Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lunch...Laughter...and Squeems...Sooooo Priceless!

So my best buddy from Houston, Debbie Hauglum, sent me a joke dealio this mornin' about some poor woman on an innocent shopping trip.  Said shopper was all hot over some kind of red floppy hat, thinkin' she looked all GORGEOUS in the mirror, when she spied a rack of Spanx products behind her.  OH MY GAWD!!!!  Apparently the hat shopper was new to Spanx...but she was curious!  ROFLOL  I don't have to tell y'all the rest of the tale...we've all been there...moanin' and groanin' in the dressing room with our Spanx...wonderin' WHAT IN BLAZES HAPPENED TO THAT FIGURE I ONCE HAD??????

Good lord...I remember the days when my 5'9" frame weighed in at 128 pounds and I was solid as a rock!  Excuse me while I wipe away the tears dripping down my cheeks along with the snot pouring from my nostrils!!!!  I was a student back then who earned spending money as a swimming instructor.  I wore a wicked mean Speedo folks...when I snapped the elastic at my butt cheeks it freakin' sang!  GAWD...today I'd have to hunt down a humpback whale to find enough hide to cover those same sweet cheeks!

Yeah...forty years, two sons, cancer, and a whackadoodle thyroid later, I'm just a SMIDGEON heavier.  ROFLOL  Now, if you buy that line, contact me...I'll give you my private number...I've got swampland I'm itchin' to unload!  Sure, I've gained poundage...snarfin' down snoballs and strawberry Twizzlers for forty years doesn't keep one svelte!  But there's help for those of us who have beefed up!!  We prideful ladies have the ability to get out there and buy ourselves some of those wonderful products known as "shapewear"!!!

I got my first "shapewear" with Debbie and another cohort, Kathy Berger, when the three of us decided to do lunch one sunny summer day.  Over salad and wine we yammered about this and that and somehow ended up yakkin' about gettin' "properly sized" for bras.  Kathy had just gotten herself "sized" and was literally foamin' at the mouth about one of her primo new bras...claimed she never felt so regal!  Debbie and I hadn't been "sized" in ages so we were game to give it a go...so off to the specialty shoppe we went!

I haven't howled so loud in a dressing room in my life!  The "sizing" bit is a great thing to do...if nothing else, it's VERY enlightening!  The chance that you're wearing the wrong size bra is probably very high...unless you've undergone the sizing experience within the last year.  I was waaaayyyyy off on band size...THAT was a shocker to me...but I digress.  Once we knew what we were shopping for we were off and running...rackin' up all manner of pretty new bras etc...specialty shoppes have THE best crappola!!!!!  

All of a sudden a rather plump young woman came in and began flappin' her yapper about undergarments for her upcoming wedding.  She needed "this" and "that" to enable her to fit into her wedding dress.  She tried on different things and asked our opinions etc.  In no time at all the shoppe ceased to be a retail space and turned into a "girlie party" with women poppin' in and out of dressing rooms showin' each other assorted cha cha items each wanted to purchase.  At one point our bride-to-be sauntered out in a "corset type waist cinching dealio" that intrigued all three of us.  "WHAT is THAT?!!??"  I asked.  The bride laughed and said "It's my Squeem!  I wouldn't go anywhere without it!"  

A Squeem???  Yes...you read that right...a Squeem!  The bride had purchased hers right there in that shoppe!  Immediately Debbie and I asked to try one on...if the bride wore hers 24/7/365 well, WE could certainly wear the dang thing for a couple hours!  OH LORDY!  The shop grew quiet as both Debbie and I, in separate dressing rooms, began to attach the Squeems to our fat riddled frames.  Kathy sat outside the curtained doors on a beautiful velvet couch...howling at the top of her lungs...claiming she was passin' on the Squeem...she'd find some cha cha panties or a to-die-for slip.

It took a bit of doing to get the freakin' thing out of the package, but at last my trembling fingers began to wrap the miracle of miracles around my midriff.  Wait...what in blazes was goin' on??!!!??  The clerk claimed the size she brought me was the PERFECT fit for my measurements.  Holy Crappola Batman!  I swear the thing had to have a 7 or 8 inch gap from side to side!  SOMEHOW I had to hook an entire line of hook & eyes, enclosing myself into the torture device.  Yes, the Squeem is not for the faint of heart...it takes courage to put this thing on...check that...it takes strength... MAJOR strength...the kind that only Stallone and Schwarzenegger possess.   I tugged, I pulled, I ripped two freakin' fingernails clean off, the headband I was wearing pinged off my head, my nose ran, beads of sweat formed on my eyeballs...but at last I managed to get the top hook & eye connected!!  Only forty four more to go!  Then I heard the clerk lightly rap on the wall and whisper "I forgot to tell you to start at the BOTTOM and work your way up to the top!!"

