Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Working Moms vs. At-Home Moms

I try to stay away from this subject but there was a blurb on TV over the weekend about these two camps of moms duking it out over who's got it right.  Working mom's vs. At-home moms.  I worked until I had children and then quit when Caveson #1 was born.  I have been home for 16 years.  I have done some substitute teaching  for the past five years, once  my last son went to first grade.  He is heading to the middle school next year which frees me up to work more.  I must admit, I am looking forward to a bigger paycheck.
     For me, staying home with my children was the only choice in my heart.  I was blessed to be able to do just that.  I didn't miss the first steps, the first tooth, the  first words, none of that.  I was here for it all.  That was right FOR ME.
     However, I have friends who made a choice to go back to work.  They couldn't figure out why I would want to stay home.  They didn't get to experience some of those milestones - or they got a second hand view.  That was fine FOR THEM.  And you know what, it should be fine for the rest of us too.
    Staying home is not for every mom.  Some moms need that outside stimulation to be happy.  Heck, I might have been happier some days if I could have gotten out more.  That's not to say I wasn't happy staying home.  I would choose that option 100% of the time, every time.    Let's face it - it isn't always easy.  But it isn't always easy being a working mom either.
    So Ladies, for goodness sakes, let's respect the fact that all women have different needs and wants.  Why can't we just support one another, whatever our choice is, respect the differences, and lend a hand to our fellow woman.  We gals are in this together.  Once you become a mother, you are part of that "club".  Once you become a mother, you become a mother to ALL children.  It takes a village Ladies.  Let's do it together in harmony, not aggression.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Word Kicks

What screws us up most in life
is the picture in our head
of how it's
supposed to be.

So true...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cemetery Stroll

Ok, before you conjure up some preconceived notion about me traipsing through cemeteries for kicks, let me set the record straight.  This is not something that I do - ever.  However, I will confess that  those old stones in those very old graveyards beckon to me when driving by. I always think I'd like to stop by sometime and read the ancient stones.   They seem to call the  old soul and farm girl in me to wonder about what life was like back then in the 1800's when someone's father or baby went to heaven.  As a mother, I too, can only say "awww"and mourn for that family who has lost a little child all those years ago.  That sacred spot is marked by a tiny lamb or angel marker bearing the words "beloved daughter" or "baby boy" and inscribed with the years, and days this child filled the family with joy.

We recently took a little field trip to a cemetery not too far from home to find the graves of some of caveman's relatives.  My 16 year old caveson had to do a genealogy  project a few years back and has continued to be interested in our family tree.  Caveson was able to find the plot numbers from the cemetery website so we had no trouble tracking down these great great great great - relatives.

While there, we admired the many different beautiful stones and wondered about the family members buried beneath.

It put me in sort of a melancholy mood taking this walk through the stones.  It was a cold, gray day, which probably added to the mood.

We felt bad for people who's stones were crumbling or sinking.  Where are their relatives?  Do they still have living relatives in the area?  It's sad to think they are all alone there.

We are going to make the trip again this summer - when the weather is warm and sunny.  A day that would support a lighter mood.  And we'll visit those relatives again - and maybe bring some flowers to brighten their resting place.  We'll admire the ornate stones, wonder about those now unreadable, and imagine what it was like for those both born and getting their wings in the 1800's.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Between The Bread

     The Sandwich Generation.  Remember that term?  Aging parents, children who still need your care.  Caught between both generations.  I am living that reality right now.  Everything extra gets put on the back burner when you're in that place.  That means crafting, leisure, blogging and at times, your joy.  Now, I'm not complaining, mind you.  Many of us, have and will, survive through it.  It can be a tough space, at times.  But there can be great joy in that place, as well.
    Our family is dealing with this two-fold.  Both my mom and Caveman's dad have had some health problems recently, which have required us to juggle many balls in the air.  A couple of recent hospital stays and a surgery coming up soon for each of them have us on the run even more than we usually run!  With our own three cave sons at home we are spread pretty thin these days.
     As difficult as it is though, it is a privilege to serve our parents.  We don't know how long we'll have them so we do what we have to do.  Over the years I have had three family members fight and lose to cancer.    I have stitched next to their hospital bed or in their room in the nursing home.  Lord knows I have completed many a stitchery during those many months I have sat, visited, and supported.
     The coming months will be no different as I once again sit by the hospital beds and stitch, visit and support.  For me it's "Stitching Therapy".  I am preparing many new patterns to stitch during these upcoming hospital stays with our parents.   One of my joys, and I now realize, one of the callings of my soul.

