Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blessings Are Always Right On Time

I checked the mail yesterday, and there was the usual junk and solicitations, two Christmas cards, and a letter...for me. I rarely get personal mail, unless you count my JoAnn's circular. This petite piece of postage came from a dear old friend, whom I hadn't spoken to in months, and prior to that...years. Aside from a picture of her family and a cursory inquiry into the well-being of mine own; the sole purpose of the letter was to encourage ME! Can you believe that? The majority of the body of the letter follows:
"Also, I am writing to say that I have always believed in you and that you
are an awesome person to know as a friend. You have encouraged me and
touched my life in many positive ways ever since we first met at Lejeune
High
School, through college, and to today. Thank you for your
friendship.
Also, I am writing to tell you that when
I think
of you I think of creativity. Shanta you are very creative you
have the
ability to create things that will cause others to see life or
themselves
differently. You are or have the ability to bring hidden
talents and
dreams in others to life by what you create whether it is
through writing them
down or saying it or even making it....
Please don't allow life to cause you to place your
ability to create on the "back burner" so to speak. I encourage you to
continue to make what motivates your dreams a reality."


Wow, isn't that something? What makes this so amazing is just that very same day, I had been thinking "I'm wasting my time, making jewelry, I don't even have a proper workspace or a place to store my materials, it makes no sense for me to be doing this." I was about to give up, but then this letter arrived and encouraged me. Thank God for the wisdom of others. I told Michael about the letter and how I'd been feeling, and he said "why don't we make the guest room your workspace?" Duh...why didn't I think of that. Oh yeah, too busy trying to make sure guest are comfortable as opposed to thinking about how I can spread love.

Honestly, I see SLHayes Designs as a way to uplift people. Any custom pieces of jewelry I make are close to my heart because I want them to speak to you of the love of the person who commissioned it. And the prayer beads are a way for me to share my faith with people, all the while reminding them, that they are not alone and that someone is praying for them, even when they aren't praying for themselves. I hadn't forgotten about how those things impact peoples lives and that the work I do may bring people closer to one another and, or closer to God.

As I had mentioned previously this friend and I hadn't spoken in some time, and our last conversation was light stuff, kinda getting back in the groove of talking to one another. I definitely didn't mention my thoughts of giving it all up, ( at the time they hadn't crossed my mind). That's why the letter was a blessing. I hadn't shared those thoughts with anyone, yet Elohim (Lord God, Mighty Creator) provided a vessel for me to be blessed and to continue my work invigorated and with renewed spirit. Isn't he awesome?

I am blessed and hopefully I will be a blessing to others, thanks to the kind blessings of an old friend.
On a side note, I am currently reading "Praying the Names of God" by Ann Spangler. Its a devotional, but it helps to create an intimacy because you are learning many (26 if I recall correctly) of the names of God. It only makes sense that you would want to know the name of one you'd like to have a deeper relationship with. Well to me anyways. I do hope that you all have gained something from this post. And well if not, it was still pleasure to share it with you. Until next time.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Give Thanks

Well, I was stood up this evening, by some neophytes, who claim they want to learn to knit. Well their lack of appearance and subsequent lack of a courteous call to say, "I won't be able to make it." shows their true level of enthusiasm. One person did call, and she felt so badly for me, but I'm okay. It was just a little knitting...right?

Instead of knitting I folded some laundry, went over my floors and unloaded my dishwasher. So I was productive, although I could have been sharing my joy and passion with others, but I digress. I am thankful they did not show because I got some work done that would have been left until "later", after the kids were in bed, and before hubby got home. There would have been something of a rush, (well maybe not), but still it would have been later. And so I am grateful for the no-shows. It was a blessing in disguise.

Moving on. Since it is the season for "giving thanks", -(um, you know you should do this everyday right?) I will go ahead and list a few of the things that I am thankful for.
  • My family
  • my health
  • my friends
  • my creativity
  • the many blessings of Jesus Christ

I hope and pray that all of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

And remember: Pace yourself, its a marathon, not a sprint.

Be Safe.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Feels Good To Give

I love the holiday season. It puts me in such a happy, festive, joyful mood. I love considering what I'm going to give each person on my list, and quite a bit of thought goes into (most of the time). But this holiday season was eclipsed by the death of my uncle, so I've been dragging a bit. I've been doing a little "retail therapy", (honestly mostly for myself), however the true beneficiaries are those that I will gift throughout this holiday season. My favorite Ravelry group came to the rescue. Reclaiming the Home started a RAK group thus the color came back to my cheeks. I am able to give freely without expecting anything in return. It feels really good. I've got three more outpourings coming up at the end of the month with my Pay It Forward exchange. I just hope those are as well received as the needles I sent Beccanae. Well as per usual...

Be Safe.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This Just In...America Has Spoken

Barack Obama is the 44th President Elect of the United States of America. Honestly I thought it was possible, but I don't know if I ever believed it would happen in my lifetime. But it has, and the first thing I did was fall on my knees and pray a blessing of protection over him and his family. This is a totally new era in world history, and I am blessed to have been able to see it. God Bless America, for finally living up to the standards, ( The Constitution), on which it was formed. I have never been prouder to be an American, than at this very moment.

I saw the news at first on "Indecision '08" a mix of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report". I thought it was a joke, so I turned to CNN, where I heard the same news, I was awestruck. Had McCain won it would have been equally as daunting, a woman as Vice President, and a real viable choice, someone with spunk and gumption, who is quick on her feet and willing to step up. HIStory has been written in a phenomenal way this year. May it continue to be so.

John McCain's concession speech was admirable. It was eloquent, supportive, and gracious, without being overly placating. It was generally well received and he handled the crowd superbly (for the most part). He's definitely no "W", and I am "especially grateful" for that.

God Bless America
Be Safe.

SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well for me anyways


Look at what I got for less than $25. Yeah, that's not exactly a steal, but it was a pretty good deal if I must say so myself. I was pleased and that's all that matters. Now the question is where do I reappropriate funds from to make this seem more about others than myself. Some of the needles are going to be given out as gifts and the yarn will be used to make a gift, so technically I could take this out of my Christmas fund (yes I have one of those).


I will admit this was an impulse buy, but you can't pass up bamboo needles for $2 and $3. I also bought this Caron Simply Soft Eco, of course because it said "Eco" and it is made partly from recycled plastic bottles. It is as per usual soft, but I'll let you know how it works up when I figure out what I'm going to do with it.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Rock the Vote!

Just a little PSA (public service announcement)- please go vote. No matter who your candidate of choice is I implore you to go and perform your civic duty. And go early if you can. Even advance voting here has had long lines. And just in case you experience any difficulties at the polls here are a few resources for you:


1. Call the local elections office to verify the location of your polling
place. Locations may have changed, and a vote cast at the wrong place might
not get counted.
2. Bring identification to the polls, preferably a government-issued photo ID
with your name and registered street address.
3. Ask for help from poll workers and check posted information signs if you
have questions or need assistance.
4. Make sure you cast a vote. If you are in line when the polls close, stay in line
because you are entitled to vote.
5. If you are offered a provisional ballot, ask if you can cast a regular ballot
by providing additional ID or by going to another polling place. If no alternative
is available or practical, cast a provisional ballot.
6. If you have a voting rights problem, ask to speak with the chief election
official or a voting rights volunteer at the polls, or call the toll-free
nationwide Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, a project of
a coalition of groups, including the AFL-CIO, promoting voting rights.

-Information provided by the AFL-CIO

Be Safe.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Is Good, And I Know From Personal Experience

These past 10 weeks have been an interesting journey for me. They began with me taking a discipleship class at church "Women on the Path" and oh my goodness, life-changing doesn't even come close to describing it. To be surrounded by other women like myself (wanting to grow closer to Christ, and seeking counsel to do so) was amazing. It was a very comfortable setting and it felt safe and inviting, even though we were all very exposed. The topics we discussed opened us up, even to our own selves. It is amazing how much growth can occur in such a short window of time. Equally as perplexing is how much sadness can surround you.

