Emergency Pencil Case…. or My lotion exploded!


Poor Granddaughter came home from school yesterday with hand lotion all over the contents of her backpack.  These contents included her library books, binder, and a multitude of pens and pencils!

First things first,  empty the back pack.  I noticed all the contents have black all over them.  Was the lotion black?  Oh… now I find the problem.  Her pencil sharpener had also broken and spilled all it’s contents into the bottom of her bag.  Mix the pencil lead, wood shavings, and hand lotion together… you get black lotion on everything.  And did I mention the backpack was Neon Orange?  It looked like a Halloween project gone terribly wrong.  Yuk!!!!!  IMAG0078

How can we save those poor library books?  (I didn’t take any pictures of the books, but she did a good job cleaning them up) and how can we prevent this from happening again? From this point forward,  Lotion goes into a ziploc bag!   Pens and pencils go into a pencil bag. (She has a pencil “box” but it’s metal and the hinges broke the first week of school.)  Not very effective if it doesn’t stay closed. So, how do you get black lotion from the pages of books and journals and everything else in the bag?  Well… Mr. Clean Erasers, that’s how!   Those things clean anything and everything!

I decided she needed a new pencil case.  We pored through the scrap box, nothing jumped out at her.  Finally, she asked me if we could make a Batman case.  Of course,  if you can draw the logo I can cut it out and applique it to the front of the case.  (She has been obsessed with Batman for over a year now)…  IMAG0106

She drew the logo for me and while I worked on her case, she worked on cleaning up all the contents of her bag.  (the bag was now in the washing machine for it’s bath).  Of course, she decided that she had to be in her batman costume while she cleaned… so:   IMAG0110She got busy cleaning and I got busy sewing.  I wasn’t thrilled with how the logo bunched up, but she was happy with it, and that’s all that counts.  IMAG0112

I know… “why did she choose a white pencil case after such a messy disaster?”  I asked the same thing!  We lined it with black.IMAG0114 As she usually does when I’m working on a project for her, she came bouncing in to check on the progress at least 3 times.  Finally her bag was finished.  She was very pleased!  IMAG0113IMAG0108

On to the next disaster…  In Middle school, there is always a new disaster around the next corner!  Hurt feelings, bad hair day, boys, friends being mean, teachers being too harsh… never a dull moment!  Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have my daughter and granddaughter living with me?


Step up or Shut up


Wow… I can’t believe it’s October already!  I also can’t believe my daughter is turning 30 this month!

I don’t know who is having a more difficult time with it,  her or me.  She is the one on the left here.  We were coloring Easter eggs and drinking wine.  egg decorating(when my two daughters are together they are very entertaining!) They got creative with the stickers and their selfies!   Hey, at least this year they didn’t catch my tablecloth on fire!

We’re having a birthday celebration in the back yard in a few weeks and I’m having so much fun getting it ready!  I’ve bought flowers in pots, lights to hang in the trees and under the new sun shade thingy we put up, I’ve been sprucing up the inside of the house too.  Buying little nick nacks here and there.  I love having parties!

I am sooo incredibly proud of her!  She has come a long way.  She had a very difficult time entering her 20’s and now her life has been back on track for the last 4 years.  What an amazing young woman she has become!

It’s Cheerleading season again.   As much as I tried not to, I got sucked back into helping with the team.


Here are the 30,  yes 30 bows I made for their games.

Bows Cheer teamI have been staying away from practices and even some games this year.  I got signed up to be the “Team Manager” this year.  It’s not as involved as being “Team Mom”.  However, the team mom this year is never present at the events, except to bring snacks to the games.  I’m not happy AT ALL with the way the organization is being run, and it’s the same as it was last year.  We are into our SECOND competition and the girls still don’t have their uniforms.  They don’t have their warm ups,  they don’t have their shoes… oh, I could go on an on about how unorganized and frustrating the whole thing is, but that’s why I chose not to participate this year.  I don’t like it,  I tried to step up and help, and got shut down.