Monday, February 24, 2014

An Amazing Breakfast

Start your Monday with this amazing breakfast.  This came to me in an email from Martha Stewart.  I miss ol' Martha on TV.  You can sign up for her newsletter though and get some yummy healthy recipes in your in box. I gave this a try and really liked it.  Here's the basics.  One grapefruit, one banana and 1/2 of an avocado.  Cut this all up.  Enjoy.  Yesterday, I wanted to add just a bit of protein, some crunch and some dried cherries(just because I love them) and the result was divine.

Here's the quick recipe.

1 grapefruit cut up
1 banana sliced
1/2 avocado diced - for good fat
sprinkle with slivered almonds, pepitas(pumpkin seeds) and dried cherries

Try it and let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Change Your Life Sundays - WORD KICKS- Feb. 23,1014

It's Sunday, which means it's time for a kick in the seat to start your Monday.  Here we go...

In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Go for it this week.  Do the thing you fear, the thing you have procrastinated on, the thing you are dreading.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our Third Boy Scout

     My cavesons aren't the sportsy types.  Sure, they have all played a little t-ball and some flag football but none of them are very competitive.  It just isn't in their nature.  No surprise as neither caveman nor I am competitive either.  I did run track in HS, my only team sport, but I rode horses too.  More of a loner type activity.  Caveman ran track too, oddly enough, and he was a weight lifter, as well.  I have been a lifter for 30 years, that's how we met.
      Any hoo, guess that's how the guys inherited that non competitive spirt.  Not that I  don't think sports  aren't great.  On the contrary, I think every kid should be on a collection of sports teams growing up for all of the great benefits that come with that territory.   But alas, it's not meant to be.  Better yet, our boys are all  Boy Scouts.  They all went through Cub Scouts and the youngest crossed over into Boy Scouts last night.  Caveman and I have both been den leaders along the way so it was very bittersweet that the time has come to leave Cub Scouts behind.  Between the three boys we were with the pack for 10 years.  I was the foodista for most of those years  planning the food for the Pinewood Derby, Blue and Gold Banquet, end of the year picnic and such.  Lot's of planning and work.  I think they are going to miss me as much as I'll miss them!
     One of the things that I love about Cub Scouts is the opportunity to be privy to the growth and maturity of the boys as they move up through the years, from Tiger cubs to Weblos 2's.   They are pretty mature (sort of - ah, we're talking about 10 year old boys here) by they time they cross over.  It has been fun to watch.  But all good things must come to an end.  But with that comes a new beginning, as well.  A third Boy Scout in the family.  I'm looking forward to watching them become Eagle Scouts.  It will be 12 year journey between the three of them.  A journey I am both pleased and privileged to take.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Stitchery Patterns

All of this frigid and snowy weather has led to plenty of designing this year.  I have several new designs that are photographed, written up and ready to be put together in a PDF format.  Here's a little preview.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review -" Put Your Stamp On It"

Time for a craft book review.  This week I have chosen "Put Your Stamp On It, stationery, aprons, totes, and more", by Meagan Lewis.  This is not the usual "how to use rubber stamps" book.  Meagan has 20 great projects plus instructions for making your own hand carved stamps.  Stamping isn't just for stationery and cards anymore.  In this book, there are a number of out of the ordinary projects.

As you can see on the cover, there are some paper projects like this pretty card.

And this monogram stationery.

And these pretty lined envelopes.

But there are also instructions for home dec items like this jewelry organizer.  Plus there's a lamp shade and storage organizers, too.

I like to stamp on fabric more often than not.  Mostly, I'm working on fabric journals.  Meagan has several fabric stamping projects like an apron, tote bags, scarf and this nifty hair bow.

And this bright, sunny pillowcase.

There are plenty on instructions on carving, color combining, using stamping supplies and caring for your supplies.  This book is definitely worth a  second look.  I purchased it not necessarily for the projects shown but for the techniques it teaches me.  Check it out.

Change Your Life Sunday - WORD KICKS

Today's WORD KICK is all about not giving up - with a bit of humor.

If your plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Feb. 12/14

Oops, missed Wordless Wednesday.  Look who's in my backyard.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beanie Quinoa Salad

I am making a concentrated effort to phase out some meat in our diet.  I eat too much caveman food, if you ask me.  But then there's the Paleo diet that touts meat as a main staple with grains being on the naughty list.  Sheesh, I don't know how to eat anymore, to tell you the truth.  I worry about all of the hormones in regular store bought meat.  I'd like to buy local grass fed meat but we just don't have the freezer space to store a lot of meat.  So I'm on  a campaign to use more beans and tofu as protein.  I found a good bean salad recipe on Pinterest but added and deleted ingredients to suit our taste.  Here's the finished dish which rated a thumbs up from the cavemen.  Give it a try.  Let me know what you think.