In that short span of time, three of my classmates, one of the class instructors, one of my Girl Scouts, and myself experienced deaths in our families.

My uncle survived the surgery, to only days later go into cardiac arrest and slip into a coma. Fortunately I was blessed to have a prayer partner that worked for the airlines and I was able to get a Buddy flight and go see him short notice. I was in Illinois for all of 30 hours, and I spent all but four of those with him. I sat by his bedside and read to him, and prayed for him, and knitted him a neck warmer. (I'd never made my uncle anything before.) He looked so peaceful there, as if he were resting comfortably. And that is what I believed, I thought he just needed rest, time for his body to heal...but God had other plans. Granted his brain function was pretty much null, what has a brain to do with a soul? Not much in my opinion. So I kept praying and reading and knitting and not crying. You can't act as if someone is dead when they are right there, that is not polite, and it is very counter-productive. My mom and aunts made it about 12 hours before I was leaving to go home, so we all got to pray with him. That was powerful.

I flew home Thursday morning because Michael had to go out of town for business, and (my trip) being such short notice, we didn't have anyone to watch the kids. The decision was made Friday to take my uncle off the ventilator (his cancer was more advanced than they first believed and while in the coma his body was too weak to take chemo and if they waited until he possibly came out on his own, the cancer would have been too far spread to treat. Great...what a decision to have to make. Saturday September 27th, 2008 at approximately 11:04 CST my uncle stopped breathing on his own. (My heart still hurts to remember that he is no longer here).

I thought I had become enlightened over the years with the concept of loss and grief and death. How wrong was I. After my grandmother died, my family and myself had a very hard time dealing with it. I had a horrible time with God, because I felt as if he had abandoned me and disregarded my prayers. And I turned my back on him, but he never left my side. As a matter of fact, he carried me for 5 years as I struggled with that loss. Then my grandfather got sick, he had cancer too. I got to spend a week with him during my spring break and it was so freeing. When he was finally hospitalized, I prayed for God's will and that my grandfather be spared the pain that he was in, and two days later he passed. That was nine years ago this past week. There have been other deaths in between, but since my uncle died, I have not been able to fully grasp the reality of the situation. As if I heard the news, but only in passing, and it was spoken so faintly that I didn't really hear, so I'm not sure if I heard what I thought.

Where is this "good"ness you ask? In the fact that I am here at all. God saved me from drowning in a sea of despair, a sadness so thick it wraps round you like a comfortable blanket, then threatens to choke the very life out of you. That is what I felt. I wanted to crawl in hole and hide, but the girls need(ed) me, so did Michael, and what of my mother, and aunts, my cousins, my family? However, I could not show up for them. I did not attend my uncles funeral, still don't even want to think of it. As if holding out that the possibility still exists of seeing him again. I could not bear to see my uncle in a coffin, then lowered into the ground....That is final, and I am obviously not ready for that, for whatever reason. No matter, God is holding my hand and walking me through this one. I need that right now, and I am blessed by his grace and love.

Until I can walk on my own; in memory of my Uncle Ancell, Hayessl will be called "Fox" after the moniker he gave me.

A few things to remember: please have an advance directive, tell your family you love them, develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and as always....

Be Safe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Helplessness

Sometimes we as Christians "forget" that we are not helpless. Yet somehow this feeling seems to creep up on us all the time. Especially when we, or someone that we know and love is going through a tough situation. Life-threatening illness came make people feel this way.

God's grace is remarkable, because in some way everyday, we must remind ourselves that we are not alone, that God is on our side and he has sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us when we seek peace and solace. It constantly amazes me how often we let fear and feelings of "helplessness" cast shadows on our prayer life and seemingly control our emotions.

My uncle is sick, he has lung cancer, and is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday. I was speaking with one of my aunts about seeing him, and her travel plans had to change, so she won't be able to see him when she had planned. She is obviously on edge about this, and it is evident in her tone. She is trying to fix, to find out how to make things right, but what she already knows, but doesn't want to face fully is that things are out of her control. She is aware of this fact, it is just below the surface, and she is praying daily that the situation improves, but that is not sufficing currently.

Hayessl has been in a prayer pose for the last few weeks, because, that is just the way things are supposed to be. We are to pray without ceasing, this is a mandate we should hold near and dear with great vigilance. When we are prayerful we are cognizant of the fact that we are not alone, nor are we helpless, "for the prayers of the righteous availeth much". We have God on our side, and the Holy Spirit dwells within, if only we would open our hearts and let him do his job.

We have to be willing to accept his presence to feel the comfort that he brings. We are not helpless, we have God, we have Jesus Christ, and we have the Holy Spirit. Hold on to that.

Be Safe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick Fall Quiz Thingy




You Are Fall Flowers



Beautiful yet often forgotten.


I didn't like my first answer, so I took the quiz again. I liked this one, so I stuck with it. Enjoy.
Be Safe.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why Did I Have To Get Those Shots?!

Can you guess what happened today? Yet another of my lovely daughters had to get their yearly physical and routine immunizations. Oh what a beautiful day it was too. Pretty blue skies, wispy white clouds, moderate temperature, and a slight breeze here and there. Well we were on the inside looking out, and it wasn't so great. Well it wasn't really that bad. No Lynn repeats that's for sure. Today was smooth sailing in comparison to that. It was actually quite entertaining, "It" being my middle daughter. She is actually quite well known for her dramatics, and boy oh boy was she in form today.

It started at the school, where she declared "I'm not going". That one was easy enough,
"Yes you are, come on, we have to get going." After a leisurely ride, we arrive and make it across the parking lot without incident. Okay, things are going well. We arrive at the office and wait patiently, when we are called back, yet another declaration of "I'm not going." The way she says it is actually kind of cute, because her voice is slightly high pitched, somewhat sing songish. (She knows how to work it to her advantage.) Yet another "Oh come on", and we're off.

Well her older sister has told her they would prick her finger, and she is waiting for it. She did slightly better in that she didn't wail the whole time, as opposed to repeatedly shouting after the hemoglobin prick "It hurts, it still hurts." I laugh (it really is comical).

We go down to the exam room and she gets undressed, questioning the process, "Why do I have to get undressed, why do I have to wear this gown, etc...?" The exam goes well, I discuss her development with the doctor, we agree she is slightly advanced in her vocabulary for her age, and she expresses herself very well. The time comes for the shots, and she is not happy so she puts her foot down.

"I DO NOT WANT A SHOT."

The nurse laughs and comments that she likes her, she says "No one will take advantage of her, she's going to stand up for herself." Yeah, but in that moment I was just hoping for a child that would go with the flow. Oh well, not today. No big whoop, the doctor peeks her head in and says there were some donuts in the staff lounge and could the girls have one. "Sure", I've got to make this as quick and painless as possible, and sugar clouds every kids perception. Except mine. She would not be hoodwinked, bamboozled or led astray today. After some creative nursing and parenting collaboration the deed was done. Not nearly as painful, dramatic, and tear filled as with the oldest. There were tears yes, but they were short-lived, because there was Krispy Kreme, and the promise of macaroni and cheese for lunch, and the surprise Nurse Wendy dropped in my bag.

She did however ask "Why did I have to get those shots?!" with such an accusatory tone, you would have thought I had just taken money out of her purse. I explained about not wanting to get sick, and shots protecting you from illness, etc... I figured going into the whole "herd protection" theory was too much and decided to save that one for another day. All in all, we made it out pretty much unscathed, minus a bump or two along the way, but that is to be expected. Right?

Moral of the story: Take Krispy Kreme, whenever kids need shots, and promise whatever they want to eat afterwards, even if it is more sugar. They're going straight to sleep anyways.

