Friday, March 30, 2012

90 Degrees???!!!!

Hang onto your tank tops ... the weatherman says it might reach a RECORD BREAKING 90 degrees on Sunday ... and it wasn't an April Fool's prank either.  Everything is blooming here in Nebraska.  But we could still get a hard frost in April which would completely RUIN everything that is budding.  I do so hope that doesn't happen, as I'm looking forward to a glorious spring.  Although those of you who know me well, know that I don't have even ONE PLANT in my yard ... so okay, maybe I'll be rinsing off the plastic ivy and hosing off the river rock.  But it's the thought that counts.  GRINNING. 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Chicken Plucker!

That's right. A Chicken Plucker!

He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn't have to.

It wasn't much of a job. But at the time, Jesse didn't think he was much of a person.

His father was a brute of a man. His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life.

Jesse's older brother wasn't much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up.

Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia .

Life was anything but easy. And he thought life didn't hold much hope for him.

That's why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that darn few people wanted.

In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick.

Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head.

He was a small child, skinny and meek. That sure didn't help the situation any.

When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground.

He was a hypochondriac of the first order.

For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be looked forward to. But, he had dreams.

He wanted to be a ventriloquist. He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy.

When he got old enough, he joined the U.S. Army. And even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the Army did recognize his talents and put him in the Entertainment Corp. During the enlistment, his world changed. He gained confidence. He found that he had a talent for making people laugh, and laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes. Yes, little Jesse had found himself.

You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn't overcome it. Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars, and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it!

Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmies given in a single category.

This wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian brought us Barney Fife.

He was:

Jesse Donald "Don" Knotts

July 21, 1924 - Feb. 23, 2006


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Still Makes Me Smile

I simply adore this photo of my big brother from years ago.  Sitting in a bucket, with such a sweet laugh on his face.  It just makes me realize how fleeting and precious time and family is.  We lost my brother John to cancer when he was 21 years old.  It left a hole in my life and heart that will never be filled.

The A to Z of Me

The A to Z of me ...
A.  Age:  Physically some days I feel 102, but mentally I'm still struggling with acne!

B.  Bed size:  Large enough for one current husband, two cats and several dust bunnies ... so it's a KING!  (Now I have the John Denver Song "Grandma's Feather Bed" running through my head)!

C.  Chore you dislike: Why is the word "chore" singular??!!  I've never liked sweeping.  Phyllis Diller had a saying that she did housework by sweeping the room at a glance!  I miss Phyllis!

D.  Dogs:  I love ALL dogs but we have TWO cats ... go figure!

E.  Essential start to your day:  a SUPER large cup of medium roast with cream

F.  Favorite color: I simply adore teal/aquamarine - I find the color so soothing

G.  Gold or silver:  I'm a platnum sort of gal!

H.  Height: 5'7" (but have recently begun the old age shrinking process)

I.  Instruments you play(ed):  I took five years of piano as a child and then six years of clarinet, which I promptly gave up when I started high school.

J.  Job titles:  Legal Secretary, breadwinner, Mom Extraordinaire and Crazy Grandma Cat.

K.  Kids: Two (fabulous I might add), one AMAZING grandson and the SWEETEST granddaughter I could ever hope for!

L.  Live:  Omaha, Nebraska.  I've also lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Phoenix and Tucson Arizona

M.  Mom's name:  Pearl

N.  Nicknames:  Everyone calls me Sis, and I have two lovely humans that call me MOM.

O.  Overnight hospital stays: 3  (2 births and one nasty flu virus)

P.  Pet peeves:  rudeness, negativity, bigotry, selfishness

Q.  Quote from a movie:  Luke, use the FORCE!

R.  Righty or lefty:  all-righty

S.  Siblings: Yes, 4, but Mom likes me best.

T.  Time you wake up:  not taking into account bladder calls during the night, I generally wake up around 6:00 a.m. and then hit the snooze twice before hauling myself outta bed for the day!  I'm NOT a morning person!

U.  Underwear:  Seriously?    Currently wearing?  I'll keep you in suspense!

V.  Vegetables you don't like:  okra and tofu  (is tofu a vegetable? - grin)

W.  What makes you run late:  That would be my husband who dallies and procrastinates like nobody's business.

X.  X-rays you've had:   mammograms and teeth

Y.  Yummy food you make:  I'm actually a pretty fair cook and everyone loves my lasagna, cake pops and cookies!

Z.   Zoo animal favorites:  Not a big zoo person, but I do get a kick out of the penguins!

So, now go post an A-Z of YOU, and let me know when you've done it!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another Art Journal Page

Having so much fun creating just for me.  And getting more comfortable using a charcoal pen.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More Journal Pages

I really need to invest in a new camera ... or maybe I just need to read the instructions on this camera. Believe it or not the flower and butterfly on this page are PINK ...  The leafy stem is GREEN. 

And the buildings are much more vibrant in color than they show up here.

