Friday, November 07, 2008

It snowed. Yes. Yes it did.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The kid's Halloween costume. Made by me. (I swear it has to weigh 20 pounds, there's SO MUCH fabric!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I remember when Beaches came out and I saw Bette Midler do this song on Johnny Carson. It's made me laugh ever since!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My lastest completed project -- socks for me!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm not so sure this fits....

Monday, September 08, 2008

This quilt is to be raffled off during my year as Queen of Nile. The emblems are all Masonic in nature and the flowers are all significant to the various Masonic bodies: lilies and red roses for Eastern Star; lily of the valley for Job's Daughters; red rose for Rainbow; red and white roses for DeMolay; white rose for Daughters of the Nile; forget-me-nots for Masons. All the money for the quilt will go to Shrine Hospitals and I really want to earn $1500.

Wish me luck!

OK, I seriously hate photos of me. Unfortunately, they are occasionally a necessary evil. I have to have business cards for Nile made, and they need my picture. YUCK!

So Hubby took these of me this morning. Which is better? Anyone?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Your result for The Harry Potter Husband Test...

Mrs. Lupin


You like a nice, kind guy with a bit of a fierce streak and you don't mind if he comes damaged. Sure, he may take some convincing since his self-esteem's so low, but once you win him over, you know he's yours for life. Unless of course he has an attack of "I'm not good enough" and runs away, but luckily he's also good at making friends who will push him back into line if necessary.




(Art by Gold-Seven http://gold-seven.deviantart.com/ Used with permission.)

Take The Harry Potter Husband Test at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just a quick update on my iLasik surgery. It went VERY well! My prescription before surgery was about 20/400 (or a -5 in each eye, or "can't see the big E on the chart!"). I had the surgery about 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 19. At my follow-up appointment at 8 a.m. Wednesday (which I drove myself to, by the way!), they checked my prescription and it was 20/20 in each eye! I even managed to get one letter on the 20/15 line.

Talk about massive improvements! I totally recommend having this surgery! If you're thinking about it, do it! And the folks at the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute are fantastic!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here are the washcloths I'm doing. If you look at the tan one, you can see the star. I have 16 done. 4 to go!
My kid sister has a unique sense of humor. At least I hope she's trying to be funny with my latest birthday present.

Actually, my sis is a very talented seamstress and she made this hat. Yep, it's sewn and lined and I think it's kinda like the sorting hat from harry Potter. Or Professor McGonnegal (which I probably spelled wrong, of course!)

What else did I get yesterday? CHOCOLATE! The kid went to the local candy store (where they actually make it!) and got me a box of truffles. And some chocolate covered oreos that said "Happy Birthday" on them.

I also got Chinese take out for dinner (no cooking!). I figured if I told hubby I really wanted egg drop soup for dinner, he'd have to make a run for it. Yeah, I'm sneaky! But he did dishes, too, so ya gotta love that!

Monday, August 18, 2008


To me!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Next week will be a busy one. No doubt about it.

First, the Central States Fair is in town and the kid has (once again) convinced us to let her get a "Big D" pass. So, she gets to ride the rides all week (Monday through Friday at 9 p.m.) for "one low price. She'll have fun anyway.

On Monday, I turn 30-something. No, I'm not trying to hide my age. I'm just too tired and haven't had enough coffee to do the math. Ages/dates/numbers were never my thing. Lets see, it's 2008. I was born in 1971. That's what? 37? Ok, so that's how old I'll be. (Yes, M, S & H, I know you're all younger than me. So what? I'm cuter and smarter.)

Tuesday night I get my eye surgery. I'm really starting to get excited. But also nervous. Because of that, no makeup all week. That will be OK. Makes getting ready in the a.m. a little quicker I suppose.

Wednesday I just may get my nose pierced. Yep. You read right. I found out that hubby thinks its "sexy" as long as it's "tasteful" (read: small and conservative) and I do have a bit of a wild streak in me. Yeah, I know that comes as a shock to those who know me IRL. Oh well. On a side note, is it an oxymoron to use "conservative" to describe a nose piercing? Something to think about.

Thursday, I'm supposed to go to a birthday/going away party for a friend. The problem is that it's a "dress up in your favorite costume" thing, and I have no idea what to wear. So, I haven't RSVPed either way. Hmmm...

Friday is my (and hubby's) anniversary. Nope, can't tell you off the top of my head how long. Let's see, the kid was 4. Now she's 15. 11 years, I suppose. Or 111 some days. No, no idea what we'll do. We did already exchange gifts.

