Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teenagers- What to Do With Them?

I have a seventeen year old in the house who is not my child.  She is here as an international student from China.
She had a friend at school call her in sick posing as me.  The school called me and informed me that she was missing.  I am her legal guardian.  I grounded her from her electronics ie phone, touch pad and computer. over the Thanksgiving break.  She only had to do it for 4 days.  She hid her computer on our trip and got caught again.  I am livid beyond belief .  She is completely unaware of how serious everything is.  I had to file a missing persons report on her.  The police filed a runaway report on her.  The police department searched for her, the school searched for her and I searched for her.  Charges could have been filed  she could have been expelled.   The only reason she is here is for her education. The least she could do is play the game and kiss ass for a couple of weeks.  But no she won't.  All I hear from her is how much smarter the Chinese kids are than American kids.  All I see is a spoiled one dimensional brat who does not think of anyone but herself.  I am very frustrated right now and quite angry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Teaching My First Glass Class

I have talked with my friends for a couple of years about teaching a glass class.  I fuse glass for fun and profit and most of my friends look forward to my gifts.  I always thought that I should teach them how to make the glass for fun.  Because they are all so talented,  part of me did not want to do it because it was the one talent that I had that no one else had.  Every one else is so  majorly talented in knitting, crocheting and other crafts that I attempt but have not mastered that I wanted to keep this particular one to myself.  I realized that this was selfish.  I love my friends and it is time to get over my lack of confidence in other things and go for it.  So this Saturday  5 of my pals are coming over for lunch and glass.  I am very excited to see them do this and to share what I know.  Wish us luck.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Knitting Frustration-UGH!

My dear friend, Pixie, made this lovely hat from a pattern called Springtime in Philadelphia.  I love the pattern and I was with her when she found it and when she bought the yarn.  In fact she talked it up so well I believed that I too could make it.  UGH!  Was I in for it.  I cannot seem to get past the first three rows!  i left her a nasty humorous message on her face book page .  Please everyone send me some brain power so that I may get through this get it done!  I love ya Pixie!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall, Fall, Fall

I look out my window and the world is all aglow.  The sun is coming up shining on all the fabulous warm colors of Fall.  The reds, golds, oranges and browns all look like they are lit from within.  Fall, truly is my favorite time of year.  The first frost is like icing on a cake.  My pumpkins dabble my backyard garden in small patches of color.  All my tomatoes are picked green and line my counter top with their aspirations of becoming red.  I have flowers in vases all through my house, safe and sound from the frost.  I become sweater girl this time of year and I love it.  Boots, scarves, corduroy and brisk walks in the open air.  The crisp smell of pine and  fallen leaves that crunch under my boot.  Halloween Decorations start to dot the neighborhood.  The weather is not bitter, yet.  Crisp and clean and beckoning me to explore my world through nature's eyes.  The bluest of skies, the reddest of leaves.  I think I will take my walk now.  Enjoy this lovely time of year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There Is Something In Your Teeth!

I feel no love from my family.  I just played two hands of  UNO with my family-  Grammy, Hubby, 3 daughters with a big huge black piece of pepper between my canine and front tooth- What gives?  No one cares enough to say hey Mom you got something between your Teeth!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To Disinfect or Not to Disinfect