But I'm having fun creating so it's all GOOD.  :0)

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's an iPad Grandma!

How cute is this??  Jonas is showing his little sis, Paisley, how to use an iPad.  Of course, Grandma calls it a computer, but Jonas is quick to point out that it's not a computer, Grandma ... it's an iPad.  I think I've missed the boat on all the new technology.  I still have a land line phone, for goodness sake - and if I could still get a rotary dial I would.  You can't take the 50's outta this grandma!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Art Journal Page

Here's the first page I made for the art journal class I'm taking with Tracy. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kiss Me I'm Irish

A Happy St. Patrick's Day to Everyone!  I found some delightful images of Ireland on Pinterest.  Such a enchanting place!  I can just imagine spotting some faires, unicorns and leprechans!

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The Dark Hedges, Antrim, Ireland

And if it's some green food you be looking for, go to my Pinterest board for some delightful ideas!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Do Something Creative Everyday" with Tracy Weinzapfel Part 1 - 3/15/12

I'm taking an online class with Tracy Weinzapfel (Helmar Glue) and tonight we created the cover for our art journal.  Over the next few weeks we'll be making journal pages which I will share as I create them.  We have SUCH a fun group of gals participating in this class and between the glue and giggles, we actually get a project done.  Be sure and check out Tracy's Monday night classes (upstream). She is SUCH a lovely lady and makes creating ART so dang much fun!!/tracyweinzapfelburgos

Spring Has Sprung

We've had SUCH a mild winter this year here in the Heartland, and now it looks like spring is already here.  I actually saw a FLY in the garage yesterday.  And the robins have arrived and are building their nests.  We've had 80 degree weather this week ... CRAZY temps for March in Nebraska!!!  If this keeps up we'll have to mow the lawn this weekend.  HA!  But what it's got me thinking is, if it is 80 degrees in March, what will it be like in JULY???!!!  We might be frying eggs on the sidewalk if this keeps up.  And just think ... if this weather continues we might become the new destination for the spring breakers ... yeah, okay, maybe not.  But whatever the reason, I'm hugging Mother Nature and enjoying open windows and birds chirping!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance!

Take a look at all the goodies I received from Janine at 2bkrafty!  I cannot believe her generosity and I am going to put ALL of these fun items to good use.  My favorite item in the box was the Tim Holtz Townscrape diecut.  How cool is that??!!  Just amazing!  THANK YOU SO MUCH, Janine!  HUGS!

Be sure and stop by Janine's blog page and give her a shout and and tell her I sent you!

Good Morning Sunshine!!!

My granddaughter, Paisley (3 months) ... doesn't her smile just brighten your day??!!  I know it sure does it for me!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Birthday Food Coma

As I sit here and enjoy the last piece of birthday cake, let me just thank all of my family and friends for all the birthday wishes, gifts, hugs and smiles.  My birthday started out on Friday, when my work buddies took me to King Fong's for a delightful luncheon, and my good friend and coworker, Marjorie, brought in a sheet cake from Petitt's ... a local bakery that makes THE best cakes EVER.  My favorite is their lemon-filled white cake with their sweet cream icing.

I arrived home after work and discovered my best buddy Marcia had dropped off a basket of bagels, hand made card and a gift card to Dick Blick so that I can pick up some more supplies to create with.  Marcia just "gets" me and knows how to make me feel so special.  Thanks, Marcia!!

Friday night my daughter-in-law, Chrysty, and her folks, and my daughter and her family came over for a full fledge turkey dinner that my hubby de jour (LOL) had prepared for us.  There's nothing quite like thanksgiving dinner in March!  Everyone enjoyed the subsequent food coma afterwards.  My daughter-in-law gave me some amazing gifts that she and Mark had brought back from their travels in Thailand. Some coconut cookies, FRESH pepper from a pepper farm they had visited, and a beautiful necklace handmade by one of the locals.  Thanks Mark and Chrysty for these LOVELY and thoughtful gifts!!  Chrysty's folks brought me some really lovely fresh flowers which my cats were eying appreciatively!  And my daughter and her family gave me THREE HOURS of house cleaning from Merry Maids - I can't wait to have my spring cleaning done FOR ME !!

Saturday morning Chrysty came back over and we spent several hours in my craft room creating and chatting and having just THE BEST time!  Here's some of the cards we made ...

Saturday afternoon we had my brother and parents over for LEFTOVERS ... don't know what it is, but thanksgiving dinner always tastes better the next day.  I think we have just enough turkey to make up a kettle of turkey noodle soup for the week ahead.

This morning I've been creating, doing laundry, and am contemplating getting dressed at some point. LOVE leisurely Sundays!  Tonight we have reservations for dinner and Flemings. They have an awesome Sunday prime rib special.  And then tomorrow night my friends, the Fuhs, are taking us to Ameristar for their buffet dinner.  I'm definitely going to need to loosen my belt a notch or too after so many days of such good food.

