Keep the homefires burning… or at least at work

I have a dear sweet brother who happens to also have a great sense of humor.  Imagine Jack Black (from The Holiday and Kung Fu Panda) mixed with Chris Farley (vintage Saturday Night Live) and you get an idea.  He’s funny, creative, and kind – a great combination!

My dear sweet brother lives in Michigan where it is pretty darned cold at times.  On an especially cold day recently he came up with an idea at work to help keep everyone’s warmth factor up – or at least their sense of humor.

It all started in his office (his desk, shelves and printer are in the back center to right of the picture below). 

n655206452_1135651_20061    He decided to create a fireplace in his office (look at how big this office is!!! And with a window!!! I am so jealous!!!).  He printed off a fireplace on his massive printer… he “found” some office furniture just lying around… I didn’t ask about the faux-sheepskin rug on the floor (some things are better just left as mysteries)…

n655206452_1137430_42251… and voila!  Here’s the view from his desk.  Add some mantle decor, a plant, and the family dog and you have a friendly family fireplace just perfect for keeping spirits warm.

n655206452_1135655_41781His co-workers soon warmed to the idea and began to gather.  But try as they might, the marshmallows didn’t get very toasty…

I thought this was a fun idea – especially on a slow, cold day in Michigan.

Advertisements

Felted Christmas Ornaments

The crafting bug has really bitten this time… and I’ve totally gotten into making felted Christmas ornaments (I took a class last weekend).  In fact, it has become a bit addictive.  Here’s a sample (a bit out of focus) of some of the ornaments I’ve made so far.  I haven’t wired them for hanging yet… but will do that soon.

I love how these feel as I work on them – all soft and cozy.  My son (with Autism) loves the feel of the finished product.  He also loves to finger the roving that I use in the felting process (and roll it into little balls, and tear it into tiny pieces, and form a faux-beard with it…).  His sensory needs seem to be satisfied as he explores the textures he gets as he plays.  Extra bonus?  I get to actually finish a project while he is in the room.  Win – Win!

My relatives had better watch out – it will be a felty Christmas this year!!!

fall-2008-0271

Ugh – Ib god uh cobe

As the season sets upon us I am celebrating that age old tradition of…

…the cold.

Yep, I’ve got one!  The kind with the scratchy tickle in the back of your throat that makes you cough, post-nasal drip that keeps you up at night, and the pain in the left ear that signals an ear infection.  Plus my voice is so low and hoarse that makes people comment about how awful I sound.

So what do you do to feel better when you have a cold?  Anything you can recommend?

Right now my cold therapy program consists of blueberry tea with the occasional throat lozenge chaser.  I am going to the doctor tomorrow (before this sets into my sinuses and we have some real fun) but would appreciate any suggestions you may have.  I need some mothering!!!!

Thanks all – and hope you are avoiding your own colds this season!

Old Tummy

Recently I had an appointment with the doctor and I had to bring my youngest son with me.  While we were waiting (not so patiently) in the examination room, I leaned back on the examination table and my son (who of course insisted on sitting right next to me on the examination table) flopped across my middle and then lifted my shirt up to reveal my tummy.

     “No zerberts,” I told him, hoping to avoid the obnoxious raspberry sounds.

“Mommy,” he said as he looked up to my face. “Your tummy is old.”  He ran his fingers over my stretch marks.  “You have wrinkles on your belly!”  His face was all amazement and wonder.

     “Yes,” I said “I got those when I carried you in my belly, silly.” 

He appeared to consider this for a moment, then asked… “Do they hurt?”

     I sighed.  “Only when you talk about them.”

Here’s to all of the Moms out there with stretch marks and “old” bellies.  You wear badges of honor, ladies!!!

Vegas, Baby!

We recently took a trip to Vegas.  It was a business trip for me and I tacked on a few days to make a long weekend out of it and brought my husband along.  We had a great time sleeping in (no little ones to juimp on our heads at 6:30 am), seeing some sights, and people watching.  Ok… and a little blackjack thrown in as well.

