Wednesday, January 31, 2007

another quilt

I reeeeally love my newest quilt! And it is the most beautifully made homemade quilt I've found at my little thrift store. I didn't hesitate to pay $19.99 either for the full-size quilt... it is that exquisite! Love the old fabrics. Remember the flannel baby quilt with the knotless knots... well the same with this one. They hid the knot strings on both sides! And it is pretty much all flannel too... so soft & cuddly.

You will all think I'm crazy when you hear what I passed up... or that I am taking a gamble on... it will be half-off on Saturday, so I am thinking if it's meant to be, it'll still be there. Drum-roll please.... a Cathedral-Window quilt! If you know anything about cathedral-window quilts, they are totally handmade... all hand-stitching... with your hands, not with a machine... and simply breathtaking... but with some yellowing stains here and there. They priced it at $45.00. Sooo, we'll see...

Years ago I started a cathedral-window quilt, and as you can see I have not gotten too far. But the thing I love about doing this particular quilt is... totally portable, all hand stitching and I can use fabric from an old worn quilt that my Grandma made, fabric that Randy's Grandma and sister had clothes made from, fabrics that tell a story about my years growing up, the shirt I made for Randy when we were dating and various clothes and costumes I made for the kids over the years. It's like a soft scrapbook that you can wrap yourself around... a reminder of the memories that warm our hearts.

Monday, January 29, 2007

six things about ME

So, here are six unusual things that you may not know about me.

1. I am terrified of being tickled.
If I am tickled, I go a little crazy and panic... man, my heart is racing even as I type this. When I was a young girl, I witnessed my friend being held down by her two foster brothers and tickled till she cried. It obviously affected me so deeply, that I view it as being torturous to this day.

2. I bought my first car when I was 20 years old... sight unseen. A '62 Chevy Impala!
I had met Randy a couple months before I went back to Wisconsin for the summer in 1978. Randy's Mamaw Bean died that summer and they asked if I wanted to buy her car for $500! She was the original owner... and the clear bubble plastic seatcovers had never been removed... and it was as big as a boat... and it was a standard on the column! Yikes! So every Sunday afternoon for a month, Randy would take me out on remote desert roads and teach me to drive my new car. Man, I loved that car! Oh btw, Randy was driving a '69 Dodge Charger at that time.

3. I have such respect for teachers and doctors, that you wouldn't know me in their presence.
First of all, I am really outgoing but I get so weird and timid around teachers and doctors that I am hardly able to speak with any intelligence. So Randy would always go with me to the kids Dr. visits and school conferences. Otherwise he would ask how it went and I would have been so intimidated and nervous that I could hardly remember what they had said.

4. I cannot go to movie theaters.
I have been to one movie in the past 6 years and that was "The Passion of Christ". I am sooo hyper-sensitive to sound and movement that I want to do bad things to people that are unwrapping candy, coughing, munching, slurping, talking or moving... and don't get me started if a cell phone goes off. Not good...

5. I mix my metaphors. All the time.
Once when Randy and I were discussing a family's financial hardship, I said "I can't believe they bought that... they don't have a penny to pee on!" And yes, there are dozens more!

6. And last but not least, I say and do unusual things without thinking.
Years ago, when answering machines were new, I was forced to leave a message on someone's answering machine and I think because of the quiet tone of my voice, I ended the message by accidently saying "In Jesus name, Amen" and hung up the phone. I was mortified when I realized what I had just done!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

aqua eye candy

So, it's Sunday afternoon... Randy's out of town doing a concert... I went to early church so I could hurry home and catch the second half of the SUNS game on national television... they WON their 17th straight!!! Love my SUNS!!!
So now I'm on a mission... finding the March issue of Romantic Homes magazine featuring Alicia's (Posie Gets Cozy) lovely home. This time a 10 page spread plus that's her cover! And this time I'm going to spring for my own copy!
Borders... not this time.
Barnes & Noble ... nope.
Joann's... well, maybe, but first I notice pink tag items are an additional 75 % off. Humm... this makes me feel a tad better when I find no magazine. So I search out all the pink tag bins and start digging... and find the knitting needle tote (I have other plans for it), glass beads, gorgeous yarn (made in Italy) and a fun flowered pin!
You see my plan is to paint my craft room Posie's signature Behr's Rivers Edge... and then have little splashes of aqua here and there. So as I'm checking out at Joanns, the gal notices I have this color theme going on... I was in the 'aqua zone'! I had over $30.00 worth of aqua eye candy for only $1.93!!! I was one happy gal!
Last stop, Walmart Supercenter... I find out they don't stock the March issues for another week or so! I'll just have to wait...
Speaking of aqua eye candy... check out Alicia's dreamy slideshow called "Things that are aqua". Truly a visual feast!
Hey, I've been tagged by Tiff. Six weird things about me... coming up in the next post!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I love freebies!
I not only love freebies, but I love collecting old freebies... probably because I just happen to have quite a few from my childhood.
How cute is this freebie from the Northern Natural Gas Company! It's a portable clothes line that says "When you can't take your gas dryer along..."! And I love the pink salt n peppar shakers and the sweet rain bonnets in baskets!! Be sure to click these pics to enlarge!