Say What???  I heard a clink on the floor...the clinking was nothing more than chunks of my own brain matter sliding out my left ear.  GAWD  She wants me to start over?!!??  I called out to Debbie..."Yo Deb!!  Did you start at the top?"  Her reply was really more of a snarling hiss followed by some strangled sobbing.  "I'm startin' over again!  Hang in there Debbie!!!  If that plumpy bride can do it so can we!"  All I heard was one long moan and a head banging against the wall.

Hookin' the Squeem at the bottom from the start is the only way to go...however, by the time you pass over your hips you can pretty much kiss all your fingernails goodbye, half the skin on your palms will be chaffed off, and you'll swear you're well on your way to developing nerve damage in your hands.  Once you reach total closure, your breasts, if you're well endowed, will more than likely be sittin' right under your ear lobes...your chin will be where your nose once was...your eyeballs will be sittin' where your eyebrows used to be...and your nose...well...honey...trust me on this one...you don't want to know...just pray for small breasts! 

As I reached total closure and gazed into the mirror I couldn't help myself...the howling started out low...a soft chuckle that grew into racking peals of laughter...then I heard a slow rumble from the other dressing room that turned into wave after wave of uncontrollable snorting and giggling...Debbie was seeing the same thing...a sight so abhorrent neither of us dared to leave our curtained shelter...but both couldn't stop laughing. 

Finally Debbie choked out "Are you gonna buy this damn thing Jan?"  To which I replied "Of course I am!!  This is the best laugh I've had in ages!!  Are you??"  To which she replied "I have to, I'm afraid if I remove it I'll wet my pants!"

Salad & Wine: $15.95
One Squeem: $65
Laughter with the Girls: Priceless

just me...sayin' I haven't worn the Squeem lately...I need to save as much brain matter as possible...jan

Monday, July 16, 2012

Two Sisters, One Card, And Electric Auras Gone Haywire!!

So I've got this whackjob of a sister named Judith (I call her Jude) that I adore who came for a visit a couple months ago.  She arrived in a whirlwind and left the same way...leaving behind what I call "metallic snaps" that have left my home in an uproar.  I have a hard enough time dealing with my OWN electric auras...but now I'm dealin' with Jude's as well!!!  It's a long story...grab a cup of tea...Jude is a freakin' mess folks!

I won't say it started at birth...we didn't have ANYTHING in common with each other until she married her first husband (God rest his soul)...HE was responsible for turning her into a normal human being.  Until the day she floated down the marriage aisle, I had NOTHING to say to her...we were polar opposites.  Yet, in record time, that blessed man turned my sister into a rip snortin',  fun lovin',  laugh a minute gal pal I've got the pleasure to have in my life to the end of my days.

I found out how REALLY funny she was years ago when I was still a university student.  It was my birthday and she sent me a Hallmark card on March 4, 1972....THIS card...a rough and tumble cardboard piece of crappola with a crudely drawn flower on the front surrounded by inky fingerprints...gorgeous?  NOT!

Jude, Jan, and "The Card"
 When I opened it the inside caption read "El Cheapo Strikes Again!"  I immediately began to howl...finding the humor in the sentiment delightful.  THEN I noticed she had forgotten to sign the freakin' thing!!!!  That fact made me howl even harder 'cuz it set my mind to plottin' and plannin'. 

Oh yes...NO ONE was ever going to out-do me!!!!  El Cheapo my eye!!!  HER birthday was just two months later...you can see where this is goin' can't you.  Of course you can!  Naturally I inked up my index finger, planted it among the inside splotches, signed my name, the date (May 13, 1972) and sent it to her with no further description.  Who's El Cheapo now??  The resultant phone conversation was hilarious. 

Fast forward one year...March 4, 1973...guess what arrives in my mailbox?  THE CARD...with another inked up fingerprint...this time signed "Jude March 4, 1973"...OH MY GAWD!!!!  It was at this moment...this treasured nugget of time that I realized my sister and I DID have something in common...a wicked sense of humor...a bond that we would share through thick and thin.  And out of that silly little bit of Hallmark ephemera a tradition was born!  How so???  Well...."The Card" has continued to sail back and forth between the two of us ever since then.  Yes...that's FORTY years of birthdays folks!  Here's some of the proof:

El Cheapo Strikes Again!