About the gifts. My old embroidery machine kinda died (long story) and hubby bought me a new one. As far as I'm concerned that counts for birthday AND anniversary. But he also bought me a Sturgis shot glass when he went up for the rally (birthday) and a new motorcycle helmet (anniversary). His wallet was literally falling apart , so that's what I had gotten him for the anniversary and I couldn't stand his whining about it anymore. I finally gave it to him. Complete with a dollar that he promptly gave me! What a guy!

So that will be my week. I have some new yarn that I got on e-bay. (It's SOOOO pretty and will make some beautiful socks!!!) I'll try to get a picture later. Same with the motorcycle helmet.

Oh, I have to finish a dress for Daughters of the Nile. I got it cut out last night and that's the part I despise. I need to run to the fabric store for thread, a 7 inch zipper, 5 buttons (which I won't use, I'll use snaps -- I hate button holes!), and some interfacing. I'm hoping to have that dress done by the September 13 meeting. I finally did all those embroidered bookmarks (128 of them total) that I wanted by the time my term as Queen starts and will get a picture of those, too. I'm even working on corsages for my installation in March. I need to work on the lap quilt I'll be raffling, though. I need that finished by my installation, as well. I have 4 blocks embroidered and the design for one more ready. I need to decide what other color fabric I'm going to use, though, and purchase the designs I want to use that I don't already have.

And I'm knitting 20 washcloths with stars in them for Eastern Star in November. I have 15 of those done. Also got a perm this week, since the step-kid is attending beauty college and needed a "head model." So a new picture of me is probably necessary, too. (Hubby is getting his hair cut today by her for a school assignment.) Although, step-kid says she is learning color next week, so I might get the gray hidden before I get a new picture. As hubby would say, "NCT" (Never Can Tell).

Oh! On the writing front, I have an idea for book two. Well, I have TWO ideas for book two. If you're interested, I'd love some input on them. (Either here, or at my writing blog: http://www.nicholerbennett.com) Anyway, the first idea is the murder has to do with sacred Native American land, a casino/resort/campground, and a rancher loosing grazing land. Idea number two has the murder being more of a revenge killing between an outlaw motorcycle gang and a "cop gang" with maybe a campground, and definitely some Sturgis Rally flavor. Oh, either way, the murder will happen at a sacred Lakota site in the Black Hills. That's a given. I don't want to go into too many details in case someone just don't care, but if anyone wants more info, let me know at either site. I want to really work on book two during NaNoWriMo in November. And for those wondering, no book one isn't finished yet, but is about half to two-thirds of the way.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. I hope to get those pictures up and be more faithful in writing here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finished these socks for the kid. I'm not sure I like them. They were knitted on straight needles (not circulars) and then sewn up the top. Plus, I need to get another pompom maker, I think. I couldn't remember how full the first one was and I think the second isn't *as* full a pompom. The kid is visiting her grandparents, so these will be ready for her when she comes home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I entered a writing contest.

Well, not really. I entered a contest and I had to do some writing as a part of it. Not exactly the same, but what the heck.

The Black Hills Regional Eye Institute sponsored a contest for military family members (known as "dependents", though I really hate that!) to win a free iLasik surgery. It had something to do with NASA approving the surgery for astronauts. Anyway, people had to write an essay (250 words or less, thank you very much!) about why they were the best candidate.

I did and I guess I am! I won the surgery! I will be getting my eyes "fixed" on August 19 (the day after my birthday, how cool is that?) at 5:45 p.m. and people can watch. OK, so that part is a little odd, but I'll live with it! Honestly, I'm so excited! I found out Friday and couldn't say anything until today, so it's been a long couple of days...

So I guess, I entered a writing contest -- and won!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Before I begin, I will admit I'm a bit of a dork and it doesn't take much to get me all excited.

Anyway, I was in my daughter's room talking with her last night as she was waiting for her boyfriend to call. (Ah, to be 15 again!) The phone rings and she gets a confused look on her face. "Private number," she says. So she answers in a mildly professional, somewhat annoyed "I-hope-you-aren't-a-telemarketer" voice. Says, "No, she's right here, may I ask who's calling?" and hands me the phone mouthing "Chris someone from (Eastern) Star."

In the split second it takes for me to say hello, I've run through every "Chris Someone" I can think of. We have none in our chapter.

It was our Worthy Grand Matron! NEVER expected a call from her!!!! But she asked me to be an emblem bearer at Grand Chapter in October. Of course I said yes! Now, I've only been to one Grand Chapter and I was a little bummed that now I was in the line I wasn't asked to be a page (or a page to the page, even!), so I must have been walking on clouds last night when I was asked to do this!!