Be Safe.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Got My Hair Braided


Shhh..... don't tell anyone, I'm not supposed to be here, so this is a quickie. Isn't it cute though.
Be Safe.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sew Sew September

Well the sewing bug has bitten again, and it is time to pull out the machines again. I'm always a little over ambitious with the number of projects that I'd like to complete, but I feel like I need a few new pieces for the wardrobe. I'm thinking a few tunics and some pants, nicely tailored, and maybe a dress or two, simple ones of course. Honestly all my patterns are simple, I specifically buy ones that say "Easy", "Simple" etc.... Helps keep me from going insane with a thousand pattern pieces laying around. Also I have a stash of material, like some people have Gi-normous yarn stashes. I also have patterns like that, I keep them in a file box, (it's time for a new one of those). I am going to go through my patterns today to figure out which ones I'll use, then I'll go through the material bins and post pics later. Until then,

Be Safe.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

That Promise...Thoughts on Something Obama Said

Is why I am able to write this blog. That promise coupled with the dreams of the people that live here, are what make America what it is. The place where citizens from all across the world have come seeking a CHANGE from the lives they led in their former countries. A better life for their children, where they could practice the religion of their choice, not be persecuted because of their political views. A place where everyone had a chance for a better life. Where a farmers daughter, or a tailor's son could be a _____ (fill in the blank). Change from the persecution and despotism of the past.

I believe a change is necessary in order for this country to move forward and begin to be again what the founders intended. It is my most earnest belief that they actually meant the promises contained in the Constitution to be for everyone, granted there was the whole slavery issue, with several of the signers having themselves been slave holders, but pish-posh, bygones. Honestly they had the best interest of all people in mind:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

That is the definition of change right there. That is what Barack Obama represents to me, the promise that I can affect change in the country that I live in. We are still a young republic, being only a little over 230 years old, so there is still a great deal of room for growth.

I believe that growth is possible with the Obama-Biden campaign. There is strength across the board, with the foreign policy experience of Joe Biden, the ingenuity and ability to inspire of Obama, and their shared accountability to this nation in not being afraid to state their true opinions about the state of current affairs.

No matter what your political view, please register to vote, and do so whenever the occasion rises. That right to choose leadership is one of the founding principles of this country, do not squander it. As always,

Be Safe.

The Games Are Over





Well the Ravelympics have ended, and I finished one project, the 86-10 Headband by DROPS done in Patons Decor. The pattern would have worked up very easily, and had I devoted more time to it, it would have been done much sooner, and I could have gotten other projects completed. I guess I just didn't realize how much work taking a class could be; in addition to my Girl Scout duties, the kids school and being home with B. I'm not whining, it just doesn't leave a great deal of time for knitting. I'll be going slow the next few weeks until my class is over. I've got to do well or I just won't feel good about myself, because I didn't give it my all.

The speech is on, gotta go!

Be Safe.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Buddy

My baby is 5 today. Well she's not exactly a baby, nor is she the youngest. She is my "middle" child.

Here's to the girl with the great smile and the wonderful sense of humor, great comedic timing and an immeasurable heart. Oh and did I mention wisdom? She is wise beyond her years. On Thursday, I asked her what she wanted for birthday, (mind you I had already went out and bought her gift). Here is her response -"I don't know. Whatever my friends get me will be fine, because they don't have to get me anything at all." Can you say proud momma. Thank God, I'm not as bad as I thought. They are learning. That statement made me want to give her the moon.

She is growing up so quick, but she's still my little girl, and I thank God for her every morning. My life just wouldn't be the same without her. That's incredible blessing that just keeps on giving everyday.

I LOVE YOU LITTLE BUDDY! I HOPE YOUR DAY IS GREAT!
love always,
Mommy

Side note:
Ravelympics are over and life in general has pretty much returned to normal. Thus "regular" posting begins this week. Until next time,

Be Safe.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.....That Might Be Stretching It, But You Be The Judge

What a day. [Please note Hayessl is in her pajamas-yeah it was like that]. So it all starts out pretty normally. Get up get the girls ready for school, on the bus, and back home I come to get back in my warm cozy bed for a wee bit more rest. However this morning it really was only a wee bit. You see the oldest and the youngest had doctors appointments today. No big deal right? Hmmm... generally no, yet today we entered the "Twilight Zone".
I picked up my oldest daughter from school, and we head to the office. Nothing better for the child to do than cast out all manners I've taught her, and say"hello" or even "how are you", but she jumps straight to "do I have to get a shot today?" To which our very lovely pediatrician says, "I don't know yet, I'll have to look at your chart." That did not save us. When the nurses checked her hemoglobin, it was as if she had never had her finger pricked. She squirmed in the chair, and had it not been for the brick wall, I'm sure she would have gone straight through. The "baby" on the other hand, got her finger pricked and her response, a simple "Ow." No crying, no squirming, no fidgeting what-so-ever.

We move on down the hall to the room the doctor will see us in. The check-ups go well, although the oldest hemoglobin is low (hmm... which one hides her vitamins). At any rate, it is determined that shots are on the agenda. Now just so you know, I am accustomed to dramatics from my 4 year old, but the 7 year old is generally very calm, cool, collected...you know all the alliteration in the world would describe her, but not today. My child, my firstborn, my "Cool Hand Luke" water off a ducks back child, had a panic attack. First it was upsetting to me because I thought it was a bit irrational, she'd never behaved this way before with regard to immunizations so I totally was not expecting this display. She totally threw her baby sister under the bus by declaring that she could go first. (That was mildly humorous). Baby girl took hers like a pro, she cried for all of 15 seconds and she was up and walking. But then it was Bear's turn and the uncontrollable sobbing began. She cried her eyes red, and swollen, oh yeah she also breaks out in hives when she's nervous, so not so much fun right now. I call her dad to talk her down. He gives her good advice: look the other way, take a deep breath, and remember you can have ice cream when you get home. How can I say...NONE of that worked. Then we go to holding, which got me a knee in...well thank goodness I'm not a man. So FINALLY (what took me so long) I begin to pray, more for me than her, but then I ask her if she wants to pray with me, and she says she does, so we start praying together. After a struggle the shot was done. At which point I had to step aside for a moment and catch my breath.

It was terrible. Why, why did I do all that to my child? She trusts me not to let anything or anyone hurt her; and that is exactly why I did it. She was crying and scared and vulnerable, and I'm telling her to face her fears...she's seven. Sometimes I think I sound more like a coach than a mom--so not my goal in life. Well she's over it, and its time to leave, so I give her the option to go home, or to return to school. She chooses school, and I am relieved, although not with her reason (she misses her teacher-who granted looks like a slightly younger version of my Mother-in-Law). We part company and I come home, to veg out in front of the computer ( I was emotionally spent, so NO, no knitting was done).

Time to pick up the girls from the bus stop. Baby sister and I head out, she on her scooter, wearing her beautiful butterfly helmet. I also had my knitting bag on my shoulder at this time, but became preoccupied with trying to get B to "push the pedal again". Then the bus arrived. As we are walking to our house, which is 4 houses down from the bus stop, two children (a boy and a girl) emerge from between our neighbors houses. The brother is saying "can you give us a ride home?"
"Where do you live?"
"Around here."
"Do you know your address?"
"No."
(Okay) silently.
"Do you know your phone number?"
"No." then a minute later "I know my mom's cell phone". He gives it, and I call, I get voice mail. The children are running down the street as I leave a message. I tell them to get on the side of the road as I am leaving the message. -Mind you I'm still pushing B on her scooter, in the direction of our house. My older girls are already in the driveway, so I tell them to keep an eye out to see where the kids go. They comply. When I make it to the driveway, I see the children's house is one I've noticed often, but never realized that children lived there. (That's common in our neighborhood, there are very few children in the community, especially my kids age).