After 40 years "The Card" is lookin' a bit tattered but it's still hangin' in there!
Oh...we've missed some years...blocks of time where each has apologized for not gettin' "The Card" in the mail, but promising that whoever had it at the time was keepin' it safe and sound.  This year Jude hand delivered it to me...after HER birthday so there is no chance of me receivin' it in the post next year...but I'm keepin' it safe in the dining room buffet until May, 2013 rolls around!  I think she knows what she'll find in her birthday mail!

Now her visit was PRIMO fun but a tad distressful for poor Jude.  Prior to her departure she had a "treatment" from one of her hoodoo voodoo people (that's what I call them) who waved hands over her body to attempt to connect with her electrical aura...ummmmm...yeah, you read that right.  I can't believe she actually pays people to wave hands over her and then flap their yappers at her...GAWD!  Apparently Jude's "aura" was flyin' all over the place and this woman was havin' one heck of a time reinin' it in and simply didn't get the job done before departure time.  Sooooo when she and her husband (I call him "the Saint") arrived I could probably have used her body (and aura) as a glo-stick that night in the back yard!   Well, the hoodoo voodoo woman must have known sumthin' cuz Jude was takin' out cell phones left and right!  I kid you not!  Every time I turned around she was punchin' on a dead cell phone tryin' to raise up some kind of power.  She even took out mine!  And it was in the freakin' car!  Thank GAWD my husband always has his turned off!  

Exhausted from the drive and not being able to yammer on her cell, she fell prey to a couple glasses of wine and eventually headed up to one of the guest rooms with "the Saint"...lordy but I adore him!   I had the programmable thermostat set at 72 degrees and told them they could also turn on the ceiling fan as well.  Naturally the next morning "the Saint" mentioned that it had gotten pretty hot upstairs.  HUH???  My upstairs is ALWAYS cool!!!  So I tromped up there to check out the thermostat....it was a blazing 85 degrees!  Yeah...JUDE HAD WALKED BY IT!  I reprogrammed it again to 72 degrees.  Unfortunately every time Jude strolled by it her "aura" knocked the dang thing out!  THEN she strolled into the sitting room up there where "the Saint" was quietly watching television...he was behaving...bothering NO ONE...and what does Jude and her freakin' aura do???  YUP!  She futzes up the tv remote!  Lordy!  Without our whiz kids here to straighten matters like that out my husband and I are basically paralyzed!  After a LOT of flicking, switching, and moaning and groaning I was able to fix it and banned her from that room.  

We drove to Waxahachie one night for catfish...she affected the air conditioning in the vehicle.  After awhile I was almost afraid to have her around anymore.  I didn't need HER aura rubbin' off on me.  I have some of these issues myself...although not on such a grand scale.  The only time I've attempted to purchase a lotto ticket the lotto machine broke as soon as I stepped up to the counter.  The clerk said it had never happened before and he'd been selling lotto tickets with said machine since Texas started the lotto.  With me it's SMALL electrical things...I've NEVER taken out an entire air conditioning system before!

Well, Jude's visit came to an end.  We said a teary goodbye in the driveway...hugs all 'round.  I watched her climb into the car and decided to wait there until they had driven out of sight.  Hmmmm...five minutes, the dog was gettin' antsy....ten minutes....what in blazes was "the Saint" doin'???  He finally rolled down the window to explain he was attempting to gear up the GPS...OH GAWD...I strolled up to his window...yup...there was Jude...punchin' the dang GPS and gettin' no where.  Her "aura" was workin' overtime and had taken out their directional device.  The cell phones were still dead.  I couldn't believe it.  I swear I was thinkin' that if there were any justice in the world a black hole would appear somewhere in Texas, Jude's aura would lead them to it, and put them out of their misery...maybe "the Saint" was praying for just that by then!  Needless to say she never did get the GPS to work and snagged a good old fashioned map.  Me?  I heaved a sigh of relief, wiped away a tear, grabbed the dog, and headed into the house....WHERE I'VE BEEN PLAGUED BY JUDE'S LEFTOVER AURA EVER SINCE!  It's taken two months to get the air conditioner thermostat working correctly upstairs...the one downstairs started acting up within five hours of her departure, but that only lasted for a little over two weeks.  The GPS in my vehicle got screwy the first time I attempted to use it after she left...but it's working fine now.  I haven't used my cell phone...perhaps I should check it out???  ROFLOL

just me...vowin' to run from hand waving people who claim they can rein in my aura...jan

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Bloggers Create 2012...it ain't pretty but it's organized!