The dresses are only $40 and we get to wear shoes the color of our star point. I will be wearing green ones, so now I need to find pretty green shoes. Good thing the kid is going to visit Grandparents next week. I'll have better luck finding something in the big city...

Monday, June 30, 2008


I knit these socks for an auction. They earned money for HIKE (the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment Fund). This is the official charity for Job's Daughters.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ain't she purty?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sorry, I couldn't resist! I heard this on the Lime and Violet podcast (yeah, I'm always behind listening to podcasts) and laughed so hard. Enjoy!







Tuesday, May 27, 2008

If you only read this blog to hear about the roller derby, you might as well stop. I won't be participating in that anymore. The woman I was helping to organize the league proved her true character at my expense. Not only has she now lost my help, but she's lost my friendship as well. That's a bridge that, once burned, doesn't get easily repaired.

I do want to thank S, though. She doesn't realize it, but when I most needed a friend last week (in the height of discovering the "derby-deception"), she was there. Of course, I'm a little peeved she might be moving so far away, but..... WonderTwin Power, activate!

Monday, May 19, 2008

How many of you spend time learning about yourselves? How many do it on purpose?

I confess that I do not. I know me, right. Why do I (or should I) spend time learning what I already know?

Easy. Because I don't know me.

Or rather, sometimes I learn things about myself that (once revealed) come as a major shock.

I'm looking at the following reading list (mostly mystery books) and I've noticed that I'm less stressed those months where I've read two or more books. It's not that I didn't have as much "stuff" happening, but I took time to make sure I relaxed. Obviously I need to do that to keep my sanity.

May 08: Through the Grinder
May 08: On What Grounds
May 08: Murder Most Frothy
April 08: Skeletons
April 08: Rembrandt's Ghost
March 08: The Murder of Roger Ackyrod
January 08: Real Murders
January 08: A Charmed Death
December 07: The Secret
December 07: Sweet and Deadly
December 07: Shakespeare's Landlord
November 07: Dead Until Dark
November 07: The Seance
November 07: Enchanted Cat
November 07: Guilty As Sin
November 07: Shallow Grave
September 07: Grave Surprise
September 07: Industrial Magic
September 07: The Witch is Dead
September 07: Broken
September 07: Stolen
September 07: Dime Store Magic
August 07: Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye
August 07: If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...
August 07: Club Dead
August 07: The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
July 07: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
July 07: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
July 07: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
July 07: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
July 07: Matters of the Blood
June 07: Desert Wives
June 07: Iron Lake
June 07: Witch Hunt
June 07: The Lawyer Who Died Trying
June 07: The Chef Who Died Sauteing
June 07: Grave Sight

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My little girl isn't so little anymore. She turned 15 yesterday.

She's had a rough year. Starting high school. First boy friend. First break up. First date. Car accident. Finding out some of her friends weren't. Making new ones. Through it all, though, she's been the same basic kid. For that I'm so grateful. She has a good heart. I'm really proud to be her mom...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This has got to be one of the best commercials I've seen in awhile. But, I'm a Meatloaf fan, so I'm probably biased.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Do remember those 80s bumper stickers that said something like "mean people suck"? (By the way, they must still make them, because I found a picture of one!) Anyway, I've decided negative people aren't all that much better.

Yesterday a friend (and, yes, I do consider this woman a friend) was quick to point out that if the kid had been in this same accident in another state, she wouldn't be allowed to drive again until the age of 18. That could be true, but even the police officer who wrote the kid the ticket for failure to yield seemed upset over it. In fact, I remember him apologizing to me for writing the ticket. Yes, the accident wouldn't have happened if the kid hadn't been in the other lane. Yes, the roads were icy and wet. The kid said she slid. The cop says she was going less than 10mph. No, the kid doesn't have years or driving experience.

Now, this isn't the first time my friend has taken any piece of news and opted to put a "spin" on it. A few years ago when the kid got her braces removed, the same friend's reply to that "multi-thousand dollar smile" was something like "well, I hope they'll still be straight a year from now."

So what should I do? This friend and I are involved in a few groups and organizations together, and she's very knowledgeable about those and willing to help if she's needed, so totally ignoring her isn't an option. Besides, like I said, I do consider her my friend. And, truth be told, I don't make friends easily, which means I don't have a whole lot of them gathering around, collecting dust *grin*. And ones who are near my geographically are even more rare.