The little boy has knocked or rang the doorbell at his house, but no one answered. Then he goes to another of our neighbors houses, but he's not home, his car isn't in the drive, and I tell the children I don't think he's home. Then I tell them to come home with me. The little girl - a smart cookie, says "we're not supposed to go home with strangers". True, true, but you shouldn't be home alone either. She is five, she tells her brother to check under the mat for a key; there is none. It's final, I call and leave a message with the mother telling her, that the kids are coming home with me. I leave my address and descriptive markers. We all get inside, and I offer the kids something to drink. Mine set off to cleaning their room. I ask if I can look in their bags for any contact information and I come up empty. Again I ask the kids what they know, where mom works, dad's number, home number anything. Nada. Finally the little boy remembers his dad's CELL PHONE NUMBER. I get an answer on the first ring. I explain the situation. He's on his way he'll be here in ten minutes. I take this time to gently remind the kids, that when someone is supposed to pick you up, don't leave until they get there. If they don't show, at least the people in the office have all your parents information and can contact them. The kids continue to try to "play" chess, I explain the basics to the sister, the brother has the rudimentary guidelines. I AM SICK with worry, and these aren't even my children, nonetheless the thoughts races through my mind like a herd of buffalo--"what if they were yours". My kids know our address, and our home number, but not our CELL NUMBERS. That is what saved me, that I could contact those parents immediately and let them know their children were okay.

The dad called back and said someone was at the house and would be coming to pick them up. I told him to drop by anyway, so they would get to see me, and I let him know that I am home, if they needed someone to watch the kids. His wife picked up the kids shortly there after, but I still felt ill. I went to lie down after that, and couldn't really rest, I just kept thinking, "what if those were my kids?" I went and put our numbers on the chalkboard for the girls to learn- this is critical information.

Then there was the information I received shortly after the kids left. One of my daughters friends is moving. It's just sad. That's why I'm tired and Hayessl's back in her pj's. It's been an emotionally draining day, and I need to rest. Hope your day was better than mine, although really I can't complain. I've got my health, and my family, a roof over my head and food to eat. Oh yeah, and a Rubbermaid tote full of yarn.

Be Safe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hiatus

Regrettably I must take one, because I am incapable of juggling kids, school, home and Ravelympics. In order to complete at least ONE of the five articles that I so ambitiously set out to, I need to take a break from all extranious computer time. I apologize for not being the Proverbs 31, Bionic Woman of the 21st century, but I do believe you all will be fine without me for a few days. In the meantime, why don't you check out some of the blogs I read, like It's Geek To Me, where Heather is doing the Lottlympics. However Heather, you've got your own games going and lots of projects to complete, so you keep working too. Alright, as always,

Be Safe.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It Is Done!

Click now for JiffNotes

Usually my phone takes better pictures, but it could be because my husband took them. I'll go with the latter. Please disregard the hot mess that I look in this picture. I truly apologize.



Finally, it's done, and just in time too. I can start the Ravelympics with a clean conscience and empty needles. Life is good.


And now for Chocolate Crack.

Okay its very simple.
  • 1 bag miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal

So melt the butter in a large pot, being careful not to burn it. Add the chocolate chips, do this over low heat so as not to let the chocolate seize. If it looks strange (that is a technical cooking term), remove the pan from the heat, but keep stirring. Slowly add the marshmallows, stirring continuously. Add the cereal and continue to stir. Once well incorporated pour out onto a buttered piece of wax paper and spread evenly. Allow to cool, then Enjoy! Hope you like it.

Be Safe.

ETA: Thanks Heather for the JiffNotes








JiffNotes
I finally finished the sweater and posted the recipe for Chocolate Crack.




Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's Been A While Huh?

Well let's just chalk it up to my modem going out to pasture last week, and not telling anyone beforehand and then the insomniac night I had where I refused to do anything, because I was determined to get to sleep, but instead I ended up tossing and turning and intermitently reading Money in the loo. Oh what a life for me.

At any rate, I am back and there is so much going on, but I'll try to give you good quality content. There's a recipe coming up, it's called Chocolate Crack; if you take issue with the name talk to my husband he named it. I wanted to call it Crispy Chocolate Crack, but he said it didn't have the same ring to it. Either way its almost gone, and so I had better take a picture or I'll need to make some more. In some circles that is not a bad thing, but in case you hadn't noticed Hayessl is dressed to excercise. That's because we are getting ready to start working out again. You see, in October we will be running a 5k, to help us get ready for the half marathon in February (see T-minus 13 Days and Counting). Goals will soon be posted up top for constant reminding. Additionally, I begin my women's ministry class last night. Actually it was just orientation, class starts next week. I'm looking forward to it, and I think I'm going to get a lot. We will be studying the text of Titus chapter 2 verses 3 through 5.

Knitterly wise: The No End In Sight burgundy sweater is sloooooooowly nearing its finish. However it needs to pick up the pace (uh that would be me needing to pick up the needles) so it can be done by the opening ceremonies for Ravelympics. ARGH! Okay, I must not get discouraged, this project can be finished. I only need to finish the collar, and the armholes and voila it will be done. Alrighty then, in order for that to be accomplished alongst with the myriad other things that need to be done, I must depart company now. Until the next time,

Be Safe.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Little Change Is Good...In Some Cases

Notice anything different? I've changed my template...again. I'd really like to cut my hair, but since I told my family I wouldn't do that for five years (four now) I've got to look for other ways to change my appearance. That is until I can figure out what to do with my hair. I'm thinking dreads. However that is not totally what the change is about. I was looking for something that allowed the page to look fuller. Generally I go with the whole "less is more" mantra, but the former template left to much open space on the sides, and it just wasn't as appealing as I first thought. I'm still "green" don't worry about that, the blog just has a different skin.


Hmm....What if it really were that easy, get tired of how you look and just change "skins" oh what a life that would be. Honestly after watching "Black in America" I wonder if it would make any difference. Changing "skins" that is. If it were as simple as that would you change what you looked like, if it meant hypothetically you could change your life? In my own personal opinion the documentary didn't show anything that I didn't already know, and I felt like these are problems that are more class based than race based. Seriously, the problems that exist -especially with regard to education are inherent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Team Overly Ambitious Yet Plausibly Possible (OAYPP)



Alright I'm on a team, and it has a wonderful name. Oh I'm sorry, I didn't say what this was about - Ravelympics, of course. Don't you love our little mascot, Team Captain Two Cables picked it....So far OAYPP is 36 strong and growing. I've got to finish the sweater that's been on the needle forever, unless I plan on entering the WIP's wrestling catagory.

Your starting lineup for the OAYPP roster for Ravelympics 2008

We are;
Del at Cozy's
Shanta at Life as I Know (you're here)
Gale at Gale and The Scale
Tammi at I Might be Wrong
CajTalk at 2Sistahsthatknit
CiCicarry at 2Sistahsthatknit
Angela at Angela's Crocheting Corner
Deb at Hakucho
DigitalLeaf at DigitalLeaf Studio
Ken at That Crochet Guy
Sandy on Ravelry (sgfone)
Daphney at For the Love of Stitches
Lisa at Knitty Kitty in the Tropics
AnnChie on Ravelry (pyttan)
Tamika at The Crazy Ranter
Amber at Knitted Sisters
Wendy at Knitting Infinity
Nicol at KnitChick
Sunny at Confessions of a Serial Knitter
Kim at Kim's Treasures and Snares
Nilda at Titnil Knits and Other Crafty Things
Monique on Ravelry (Knitdoodle)
La'Keesha at Random Screamers Patterns
Renee at Sassa Nova
Jenn at Guineverefree
Nicole at Nik's knits
Meg at Meg's Garden
Karen on Ravelry (Knutty)
Spiritknit at Spirit Knit
Carine at Rosie Knitted
Catty at Catty Crocheter
Nashe at A-K-A.....The Twisted Sistah
Traci at Traci Knits
Kathi at Ravelry (Knitnbabe)
Breefree7 on Ravelry
Two Cables at Two Cables n' A Frapp

I apologize in advance for any broken links, let me know if you encounter any. Until then...

Be Safe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Irresistable to Little Hands Brownies

Okay I made brownies for dessert yesterday. And if I must say so myself they were pretty darn good. The guests also liked them, and obviously so did the little goblins who did this:


Do you see what she did, she picked the tops off of the bottom three.......ARGH!

Well here's the recipe so you may partake of your own if you wish.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp kahlua (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In double boiler melt 4 oz dark chocolate. Set aside to cool. In separate bowl beat two eggs and 1 cup of sugar. Gradually stir in cooled, melted chocolate. In a second bowl mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until well incorporated. Sprinkle in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread mixture into a well buttered and floured 8x8 pan. Bake for 25 mins. Let cool. Enjoy.