Sooo I decided to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else and join the party this year...MASSIVE groan!  When I made the decision I was feelin' all puffed up and rarin' to go...I think Dawn over at Feathered Nest got me all amped into thinkin' I could get my two rooms lookin' like sumthin' the rest of y'all have...GAWD what a massive mistake THAT was! 

I've been pushin' myself weekly through physical therapy to recover from rotator cuff surgery...things have been goin' peachy until this week...hit a snag with the freakin' two pound weights...holy crappola batman! My left arm feels like it's been ripped out of it's socket!  ROFLOL  So draggin' out bits and bobs to "pretty up" my rooms like everyone else just wasn't in the cards.  THEN my dang dog decided to sleep in the small of my back last night...result?  I'm gimpin' around like Gabby Hayes!!!!  I kid you not folks!  If it weren't for walls, banisters, and furniture to clasp onto I'd be flat on my keister!  Yet with all of that goin' on I STILL picked up my camera and plowed on, spending around two and a half hours snapping photos of just how wonderfully organized I am...or anal retentive to those who know me well.  Happy with the results, I snapped open the film card slot to find it EMPTY!!!  

Yeah...you read it right...no film!  So I dragged my behinder downstairs...18 steps...groaning the entire way and commenced to shoving two packages of coconut snoballs into my jaws before I could tramp back up those 18 steps to get the following shots.  They're not the best...I didn't have a lot of time...the freakin' battery died on me.  Soooo if it's "pretty" you want to see, well, head over to Dawn's blog...her entry is LOADED with cha cha snaps!!!  Me?  I'm into sorting, sifting, boxing etc. and then draggin' out my label maker.  I'm the only one I know who buys label maker tape by the ream!

Left hand side of my desktop...LOVE the counterspace!
yeah...that's one honkin' big monitor isn't it?  ROFLOL
Gotta have my printers!  And yes, I have to check out what Napoleon Dynamite says daily!!
 I like to store my "daily grab and use" tools in depression glass pieces...they're pretty hardy  containers!
In this tall cabinet I store needlework and lacemaking supplies on the upper shelves.  The plastic stacked bins are "kitted up" scrapbooking projects that are ready to go whenever I get to them!
This cabinet stores all my collection of ink pads...sorted according to brand and type...naturally! 
Lacemaking books and assorted "tear sheet" binders
Necessary tools for paperwork that I wouldn't dream of adding to the clutter on my desktop.
My "punch drawer" to hold my favorite punches.  I also have a pull out work surface and a specially designed drawer to house 12 x 12 hanging files for paper scraps...it's PRIMO!!
This alcove in my office has been a bit of a challenge.  I've yet to get draperies commissioned for the window, but thanks to Pinterest I know what I want!!!  The furniture houses assorted vintage linens, gloves, flowers, coin purses, and glass pieces.  The bin on the bottom contains ALL of the doilies and crafting laces I possess...don't laugh...I've only been in the mixed media game for a short time!!!
A few items I actually crafted myself...the bird on the box created at a Gilded Life event...the felted crown on the left at the last Paper Cowgirls' event.
Charlottes and buttons...can there ever be enough???
My "comfy" chair...still searching for the perfect side table!  A bit of Feathered Nest's artwork on the door, a sweet bit of glittered petite ballet shoes made with Lisa McIllvain...and some of my own ribbonwork.
A ribbon gallette...I love making these little things!
My beadwork cabinet
I use beads for LOTS of things...to spangle lacemaking bobbins, enhance embroidery and ribbonry, work into paper creations and now toss into the mixed media game...the uses are endless!
Just a little sumthin' I created...hearts with Vicki Stevenson and a resin piece with Leslie Venable.
Into my "Store" room...this is where I house the brunt of my supplies...that's why I call this room "Jan's Store"!  EVERYTHING in here is labeled!!!!  If it weren't I'd never be able to find it!  Between Elfa (and the rest of the crappola that the Container Store sells) and my P-Touch label maker I'm a happy camper!!
These plastic storage drawers house paper collections along with coordinating embellishments.  The central drawers without white labeled fronts hold unfinished projects...yes...I'm groaning!!!
The easiest way I know of to store ribbon...try it...EVERYONE has an old hall tree for pity's sake!!!!
Self-explanatory...the white boxes house needlework threads and silk ribbons...all labeled of course!
Center drawers house scrapbooking supplies...lower shelves: scrapbooking and artwork supplies.
Another work surface with scrapbooking tools.  Cabinet and drawers house art as well as office supplies.