I am trying to clear my life of negativity, though. (Well, that and stress.) We've told our daughter that you are who you hang out with. I don't want to be a negative person. I really don't! I'm naturally a bit of a pessimist, I know this about myself. (I prefer to look at it as being "extra prepared for the challenges that may arise.") I really don't need someone else reminding me of the what ifs. Yet, I've noticed that I become more so after conversations with this friend. That isn't who I want to be!!!

Has anyone else ever faced this or am I alone in my struggle? Can anyone offer advice?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Will the real Jen please stand up?



Gotta love having some freaky multiple personality thing going on, huh?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

In an effort to "get back to normal" I thought I'd show off some of the beautiful yarn I received last week. The first one isn't that great of a picture, but the yarn is hand-dyed in shades of blue. The white is really a light blue.

This yarn I got on e-bay. Isn't it pretty? Two skeins of each. The kid has claimed the orange/red/green/dark blue stuff as her own and wants some socks made out of it. I'll gladly do that for her.
It's one thing to write about terrible events in some fictional character's lives. It's another thing to live through an event like that in your own.

Let me explain.

Tuesday, April 1, started off like any other day. Here in the Beautiful Black Hills, we'd had some snow (not unusual for late March, early April) and the roads were a little slick. Since it was April Fool's Day, I started it off by telling the kid she didn't have school. Got her hopes up, just to say "April Fool's!" I know, I'm a meanie. She got up, got dressed, and headed off to school.

Before I continue, let me explain something. The state law in South Dakota gives 14 year olds the privilege of driving. I'm not a native of this state, so maybe that's why it's not a law I've ever agreed with. I think 14 is a bit young. If 16 was good enough for me, then it should be good enough for everyone, right? But ask any South Dakotan between the ages of 12 and 16, and you'll hear what a great idea this law is. So the kid and her dad convinced me to let her take driver's ed, let her get a car, let her drive herself to school.

So Tuesday, I'm waiting. Waiting for the call that my child is required to make. The one that is supposed to put me at ease about her driving. The one where she tells me in the most annoying of teenage voices that she's once again made it to school on time. Instead, when my phone rings, she's crying. "Mom, I've been in an accident."

My husband says my response was to scream "Oh My God!" That's when he knew something was wrong, perceptive guy that he is. I spent the next few minutes trying to talk to our daughter, answer hubby's barrage of questions and get dressed (hey, when you work out of your home, you you can delay showering right away!). I finally heard a man's voice, "You need to hang up." My sobbing daughter replied, "It's my mom. She'll be mad." The man took the phone from her and told me he was a paramedic. I needed to meet them at the hospital. Once again I thought I was going to vomit. My overactive, mystery-laden brain was coming up with all kinds of scenarios.

On the way to the hospital, I started making calls. The school needed to know she wouldn't be in today. The auto insurance company needed to know about the accident. (Where was that policy info anyway? Oh yeah, in her car.) The medical insurance company needed to know she was going to the hospital. (What do you mean I have to call you back? Aren't I supposed to get pre-authorization for everything? Oh, the rules are different in an emergency? I see.) Her grandparents needed to know.

Since the ride to the hospital obviously took at least an hour -- difficult since I know hubby was really pushing the speed limit, going the most direct route and it's only 10 miles from our home to the hospital! -- I had time to make these calls. I called my dad's cell phone. Dad is a retired cop and can handle an emergency. He didn't answer. I called Mom's phone next. Mom is a never-to-retire homemaker who doesn't deal real well with blood, vomit, or hysterical daughters. She says didn't understand a thing I said besides "I need to talk to Dad." Meanwhile I remember my husband telling me I had to calm down.

Once I got Dad on the phone, I really lost it. I was able to finish my mini-break-down (first of many, it turns out!) by the time we got to the hospital. We beat the ambulance there and had our daughter all checked in by the time she showed up. I'm not sure how that happened, to be honest. I don't remember answering any questions. Hubby probably handled that. I'm almost positive I didn't.

When we saw her, she was on a backboard with a neck brace. An oxygen tube was stuck in her nose. Her face was scratched and scraped from the airbag. Her eyes were red (well, the one she could open) from crying. Her clothing was burnt (not only the sweater, which you see here, but the cami and bra underneath it). She had two fat lips. Once again, I thought I would vomit.

I won't go through the emotions of the cat scan and x-rays. I know I talked to the cop as he gave her a ticket for failure to yield. I know I didn't argue with him. I just wanted to be back in the ER room with her. Besides, years of experience taught me not to argue with a cop. Or is that just not to argue with Dad?

I remember having to leave a few times. Telling the kid I had to pee, when I was really in the bathroom crying.