Growing up I would send my film to Skrudland Photos and they would occasionally send me a little white Bible. Not only did I anxiously await the arrival of my 12 pictures but I delighted in finding this little Bible in with my pictures.
Before I met Randy in 1978, he worked at Monarch Tiles... this is the screwdriver they were giving away at that time.

I have several freebies from our local gas station, grocery store & tavern while I was growing up. I am reminded of Tommy & Bernice who ran the Grocery Store & Tavern in York... Vernon & Violet who ran the Gas Station in York... Mike Larson who hauled our milk. The framed thermometer has a 1957 calendar on the back that you flip down. I'm afraid if I flip it down, it could tear off, it is so fragile. York was a little town of around 30 people, just a mile down the road from our farm.

Who can forget the County Fair freebies... oh my gosh, that was 'freebie heaven'!
Remember the key chains, yard sticks, rulers, calendars, coin purses, bottle openers, pencils, and of course, the rain bonnets!
I still keep my eye out for those fun, unusual freebies that are still out there. I have such an appreciation for those little, small town businesses that gave away these gifts of appreciation... for doing business with them. Let's be sure to keep em in business!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

unusual containers

Growing up on a dairy farm, I have memories of my Dad and my brothers scooping feed from the feed scoop as they rolled the feed cart through the isles of the barn for the cows. So I was thrilled to find a similar feed scoop at a yard sale and decided to use it to hold my cooking utensils. I saw in 'Martha' where she put a candle in one and I did that for years, but have always loved the challenge of finding unusual uses for unusual containers.

Do you remember watching "Hope Floats" and seeing Sandra Bullock's character using an old metal lunch box for her camera? I loved that! So I found one at a yard sale and that is where I store my scrapbooking paints and foam brushes. Cute or what!
I collect big old coat buttons and store them in my favorite glass jar that I found in Appleton, WI last summer for $3.00! And of course canning jars are the best for ribbons, lace, stickers, rick rack, etc.

Every year after my Hollyhocks are through blooming, I harvest all the different varieties and colors of seeds and store them in these former sugar jars... what was the brand again? Sweet 'n low? Anyway, I love these glass jars and the way they look in this old tool caddy. Oh and remember the spice rack that I found to store tiny embellishments... so handy and useful. Check it out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Valentine quilt

It's raining!
I love when it rains. I become energetic, creative and very nostalgic.
Rain reminds me of home... of Wisconsin.
I love feeling confined indoors... but in Phoenix... that rarely ever happens. No unusual weather conditions that limit you here. Probably the only weather related conditions that could produce serious ramifications would be if you forgot to wear your shoes to get the mail in the summer... I'm serious! You'd burn your feet. Someone should video someone venturing out to the mailbox... having gotten half way... then realizing their feet are burning. Let me tell you, the dance they do to get themselves to the mailbox and back is quite entertaining. Or has that just happened to me... anyone?

Scrapbooking today! Yeh!
Three Mom's and our three grown daughters are scrapping together. Makes me so happy! But first we go to my favorite thrift store (Tiedemann's in Tempe) and we find some treasures.
Here's the flannel Valentine quilt that I found for $2.50! Clic to enlarge the pic and read the writing in the corner. Almost makes me cry to think that someone gave this away... all because of a grease stain... that I am easily getting out because of the wonderful, marvelous OxiClean!! What would us thrifters do without OxiClean!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm back for another post today. You see, I need help! I can't stop!! I've had 3 of these bad boys and... I want another! I'm serious guys, they are sooooo amazingly delicious! I'm out of control!