I have reviewed several articles about the pros and cons of disinfecting the house.  My conclusion goes right back to common sense.  If I have cut meat on the counter top or the juice has spilled on the counter from the cutting board I will disinfect the area.  If the flu or cold goes through my house I will disinfect the light switches and surfaces that have been touched a lot.  I do not believe in disinfecting on a routine basis, simply because we destroy good bacteria as well as bad.  We also begin to weaken our own immune systems and promote the growth of killer bugs (bacteria).  Not to mention that most disinfectants are truly toxic to not only the germs but to us as well.  With all of this in mind I have found a wonderful smelling natural product to do the disinfecting that I actually do. This product kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses on hard nonporous surfaces.The product uses concentrated citric acid and thyme oil. The remaining ingredients are unclear and I will call to find out what they are.  Because of the citric acid  ( it comes from lemons)  this product can be irritating to the skin and eyes.  It is also not recommended for natural stone or marble.  So the fad now is for granite counter tops and I guess that is a form of stone so it is not recommended for that surface-  I will call up and find out why again.  I like the smell, I like the non residue on the counter.  I believe it works.  So I do recommend this product.
     I just got off the phone with my friend, Amy and  she has the info that I was looking for. My question above concerned "the remaining ingredients" The ingredients are not listed but they are 100% food grade, which tells me that there should not be anything to be concerned about.  So the ingredients are citric acid, thyme oil and 100 % food grade ingredients.  Once again safe around pets, children, and the household cleaner, Me.  We also discussed stone counter tops and she said that we can use another product for those surfaces-  I will order that one to try out as well.  In a nut shell this disinfectant is  nice smelling, non toxic, that works and is not harmful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Craft Night

I have decided to host a craft night once a month during summer and then twice a month during fall and winter.  I charge money for supplies and to help cover the treats and wine.  Last night was my first official  event and I had four lovely ladies come and get their gourd on.  I had grown these fabulous gourds 7 years ago and have been storing them ever since.  It was so fun to see their imagination fly and come up with some trendy and fun ideas.
Over all I would say it was a success.  The ladies get to have some free time and create something new and I get rid of some of my inventory and catch up with friends

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Adventure Begins

I received my Clear Power Glass Cleaner.  I am so excited to get started.  The label says 6X concentrated.  I paid $5.69 for one bottle and I should get 6 16 fl oz of glass cleaning product or 96 fluid ounces of cleaning product.
1. The floral scent is pleasant, not over powering and dissipatates quickly.
2 surfaces cleaned:
  a.  Family kitchen table- solid glass
  b. Bathroom mirror
  c. Bathroom sink and faucette- since I am there
  d.  Inside window of back door
  e.  Outside window of back door

Okay,  I cleaned all of the above items to test this product and I am actually quite pleased and suprised with the results.  I usually use Windex and Clear Power did  a better job with less.  The back door windows had not been cleaned in quite awhile.  I have 3 dogs, two children and lots of company.  The Clear Power took care of dust, dirt, finger prints, doggie slobber, nose prints and some kind of unknown dried food substance.  It also was streak free.  Clear Power cleaned my kitchen table very well as well as the bathroom mirror , sink and faucette. I will recommend this product to everyone.
Here are the warnings listed on the bottle:
Common Sense Caution-  eye irritant, keep out of reach of children.  In case of eye contact flush with plenty of water.  Call a physician if irritation persists.  If swallowed, drink a glass of water.  Prolonged contact may cause skin irritation.  In case of skin contact flush arfea with water.  Keep away from open flame, sparks or other heat sources.
Ingredients:  Biodegradable plant derived alcohol, biodegradable cleaning agent (plant derived amphoteric surfacant),distilled white vinegar, fragrance, preservative.

Not bad for something that cleans very nicely.  If we swallow it, drink water. That should make us all feel very comfortable with this product. I like that I can protect my family and my pets from harmful every day chemicals.

Bonus:  You can use it on stainless steel and other shiny surfaces.-  I just did my fridge and dishwasher and it worked beautifully.

I recommend this product.  Ask me how you can get it!

Deciding to Go Green and Improve my Families Life-

I have been doing some thinking and have finally decided to act instead of thinking and wishing.  So I put together 4 new goals and see what it takes to make them happen.

My goals are:
1.  Create a healthier home environment, 
2. Reduce my environmental impact 
3. Make a little money to supplement my family income.
4. Support US and local businesses instead of international ones.  