Eventually, the doc said they would release her... sort of. She needed to be taken across the street to an oral surgeon. Her jaw was "very broke." She ended up having it wired shut, a condition she doesn't need for dietary reasons (the kid is 5'6" and MAYBE 120 pounds!), but will have to live with for the next 5 weeks. At least. By the way, the cost of that part alone was more than we paid for the car. And that doesn't include follow-up visits or the ER trip.

Now, a mere two days later, I'm still a basket case. I find myself accidentally starting down the path of "what if" and can feel the tears well up inside me. I'm not sure this kid will ever get to leave sight of either her dad or me. Looking at the car, I know how close we came to losing her.

I know I will never again leave the house, or let her leave the house, or let my husband leave the house without saying those three words that annoy every teenager -- "I love you." I know that I will take my writing more seriously because it's something that is important to me and I've seen that we really don't know what tomorrow brings. I know that we should never put off what needs to be done right now -- at least not when it comes to those we love.

I'm so sorry I had to learn these lessons. I know it was Divine Intervention that kept my daughter from being "more hurt." Her angels were on the job that morning. Take a few minutes right now and tell your family and friends and loved ones what they mean to you. You might be really glad you did. No matter what, it will put things in perspective for you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I haven't posted in a few weeks. Not much has been going on WORTH posting, to be honest.

The roller derby thing is going OK, but I'm afraid it might take way more time/commitment than I'm willing to give. I like helping out. I like being part of something that is giving to charity. I like the idea of being part of a team (I've never played sports before). But what am I thinking?? Some of the girls who signed up scare the bejesus out of me. I can't imagine being in the same building with them, let alone on a team. I think they'll kick my .... you know.... if I just look at them wrong. And I have a black belt in TaeKwonDo!

Maybe this was just a bad idea. I mean, we don't even have skates yet! Nor is there a rink to practice at!

I did lose two pounds last week, though. (OK, so TECHNICALLY I think it was 1.8 pounds!) I was so stoked! I've been exercising every day this week, too. Even went to a gym. (One local place gave all the roller derby members a free years membership!)

Haven't done much crafting. I finished the adult Jobie socks and will now work on the kids pair. This one I'm thinking will be white with a purple triangle. Well, one sock will be. the other will be reversed. OH! A new yarn stored opened in town. Spent some money on some beautiful hand-dyed yarn! I'll get a picture later.

That's it. That's been the week of Jen....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Check this out: http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/4711_play-roller-derby.htm

Now to get ready! We're having our first info meeting on Friday night. Should be interesting!
ANOTHER week that I gained. This is getting ridiculous! Hubby, bless his little heart, keeps saying "so?" but it bothers me.

Part that really gets me is that I've actually been exercising — something I hadn't really done up to this point. I'll give it another week....

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things got a little crazy here this week. I know, what else is new?

Weight-wise, I gained four-tenths of a pound. Very frustrating since I worked out more. Even went ice skating with the Jobies (ONLY adult on the rink, by the way). And, no, I didn't fall.

Tuesday there was an article about our Roller Derby league in the local paper, since we're having in informational meeting next Friday night. My phone was ringing before 8 a.m! We've had positive results with the people who called us or found the league's MySpace page, but the online version of the story had some negative comments as well. One of my favorite was something like "I wonder what the teeth to tattoo ratio of this new venture will will." Since I've had my wisdom teeth out (side note: maybe THAT explains this roller derby thing!) does that make my ratio 28:1? Not too bad! Oh, and then there was the guy who thought we should try to make a bunch of money on this. ALL the proceeds of each bout will go to charity. We'll keep enough in an account that will cover expenses, but the rest goes to charity. The girl who got me into this mess (also a mom) and I talked it over and decided that all the charities will be kid-related. So Ronald McDonald houses, Shrine Hospitals, the Children's Home here, the book drive program through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program...those kinds of things will get the league's cash. We really want to do some of the "less advertised" programs around here. (Not that the big ones aren't good, but the little ones need help, too!) The one guy couldn't grasp that, though. After a google search I found out he had a few convictions for tax evasion. Yeah, not messing with him! Next week my friend and I are doing radio interviews. I still can't believe I'm doing this.

I haven't worked much on any hobbies, but I have been writing. Did some work on Chapter 1 of Ghost Mountain, and I think -- actually, I KNOW -- that it made it much stronger.

So that was my week. I can only imagine what next week will bring.....

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Got my roller derby costume today. At least most of it. I technically have to get a Rushmore Rollerz t-shirt still and probably some bike shorts for under the skirt. But, here's what I think I'll look like!