My mom used to say:  “Step up or shut up”  I stepped up, it didn’t help, so now I have to shut up!   Walking away now.  Really!   Even my daughter is frustrated with the whole thing, and she usually lets most things roll off her back.

On to more fun things!  The P A R T Y for my girl!   I love decorating the house for the holidays.  I went to the craft store to get some things for ideas I saw on Pinterest.  (love this app!)  I came home with supplies to make our fun new banner above the fireplace.  (Burlap, glue, scissors, and jute… very simple no sew fun!)

Family I forgot to blog about these fun wreaths I made for Memorial day, another No Sew fun quick craftmore summer wreathsSummer Wreaths

This weekend it’s time to get down the fall and Christmas decorations from the garage rafters.  Daughter and her boyfriend are coming over,  I’ll have him climb the ladder for me.  I “could” do it, but if he’s coming over I’ll let him have the privilege!

Hopefully I’ll be back to blog after the party and put up the pics of the family, decorations, and fun we all had!

My sewing machines are so sad looking… just sitting there waiting for me to spend time with them.  Seriously,  in November I’m thinking of taking a week off just to sew.  Ha ha..Duh….   I have a week off… it’s called Thanksgiving!  Three days of cooking and cleaning, doing the Turkey Trot, and another cheer competition.  Really?   I thought I was in my “Golden Years”….  Aren’t grandmas supposed to be able to sit at home and sew?  Bake cookies?  Rock grandbabies?

This month is so busy for us… A significant Birthday,  , 2 Cheer competitions, other daughters’ birthday, Halloween, and let’s not forget I’m finishing my Bachelors Degree in 2 weeks!  Oh… speaking of that,  I better get back to studying for my final exam.

Step up or Shut up….  time for me to shut up.

Have a wonderful October everyone!


Summertime… back to school, and birthday season!


I’ve been in school myself for the last 6 months trying to “finally” finish my degree.It is quite entertaining having professors the same age as I am!  The school staff keeps thinking I’m an instructor!  

I was one class away from finishing 12 years ago when my life got turned upside down. My dad got lung cancer, my mom passed away 18 later my daughter had a baby, then my husband had a baby.. (not with me unfortunately) I got a divorce, found myself helping my youngest brother through his divorce.  We teamed up and raised his kids and my granddaughter together for a few years.  

Long story short… it’s 12 years later and I never went back to school.  In January of this year I went back to University of Phoenix to find out what I needed to pick up where I left off.  Well,  it seems there is no “picking up”… I have to re-take FIVE classes!  A whole years worth of school!  15 credits!!!!  Oh well,  can’t change it,  deal with it and move on.  

Now I am back at the point I was 12 years ago… 7 weeks away from graduating!  God willing, this time I will make it!  

Oh… and that’s right smack in the middle of our “birthday season”… My oldest daughter turns 30 this October!  Her sister turns 28, and my son turns 38.(Son lives in Arizona, so we don’t see him much).   We’re having a big backyard party for the one turning 30.  She is at the point in her life where she is enjoying being around family.  Well,  in my family, that’s quite a task!  I’m one of 10 kids!  (the second, and oldest girl), so when we invite my family over, it’s a big deal.  You know when people say,  “yea, we’re just inviting family over, keep it small”… ha ha ha… we have four generations right now!   girls in the car

My brother had a BBQ for my nephew a few weeks ago and there were about 42 people there.  That was just 6 siblings and our families.  Not bad.  Only 3 live out of state, so they don’t usually attend.  

In preparation for the birthday season, we have been working on the back yard.  It’s an old house and was previously owned by an adorable little VietNamese couple.  They love fruit trees, so there are many of them!  Lots to clean up!  Then we set up a patio cover, to block the sun in the afternoons.  It’s one of those pop up ones from Costco, but it will serve the purpose we need.  patio lights

Last week we cleaned up the peach tree in the front yard and I made peach cobbler!  YUMMO!!!!  peach cobblerI also froze about 12 bags of peaches for the winter.  🙂  Next week,  we have to tackle the other half of the back yard.  AAAaaaggghhhhh…. then I get to start the fun part… putting in flowers and making it all cute!  