Be Safe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yum-E!

Well, this was dessert Wednesday, and boy oh boy was it good. I mean absolutely De-lish. I just used my basic biscuit recipe and added a half cup of sugar. It was super quick and super easy.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Letter To My Young Sister

Kelada,
I have never known you not to meet a challenge head on, and I do not expect this next phase of your life to be any different. As you stroll off into the hallowed halls of academia, albeit nestled within a most urbane setting, I have no doubt that you will "sparkle". You have a beautiful personality and you are sooooooo special, with your own brand of wit. I only ask that you rememeber there is a place for everything, and to keep everything in its place. One must excercise some restraint of the tongue even in an academic setting. And should you slip, bridges may be burnt, but they can also be rebuilt, even if it takes some time.

You are gifted beyond measure, and it is not just your intelligence that I allude to, although you are quite smart. Your ability to make people smile cannot be measured with accolades. And speaking of smiles, yours could light up a room. I wish you friendships that last lifetimes, and experiences that bring you closer to yourself and those you love. Also keep in mind that "book sense" is good, but "common sense" is absolutely vital.

I have great faith in your ability to make the right decisions. It is my most sincere belief that you are going to be totally alright. And if ever you should feel the need to talk or ask a question I am here. It is possible to live a full life without compromising yourself, all the while learning valuable life lessons. You can have fun without getting into trouble; just don't get caught doing anything you shouldn't be doing.

If I were a better big sister, I would have given you Oh The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess, for graduation (instead of sheets). It was the last book he wrote, but filled with more wisdom (in my humble, yet accurate opinion) than all his previous works collectively. I'll read it to you :) when you come over.

Don't be anxious, know that you are not alone, and most importantly believe in YOU!

"Your life is an occasion, rise to it." - Mr. Magorium

Be Safe.

p.s. in case you all hadn't noticed, I LOVE Dr. Suess. I felt the world had lost a great treasure when he died ( I was 14) and I still feel that way.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ravelympics


Did I really need to join another group on Ravelry? Of course not. But I did it anyways, at the behest of Two Cables N' A Frapp. Wasn't like she had to do a lot of prodding, I went and read up on the events and decided that this would be the prime opportunity to get several gifts done.
I'm going to be participating in the Ravelympics in the Gift Knits Pentathlon. I'll be working on a few birthday gifts and some things for the girls. (They don't read my blog so I can post it here.) This is a very ambitious undertaking for me. I am somewhat a sloooowww knitter, so this is definitely going to be a challenge. I'm looking forward to it though, and I can't wait to start.
Let the countdown begin.




Be Safe.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Seeing Double


Well not quite, but close enough.

Lillie came over to take me out for my birthday (yeah she missed the party), and when I looked through the door, boy was I shocked. And although it was my birthday we were celebrating, she made ME change clothes -the nerve. Granted she didn't have any extra clothes just hanging out in her bag so I guess that wasn't such an unreasonable request (ahem- read: order). Oh girlfriends what would we do without them.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Made Detergent


I'm storing it in a crockpot that I don't use anymore. But its laundry detergent, and I found the recipe here. I must say I enjoyed doing it, and I can't wait to see how it works. I'll let you know.
I'm very excited to be using something that's environmentally friendly and cost effective at the same time. Oh how that gets me going.
I remember going to a laundromat (when I was younger), that had less than stellar standards for its waste water removal. I could see the suds and dirty water in a creek not far away. On days when there wasn't a lot of business, the water ran so clear, I'd think I could drink that, but when people were doing laundry en masse, the water ran grey. It was saddening.
Now at least the products I'm using can be filtered out during treatment.
ETA (edited to add): I used it Monday when I did laundry, and it worked great, I was very happy with the results and will see how the girls react to it. They have sensitive skin, and I don't want to use anything that would cause them discomfort. So far so good though.
Be Safe.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Surprise!


Fantastico! Super-di-duper. Oh my gosh, it was wonderful! I had the most supercalafragelisticexpialadocious day of my life. Thank you honey. To the most wonderful husband on the planet, who planned a nearly flawless surprise party (the guy at the door gave it slightly away). OH but it was great.


Let's see, I started the day as usual, me and the girls. I didn't really do anything, I looked up detergent recipes online and checked my email and blog and Ravelry for birthday messages, of which I got several- Thank you all.


The girls and I went to Target to pick up a few things, and I got birthday wishes from my friends there (yes, - I go to Target every week). We returned to the house where I began to get ready for the evening. BTW- Lani almost let it slip in the car that there would be a party. She said " I sure wish I could have some cake at your party Mommy." I promptly began shushing her and telling her if its supposed to be a surprise to "just be quiet". Crisis averted.


Ok, at home I check the web again and reply to as many well wishes as time permits, then I began to beautify myself for the big night, dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I didn't know what to wear because Michael didn't give me any clue as to the dress code, so I just got CUTE! I happened to wear the dress that Michael brought me from his trip to Miami (where I sent him for his 30th birthday). It was a very Carrie Bradshaw outfit so it fit fabulously with my "Grown and Sexy" birthday plans.


I fed the kids and got them ready to go to the neighbors (thanks Billy and Montrese). Oh yeah Althea said she was going to bring my gift to the house, but she was running late as usual. She called while we were on the way to the restaurant, at which point I teased about her timing and she said she'd bring the gift over in the morning.


Now we were supposed to go to Taqueria del Sol, however when we got there the line was out the door, and nearly around the building, so we decided to go to Ted's Montanta Grill, I'd been wanting to go there anyways so it all worked out. (I got a raincheck on the mexican though). Alright the game plan was laid out. We would eat dinner then leave for drinks and dessert at another undisclosed location.


I had the Barbecue Bison Spare Ribs, with garlic mashed potatoes and southern style green beans. It was de-lish. Um... I also had a fourth of a magarita, NEVER EVER AGAIN. Tequila is not my friend. Needless to say the ride to the party was interesting. However I quickly pulled myself together in an attempt to look respectable. We were at the Uptown Lounge, and maybe it was the tequila but I was still a little clueless. I thought we were going to see a comedy show or something like that. But back to the guy at the door - he said "oh yeah, Dino's in the back". Well Dino happens to be a party promoter with Metro Boyz Entertainment (and the husband of a fellow Mocha). So I heard his name and got my act together. Still I didn't know what to expect so I went to the ladies room and checked myself. Here is what I found upon my return:





I had a super great time, and I want to thank everyone who came out and wished me well, gave me a call, or sent me a message. You all helped to make my 30th birthday absolutely WONDERFUL! And to the most awesome husband ever-

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Be Safe.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Well today is my birthday, today is my day, I'm so excited hip hip hooray.

Birthdays are a big deal here. My husband has plans for me, and he has never disappointed, I am so excited.

Woo Hoo!!!

Guess who one of my favorite authors is: Dr. Seuss. I love him. Here is a book my daughter found last time we were at the library. Happy Birthday To You! Here are a few of my favorite lines.

"Wake Up! For today is your Day of all Days!"...

'"It's your Day of all Days! It's the Best of the Best!"...

"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"...

"Shout loud, 'I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham! I am what I am! That's a great thing to be! If I say so myself,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!"

I hope you enjoy your day as much as I plan to. Happy Birthday to Me!

Be Safe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What A Week


Full of ups and downs and twists and turns, its been a doozy. Last weekend we went to the coast for the 4th and had a very pleasant relaxing time with family. We came back home and hit traffic like you wouldn't believe. It was ridiculous, prompting my dear husband to reiterate his feelings of how people here "can't drive". Oh well, at least the next day we got to relax together and just be.

That means Tuesday was the day of bad news. Sometimes I just don't understand anything, especially how someone my age dies. My daughters god-mother called me, and asked if I knew so-and-so. "Yes". Well she wasn't feeling well and another of our friends took her to the hospital on Sunday, she died that day...."What?" How is this possible, her birthday just passed. She was only 33 years old. I just don't get it. Then my auntie calls..."have you talked to your uncle today?" "No." She proceeds to say, "he has big cell cancer". Its in his lung of course, he's smoked since I can remember (and that's pretty far back). I'm not surprised by this one though, he'd had a scare a few years ago (still didn't get him to quit). All I can do is pray about it.