You see, while I was at Kohl's this morning buying a shower liner, Miranda calls and says she's making scones.
"SCONES!" I said. "But I'VE never made scones!" (and my point?) "Do you even know how to make scones?" (wow, I am quite the encourager)
"Mom, I found a recipe online and I'm fine" she replies with confidence. (which sorta bugs me)
"Ok then, well, I'll be home soon if you need my help." (help her? aah, I was relegated to taking pictures)

Seriously, I am soooo tickled that my daughter made scones!! She is a true baker and no telling what she will tackle next!
As for me, I am enjoying my role as her mentor, encourager... ok, so, not so good. But hey, devouring 4 scones has to count for something! And yes... I had another.


My favorite little thrift store has affectionately become known as "MY thrift store". Why do we do that? Why do we become so attached to our little local thrift stores... so possessive. Don't get me wrong, I tell everyone about my thrift store. I want them to check it out... but... I want them to go with ME. It's important that I show them around... you know, point out areas they might miss... tidbits that only I would know. Some people are just clueless in the art of thrifting. So I take them under my wing and show them the ropes. It's just a little something I do to spread the wealth... in thrifting! Now there's an oxymoron! But I kinda do make money thrifting!! Think about it...
Anyway, the last couple times I've gone to my thrift store I have found quilts. The two patchworks are lap quilts ($2.00 each) and the flannel one is a Christmas baby quilt (only 99 cents!). Notice that when they tied the quilt, they hid every single knot! Simply exquisite! And someday I'm thinking a little grandbaby will be wrapped in such softness!

Monday, January 15, 2007

rumm rill & porsgrund

The Rumm Rill pitcher was a gift from my dear Mom-in-law. She got it from an Air Force Base thrift shop over thirty years ago for 35 cents. She knew I loved it and gave it to me several years ago. Reminds me of a bowling ball. An orange one is listed on EBay for $45.00!
I found the little tea cup at a yard sale a few weeks ago. Printed underneath is 'Porsgrund Norway 58' with a symbol in the middle. I just love the colors and rosemaling design. And even though it has a tiny chip, I was thrilled to only pay a dollar! Because of my Norwegian heritage, I am always on the lookout for such items. What a treasured find!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Tyler's All-State Concert last night was simply the best... what a wonderful evening!!! Probably one of the most entertaining concerts I have ever attended. The concert opened with the All-State Jazz Band. Their first piece was so amazing that I actually cried! You just wanted to stand up and dance! Then Tyler's Jazz choir performed several awesome songs that were so moving... I was blown away by the talent! I had to keep reminding myself that these were high school kids! The Show Choir concluded the evening with several dance/ show tunes that also wowed the crowd!

After the concert we went out to eat at Red Robin. It was so fun to catch up, tell stories, hear all about Tyler's week at All-State, Miranda's new students and Shawn's upcoming internship before he graduates from ASU in May. (we missed Nicole, as she had to work)

Yes, they actually serve the onion rings like this! So yummy!

Randy and I are so proud of our kids and all that they have accomplished. But even more so, we are grateful to God that they have chosen to follow Christ and to be a light to the world in everything they do.
We are blessed and know that in spite of the mistakes we made as parents, we can trust the Lord to do what is best for each of our kids. Now if I could just learn to get out of His way!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

the rose

I became the care-giver for this very special rose bush a couple months ago when my dear neighbor Susie asked if I would want the rose bush that she was given in memory of her Mother, because they were moving back to Washington.
So Susie, here she is... thriving, blooming and beautiful in January. We miss you and Marvin! Praying all is going well.

Friday, January 12, 2007

life stories

Last week I started attending a sunday school class at my church called "The Story of Stories".
It caught my interest because well, most of you know that I am all about a great story... check out some of my early posts. So I went to the class and it was so interesting how our life story has been affected by the world, our culture, our upbringing, our religion, our environment.
For instance, I grew up in an environment where it mattered a great deal what others thought. I was a people pleaser... never to the point of compromising my values and morals, but I always craved validation, approval and significance.
So to this day, everything is sorta sifted through that grid of... what will others think... will this hurt anyone... or disappoint anyone... or mislead anyone? I have to work really hard not to think of any one person when writing this blog... or else I will wonder how that person is interpretating my words, my thoughts, my intent.
I really do want my life story to be real, authentic and honest. I don't want my fears to cloud the true me... having to weigh my words... or coming off together when I'm not.
Probably the one realization that I recently acknowledged is that I have never been afraid of failure... I am afraid of success. What it will cost me... what will others think... how will I handle it... will it change me. I have known this deep inside... but to actually admit that I am choosing to deny my true potential rather than to risk being all that I was created to be... has been revealing to say the least.
And I'm thinking this post has been more revealing than I intended. But maybe it will strike a cord with someone... maybe we can look at our life stories as unique to who we are... and let go of how we want to control and manipulate it... and just maybe let it unravel a bit... cuz that's ok, you know... to not have it all together. Quite ok.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

the castle

A year ago Randy & I were in Colorado Springs at the Glen Eyrie Castle leading worship for the Navigators International Conference. I came across these pictures while putting together a calender for my parents last month. The memories of that trip came flooding back, as I recalled getting 6 inches of snow that first night at the castle! I was like a little kid experiencing snow for the first time! And to be honest, it was the first I had seen snow falling in many, many years! It was enchanting and magical and so romantic... come on, we were staying in an 18th century castle for crying out loud!