Tomorrow I’m off to the hardware store to take advantage of the “end of summer” sales!  Want to get some twinkle lights for the patio cover, some potted plants for the flower beds, and maybe some fun little garden gnomes 🙂  

Homework is sucking up most of my time!  That and all these  new babies this summer!  Geez…  four so far!  I’m really good at throwing together some cute little bibs and baby quilts!(part of having a large family!)   I’ve still got on on the machine now.  Latest little great nephew. His parents met in the army, so I found some adorable little “U.S. Army” fabric to back the quilt with.  I just finished the top.  Need to put on a border, then do the assembly part.  Can’t wait till it’s finished!  Then it’s on to the next one… Baby shower is August 23rd!  Better get moving on that!  

Frankenpants, Peach Cobbler, Baby Bibs, and a Mug Shot


What do these things have in common? One weekend of course!
I love being able to work from home on Fridays occasionally, because what it really means is I log in to work, set the laptop on the counter in the kitchen, and pretend it’s Saturday! I listen for the “dings” of new email coming in while I cook, sew, and do laundry. When an email comes in I promptly jump on it, handle it, and go back to pretending it’s Saturday.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering what the “mug shot” has to do with this weekend.  Well, as it turns out, it was actually on Thursday, not Friday.  I woke up late and didn’t feel like fixing my hair. (of course, even if I got up on time I still wouldn’t have felt like fixing my hair)… so I pulled it back into a clip and threw in a few bobby pins for the stragglers that didn’t stay.  

At lunch that day, a co-worker said,  “you look different today”… I commented that I pulled my hair up.  He said,  “don’t take this wrong, (anytime someone prefaces a comment with those four words, you immediately smile that fake smile, sit on your hands so you don’t slap them out of reflex, and remember you are at work and violence is not acceptable)… but it reminds me of when you see someone famous in a mug shot”…. WHAT???  A mug shot?  Did I look that bad?  Why would my girlfriends let me walk around looking like I had just been arrested for drunk driving?  I went to the bathroom to see if I should go sit in a closet somewhere… this is what I saw:  Mug ShotCome on… it wasn’t that “drunk celebrity mug shot” looking!   O.K,  I didn’t have much make up on, and the wrinkles in my neck might scare a 30 something climbing to the top young man, but “mug shot”?   Anyway,  I laughed it off and went on about my day…  

I finally purchased a freezer for the garage and went out to pick some of the incredibly delicious white peaches from the tree in our front yard.  Ohhhh my!   They were awesome!   So I made one small peach cobbler:  Peach Cobblerwhich I inevitably didn’t cook right.  I read the cooking time, 50 – 60 minutes,  checked on it at 40 minutes and decided it looked brown enough to me,  so I took it out.  Of course, the middle was still gooey.  Not done enough.  Oh, that didn’t stop me!  I ate it anyway!  I also froze over 100 peaches!  I blanched them, peeled them, pitted them, and put them into vacuum sealed bags.

Then on Saturday when my daughter and her step son came over I decided I would make a better, revised version, completely cooked batch.  I did everything right this time… except, forgot to switch the oven from “preheat” to “bake”… and again at 40 minutes checked on it,  the top looked MUCH more done than the previous batch, so I took it out.  Again… sticky in the middle and done on the outside.  We decided the four corners were the best part!  We each had a corner topped with vanilla ice cream.  YUMMY!!!!   

Frankenpants and Baby Bibs!  I didn’t take any pictures, but I finished two baby bibs for the latest great nephew who was born.  His parents met and married while in the U.S. Army, so I made him a set of bibs and burp rags from U.S. Army fabric backed with baby blue Terrycloth.  Adorable!  