I have to admit, as a result of this trip I have a new perspective… a Vegas Perspective.

I can’t help but view the world just a little bit differently, now, and not sure what my infiltrated brain will think of next!  It started once I arrived back in the Atlanta airport…

The Atlanta airport seems so DULL without slot machines flashing and ringing all over the place…

The shuttle in the Atlanta airport that takes you from the councourses to baggage claim are now filled with stripper poles…

The people even… there is a marked lack of the Bedazzler in Georgia…

Can this be cured?  Can I be de-Vegased?  AAACK!!!

DISCLAIMER: NO, we didn’t go see any strippers while in Vegas…  I swear!

Here Be Dragons

Note – If you know me and you know my mother-in-law, please, I beg of you, please don’t tell her about this.  None of us wanted to deal with this and we especially don’t want to deal with her dealing with it – it’s just too much and we want to spare her.  Thanks.

HERE BE DRAGONS

I dropped off the edge of the map and it took me a while to find my way back.  My sincere apologies.

I had such wonderful news to share–a fresh journey we had started–and then life took a turn and I lost a few things.  Literally.  I had set a course and was traveling down it, making plans, anticipating outcomes, dreaming about our future… when my course went off track and I found myself outside the borders… surviving the dragons.

You see, I stopped blogging when I started to have a miscarriage last May.  I lost a little life and I lost the desire to write.  I was battling dragons that I had not encountered before.  I was in such pain and the dragons were fierce.  They toyed with me for over a month before they tired of me and left me to find my way back home with a tired soul, a sense of what was gone and a desire to just go back home.  Oh yes, and with a few painkillers left in the prescription bottle.  Those rude and ruthless dragons.

Like adventurers of old however I am back to tell you that the dragons may be fierce and they may be fiery but I have survived and lived to tell the tale.  What’s more I have battle scars and lessons learned and even treasure found along the way.  

Treasure, you ask?  Why yes!  Treasure of the best sort!  Friends, casseroles, and stories shared of similar loss, heartache and survival – stories that for some reason we hide away until a fellow adventurer makes themselves known to us – stories that we don’t bring out of the hope chests until we know that a fellow soul might find comfort in knowing that others found and fought the dragons, too.

Those stories of other tiny ones discovered and prayed for and lost… while they might break the hearts of others… for me came together as a shepherd to gently guide me out of my dragon’s den.  The stories of shared experiences helped to dissipate the pain and feel the love that was offered so freely.  Those stories helped me to ignore my own dragons and recognize my fellow survivors.  I was able to let go of my little dream and reach for another, as yet unrealized, journey. 

Unlike adventurers of old I will spare you other details as they really aren’t all that interesting to more than this little family.  It is, I hope, sufficient to say that it was the third month, we were very sad, and we hope to thrill you all with tales of a different sort of adventure in the future.

Thank you for all you’ve given to me.  I am looking forward to laughing together through this life and and it’s wonderful journies!

Looking for Book Recommendations

I love to read (have I mentioned that I am a Janeite already? 🙂 ), and I love to share my faves.  I’d like to expand my list of faves, so please share your favorite reads – the books that help you balance the humor in this crazy life – the books that leave you inspired, feeling better about life and your place in it.

My top recomendation?  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  It is my all time favorite book and I have given out so many copies to friends over the years.  If you haven’t read – YOU MUST!!!  It is about a Dutch “elderly” spinster, living with her older sister and father, above their clock shop during World War II.  They participate in the resistance movement by hiding Jews in their home… well, I won’t share more or else I’d ruin the story for you.  It is an easy read and chock full of inspiration, charity, values, and heart.  I find something extraordinary in this book every time I read it.  The last time I read it it was with the perspective of a parent of a child with disabilities – and it helped my perspective develop in a better direction.

Please, share your faves with me in the comments – I’d love to find some new favorites!  Thank you, and peace to you all!