And that covers my two rooms gang...like I said, it ain't pretty...but it's organized...well...until I tear into it when workin' on a project...then it looks like a disaster!  But then y'all know what's that's like don't ya??!!?

just me...takin' my gimpy self down those 18 steps for some coffee!...jan

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Le Tour, Olympic Trials, Crafting, Canton, Doll Heads, Agatha Raisin, and oh yeah...I Didn't Die!!!

  Whew!  What a week it's been!  I've been zoomin' gang.  Guess I'd better begin by noting that I made it through my surgery without dyin'!  Didn't think anyone would seriously take notice of my rotator cuff adventure...but when one gets email from Pinterest followers wonderin' what the dealio is...whether I've gone toes up or not, well, I guess that tells me I need to post a tad more often!

   Yeah, things went well surgery-wise.  I've now been through five weeks of therapy...I can beat the crappola out of anyone with a two pound weight!  Ummm...yes, you can say it, I'm NOT dangerous...yet!  It's gonna be about a year they tell me before things are back to normal...ACK!!!!  But I've regained full mobility and that is somethin' to be proud of, so I'm givin' myself gold stars for that.  

   During my "down time" I spent a ton of time reading...thank GAWD for the fact I have two Nooks!  While one was charging, I was burnin' up the other.  I'm goin' through an English murder mystery phase.  Somehow, after plowing through 8 or 9 random reads, I discovered MC Beaton's "Agatha Raisin"...the character is a total scream and I'm now deep into book 19 or 20...bemoaning the fact that there are only a few left to read..."snakes and bastards!" as Agatha would say...I'll probably have to jump over to her "Hamish McBeth" series next.  If you're interested in a delightful tale that's also a quick read, give Beaton a chance...you won't be disappointed!

   On other fronts...I've been attempting to complete some crafting projects, namely the fabric book I started with KC Willis.  I took the class with several sweet friends, all of whom have completed their books ages ago.  The following photos show "my" version of KC's style:

this is my cover...a few bits and bobs given to me from classmates
I call the first two pages my "mother of pearl" pages

these MOP pages were the first ones I worked on in class...took a bit of time to get in the swing of things!
I found a number of the embellishments for the above page in Canton...GREAT place for items like this!
a bit of glitz and glam via Ebay, antique shops, and The Gilded Girls kits!
again, more vintage pieces found at Canton for the above page
this is one of my favorite pages...I just like the way it came together
a rather "soft" looking page...a key to remembrance
could she get any more prim and proper????   I ask you!!!!
oh!!!  this sweet young thing with the virginal apron...ummm...that cigar band in the mother of pearl buckle states "officer's club"...yes...she's really a tart from long ago!  who did she think she was foolin'!!!!
these two gals are go-getters...the little charm says "take the road less traveled"...they've shopped at Eiband's in Galveston, TX and bought milk in Crocket City, Ohio...the two of them DON'T waste time!!!!
this sweet young thing is dreamin' of what's next...and so am I!!!
   Once I got my book completed I figured I needed to replenish some of my crafting crappola and headed out to Canton with fellow nutball Cindy Craine.  We thumbed our noses at 100 degree weather, lathed on sun screen, and commenced to yammerin' and barterin' with vendors under a Texas sun that could sear steaks on concrete.  Below you will find my pickings for the day.  Oh my!!!           
I'm not even gonna say what I spent on this pile of crappola...the lot of it is STILL sittin' on the floor in my "store" room....GAWD....who knows when I'll get it sorted and tucked into appropriate storage spots!
 OH HO!!!!  Can you see it?  Right there in the center of all that hot mess????  Can it be????  NO!  She didn't!!!  She wouldn't!!!!  Holy Crappola Batman!!!  YES!  I DID!!!!  I BOUGHT A FREAKIN' DOLL HEAD!  I can't believe it...I actually caved and bought one!  Although Cindy said it really doesn't count as an "official" doll head 'cuz it's not creepy enough...it doesn't have eyeballs that roll into the back of it's head, it isn't cracked anywhere, and it's not just plain ugleeeee.  But "doll head" is "doll head" in my mind and I feel I've completely crossed over into the dark side ranks formed by these mixed media women...GAWD...there can't be a LOWER level of dark side just for those enamoured of creepazoid doll heads can there?  If so, I don't believe I want to find out!

