and card exchange

I'll miss this place

I understand the need to move on however.
Linda and Lori have made this place a huge priority in their lives for ten years now.
They are ready to do something new
and I'm excited for them to be able to do that!
I can only imagine the amount of energy and time it takes to run a business like this.
I picture Linda spending the first week after the closing
just lounging around her house in her pjs.
At least that's what I would want to do!

And, although I didn't work a lot of hours per week
I will also soon find myself with open time that I'm not used to having.

Frank has been telling me for some time to find what I'm excited about and go do it.
I guess this will be my chance.