OK, so whatcha think? Notice the fishnets? Do I look mean enough? Why am I doing this again?
Wouldn't you know that now that I lost more than a pound, I'm finding this is a BAD week for eating healthy? That's the way it seems to go, isn't it? Oh well, I've been exercising more this week than I did last week. At least so far.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FINALLY! I broke through a "number" on the scale and actually lost this week! I'm doing a happy dance! (well, not really, but I'm thinking it)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My name got approved! I'm Briana Bruiser of the Rushmore Rollerz! (#5, you see!) Kind of excited. Kind of nervous. Our first bout is already scheduled for June 21. YIKES!!!
Another gain last week. This is getting REDICIOUS! It's so bad, in fact, that I actually have been working out everyday this week. Not a lot, mind you, but at least 10 minutes. Actually, I've done the gazelle thing we have for 30 minutes one day, then a 10-minute dancing "quickie" DVD (that targets a particular body area, like belly dancing shimmers for the abs) the next day, then back to the gazelle. Let's see if that moves the scale any.

On the crafty side, I finished the "I heart Coffee/Tea/Cocoa" swap. My partner is a tea drinker mostly (she said she sometimes drinks cocoa), so I focused on the tea. She got her box of goodies yesterday.



This is a tea kettle. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a tea kettle? Just a plain one? That the handle isn't on the top? YIKES! I knit the cozy and it says "Coffee, Tea, or Me?" on it.










These coasters and the "mug cozy" were also knitted. They were ALSO my very first ever felted projects. It was kinda fun. The mug cozy thing came out really well and I know I'll be making one of those for me, and the kid, and probably my sister. Good thing it was an easy project!







Then there's this. My partner had something like this on a wist, and so I tried to recreate it. This is a tea-traveler. It holds six different types of teas (I sent some bags, and some loose-leaf), filters and stirrers. The theory is that she can take this and brew her own tea where ever she happens to be. I'm not sure I like how it came out, but for something with no pattern, I guess it's ok. If I ever make another one, though, I won't use such heavy cord for the ties. And actually, I probably will make another for a project I'm doing with my sister.

I also found a cute tea ball, a tea bag carrier for her purse, a apple-spice-tea flavored lip balm, and a TON of different teas to add to the package.

So that was that. I'm waiting for my box from her. Honestly, though, I'm just glad she liked what I sent. I enjoy the crafts, and my family is getting a little sick of my trying to make stuff for them, so I like that SOMEONE appreciates it! *grin*

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Isn't she cute? She's our Roller Derby mascot. I finally picked a name (Briana Bruiser), and am waiting for it to be approved. My "partner in crime" for this went and got our first bout all set up. Too bad we don't have a TEAM yet! YIKES!

I finished the I <3 Tea/Coffee/Cocoa swap and mailed that off yesterday. When my partner gets it, I'll post pictures.

On the weight loss front, there was none. I've realized I've pretty much been playing with the same five pounds since the beginning of October. It's driving me crazy, and is really killing my motivation! Although I did get out and do some specific exercising yesterday and plan to do some later this morning. I hate exercising!

The kid has a band concert tonight. Oh! And she is "legal" to drive now (well, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. anyway). This state is really whacked! They let 14 year olds DRIVE! Now she wants a car. Well, people "down south" want ice water, too! The kid did pass drivers ed, so that makes me feel a little better, but she still isn't getting a car or driving by herself anytime soon.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

You don't have to support a war to support our troops.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

One of my swaps has been sent and received. This one was really hard to craft for, I think. It was a "New Year's Resolution's Swap" at Craftster and I just didn't know how to craft for my partner's resolutions.

Here is everything I crafted. I'll explain what they are below.

One of her resolutions was to get back into yoga and bellydancing. So I crocheted a waterbottle carrier (and sent along a "Rushmore Clinic" bottle), and sewed a yoga mat bag for her.


Next resolution was to be more "eco-friendly." Good resolution, but HARD to craft for! Here's a crocheted backpack/duffel that will be great for carrying groceries.

Still on the "eco-friendly" resolution, the little white disk there is a crocheted pot & pan scrubber. The cool thing about it, though, is that it's made from plastic grocery bags! The red bag goes for her next resolution -- organizing her laundry room. It's a "delicates" bag.


Also for the laundry room, this is a missing sock jar. The poem is something like:
Can anyone out there help me ?
I’m alone and I could cry
My Twin he has gone missing
And They’ve hung me out to dry !
I can't take credit for the poem, but it sure is cute, huh?