I come from a long line of family members who have been green for decades.  We are originally from The Netherlands and being green is a fact of life over there.  We are such a small country that even the farmers have to account for the manure each cow makes.  With this in mind I have always wanted to be greener in my life in the USA.  However The States do not make it easy.  I recycle glass, paper and plastic.  We do all our errands in one trip so we do not go out several times a day.  The children ride the bus because it is greener even though we have to pay .50 cents a ride.  
The grocery stores are packed full of products that are processed, filled with toxic chemicals and generally not healthy for our daily lives.   So I have decided to tackle this going green piece by piece.  So number 1 of my goals is to create a healthier, greener environment in my home.  The green products in the grocery store are expensive and they do not always work as well as the chemical ones that I have used.  I use vinegar and water for glass cleaner, but then my home smells like a female cleansing room.-  Not desirable.  So I have decided to try Clear Power Glass Cleaner from Melaleuca.  It should arrive today or tomorrow.  I am going to see how good it is for one and how it stacks up against my all time favorite- Windex.  Clear Power Glass Cleaner uses natural distilled white vinegar and naturally derived solvents instead of ammonia.  It also has a floral  fragrance.  We will see how well I like it.  The other  benefit is that it comes in concentrated  form so I mix with water.  The cost is supposedly less than Windex.  I will let you guys know.  I am very excited to try.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Samples, Examples, and Whatnots

Here is a sample of some of my work.  I make all sorts of things for our home, friends and customers.  I do not charge very much simply  because I believe every one should have access to art.  I am starting a home business in the near future.  I have to iron out a few wrinkles but I do hope it will succeed.  It will be a customer service based business.  I am going to offer a service that manages birthday gifts, anniversary gift etc.  My clients will give me a list of birthdays, ages, gender and  color preferences and I will create gifts for them to buy for their friends and family.  I will notify my clients 30 days prior to the event and we will quickly discuss what they want to do.  I will charge for the service and for the gift plus shipping if it is necessary.  What do my readers think?  I can use excel spread sheets to keep track of things as wells as my computer's calendar.  Most people are so busy these days and are on tight budgets, but they still want to give something nice.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

Creating new and interesting things with both form and function is such a unique talent that humans have.  As a species we seem to be very driven to create.  Why is that I wonder?  What inspires us?  What is the driving force to make something new or something pretty?  Is it the same inner voice that makes a person climb Mt. Everest?  I know I lie awake at night with dreams of things that I am inspired to make.  Not for any one in particular but because it is in my head and it dearly needs and wants to get out.  I dream of building,painting, stringing,punching, knitting, crocheting and writing.  I find an object that has been cast away and immediately start to rebuild, remake or find another  purpose for it.  My home studio is filled with these items being re-purposed or waiting quietly in the back ground until an idea hits me.I am an avid believer in recycle, re-purpose and reuse.   My grandfather was the same way and so was my mother, before her arthritis kicked in and her eyesight went bad.  I have to believe that this is an imprint in our genetic code that pushes us forward with these needs.
The following statement is from Wikipedia under creativity:

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/CreativityDeclining creativity?

Creativity as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking increased until 1990. An effect similar to the Flynn effect. Thereafter scores have been declining. Possible explanations include increased TV watching and video game playing.[41]

This scares me.  Without creativity, our future is no longer secure.  We will not have those bright thinkers to solve the worlds problems.  So my fellow creators, go out and create,create, create!  

What a Day for a Daydream!

What a day for a daydream!  This is a home grown bottle gourd that was stained and stamped.  I added a crocheted neck warmer with stone moon beads.  Just having a little fun.  I am practicing photography, which is not one of my strengths.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

I said I'm Artistic Not Autistic!