   Lastly, I've spent time in front of the boob tube watchin' Olympic trials and the start of this years' Tour de France.   I adore watching athletes push themselves to the ultimate limit in order to attain a personal dream. This year I'm givin' snaps to Dara Torres, 45, who attempted to make the swim team for a SIXTH time.  I was a swimmer in my youth (back when God was a child) and I marvel at the fighting form that woman has managed to maintain.  Sheesh!  If I EVEN attempted to crawl into a tank suit today I'd more than likely put out my left eyeball when errant latex might snap back in refusal while I  vainly tried to slide it over one fat thigh...much less a bouncing buttock!

   Le Tour 2012 is well underway...horrific crashes this first week have peeled skin on many and taken several riders out of the competition...something no one ever wants to see.  Many say "it's just a bike race"...to that I say "POSH!"  For the life of me I have NO idea what drives these athletes to  punish themselves for three weeks solid.  I don't pretend to know anything about the technicalities of cycling, however I'm absolutely fascinated by not only the physical strength required in the sport, but the mental engineering each peddler must possess...oftentimes at split second speed.  Witnessing teams work together to maneuver their "star" into perfect position is akin to watching fine ballet moves.  And all of the drama taking place at rather high speeds...with no padding for protection...man and machine...it makes for rather thrilling viewing.  This year I'm hoping England's Bradley Wiggins takes top honors...no reason...well, it would be a nice nod for the queen's jubilee wouldn't it?!??

just me...STILL watchin' the Tour from the couch, NOT trapped on a bike in a trainer...jan

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life Goes On...Or Does It???? I'm Dyin' on Friday!

Hey gang...so I'm havin' surgery tomorrow mornin'...nuthin' to worry about...but I'm tellin' everyone who will listen that I'm havin' a face lift and a boob job that will make me known as "Morgana of Mansfield"!!!  And,  like every other doink out there preparing to have a surgical procedure, I spent some time Sunday afternoon watching (and cringing) a program about surgical mistakes on patients and the outcomes that resulted.  Holy Crappola Batman!!!!  ROFLOL

The worst situation involved a surgical towel, rather large, left inside some poor gent, which turned into a gangrenous entanglement that ended up affecting his entire quality of life.  Anyhoo...while having our evening chat that night, I mentioned this horror story to my husband and uttered that, fortunately, I didn't think a surgical towel could be left forgotten in the three small incisions needed for my rotator cuff surgery.  We both laughed and went on to other topics...quickly forgetting all things medical...UNTIL...

Fast forward to Monday morning 5:15 a.m.

My husband...aka Mr. Charm...bounces out of bed at the clanging of the alarm and shouts "WHAT A DREAM!"  Naturally I answer back "So you had a dream?  Wanna share?"  Mr. Charm blathers away "I dreamt I took you to have your surgery on Friday!  Everything was fine and then they came out and told me you died!  Someone left a surgical towel in you!"  Hmmmmmmmm...So I just kind of looked at him and said "Wow...what did YOU do then?"  I couldn't believe his response...it was SUCH a man thing to say...wait for it...it's priceless...he said "What do you THINK I did?  I died too of course!"  ROFLOL  My response?  I immediately started to howl and shouted "What a freakin' liar you are Ralphie boy!"  Note to self, and all you  females out there...men don't like to be called "liars" at 5:20 a.m.  Anyhoo...Mr. Charm got all puffed up and actually said "HOW do you know I didn't die?"  So I told him IF he had really died in his dream I'd be on the phone to the funeral home, his mother, and the morgue instead of sittin' in bed laughin' myself silly.  "EVERYONE knows that when you die in your dreams that's IT!  You're done pal!  It's OVER Ralphie!!!  You're toes up buddy!  Old timers start draggin' out coins to plop on your eyeballs!" I howled.  I was laughin' so hard I could hardly breathe.  Well, he finally admitted he didn't die..."but I had a REALLY tough time goin' it alone Jan!"  GAWD!  Men!!!!  I then dragged my fat behinder out to the kitchen for some coffee...hummin' a funeral dirge the entire time.  He wasn't very amused!!!

So you might be askin' yourselves what I've been doin' since "the big announcement"...hmmmmm...well, I've been keepin' busy...tyin' up loose ends...takin' care of business...since I'm dyin' on Friday dontcha know!  Yup...mailed off a whole passel of crappola that needed to be returned for one reason or another...packed up and posted a little party favor to a sweet friend...FINALLY!  Got busy cleanin' up my office and my "store" room...my label maker has been SMOKIN'!!!!  Note to Charlene and Cindy...EVERYTHING is labeled and in containers...you don't even have to wait for my ashes to be returned to the house...come and get whatever you want...you both have storage lockers...I KNOW you have the space for ALL of this crappola!!! 