Finally, she wanted to organize her house. So this is a "bill book" where she can put all the bills in monthly folders.

Like I said, I found these resolutions pretty tough to craft for, but I did my best. Hope she likes them...

Friday, February 01, 2008

What a week!

I've been a little stressed lately. (Hubby is rolling his eyes, I'm sure.) I have a little trouble saying no. (There goes Hubby again!) But it's the stress at home -- mostly self-imposed, I admit -- that's got me frazzled. Perfection is a pain in the arse. If I don't think I can do it right, or don't have the time to do it right, I wait. And then, in the case of laundry, for example, it piles up. And then I have to do a LOT to catch up. And then I get stressed.

Lost weight this week. Not as much as I gained the week before, but I still lost. Since the beginning of October, I've been gaining and losing the same five pounds. I'm ready to break through that, though. I need to break through that.

Did get my hair died. Finally! It's cute and I'll try to get a pic this weekend. It's darker than I've usually done, and no red, which is unusual for me. But I do like it. Oh, and there's some purple in it. That I love!

I haven't done a lot of writing this week. I think a combination of the self-imposed stress and the nasty critique made me lose my focus. I can feel it returning, though.

What else? Ah, roller derby. I'm playing with names, and the ones I really loved were taken. DANG IT! Nancy DrewBlood was my favorite, and of course taken! Now I'm thinking of Mizz Prizz. Since I'm a bit more "prissy" than some of the others. Any thoughts? I helped Pinkie B Witched fill out the grant info for our league, and the deadline was yesterday, so we should hear something soon.

I'm doing two craftster swaps. One should be finished today, and then I can focus on the second. I also have an Eastern Star official visit on Saturday. In case I didn't mention, I'm headed up the line there, as well as in Nile. (Those with no Masonic background are totally lost, I'm sure.) Up two lines? Goes back to problems saying no. I will be glad when the OV is over though.

Oh! Notice the second ticker at the top of the page? My sister challenged me to a dare. (What are we? 12?) Anyway, she bet me that I can't make a quilt every other week in 2008 and donate them all to charity. Here are her rules:
  • all quilts have to be for at least a double-size bed
  • they have to be made out of quality fabric ("no crappy polyester," I think she said)
  • the quilts all have to be donated to a homeless shelter or women's shelter
  • a picture of the quilt and a receipt from the shelter are required
So, that's 26 quilts. I got the stuff for the first one yesterday and plan to get it finished this week. Hubby wants to know when I'll make the quilt for our bed that I've been promising him. I want to do one for my dad, too, but he doesn't know about it (although he may read this occasionally) so I don't have to hear about not having that one done. Unless of course he DOES read this, and now I'll have to hear about it, won't I? Oh, the prize for our challenge is a free lunch. Not as cheap as it sounds. The loser has to drive to the others house for the weekend and buy the winner lunch. Since my sister and I live about 500 miles apart, that's a big deal. Hope sis has cash. I 'll pick a pricey lunch!

That's about it. Tons going on. Next week I hope is a little less stressful. My plan is to MAKE it less stressful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gained weight. Again. I'm getting so frustrated. Of course, I want my hair re-done and that appointment keeps getting put off, too, so I'm just feeling REALLY frustrated. I plan to drink more water this week (I wasn't so good about that the last month or so) and I think that will help.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The kid completed her first round of finals, and, while the grades for the final exams could have been better, her semester grades were As and Bs. No point in complaining about those grades!

I'm in the middle of doing two craftster swaps, but I won't be mentioning WHAT I'm making until I know my partners get their packages. One of my partners, I know, was checking the blog earlier. I will admit, though, that crafting for a New Year's resolution to be more organized is a challenge. I've come up with something for it, and finished that one. I just hope my partner likes it. Then again, sometimes one person's organized is another person's chaos, so I hope I'm on the right track.

Looking at the calendar, I see this is another busy week, with meetings every night. Sometimes I wonder how I get to that point, but I can't imagine giving any of them up right now. Add teaching Sunday School, and picking up the kid from school, and running to the grocery store, and making dinner, and doing laundry... sometimes I just feel like I'm at the end of my rope and even the things I volunteer to do because I like them start to be a strain.

I've written another few pages of Ghost Mountain, and I'm planning to submit it to a contest. The contest takes the first 20 pages, plus a two-page summary. I don't really care if I win. The cool thing about this contest is that the judge is an editor at one of the publishing houses. Now there is someone I'd like to ask to see the rest!