My daughters step son (not sure if I should call him my grandson or not, as they are just living together, and he is already 15,  I think I will leave it up to him if he wants to consider me his grandma… his mom is only 9 years younger than me)… anyway, he is starting high school this year and has a pretty strong sense of fashion.  He has decided he likes overalls, but not the old farmers, buy them at the hardware style,  he wanted to design his own. He bought a pair of dark blue jeans, interesting style, nothing like a pair of Levi’s or Wranglers,  and a pair of girls overall shorts.  He asked if I would take the bib and back off the shorts and sew it to the pair of pants.  I remarked that the two denims were very different in color, he said “I know, that’s why I want them sewn together”…  I’ll post a picture tomorrow!  It really is just too hard to describe.  I took the shorts and added some elastic to the waist band before sewing it back together and gave them to my granddaughter. 

My daughter said “he’s so funny, making his own fashion statements”… and I said “yea, I did the same thing, but it was the 70’s and everyone was making wild fashion statements”… I have to say though, this boy has earned a special place in my heart!  He is not afraid to be creative and combine ideas.  And including me in the sewing part of it makes me feel honored.  

What a busy month! School, Graduates, Baby Showers, oh my!



I walked in a 5k the morning before I went to my Niece's baby shower which was a 90 minute drive from my house.

I walked in a 5k the morning before I went to my Niece’s baby shower which was a 90 minute drive from my house.

Oh… I feel like I’ve been running in circles (o.k.,  walking… I stopped running a long time ago)! I’m “finally” finishing my Bachelors degree that I’ve been working at for many many years! I get serious for a year or two, then life gets in the way and I say I’ll take a semester off, five years later I look up and I’m not back in school. This time it was a 12 year break! I have four classes left! (don’t get too excited, 12 years ago I had only ONE class left, and life happened, so now I have to re-take some classes). I had to re-take some of the courses because they expired!!!! What? Are you kidding me? Business Law… o.k., I can see how laws change. Accounting, really? Accounting has changed? Also business Ethics. How do ethics change? Suddenly it’s not o.k. to sexually harass someone or take a bribe? Oh, it’s because the “laws” have changed… then why not teach that in the Business Law class? Oh, it’s because you want more MONEY from me to take another class! Why didn’t you say so in the first place? Can’t I just give you the money and you give me an A or B in the class? Meanwhile, life keeps marching on. Don’t these people care that I’m 54 years old and taking accelerated college courses? Or that I’m working a full time job and have a house and yard to take care of? Let’s not forget the Sunday dinners with the family and a few dates now and then. (Yes, just because I’m old doesn’t mean I’m dead… I still date!) My nieces and nephews are now all in their mid to late 20’s and they have decided this summer is the time to all have babies! Really? I can’t just go to Target or Babies R Us and buy some pre-made stuff that was made in some foreign country! I have to make them each a baby quilt and a few bibs and burp rags. My reputation would be RUINED if I just bought them something from their list they had registered for ! So, between squeezing in homework, keeping up with the garden, and housework. (oh let’s be real, the house hasn’t been cleaned for weeks!)… I have been cranking out a few baby quilts.Tabethas quilt Quilt I made for my niece Tabetha’s baby shower last week. The green is really gray. I didn’t have time to edit the photo. It was taken with my phone. Tonight I take my accounting final. In two days I am supposed to go to my nephew and his wife’s baby shower with the quilt I have lying on the cutting table right now. It’s going to be adorable… really! Oh, and here’s a cute photo of my granddaughter graduating from elementary school. (I have no idea who the woman is behind her).5th grade graduate

Ready, Set, Grow! (oh my aching back)


So after feeling very very guilty about my poor garden being neglected,  I got out this weekend and jumped in!  

Oh, I did spend an hour in bed trying to justify buying vegetables at the store instead of growing my own.  Thinking I could just abandon the whole garden idea and spend my time doing much more fun things.  Then the guilt of it all came crashing down on me.  I thought about all the toxins and pesticides in the food at the store. Then all the Home Improvement shows were over, the sun was out, and I had to get out of my soft warm bed.  