The next day we awoke to a fairyland of snow. We couldn't wait to drive to the perfect spot to photograph Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods! Oh how I want to snap my fingers and be in that very spot... experiencing the cold, clean air, the sparkly diamonds glistening in the snow, the peaceful quiet, the sheer wonder of God's creation.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

itching for a road trip

This is a road trip that we took last year with our friends Terry & Nancy... to Jerome, Arizona. Notice the two pots on top of the building on the left (click to enlarge) and then the pic below gives you a close up. Simply breathtaking! We had such a fun time exploring this little old copper mining town. Arizona is filled with such history and beauty and culture and space!

Yup... I'm needing a road trip.
I am so happy when I'm on a road trip. And it's never about getting there... it's the joy in the journey, the endless miles, the unknown adventures, the conversations, the reminiscing, the history, surprising discoveries, interesting people and foods and shops and yes, even yard sales & thrift stores!
I rarely ever sleep while traveling, for fear I'll miss something.
We love to leave early and come home late... feeling energized and relaxed and recharged.
Hmmm... I am so ready to hit the road.

Monday, January 08, 2007

thrift finds

I thought I'd post my favorite thrift finds from last month and show you the various ways I photographed the photo. The top pic was taken outside this morning... the middle pic was taken inside this morning, no flash... and the bottom pic was taken inside last night, no flash. I have such a fascination with photography. I know very little about it but hope to hone that skill in '07. Thanks Amy & Andrew for the photography book for my birthday!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

lemons & oranges

We are having a monster crop of lemons this year. Is it a crop of lemons?... a harvest of lemons?... a whole bunch of lemons? Whatever you call it... it's big!
But they will stay on the tree well into May or June. Why? Because that is the best way to store citrus, to leave them on the tree until you need them.
We have what's called a "fruit cocktail" tree. One tree alone produces lemons, oranges and grapefruit!! Pretty cool! The orange branch broke off several years ago... so it no longer produces the oranges. But we also have a navel orange tree, so we were ok with that being the branch that broke off.
Ooh, I'm thinking lemon bars this weekend.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

two posts in one day!

OK, I'm a little freaked at the moment...
Here's what happened. My all-time favorite blog site in all of blogdom is Alicia Paulson's blog... better known as Posie Gets Cozy. She is a well known crafter... she's amazing at everything she does... super multi-talented! I will have no need for magazines as long as she keeps blogging and posting her amazing photos... seriously, her photos are stellar. And she's my favorite writer too. Be sure to read her archives... she was in a terrible accident shortly after she married and moved to Portland and... oh, you can read it for yourself.
Anyway, two major magazines came out this week that are featuring her home... Better Homes & Garden's Creative Homes Spring 2007 issue and Romantic Homes January 2007 issue. So I went to Borders this morning to sit and look through both magazines. And well, I was a little disappointed in the pictures that both magazines took of her home. Alicia should have taken them for the magazine. Her photos of her home are so good, they make me want to paint every wall in my home aqua! Really!
So when I got home, I left a comment on her blog and told her that I loved the features in both magazines but that she should have taken the pictures herself. Well, within minutes, she emailed me the sweetest email about having them in her home, the experience of both photo shoots! You guys, I was like... WOW, I just got an email from Alicia!!!! I can call her my friend now!!! Randy thinks I'm the biggest groupy that ever lived... and he's right you know.
But hey, I'm sure she didn't actually look at my blog... she sent me an email. And that's ok... I can live with that... it's a start!

change is good

The last two posts were of a rather serious nature. Sorry about that. I get that way at the start of a New Year. Why can't I just have longings to floss my teeth more often. That's tangible... that's doable. But nooo, I go for the lofty, intangible goals... that hopefully aren't going to set me up for failure. But, enough said.
On to a more hands-on approach to living... like thrifting, crafting and scrapping! I can do that! And very well, I might add!
On the home front... clearing out all evidence of Christmas. Why is that just as satisfying as getting it all out? I say I hate change... but I sure welcome it too. I can get real tired of the same ole. For instance, when I was in high school... you know how they take yearbook pictures all year long and being from a small school, I was in a lot of pics. Well this is the truth, in every single picture I have a totally different hairstyle! I was constantly changing my hair, my look. They say I had a flare for the drama and it must have played out in what I wore, my hairstyles and yes, even my handwriting. I was constantly changing my handwriting. I was always copying someone elses style... never content with my own.