That's the week here. I lost a few pounds at WW, but I seem to be having a lot of trouble with it. Partly I know I've had the "munchies" and been REALLY craving the chocolate. I know that doesn't help, either. I saw a picture of me taken almost a year ago, and even I didn't recognize myself. Odd, isn't it? I do need to decide, though, if I want to lose another 15 or 30. I KNOW I want to do the 10 or 15, for sure. It's the other weight to put me where WW says I should be that I'm not sure about. I've decided not to make up my mind until I get to where I know I want to be. (Gee, without giving my goal weight away, that gets confusing!)

Well, that's my ramblings for tonight...

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do you have a friend who, whenever you get together trouble follows? In elementary school, that might mean talking in class. In high school, it might be skipping school, or talking in class, or crashing wild parties. In your 20s it's probably too many parties.

Now that I'm in my 30s and have such a friend, I've discovered that the "trouble follows" thing doesn't stop with age. Only now we're doing roller derby! Like I needed one more thing on my plate! So, Vicki and I are starting a roller derby league. M, if you're reading this, wanna join?

At least it will be fun. And I've promised hubby that I won't skate.

And really, how much trouble can we get into?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The kid is sick. Well, not so much anymore, but she was this week. Her temp reached a high-point of 102.6. YIKES! The ER doc determined it's a virus of some sort (gee, thanks) and gave her vicoden (or however THAT's spelled) for the aches and pains so she could actually get some rest. When he left the room, the kid says "Isn't that what House takes?" If she starts to walk with a limp, I'll be worried!

She has finals next week and is very concerned about them. Being homeschooled that wasn't something she ever did before. Then again, she's a freshman in high school this year, and I'm not sure "regular school" kids in middle school would have taken finals. So the weekend will be spent resting and studying.

Oh, the vicoden must have worked. Her fever finally broke last night and she was her normal, goofy, teen-age self once again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Am I, or am I not, an author? Am I a writer? This week, I didn't think so.

I got my critique back and it was less than stellar. I didn't expect the reviewer to tell me how wonderful I was -- although that would have been nice -- but there was very little the reviewer claimed to like. Even in the section of the critique called "Strengths." Ouch. And it was marked up in red pen. Double ouch. And the reviewer's handwriting leaves much to be desired so it takes some perseverance to decipher it. Triple ouch.

So I did the big girl thing. I went in my room and bawled like a baby. My family tried consoling me by telling me the reviewer was wrong, my novel is great. Of course I answered them like a big girl. "You have to say that. You love me!" That's what I tried to say between sobs, anyway.

Now that I've calmed down a bit, I am able to be slightly more objective. I can see that the idiot who critiqued me reviewer was definitely NOT in my target audience. I can also tell that person probably doesn't read paranormals or cozies very often, if at all. The reviewer did have a few suggestions I might incorporate, but I might not. I don't know yet.

I do know that I need to find a reviewer who doesn't "love me" who is in my target audience, or at least is familiar with the sub-genre I've selected.

My change of attitude has answered my question in a way that all the love, support, and encouragement from my family and friends never could. I am a writer. I am going to be a successful author. I'm not going to let one person's opinion matter so much. Especially someone who isn't anywhere near my target audience.

I will keep writing!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Well, I weighed in this morning and gained almost 4 pounds over the Christmas/New Year weeks. Dang it! Although, to be honest, I knew I had gained. And I thought it was more like 6 pounds, so I should be proud of myself, right? In a twisted way, that makes sense.

I determined this morning that I'm very jealous of my kid sister. Wow. How petty does that sound? Welcome to my world.

My family got to see my sister and her family for Christmas. Since we've been home, I've had to hear about how nice their house is. Multiple times. Then my niece is just so dang cute, and a good kid, who listens to my sis, and right now I don't have that. (My niece grew "in" my sister's heart, not "under" it and was one of the reasons sis married her hubby, I know!) I know it's totally selfish, but I'm jealous. Right now I feel so totally out of control with things in my life that I wish I had someone else's.

I'm sure the feelings of "dog doo" will pass as I actively look for wonderous blessings in my own backyard.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I don't seem to have a lot going on this week. It was odd trying to get back in the swing of things after the holidays. I liked homeschooling much better for that reason -- we were able to start over on a Monday, and not in the middle of the week, which just seems odd.

But, of course, we had to start back "full blast!" The kid has become the JV wrestling manager at her school. Great, let the kid spend MORE time with boys. What was I thinking?! And driver's ed is going the next two weeks. It's the driving portion... stay off the roads!

Add that stuff to homework and housework and the rest of the "stuff" we do, and there's no time to breath. Ah, but for the most part we're happy and healthy and what could be better than that, really?