While headin' out Tuesday to get my hair done (who wants to die with bad roots) I got a flat tire and who came to my aid in nano seconds????  The sweetest little man on the face of the planet!  He turned out to be an attorney too!!!!  Lordy!!!!  I told him I would probably be needin' his services shortly!  Of course I didn't tell him I was dyin' on Friday...he was only midway through changin' my tire...he might have dashed back to his vehicle thinkin' I was some kind of crazy woman.  Well, I had to move the hair appointment to the next day to enable me to tend to my "tire situation"...sooooo once all my wheel woes were addressed, I decided to go shoppin' for sumthin' new to wear...gotta have sumthin' good hangin' in the closet to choose from...'cuz I'm dyin' and all.  So, thanks to Sharon and Joan, my favorite little shopkeepers, I've got that issue covered...we also said our last goodbyes too! 

OH!!!  And on Wednesday, while relating this saga of hilarity to Debbie, my hairdresser, I was assured that my hair would look PERFECT once I had up and tumped...isn't it nice to know you have friends who REALLY care? 

Today I'm waitin' for my sons to phone...both have said they don't want to miss the last opportunity they'll ever have to yammer with me for old time's sake...how sweet is that?  I howled for over an hour with my best buddy from Houston...said I'd email her tomorrow...added that it might be prudent on her part to check just "where" said email was originating from!  ROFLOL

Now, certain folk have questioned my cavalier attitude towards this entire situation..."Aren't you worried about ANY of this Jan?"  "This might be an omen Jan!"  etc, etc, etc.  My response?  I look them dead in the eye, VERY serious and respond "Don't worry about me darlin'...the fortune in my cookie Sunday night said 'A four wheeled adventure will soon bring you happiness' and when I was in high school a Ouija Board told me I was gonna live to be 83 years old!  I don't need any stronger references than that honey!"

just me...sayin' I'll be around for a little while longer gang...jan

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slide It On Over Paddy...Here Come The Pickle Queens!!!!

I live in a sleepy little bedroom suburb south of Fort Worth, TX called Mansfield.  As communities go, I'd say we fall into the "small town" mentality...and that's just fine with me...after livin' in Houston for twenty six years I was more than ready to leave the rat race behind! 

Mansfield "proper" boasts a sweet little historical three block main street, and this past Saturday it was PACKED!  Yup...Mansfieldians came out in droves to celebrate the "Wearin' 'O The Green".  HOWEVER the green everyone was saluting was in honor of the almighty PICKLE!!!  BEST MAID PICKLES that is...packed and boxed up right here in our little town for any and all to enjoy.

The day's festivities began at 11 a.m. sharp.  My husband and I strolled into main street's ancient Farr Best Movie Theater to watch John Wayne and Maurine O'Hara on the big screen in "The Quiet Man"...one of my husband's favorite films...ya can't get more Irish than that!  We dropped a mere $6 for admission, popcorn, and two bottled waters!!!  The theater wasn't the ONLY thing that was a blast from the past!!!

The first of "The Pickle Queens" turn onto historic Oak Street...it was a magical sight!!

Once the film ended and we greeted the sunshine again, the real madness began...it was time for The Pickle Parade!!!  Holy Crappola Batman!!!  I always felt this town had nuts and screwballs hidden deep behind closed doors, but I had NO idea how many there really were...and just how many were dancing precariously on that slim border between sanity and outright bazonker status!  To say I was gobsmacked is puttin' it lightly.  Example:  those loopy Shriners who marched were probably amongst the tamest bunch of the lot!

This Queen shimmied and worked her tiara like nobody's business!!

An historic day...TWO floats of Pickle Queens!!!

The standouts were:
-three dweeboids dressed KIND OF like clowns...I'm not sure if they were officially in the parade or not.  They were doin' all manner of crazy things...zoinked out of their minds enough that mothers began grabbin' their children whenever they came strollin' by.
-the doinks zoomin' down the street on segways at speeds so perilous there was a danger of something horrific happening to the crowd. Everyone screamed, eyes agog, as they watched the 300 pound head honcho perform a "one wheeled" maneuver with expert grace at top speed.  It was sumthin' to see...certainly NOT natural!!
-the lone "green man" who strolled crazily left and right with no real purpose in mind.  I turned to my husband and queried "ya think he escaped from the Alzheimer's Home?"  Thank GAWD he wasn't tossin' candies to the children along the parade route!
-OH!!!  Let's not forget the eight crazed Elvis' on mini motorcycles!!!!  These cats were so torked up NUTHIN' was gonna stop them!  Not even the light post the one sportin' a green mohawk squeeked by when he went careening out of control, narrowly missing the FFA float.  GAWD  It was epic!!!  How these Heartbreak Hotel Howlers were able to pop wheelies on those tiny cycles is beyond me...but they were "poppin'" like crazy!!!
-and then came the herd of Beagles!!!  Yup...a freakin' herd of dogs!!!  Not one marching band (we have FOUR high schools) in this parade, but man's best friend thought enough of town tradition to show up!!!  Oh...I need to add that SOMEHOW one Westie interloper snuck into the herd...just how she figured to "blend in" is beyond me...but Mansfieldians are a pretty forgiving lot and she was allowed to march the entire length of the parade route...afterall, those three "clown guys" were all over the place too!