Sometimes I do feel like I am a bit autistic because it can be very difficult for an artist to concentrate on anything else but the art.  I am not demeaning any one with autism because I  am painfully aware of how hard it is to belong to the world.  What I do need is a routine and a little discipline.  My kiln should be ready first thing in the morning so when I wake up I can just turn it on to fire the piece that should be patiently waiting to be fired.  Unfortunately that piece is still in my sketch book waiting for the glass to be bought, then cut, then ground, then cleaned then fired and shaped.  But the laundry has to be done, the kids have to be cared for and loved, the house must be cleaned, the garden must be tended, the food must be cooked, exercise is ordered by the doctor, and attention is demanded by the hubby.  I am sorry but I need at least 6 hours of sleep a night or my fangs start to come out. I need to stay organized.

What it really comes down to is, I must make the time, set it aside and protect it with my life.  When this time is over I must stop, walk away from it and join the world.  I must not stay just another minute, I must punch out and go back to my domestic bliss.  This way I can go back tomorrow and do it all again.

Craft, Crafts, Crafting- Hobby or a Business?

I have been knitting, crocheting, painting, and glass work for years now.  I sell a few pieces once in a while but I have not pushed it.  My children both are going to be in school full time now so I am deciding whether to work for someone else or really push my hand craft business.  I am looking at all my options.  Does any one have any ideas on how to approach this the best way?  I am trying to stay home and have a home based business without working for a "boss"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Toby Taylor

Toby Taylor was a naughty little boy.
He liked to throw rocks and break all his toys.
Toby did not like many things.
He only liked ducks and the way his Mommy sings.
Early one morning Toby and his Mother went to the park.
He brought his favorite stuffed duck named Spark.
They went to see the ducks on the lake.
It was early morning so they were not awake.
Toby got mad and began to throw rocks.
He wanted to wake up the ducks near the docks.
The ducks quacked and looked for cover.
They all quacked for help to Toby’s mother.
“Toby do not throw rocks!”His mother said.
But it was too late a duck was hit in the head.
The duck did not move she did not quiver.
Toby started to cry and then shiver. 
The green and brown duck was dead.
Toby went near it with dread.
“Oh ducky, ducky please wake up!”  Toby cried.
But the duck did not move from the grass where she died.
Toby ran to his mother and grabbed her skirt.
He cried. “I did not mean to make the ducky hurt.”
“I promise I will not throw rocks anymore.”
This is what the duck was waiting for.
The duck stood up and winked at Toby’s mother. 
She flew into the air and hovered.
Toby looked up and clapped for joy.
Now Toby Taylor was a nice little boy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Food and Us

Did you know that if every man, woman and child on the planet ate as much food as we do here in the US we would need 2 more planets to sustain us.  People let's think about this.  It's great that we have plenty, but just because we do does it mean we should?  We used to have an abundance only for festivals, weddings and funerals but every other day we lived a subsistence living.  We made do with so much less.  I am amazed at how much I can eat-  Are you?   We are obese, lethargic and unproductive.  Think about it and make a life decision on what to do about it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time, On Time, No Time What Time

You know you are a parent when your teenager can't seem to respect time.  An on going battle is waging in my house.  I feel that if you are bringing the said child to an event of her choosing that the child should be waiting for you not the other way around.  I know once or twice is not too offensive but on a regular basis as part of the norm it is infuriating to me.  I feel that the child has no respect for me as the one doing the driving.  I schedule other things around her event.  I want to bring her to these events but the continual waiting is aggravating.  So now If I have to wait I either do not go or I leave without the teenager.  Enough said.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Big Things Come in Little Packages

We were not looking for another dog.  Lord already knows we have two geriatric dogs a geriatric turtle and a geriatric bunny, plus we are not getting any younger ourselves.  We went over to the neighbor's across the street for some gardening stuff and as we are walking back to our house the neighbor's two doors down are out in the front yard.  We had not seen Kay for months because she had been traveling.  With her were her Portuguese Water dog Jin and a basset mutt and a little chihuahua looking mutt.  Yep the little mutt caught our eye and the girls fell in love with her.    She is a year old, spade, potty trained and kennel trained-  how hard could it be?  She is adorable and John did not say no.  So now we are the proud owners of a Corkiepap.  1/3 Corgi, 1/3 Yorkie,1/3 Papillion.  She weighs 9 pounds and loves to cuddle with the only man in the house- John.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Diagnosis- Normal

My mother called today and she does not have Alzheimer's-  Big sigh of relief-  She is just getting older.