Wednesday brought a brighter day. Hubby was home because his back was out, but at least we got to spend time together, even though he worked on the computer while in the bed. I must say, bringing your work home, doesn't exactly seem like taking time off. At any rate it was a lazy day for me, reading a book trying to block out all I knew to be real in the world, just too much negative for a minute.

Speaking of reading, hmmmmmmmmm how do I feel about that book? It didn't end the way I was hoping, but I wasn't disappointed. I can't say I'll never read another book by him, because I have one on the shelf that is waiting to be cracked open, and I'm waiting for another at the library. What I can say is Nicolas Sparks sure can paint a picture of love. Its beautiful, so true to life the emotions. (Gushing) It just feels so genuine. It was a great story of losing love, yet being able to find it again, however painful the road in between may be. Once upon a time, I told my husband I wouldn't want him to remarry if anything should happen to me, how selfish. Love is something that has to be given and received to be must fully enjoyed. I wish him a life filled with love and joy should we ever be parted prematurely.

On to lighter things. I finished a project this weekend. Of course it wasn't something on my list, something new I whipped up quickly. A shrug for Lani. I worked up super fast, I just need to work on my seaming. Other than that all is well, I will keep working on Zig Zag once I get more yarn. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to try to find the same color or just switch it up and make it a multi-color project (not really my style). I'm thinking of doing a poncho next for the baby. I asked for yarn for my birthday, so maybe I'll get something really great to make it out of. Until then I keep working on my sweater.



By the way in case you didn't know, my birthday is tomorrow, and I am totally excited about that. More good news, AKA's have a great deal to celebrate, as their centennial celebration begins this weekend in Washington, D.C. Along with that Mattel will be releasing a limited edition Barbie doll commemorating the occasion. It will be the first doll commissioned for any sorority. What a great thing (being an avid collector myself) I am very excited, seeing as how my mother, mother-in-law and several friends are members of the prestigious sorority, and my children want to be. Well that's it for now. Enjoy your weekend.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ain't Nobody, Leaving Nobody

Please excuse the vernacular, however that's how we say it in our household.

This post was originally dated November 2, 2006, but back in my none committed days, I didn't start it, so it didn't get posted. It was really just a title with some words of inspiration: "Ryan and Reese split up". I was upset about that, so many Hollywood couples not working things out, really a shame. And they were cute together, and seemed to be so in love, so where did the breakdown occur? I don't know, and really don't care (don't get me wrong-that's just not what this post is about). It's about options, or more exactly the lack of one in particular - D-I-V-O-R-C-E as Reba put it.

My husband and I have been together 12 years, seven of them dating, getting to know each other, getting tired of each other, loving each other, breakin' up and making up. But the last five, have been totally committed. Hence the motto " Ain't Nobody, Leaving Nobody". When we decided to get married we meant it for life, til death us do part, in sickness and in health, and all that other good stuff I'm sure the minister said but I didn't quite hear (that's another story). At any rate, there was no back door, no opt-out clause.

There can be no option, otherwise people get tired and they turn to it. If there isn't one, the only place they can turn is back to their partner, and they're forced to work it out. If things get bad, there's a guest room. If you don't have a guest room, I bet you've got a couch. Take some space and work it out; talk about what it is, get counseling, just don't give in.

There are exceptions of course. Reserved only for the most severe cases. In my circle of friends, the exceptions are "Beathin' and Cheatin' ", mine is beating, I do not condone physical violence against anyone. And although I know my husband would never cheat on me, I have already told all my friends that if they should happen to "catch him", I don't want to know. (Just think SATC movie -Miranda, I don't want to be her).

Of course when counseling other couples you can't just be like "look ain't nobody leaving nobody, so you may as well get it together." I'd love to say that, but there are things like tact and decorum. Although when it comes to saving a marriage no punches should be spared, between the couple that is. They must want to save their marriage, you can't want it more than they do. The mantra must be accepted before the troubles begin, its harder to adopt later on; its almost trite, somewhat cliche. However leaving that option off the table in the first place makes it necessary to work things out.

When we die these words will be engraved on OUR urn. Even in death "Ain't Nobody Leaving Nobody" and that's just the way it is in our house.

Go over and check out I Am Husband I'll be leaving a few tips for keeping things together.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Girls Are Back....Again

Yeah!!!!!!!!!My girls are back...again; and this time for good. I am so happy. There really aren't words, at least not too many. Bella looks taller, Lynn looks tanned, and well Lani really didn't change much. One would think that after a week and a half of traipsing around MS the girls would want to relax a bit, but no, not these kids, The two older ones want to "make" dresses tomorrow. Cut from material and sew dresses. Hilarious. Even more so, I agreed to help. Good thing I didn't have anything pressing on the calendar. But you know, I wouldn't trade this time for anything. I get to be with my girls and help them do things that nobody else could, I get to share what I am passionate about with them. Hopefully at the same time I am imparting invaluable lessons of patience, creativity, and they can see love and devotion through the time we spend together.

My beautiful babies are back home, and I get to spend the rest of the summer with them. Yippee!!!!!!!!!!

Be Safe.

Working To Be A Consumer

I have been blessed to be a Stay At Home Mom for the last seven years, and I love it. I also love clothes, and shoes, and jewelry and yarn. So over the course of time I "worked" (read - tried to figure out) to find something that I could do from home and generate my hobby money. Well down through the years, I have done several things. I have made gift baskets, Handmade cards, soaps, bath salts, candles, you name it I probably did it. However it was when I came upon jewelry that I found something that I really liked, (I think its the tools) and could make a decent profit with minimal investment for quality materials. Silver was about half the price that it is now, actually less than half, I remember starting out and it was $6.32 an ounce. That's a steal.

So I came up with SLHayes Designs, and made up a blog for it, which has been sorely neglected since I started my website http://www.slhayesdesigns.com/ . I've tried different things to promote the business, going to networking sessions, being a vendor in different places, email campaigns, of course word of mouth, and even once or twice eBay. Alas, business was slow and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it much longer. You must sell in order to make more, or get custom clients ( which happens occasionally). Such is the case currently- I have a groom I am designing some pieces for,as a wedding gift to his bride, hopefully he likes them.

Custom clients come sporadically for me, I still need to get the word out. But every since I joined Ravelry, I've been seeing Etsy a lot, and I decided to check it out. Its a great place for people who make handcrafted goods to showcase and sell their products. I will of course be getting my own etsy later in the day and will promptly let you all know when it is set up. In addition I have taken the Buy Handmade pledge, which you can also link to via the button on the side panel.

All that to say, this past weekend we (the hubby and I) were out "shopping" with some friends and I felt the need to get a job, so I could shop. Shameful isn't it? First off we were in Banana Republic, mistake number 1, I haven't been there since before I had children, when I did have a job. Oh the beautiful things. That silk cotton blend skirt was lovely, but I can't justify $68 "on sale". In some instances it seems like a job would help out a lot, (I could buy more shoes and clothes and yarn). But I don't necessarily need more shoes or clothes and until I use my stash, not too much more yarn. All of my needs are met, we live a comfortable life, with activities for the kids and dates for us. So why do I feel the need to get a job...just to be another consumer. Sickening. I had to leave the store after that notion crossed my mind, because honestly I don't want a job, not right now anyways. And I especially don't want a job, just so I can buy stuff that honestly I don't have room for. ( For some strange reason, donating clothes to charity twice a year hasn't made any room in my closet).

Bartering, I've been a fan of it, since I learned what it was back in middle school. The concept made sense to me, but I could never really find others that felt the same way, until....the swaps. I make a lovely product, you make a lovely product, I have something you like/need and vice versa, let's make a deal. I will be swapping and buying handmade this year, because I refuse to work (a job outside the home) to be a consumer.