Ya gotta love these brassy babes...big hair and crowns...how Texan can ya get???

But the REAL STARS were the Pickle Queens!!!  Almost anyone can be a Pickle Queen...well, ALMOST anyone that is.  The requirements are fairly simple: each "Queen" has to be age 40 or over.  Oh...and you have to be brave enough to slap a HUGE red wig on your noggin and squeeze into a green dress!  If you can do that...well honey...then you can ride on a MASSIVE float down main street and close down the Pickle Parade.  By the time these whackadoodle gals showed up in all their glory I was howlin' so hard I needed oxygen!  Some old codger behind me yammered to his wife "My goodness!  They have TWO floats of queens this year!!  That HAS to be a world record Alice!"  At that I collapsed into a heap of howling goo on the sidewalk...by far this was the MOST entertaining spectacle I've EVER been to in my life!

Hmmm...should I join 'em in 2013???

This may have been my first Pickle Parade but it certainly won't be my last...soooo slide it on over Paddy...the 17th of March has a whole new meaning in my life!!!

just me...wonderin' where I can find me a red wig and green dress for next year...jan

Monday, March 5, 2012

Needle Felting...Oh Lordy!!! Another Hobby???

I was trollin' Pinterest (as usual) a couple weeks ago and came upon someone's board filled to the brim with all kinds of fanfreakingtastic examples of needle felted animals.  WHEW!!!!  I can't begin to tell y'all how blown away I was with the artistry laid out in front of me!  

I've been drawn to this art for several years now but haven't been able to locate anyone in my area teaching classes.  So I figured a little Google search might prove fruitful.  Hmmmmm...no such luck as far as local instruction...HOWEVER I did find several sites that offered mail order kits!!!  Could I do this on my own?  Was it really that difficult?  Would I be tossin' my dollars to the wind??  Well...no guts, no glory!!!  And so I proceeded to weed through the various kit sellers offering promises to turn me into an instant felt artist.

I chose to purchase from Teresa Perleberg at Bear Creek Design & Felting, first and foremost because one of her designs is the most precious little bunny...and it looked like something within my capabilities...even though it was ranked as "advanced beginner".  I was also drawn to Bear Creek because it's located in my native state of North Dakota...ya gotta support your backyard right??

The contents of each kit: wool, felting needles, felting block, and complete instructions

My kit arrived within a few days of ordering and I have to say I was impressed with the contents.  The only thing I had to pull from my own stash of supplies was a simple needle and thread to aid in sewing eyes to the little rabbit!  The instructions, complete with excellent photographs, were clear and easy to follow.  For a mere $18.00  per kit price, one simply CAN'T go wrong in ordering from Bear Creek!

Two days later I sat down and commenced to start my needle felting adventure.  I have to say I had planned to take photos of the process but, quite frankly, I was havin' soooo much fun I didn't feel like stopping and kept stabbin' away at the wool roving!!  I couldn't wait to get to the part where I could "sculpt" the rabbit's face!  It's amazing to me how the felting needles compact the roving into something rather "solid".  After just a couple hours of playing, this is what my beginning efforts turned out:

Not the best photo of "Rupert's" sculpted face...but the best I could get!

Rupert from the topside!

Rupert showin' off his "best" side!

Rupert...front and center...just too cha cha for words isn't he???

I don't want to brag...but I think old Rupert turned out pretty good...don't you??  Actually, the success factor is more than likely due to the wonderful instructions provided by Ms. Perleberg.  After having such a positive outcome for my first time experience, I KNOW I'm ready to continue movin' forward with more needle felting challenges.  Soooo...if YOU have been thinkin' about givin' needle felting a try...well...I say GO FOR IT!!!  It's LOTS of fun and something that certainly WON'T be sittin' in your UFO pile that's for sure!!!

just me...wonderin' what it takes to raise a herd of sheep for my own wool?...jan