So I just got back from my favorite little thrift store and found this glass sugar container for 50 cents... I had a hunch that my favorite IKEA cording would fit inside and make it more handy to use when I'm wrapping a present! Could this look any cuter!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Speaking of movies... I did make my daughter Miranda watch "A Star is Born" with me the other night... and after all these years, I was NOT disappointed. Miranda liked it too. I was still so moved by the music, the characters, the storyline... and I just love Barbra's clothes! I remember liking her wardrobe then... and I still do. You gotta watch it just to see her clothes... so 70's, so today's fashion! And I really liked Kris as the lead. Did you know that Barbra offered the part to Elvis, but he declined and then died a year or so later... so sad.
So I was reminded of alot of memories associated with that time in my life. Like having such a desire to sing, to act, to be famous... I know, crazy thinking... a little farm girl wanting to make it big... ya, right. As I wrote in a past post, I did enter a local talent show and performed a medley of songs from the movie and got second place. Poor Miranda had to sit through the movie as I sang those songs...
Well, little did I know that soon after I would be moving to Phoenix, Arizona and my friend Linda and I would begin a ministry where we would sing just about anywhere, for anyone. Looking back, I think the very fact that we were two farm girls from Wisconsin in the big city, just doing what we love to do... was kinda odd and refreshing. We wrote all our own music... we played guitars... and our harmonys were effortless. We'd sit back and marvel as the words, the music and harmony parts just flowed out, as though empty vessels. It just came together so easy... like it was God's plan or something!
We would talk about recording our music someday, as a way to get our music out to more people, especially our loved ones back home. Well, one day a regular customer of Linda's, at her job as a waitress gave us $1000.00 for us to go into the studio and record our music! That was a lot of money back in 1978! In our innocence and naivete, we didn't worry and wonder how it would all happen... it just did. And we had a wonderful experience, met some wonderful people and God blessed the final product. Who knew!
So now I find myself looking back and longing to live that way... you know, out of my comfort zone, living on the edge, believing the impossible. I have gotten so comfortable with my life that I have forgotten how to live by faith... looking at every situation and opportunity and asking "what would Jesus do", looking to Him for insight, wisdom and courage.
So, I guess I could start like today. Ok then...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

a must see movie

Saw this real good movie last night... "Diary of a Mad Black Woman".
Miranda got it for Christmas and wanted us to watch it with her and I gotta tell you, it was good... REAL good! There are some scenes in the movie that just blew me away. It's about the affects of sin done against someone, the anger, the bitterness, the hurt, the unwillingness to forgive. There is a powerful scene where Cicely Tyson (she has a small role but she steals every scene, she is that good!) says some profound statements about forgiveness. Man, I couldn't stop crying... made me think of those I know that are struggling to forgive, to let go and be free from the power of the sin done against them. I know first hand... how it affects our health, our energy-level, our focus... keeps us in bondage, unable to move on and experience peace, joy and contentment.
This is what I know to be true... we don't forgive because they are finally deserving or sorry, or because they asked... but we forgive for OUR sake, so they won't have power over us anymore, so we can move on, so we can have peace, so that we can be set free from the affects of the sin done against us. I know, it's not easy... we want them to pay, we want them to hurt like we do... but it's not worth how it's affecting us and our loved ones.
Tyler Perry plays multiple roles in the movie, having written and produced the movie too. He is a believer and is very vocal about his faith when I have seen him on Oprah. He himself struggled for years and finally found Christ and was able to forgive his Dad for the horrific abuse done against him. The movie is very uplifting and moral and full of truth.
A must see! Tell me what YOU think...

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's Fall in Phoenix

My dear friend Nancy and I and our families and several other families spent the day out at the Mozingo's on Saturday. Rand & Michele built their adobe home themselves on 2 acres about 12 years ago and it's our favorite destination. We feel like we have really gotten out of the city when it's only 45 minutes away in far west Phoenix. What a beautiful day! Such great food with dear friends & family!
Wishing A BLESSED & HAPPY 2007 TO YOU ALL!!!