And though I didn't buy anything on Saturday, I did have a great time, and saw that kids still know how to have good clean fun.


Some kids put bubbles in the fountain. :)



Be Safe.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Trying To Make A Little Money on the Side...

Well not the side anymore, I moved my ads that were over there. Now they are more strategically placed (in my opinion) beneath my posts. What I'm wondering is...do they actually work. To date, I haven't earned any money from clicks on the ads. Granted you have to generate a lot of traffic to get enough clicks to earn $50 (I think).

What I've also noticed is that most people leave my site via a link to some other site that I have posted. Anyone have any ideas or tips to share about how to get AdSense to work for me? I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

T-minus 13 Days and Counting...

Until my birthday of course. I am so looking forward to it. Can you tell? Well on the 11th I will be 30 years old, and boy oh boy I can't wait. Life is good. I feel really good about it, and can't complain. I've known people where this birthday was a little tough to bear because they feel like they haven't accomplished as much as they should have. That they aren't successful enough, or they aren't where they would have liked to have been relationship wise.

There is only one particular thing that I haven't done, that I believe should have been done by now. But I've made a conscious decision to put that one on hold for awhile. I've got a lovely family, a wonderful husband and three beautiful daughters. I've got great friends and a supportive family. I couldn't ask for more. (Well more yarn, needles and knitting books. I've posted my wish list if you'd like to wish me well :p)

Honestly, I really plan on this being one of the best years of my life. I feel as if I know enough to really call myself a grown person. I've learned a lot, and continue to do so. I don't intend to stop either. I've got a few goals specifically set for my "30 year": 1. I'm going to read more, 2. Run a half marathon 3. take my first class towards finishing my degree 4. Do 2 community service projects with my girls 5. Post at least 3 times a week here 6. Finish a "lace" project 7. Start working on my dream project- writing it all out (making it plain), finding funding for it. 8. Comment on all comments left here.

Well the time between 30 and 31 is going to be very busy, but I'm up for the challenge. Come along with me, as I embark on the beginning of the rest of my life. Every year is only going to get better. Loving life and so excited about how the next year is going to be.

Be Safe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What A Week

So much has happened in the last week. Boy oh boy have we been busy over here. We finally finished up our DIY projects, and just in time, our guests arrive this morning. Saturday, we took the girls and my nephew to "camp". They are having fun, but I miss them. They'll be gone until the holiday weekend. Before the girls left we went to the library and everybody picked out some great books. I checked out some knitting books, (looking for some quick easy patterns-not that I need any more projects). I also brought home The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks; haven't had much time to read though with all the work around the house. And of course I only got about 5 rows of a dishcloth done, all while waiting in the doctors office.

**Edit: I am a bit daft, as I did not check out The Notebook, that is what I went to get, but it was already gone, so I got Message in a Bottle. Haven't quite hit 30 yet, and things are already getting confusing (hahaha).


Okay here are some pictures:

This is the floor all finished. Teamwork made it go a LOT quicker.







These are the shelves we put in to replace the bakers rack. I think they look very nice and compiment the room very well. They give it an open airy feel.





This was just some randomness I saw on the drive home Saturday after dropping the girls at camp. We are traveling on I-20 going at least 55 mph. And yes that is a man sitting atop furniture on the back of that truck. Hubby said those must have been some expensive mattresses.

Well that's all I've got, I'm beat. Until next time,

Be Safe.

Check Me Out

107

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

I found this on a friends blog, and said what the hey. Well lookey lookey, I'm not such a bad wife after all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In Defense Of Self

So for most all my life I have tried to be likeable. I've always tried to be kind, friendly, and to be considerate of others feelings. You know... a real Girl Scout -which I was. I digress. It occurred to me over a decade ago, that sometimes trying to be nice all the time, and make everyone your friend, can make one into a doormat. I found myself apologizing all the time, which in turn made me feel bad like I was always doing something wrong, which I wasn't. I was just trying to appease people, make them not feel bad about the way things went down. I was trying to be the bigger person, but I was actually making myself smaller and smaller and smaller. It was frustrating, and physically debilitating, so finally I spoke up about it, I took a stand, "I'm not saying 'I'm sorry' again". Well there was more to it, how I felt I was always apologizing even when I wasn't wrong, but then it was brought to my attention, that its not always all about me, and saying 'sorry' isn't meant to make me feel bad, and the other person feel better, but rather as a bridge to close a gap on opposing views--or something like that. I've since changed my stance, and I do apologize when I feel I am wrong, and even when I don't, but I want the other person to know that I'm willing to make an effort; put my id aside and bridge the gap.

There have been times, when I have said things out of anger that I knew I shouldn't have said, and when that happens, I try to make amends as soon as possible. I am not perfect by any stretch, I don't even aspire to it. I am simply human, and as such I make mistakes, just like everybody else. It is not my intent to cause anyone else harm - physically, mentally, emotionally et. all. Unfortunately, I have unwittingly caused someone distress, and for that I apologize. I have never meant to cause you harm, EVER.

I aspire to peace and being in conflict with you goes against that. I value my own peace of mind, and I can't have that if I'm ruffling your feathers. The whole situation makes me ill; I can't eat, I'm lethargic, and melancholy, which leads to agitation, and I therefore feel the need to defend myself.

I plead NOLO CONTENDERE; I accept the blame, and I'll pay the fine, if we could just move past this.

Be Safe.

edit: "I'm Sorry" is meant to let the other person know you didn't mean to hurt their feelings.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Did That





I finally put my money where my mouth is and did some work on our project. "Our" because I recommended it, and he's been doing all the work. That is until now.

Now I see why people pay professionals an arm and a leg to do this. It looks so easy on all those DIY shows, but they don't show the real work. And although I had knee pads, my toes hurt, and my hands are definitely not as soft as they were before all of this.

Suffice it to say, we'll finish this project, but I won't be clamoring for us to do any more such tomfoolery any time soon (read "ever again").
I'll post more pics when its all done. Until then...

Be Safe.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Breaking up...with a friend, is hard to do

I originally started this post in November of 2006. My girlfriend and I were pretty much over, but I just couldn't let go. She had meant so much to me for so long. She was there when I was having family troubles, all through my first pregnancy, when my daughter was born, she helped my husband surprise me for his proposal, she was my maid of honor at my wedding, she was ever present, always wonderful; until she wasn't.

The signs had been showing themselves for a while, but I was choosing to ignore them, I just didn't want it to be true. How could someone who was such an integral part of my life (knowing all my "issues") leave me? We started talking less, we went from everyday, to every few days, then once a week, once a month, during breaks from school, a year. It was gradual but things changed after I got married. I see her exit as a blessing now, but for a very long time, it wasn't that cut and dry.

For a great deal of time, I tried to figure out what I had done wrong to warrant this treatment, ( it wasn't cold -just abrupt), what could I do to get us back? Nothing. Dwelling on it made me physically ill. At one point I did call out desperately to her, and she reached out to me, because I needed her, but it was the last time, that we spoke. She helped and that was that. Several months later a mutual friend got married and I learned from my husbands best friend (whom she dated for a while) that she was getting married. That hurt so badly that my husband (unbeknownst to me) deleted her number from my phone, as well as her cousins. He didn't want to see me hurt. I love him so much for that.

The breakup with L, as painful and drawn out as it was on my end was the best thing for me. Having her out of my life, allowed me to really fully let my husband into it, and gave me the chance to see him as truly my best friend. That man is such a blessing to me, and at times I couldn't even see that, because of relationships with other people that I were allowing to fog my view. A bit of "can't see the forest for the trees" syndrome. I do owe her a debt of gratitude for that though, because she reminded me of a most important thing.

I can look back now, and I'm not bitter or sad; a bit nostalgic, but that's about it. I loved her, and now I just wish her well.

Wherever you are L,

Be Safe.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oooooooooooooo......