Beanie Quinoa Salad

2 cans beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1 small zucchini diced
1 small red, yellow, or orange pepper diced
1/2 jalapeƱo diced - optional, if you want a little kick
1/2  to 1 cup cooked quinoa, to your taste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbl. canola oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
feta cheese to top it off

Combine the beans, all vegetables and quinoa in a bowl.  Set aside.  Combine vinegar, oil and sugar.  Pour over the salad. Mix and  allow ingredients to combine for a couple of hours.  Top with Feta cheese when ready to serve.  Printable Recipe

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Son Has Entered Jimmy Fallon's Kid Invention Program

At some point in their childhood, each of my three cave sons has participated in Camp Invention, a summer science/invention program for kids.  The boys really enjoyed their experiences but two activities stand out to them.  Participants had to bring in a few things: boxes, containers and tubes to build with and a broken appliance or two.  They work in groups to build some crazy buildings, robots and contraptions.  With their appliance, they get to take it apart and rebuild it into something else.  Camp Invention is loved by students everywhere.
    Well, a few weeks ago we got an email from CI regarding a contest that Jimmy Fallon is having for kid inventors.  The kids had to make a 1-2 minute video telling about an invention of theirs.  My youngest son, the big inventor in the family, had a fabulous idea that he came up with a few years ago.  He put together a presentation and we are keeping our fingers crossed that, with any luck, he'll get picked to be on the show.  I know it's a long shot but you never know.  Somebody has to win.  Why not him. It truly is a very useful invention.  Wish us luck.  I recommend Camp Invention to all students. Check out your nearest summer program.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Change Your life Sunday-Word Kick 2-9-14

Today's WORD KICK to get you through the week:


Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Just Don't Get Facebook

So I never wanted to get on Facebook.  As a busy mom and designer - and chef and maid and farmer and gardener and sub teacher and chicken whisperer and goat herder and laundress and friend and wife (need I say more) I just don't have time to get tangled up with long lost friends from High School.  I hear my pals talk about their time on Facebook and I just don't want to go there.  But I am trying to put together a Facebook Fan page for my business "The Stitchin' Coop" where I sell PDF patterns.  But quite frankly, I just don't get it.  I'm trying to figure out how to post the right pictures and write great information.  But really I don't get the appeal of Facebook, the way it's set up I mean.  It doesn't seem user friendly somehow.  Maybe it's the tech challenged part of me talkin' but  it could have been designed with more pizzaz, I think.  Better layout, different design, maybe more blog-like.  What do you think?  Are you  on Facebook?  What do you think about the way it's designed?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Snow Storm and More Designing!

Would you believe we are having ANOTHER SNOWSTORM!  We've had about 6" so far.  It's blowing and drifting like crazy.  A perfect day for designing.  Here's a pretty pattern I have listed on Etsy.  I call it Tri Bloom Perfecta.

Right now, I'm beading a beautiful heart pattern that I created.  I hope to have it available soon.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Every Day Feels Like Groundhog Day - Winter 2014

We have set a record this year for the highest snowfall totals EVER!  But everyday feels like a repeat of the last. Snow and cold, then snow and cold, then the next day it's snow and cold all over again.  Imagine that.  We're in the  throes of a snowstorm right now.  The good thing about it is that I have taken a lot of time to design new stitchery patterns.  I have 11 new patterns ready to stitch.  I have cut my cotton backing and chosen my floss colors for all.  A new winter/holiday stitchery is half done and I'm already looking ahead to the next project.  Gotta love winter from that standpoint.  Here's a photo of a stitchery that's available in my Etsy shop, "The Stitchin' Coop".

"Skylacs" is embellished with beads which gives this pretty whimsical flower stitchery a bit of sparkle and bling.  Check it out.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

North American International Auto Show 2014 - Lots of Bling!

We live within an hour of Detroit - Auto Capital of the world.  Temps -25 , no school, and bored cave sons  = a trip to the auto show last Friday.  Now, even if you aren't a car hound it's so easy to get sucked into the glitz, lights and power of the North American International Auto Show.  First of all, it's in a huge convention center which increases the awe factor.  There's a lot of room for a lot of cars.  The lighting alone will will make you say. "oooo, awesome"!  The place is filled with lights.  Lights on the ceiling, lights on the cars, lights on the models and lights on the flooring.  It creates an aura of glamour and importance.

Here's a photo roll of some of the beautiful rides.

Check out these colors.

One of my personal favorites.  This white prototype.

Even the floors had bling!

This wheel was in the floor!

Cool walls!

A bird's eye view.

More than just cars.
AND...Saving the  best for last.  My Favorite.....ta da...

How cool is this.  It has a step that comes out of the tailgate and a pole to help you up!  Then it folds into the tailgate.

Wow!  There you go. A walk through the Auto Show.  Hope you felt like you were there!