Sometimes We are Better Off Going Back to Bed

Do you ever have one of those days when everything goes wrong and nothing seems to go right? Mine began innocently enough. I left my cell phone at my daughter's violin lesson the night before.    I could not find the car key.  I had broken the hoop off before and the key has no ring to attach to.  I had also lost the other key which had the same problem.  I have five children to take to school in the mornings- every morning.  So I am looking for the key  before we have to leave and realize I cannot find it!  So I haul everyone out of the car and we all make a mad dash for the bus.  We make it in time.  I had a friend take me to my husband's car at the park and ride.  It is only two miles away and an easy walk but I blew my knew out playing tennis and it is healing.  I proceed to come back home and tear everything apart looking for the ^%(^ key.  I call my husband to let him know and we both decide that we need to get a new key. $180.00 dollars later I now have two new keys  with holes in them for key rings.  I pick up my daughter from Kindegarten and have lunch.  I continue looking for said key.  It has the remote sensor in it which actually would have been another 100.00 for the key.  Hence, no remote in the new one.  I do some cleaning.  I then take my daily shower with the full knowledge that the kids all were told to take the bus home from school.  When I get out of the shower my phone rings and it is hubby telling me that our daughter called and could not remember to take the bus or wait for parent pick up.  Hubby told her parent pick up. Still dripping shower water  I grab my youngest daughter and high tail it to school to pick up the oldest.  I am already 10 minutes late.  I get there and there is no daughter or the neighbor's girl who is coming home with my oldest.  She remembered to take the bus home.  I turn around and high tail back to the house becasue now I have two 7 years olds alone in the house.  On the way home my gas light comes on.  I am out of gas!  I get home and the two girls are acting very responsible.  I pick them up and go get gas, then pick up hubby from bus stop then home to drink wine and go to bed.
It was a stressful day.  I thought it was a bad day but here goes the glass half full approach.

1.  My family is all healthy
2. The phone was not lost and it was safe.
3.  The key was replaced
4.  We made the bus on time.
5.  I actually had a friend that could give me a ride.
6.  The girls were safe and acting responsible.
7.  I did not run out of gas.

So though the day was stressful not bad.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Caring for Elderly Parents

My Mom is getting to that age of being frail and unable to truly live alone.  She has broken  her hip, her wrist and her knee.  She has Lupus, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and now she is being tested for Alzheimer's.  I do not believe she has the disease I think she sits alone in her home with the TV and does not engage her brain.  Her best friend says that she will repeat the same stories over and over.  She does that with me as well.  My issue is that she is only 66 years old.  She was a spry vibrant woman until she turned 60.  Then her health deteriorated.  My issue now is that she lives in Texas and I in Colorado.  I dearly want her to live with me and my family until we can no longer care for her.  I made a promise to her years ago that if she ever had Alzheimer's or dementia  when the time came I would put her into a nursing home.  I do not wish to do that in Texas.  I believe she can have a valuable, interested life here with us and if  the time comes  put her in a home near by so we can visit and make sure she is being well cared for.  How do you uproot a parent from every thing they know and basically force them to move 1600 miles to a new community and a new life?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be Quiet Please- Children's story

I often wonder in these times why manners seem to be going out of style?  We seem to think it is cute when a child has a foul  mouth.  This story is based on my nephew Christopher when we were camping and he kept telling his brother to shut up.  His mother scolded him and put him in time out in the tent.  She told him that it was not nice to say shut up you say be quiet please.  Christopher proceeded to yell  " it's not nice to say SHUT UP!",  you say be quiet please".  He still enjoyed saying shut up.  Yes I changed the names and place not to protect my nephew but because I wanted to. I hope you enjoy the story.