Nova Gorica, Slovenija... that is where my RAK gift came from. All the way across the Atlantic Ocean, in a small country bordered by Austria, Italy and Croatia. To say I was excited about it is oh so mildly understating it. Ecstatic is more like it, considering I picked up the package from the post office as early as I could this morning and headed to the dentist with the girls; where I proceeded to open my package with all the zeal of a child on Christmas morning. I was none to disappointed either when in addition to yarn, there was a post card, a Lavender sachet, and some beautiful purple beads -which I will use to make stitch markers. Oh so loved I am.

Since I opened my package in the waiting area, I of course had to tell the other ladies what all the excitement was about, RAK's, Ravelry, WWKiP (World Wide Knit in Public) Day. It was great, I didn't get any new knitters but it was definitely fun.

Here's what all the excitement is about:





Isn't the pink just lovely. It's 100% mercerized cotton made in Croatia. I've never had cotton made in another country before, except Lily's but that doesn't count, because Canada is right next door, and when I lived in Michigan we drove there often. And I haven't as yet tried Sinfonia which is made in Mexico. No matter, I am totally excited, and very blessed, that yet another person thought about someone other than themselves, and I just happened to be the person they thought of. Yeah!!!
As always,
Be Safe.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thank God, It's Raining

I know that people in Iowa are tired of water right now, but personally I couldn't be happier for the deluge that is occurring outside my house at this time. Its a storm really with thunder and lightning, but still I am thankful and truly so. It has been at least three weeks since our last "good" rainfall.

This drought has been a surreal experience for me. Its a lesson in poor planning on the states part, lack of conservation on the residents part and an overall disbelief on the part of all parties that our actions has any impact on the environment. There have been times in the past year where I have prayed for rain, circa Noah. No I would not have minded at all 40 days and 4o nights of rain, if it meant that we didn't have the water shortages that we have and it wasn't so hot all the time, and I just got to enjoy the smell of rain. I miss that, honestly I do. Its a fond memory from childhood that I wish every once in a while I could experience. Generally when it rains these days, its a relatively short burst, over and done with quicker than my 2 year olds interest in sitting on the potty.

My garden has suffered this year, because although we are allowed to water personal gardens, I really started off this year trying to use as much reclaimed rain water as possible to give the plants a drink, but with so little rain forthcoming, there wasn't much to give the plants a drink with. So I've been using the hose, but with the heat being as oppressive as its been, many of my plants have become badly burned or just plain tired looking by the end of the day. Its a sad state of affairs. Regardless, I am happy for the rain we are receiving now. My estimate is its been raining for about 2 hours now; that's good for around here. Storm or not I'll take it.

*** We'll be making Ginger Ale tomorrow. Its somewhat a lengthy process, but I'm looking forward to it. We were supposed to start today, but all to late I realized we didn't have a container large enough to store it in. Its experiment 96 in "501 Science Experiments". ( I got our copy at a local Borders in the bargain books section for $7.95) My 7 year old is very interested in Science, so we try to encourage all academic pursuits, and when she saw this book she wanted it, so I bought it for her birthday. I'll let you know how it tastes on Sunday. ***

As for my new widget, the Moms Daily Motivation, well, I like the idea so much to start a notebook for each of my kids, that I did it when they were born. Its really a journal to each of them, letting them know what they're like now, and how much I love them. I write letters at different times of the year, and encourage family and friends to do the same. I want the girls to know that we always thought they were special and there is so much to love about them. In my former years (read teen years), I had so many journals it was crazy, I felt they were the only place I could say how I really felt. I just want my girls to know that no matter what may be said in the heat of teenage angst I have always and will always love them, unconditionally for who they are, and they'll have written proof of that. They are my Love Letters to My Daughters.

Girls so need to be affirmed. All throughout the day, I try to whisper in their ears something special and unique about them. I was much more diligent with doing it at night when they were asleep ( go into the room and tuck them in - again - and whisper three positive things in their ear). I got that from an old girlfriend <- that's another post.

Knitterly wise, Heather has agreed to hold me accountable to my knitting, and suggests I finish the Zig Zag first. I just hope I remember where I left off, and am able to write the pattern correctly.

Well that was a lot not related to rain. Oh well, it worked for me. If you're in Georgia, I hope you are enjoying the rain. I sure am.

No matter where you are or what you're doing:

Be Safe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hayessl's Tired

...So my Meez, Hayessl (my sister says "Hazel") is like my alter, she'll do dances and wear clothes that I can't or simply won't have the opportunity to (I'm a little dancing and dressing challenged). But right now, Hayessl is soooo tired. A little case of insomnia, has me wrapped up in its fingers. My little Meez is reflecting how I feel. A good comfy pair of pajamas (of which I have several pair, nice flannel ones, soft cottons, silks, etc...) and a nice soft pillow, but still to no avail, sleep will not come. Why oh why does the Sandman evade me? Who knows, maybe its my diet or the change in my sleeping habits since school let out, or the pain in my shoulder. It could be a myriad of things. At any rate, I'm tired all the time, but can't seem to get any rest. Any suggestions? I'm open to anything.


***Side Note: talking about oneself in the third person is kinda fun.


On to knitterly news; I abstained from buying yarn today (it was a bittersweet incident). I am really trying not to buy more yarn until I have used up a considerable amount of my stash. -I will take donations though - Since I'm in the running for world's slowest knitter, that may take some time. I'm working on that as well. The more I knit, the faster I get (Right?). Oh well, I did finish another little Mini Purse for Lani's friend (tying in to the all handmade gifts for the rest of the year). I am currently monogamously working on the Lavender Sweater. Since I am working on the second sleeve, I should be done with it by July (remember I'm slow). I just have about 4 more inches on the sleeve then piece everything together and finish the neck. It will be my first time, (making a sweater - pullover to be exact) so hopefully it will go off without a hitch. I'm excited to be so close to finishing such a big thing. I'll post pics of course as soon as its done.
Until next time...
Be Safe.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My Babies Are Back!!!!!!!!

I am so happy. All day I was anxious, and then they pulled up in the driveway. My girls are home with me again. I know they were only gone two weeks, but it seemed like much longer. The last few days were especially tough because I was a little bit manic and everything just seemed a lot worse than it actually was, (which was not at all). UGH!!!! But never mind all that...My babies are back, at least for two weeks, until they are off again to visit more relatives. Then it will be all three of them, but fortunately hubby will be taking time off and some friends from school will be coming to visit. In the interim, I'll be playing chauffeur, taking them to appointments, and playdates, but at least they will be here with me. Please don't think I am totally obsessed with my kids or overly involved in their lives, I'm not, at all. They were vacaying with someone whom I have a strained relationship with, thus making it difficult for me to relax when they are with said person. All in all I'm none the worse for the wear and have exhaled deeply and am grinning ever so cheesily.

***Odd little side note: My seven year old daughter likes to watch "Man vs Wild", but doesn't like "Alaska Experiment", (camping in Alaska for three months is not cool, but eating a zebra is?) Kids these days.

Knitterly wise: I'm in a bit of a funk. I'm a knitting polygamist, having more than one project going at a time, I need to be more monogamous so I can finish something. I have plenty of yarn, and I shouldn't start another project until I have finished one that is on the needles. Who will hold me accountable?
I'm working on (in no particular order) :


  1. SLHayes Zig Zag Scarf

  2. Lavender dishcloth

  3. Bella's Blanket (has a finish date of Christmas)

  4. Baby Sweater -lavender

  5. Mock Cable Sweater (been on the needles for -I'm embarrassed to say)

  6. Baby Sweater - pink


    Oh yes, I'm actually going to attempt to write a pattern (that would be the Zig Zag Scarf), so cross your fingers and say a prayer for me. (hmm that sounds like an oxymoron) At any rate, you know what I'm saying.

Notice my new widgets? I love them, and I see that people other than Heather actually come here. Yeah for me. I think its the widgets. You know the old adage, "if you build it they will come". I guess that's true for blogs to. Make the page pretty, add some content and people will navigate on over. Interesting theory. At any rate, I'm just happy that people are coming over.


But back to what really made my day Super, Ultra, Mega Platinum Bright ---My Babies Are Back


Be Safe.