(this picture is from last spring,  I took pictures yesterday but the chip is in my camera and it’s at home).  

I took apart the old box which was 9 x 12 feet  and made two smaller boxes… each 6 x 6 feet.  It’s now much easier to reach the middle without stepping on my soil and smashing it down.  

In one box I planted the tomatoes and magnolias… in the other box I put lots of goodies!  Herbs, radishes, cucumbers, and fun stuff.  I’ll detail that more later.  You see that poor aloe plant in the pot that looks like me in a size 10 pair of jeans?  Yes,  I re-potted it and moved it to a sunnier location!  (maybe if I just put myself in a sunnier location I could fit into a size 10). 

That is why my back is hurting!  That thing was HEAVY!   I thought about just smashing the pot with a hammer to get it out, but I really like the pot and wanted to re-use it.  

First I trimmed off all the yukky brown parts, then tipped it to about 45 degrees and rolled it across the yard to the new pot.  Oh, you don’t see the new pot?  That’s because the half barrel that is sitting next to it was the new pot. I wasn’t content leaving it in the same location.  That would be too easy!  I moved the plant to the far corner of the yard, right where the wheelbarrow is sitting in this photo.  It gets a lot of sun there and the hummingbirds love the flowers I’ve put there.  

Let’s review… build two new beds, (with my new drill and drill bits) move the dirt from the old one into the two new ones, (this took two days and lots of iced tea!)   add four bags of manure to the beds, move the Aloe plant and it’s new pot to the other side of the yard, plant lots of new veggies and flowers into the two new beds… then collapse!  I slept like a baby!   I’m so exhausted!  My arms hurt, my back hurts, my legs hurt, I pretty much feel like I’ve been hit by a truck!  I’m one of those people who gets into a project and just keeps going as long as there is daylight.  

I do have to say, I feel very accomplished and am looking forward to a great summer full of fresh fruit and veggies.  

I’m seriously considering putting in a hot tub for my old aching muscles! 


Summer is coming, so much to do!


Record temperatures this week are making me acutely aware of how close summer is, and how little I’ve done to prepare!

As usual I have over extended myself.

  • My garden is only half assembled, no seeds are started, the manure is not in the beds yet, and there are weeds everywhere!
  • I’m enrolled in classes to finish school in October, so my evenings are committed to at least two hours of homework a night.
  • Oh, and because summer is almost here I really want to swim at least a half an hour a day to exercise.
  • Then there is my sewing… oh that?  I haven’t done much of that for quite a while now.


Who said summer was leisurely?  Must have been someone who doesn’t have a job! (or children)

I’m feeling the overwhelming need to get my calendar out and start scheduling my “free-time”!  Aaaaggghhh!

We just took a cruise, I’ve only been back three days and I’m already back into the anxiety of every day to do’s.  We have camping coming up one weekend in May and another in June. Oh my… I really don’t have time for all this “fun”!!!!  I have papers to write, seeds to sow, mending to do, and oh yes… I have a student who needs to finish a baby dress by the end of May.  (we have decided to work on the project at work in a conference room at work to get things moving faster).

I feel if I write everything down and put it on a calendar it makes me feel better.  When it all starts spinning around in my head I get nervous that I will forget something important!

Funny how that is… at work, I write everything down.  I manage calendars for V.P.’s keep large groups of people on track, manage projects, and generally live to schedule others… but in my personal life I get overwhelmed and afraid I will drop a ball.

Well,  this brings to mind another project I have… for my International Admin’s group I have signed up to teach a “Time Management” class!  Yes, I volunteer as Vice President of our local chapter.  We couldn’t find a speaker for the month of May so I volunteered to teach the Franklin Covey class I used to teach 15 years ago.  Technology has changed a lot, but the basics of managing your priorities has not.  I think it’s time for me to review my presentation and apply it to my own life!