Thanks again everyone for making my birthday SO dang special.  It just makes me smile!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Simple Wisdom of Dr. Seuss

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

“I meant what i said and i said what i meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”

And here's a fun candy making project to share with your kids - green eggs and ham !!!  NOTE:  I would use green m&m's if you're doing a Dr. Seuss theme, but how cute are these fried eggs treats?! 

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

From Grandma Cat to Jonas and Paisley

Twenty years from now, I don't know if there will even be an internet, but should my darling grandchildren google their grandma cat, I hope they will stumble upon this blog post I've written just for them.  To make it easier for my grandson Jonas to distinguish between his two sets of grandparents, my daughter and son-in-law have taught Jonas to call me Grandma Cat ... (this is probably due to the fact that at the time he was born we had three cats ... now down to two).  His other grandmother has the distinction of being called Grandma Fish (her last name is Troudt ... I know it's a stretch ... grin).  There are also a Grandpa Cat and a Grandpa Fish, but we will save stories of them for another post.

Growing up I have such fond memories of both of my grandmothers. 

My Grandma Ollie taught me how to sew (she had one of those old pedal driven Singer machines and would save fabric scraps for me to create doll clothes with). She taught me how to make fudge from scratch.  When I would spend the night I got to sleep in her HUGE (or so it seemed to me) four poster feather bed that I needed a step stool to climb in with.  In her kitchen, she had this jar next to the stove where she would store bacon drippings (and other cooking fats that to this day are still unknown entites). She would then use these grease renderings in her homemade cookies and baked goods - and to this day I cannot duplicate them, but oh the memories!  She let nothing go to waste.  If a cake went dry, then she would make pudding to put on top of it.  If there were leftover hot dog buns, she would make these sinful breakfast treats (she would lather the buns with REAL butter, sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon, and then put them under the broiler until the butter melted and made a sort of caramel breakfast bun). Later in years she injured her hip and walked with a cane, and by golly if you were naughty and within reach, you would get a swat with that cane (or at least that's what my brothers said, because I was always such an angel - grin).  She was also a master quilt maker and had a large quilting loom where I could sit for hours and watch her nimble fingers fly across those fabrics making such ease and grace making these amazing designs. And every year I could count on birthday packages wrapped in white tissue paper and filled with clothing she had lovingly made just for me, and an angel food cake with pink frosting and sprinkles.  She was a woman of few words, but huge gestures and I loved her dearly.

Now my Grandma Ellie was a whole other ball of wax!  She taught me how to play poker.  She taught me how to crochet and would sit with me for hours while I practiced and got the tension on each stitch just right. She taught me how to "let go" and have fun.  She could jump rope at lightning speeds (even into her 60's) and could clean a crystal goblet until it hummed when you tapped it.  She smoked cigarettes and liked her whiskey. She always brought homemade donuts holes to all of the family picnics.  She was quick to laugh and quicker to give hugs.  And I loved her dearly.

I'm hoping that I'm a combination of BOTH of my loving grandmothers when it comes to the memories I create with my two grandchildren.  I want Jonas and Paisley to know the following ...

I love you both unconditionally. Period.  Always.

I know you both will be kind, funny, wise, sensitive, interesting, and a ball of fire!  Your parents are all of these things!

I know you will be strong and wonderful huggers. There is NOTHING that a hug can't fix.

I wish you happy, happy, days! You will have some bad days, yes.  They are important so you can appreciate the good ones.

There will be disappointments; I know you will be able to handle them.

I pray you learn about humility.

Please always, always, be kind.

I hope you learn that honesty is the best policy, and that doing hard days work will always make you feel better.

Be a loyal friend, one people can count on and trust.  And surround yourself with friends just like that!

You have such wonderful parents.  Know that no matter how big the problem, you can always go to them for direction and help.  Never be afraid to talk to them ... about the big stuff and the little stuff.  They are your biggest fans and will always be in your corner.  Remember, they were once your age too and whatever you're facing they've already been there and can help you through.

Challenge your mind to keep sharp. Don't be afraid to try new things.

BRUSH, FLOSS ... and do it again.  I can't stress this enough. 

Take time to sit under a shady tree and watch the clouds go by ... remember, it's the quiet times that will help you through all the stress that life will throw out at you.

Anything is possible if you want it bad enough.  There are no mountains you cannot climb, no things that you cannot do if you just put your mind to it, and try your best.

Whether you end up being the president, a CEO, an artist, a carpenter or work at McDonalds, as long as you are happy that is most important. 

Find something that you are passionate about and you will never "work" a day in your life.  I wish I had known at 16 what I know at 59.  That I can write and people enjoy reading.  That I can teach and people enjoy learning.  That I can cook and entertain and people love coming to my home. 

If Grandpa Cat asks you to pull his finger ... don't.  :0)

And I'll add to and update this post from time to time, but I think I've covered the important stuff for now.

And I'll say it again ... I love you both unconditionally. Period. Always.