Be Quiet Please!

by Karin Davidson

Morgan learned two new words from her brother Kyle, today.
She went into his room to ask one question.
One question turned into two.
Two questions turned into three.
Three questions turned into four.
Until Kyle could not stand to answer any more questions.
“Shut up!”  He yelled at Morgan.
Morgan stared at Kyle and whispered “Shut up.”
Then she looked at the dresser and said  a little louder.  “Shut Up.”
Morgan smiled and shouted, “SHUT UP” to the bedroom door as she walked out of Kyle’s room.
Morgan went outside.  She saw a robin singing in a tree.
“SHUT UP!”  She shouted.
The robin flew away.
Morgan saw the next door neighbor, Mr. Chan, trimming his rose bushes.
He waved at her and said hello.
“SHUT UP!” She shouted.
Mr. Chan frowned and said “no, no, no,” as he walked away.
Morgan saw her best friend Mark, playing with his cars in the sandbox.
“Vroom, Vroom”.   He said holding up a car for her to play with.
“SHUT UP!”  She shouted.
Mark got mad and threw sand at her.
Morgan walked back into her house.
She saw her Mother playing the piano.
“SHUT UP!”  she yelled at her mother.
Morgan’s Mother picked her up and put her in the time out chair in the corner.
“It’s not nice to say shut up, instead, we say be quiet please.”  Her mother explained.
“Now please sit in your time out chair and think about that”
Morgan did just that.  She thought about it.
When she shouted “SHUT UP” to the robin singing in the tree, the robin flew away.
Morgan liked the robin’s singing.
When she shouted “SHUT UP” at Mr. Chan, he got mad and said no, no, no, then walked away.
Morgan liked Mr. Chan because he always let her help with the garden.
When she shouted “SHUT UP!” at Mark, he got mad and threw sand at her.
Morgan liked to play with Mark.  He was her best friend.
When she shouted “SHUT UP!” at her mother playing the piano, she put Morgan in time out.
Morgan loved her Mother’s piano playing.
“Okay” Morgan said to herself.  “It’s not nice to shout SHUT UP!  
You need to say be "quiet please.' "

Let's teach respect for life and each other.  It does not have to be Martha Stewart on steroids but respect for one another adds value to our lives and our self worth.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our Relationship with Junk Mail

I finally announced to the world my loathing for junk mail via Facebook.  I get infuriated every time I open my mailbox and all this unsolicited junk mail falls out.  I realize that our nation is run by advertising and that we are slowly losing our souls to the next purchase.  But I don't know about you, I am overwhelmed with the responsibility of all that paper and what to do with it.    The idea that we are supposed to become a paperless society due to the wonderful invention of computer technology is rubbish.  It boggles my mind when I see how much paper is wasted through junk mail.  I am tempted to put a year’s worth of junk mail into a bag to see exactly how much we actually get.  But I am a borderline hoarder so I probably won't-yet. What would happen if I actually took the time to sort out the junk mail and save it for a year then spend my money sending it back to each  company showing how much money they waste.  They probably could care less as a company, but the mail room might get a little grumbly if say 100 of us did that.  I understand that I am not alone.  Artist, Annette Lawrence made her junk mail into art.  She strips junk mail into two inch strips, then stacks them on top of each other and binds them.  Each stack is one month's worth of junk mail.  The Dallas Museum of Art bought her Month of December.( article by Kate Weidow at  www.KXAN.com )
Junk mail art

This is definitely an art piece with much to say and has more value than the fliers themselves.  There is a Do Not Mail campaign on the internet.  From what I can tell it is not full proof and it takes a lot of effort from us.  So if you are ever bored or tired of playing video games and you want to be pro-active in the junk mail pandemic, check out some of the internet sites such as: www.DirectMail.com . 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by