Tuesday Tutorial

 

If you’re looking for a great sewing project that won’t take all day to make, I suggest you check out the KIDLET tutorial from Jennifer over at JCasa Handmade.

They are super-cool tote bags for little people.  And they will make a perfect gift for the Holiday season (or…any season for that matter). [Read more...]

After Four Days Away from the Office,Today could be…

Hoping and praying for a day where everything most things go smoothly.

And wishing you a good day too.

Matt’s Inagural Christmas Tree Lighting

 Traditions

Sometimes you just have to hand over the reigns and let the kids do things.  This was the time.  I’ve been lighting the Christmas tree for many years.  This year, Matt asked if he could do it.  Without hesitation, I said “of course”.  And, to borrow a line from the book How the Grinch Store Christmas,  “My heart grew three times in size that day”.)

He did a fantastic job.  Here…take a look:

  (Matt got some help from Riley too.  Okay…not really.)

The Finished Product.  Dang…and a great job, huh?

And to think, this was my Little Man a few years back.  Time marches on people.  Make the most of every moment.  Especially when it comes to your kids.

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together!

You’ll find all the old posts in the Archives section (over there ——-> in the sidebar).

The cool part?  I got it all taken care of within ten (10) minutes after looking for some help online.  Google is truly my best friend!

Big Trees = Big Decorations = Big Hit on My Street

Lots of houses in my neck of the woods are decorated for the Holidays.

But…two homeowners have gone ALL OUT.  A pair of very tall pine trees have been professionally draped with lights.  They are beautiful.

These are crappy, Droid phone photos.  I need to take my REAL camera with me next time.  But…you’ll get the idea.

Another tall pine tree down the street from our house.
And just a few houses away, there’s this one:

Ginormous Pine Tree with TONS of lights

How You Live – by Point of Grace

This is an ‘old’ song by the Christian music group Point of Grace.

I love the message. It’s timeless really.

I wanted to share it with you. I hope it stirs your emotions the way it stirred mine.

Turn up the music baby. Turn up the music!

Here’s the link to the YouTube Video.

Enjoy.

 

Here are the lyrics (as best as I could capture them while listening to song several times):

Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open.

Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken.

Wear your red dress, use your good dishes.

Make a big mess and make lots of wishes.

Have what you want, but want what you have

Don’t spend your life looking back.

Turn up the music. Turn it up loud.

Take a few chances.

Let it all out.

You won’t regret it.

Looking back from where you have been.

It’s not who you knew.

It’s now what you did.

It’s how you lived.

Go to the ballgames.

Go to the ballet.

Go see your folks more than just on the Holidays

Kiss all your children.

Dance with your wife.

Tell your husband you love him every night.

Don’t run from the truth, cuz you can’t get away.

Just face it and you’ll be okay

Turn up the music! Turn it up loud!

Take a few chances, let it all out.

You won’t regret it. Looking back from where you have been.

It’s not who you knew.

It’s not what you did.

It’s how you lived.

Wherever you are and, wherever you’ve been; now is the time to begin.

Give to the needy. Pray for the grieving.

Even when you don’t think you can.

Cuz all that you do is bound to come back to you.

So think of your fellow man.

And make peace with God. Make peace with yourself.

Cuz in the end, there’s nobody else.

Turn up the music. Turn it up loud.

Take a few chances.

Let it all out.

Cuz you won’t regret it. Looking back from where you have been.

It’s not who you knew.

It’s not what you did.

It’s how you lived.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

This is a photo I took a couple years ago at one of our county parks. I love the way it turned out.

From my family to yours:  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

“An Old Love Will Come Back To You”

IMAG1213.jpg

That was the message in my fortune cookie today. I was lazy this morning and didn’t pack a lunch. So when 11AM came around, I headed off to my favorite Chinese restaurant for some of the best food on earth.

In other words, “My name is Mike and I’m addicted to MSG.” There. I said it. Let’s move on.

I’ve been away from my blog for a long time. And crafty, creative projects? Those haven’t happened for a long time either. I hit a long, dry spot. Other things took priority. And I just…moved on.

Some days I really didn’t miss either activity. Other days, I dreamed of logging on and sharing a thought or two with the world.

There were a few times that I really missed playing with paper and glue or fabric and thread.  But I told myself there was no time for that now. There were other things that needed to get done. And the craving went away.

Well…the craving has returned. And it’s become stronger these past few weeks. I’ve tried to push it down…but it keeps popping up in my psyche. So…I’ve decided to allow it to ‘be’. And today’s fortune has confirmed my decision. “An old love will come back to you”.

It’s right on target.

And the timing is perfect: Holiday time should give me the opportunity to make (rather than buy) some gifts. And..we’ve already started to trim the house with Holiday decorations. And..my wife and I have started making plans for Holiday baking.

Here’s the plan: I’ll start blogging on a consistent basis. And…I’m going to clean out the craft corner in the basement. Right now it’s sort of over-run with dead bugs on the cement floor. And spider webs. And general clutter. That’s one of the projects that I’ve been busy with the past few weeks: de-cluttering (that should be a blog post all on its own).

We’re not quite at the ‘hoarder’ level (LOL!),  but I seem to accumulate a lot of stuff. And much of the stuff needs to find a new home. I’m selling some. Tossing some in the trash, and donating a good chunk of it to Goodwill. It feels really good to get rid of it. It’s been piling up for a long time. And, as much as I like ‘stuff’, I’m finding out that I like ‘space’ too. The clutter has suffocated my creativity. Not good.

So…here we go again.

Pickle Time!

 

Late this summer, we made pickles for the first time.  My wife prefers bread-and-butter pickles over dill, so we made a batch of those.  The boys and I really like dill pickles…so we made several quarts of those too.

We choose to make the refrigerator variety as opposed to the true ‘canning variety’.  It was an evening of fun for all of us!  We set up an assembly line operation and ended up with lots and lots of pickles.

Where did we get all the cucumbers?  From the community garden that we had this summer. It was a semi-successful venture.  I’ll tell you more about it later!

These are easy-to-make so you could make some for Holiday gifts. I’m sure your foodie friends and relatives would appreciate them.  They are really, really good!

Here’s the recipe for the Bread and Butter Pickles. You’ll get about 4 quarts of pickles:

  • 7 -8 cucumbers (sliced)
  • 3 medium onions (sliced)
  • 2 sweet red peppers (sliced)

Pack clean canning jars with cucumbers, onion and red peppers.  See photo above.

Mix together 1-1/2 cups sugar + 1-1/4 cups vinegar + 2 tablespoons salt + 1 tablespoon celery seed.

On stove, bring sugar mixture to a boil stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Let syrup cool and then pour over pickles.  Seal jars and refrigerate at least twenty-four (24) hours.

There’s no need for a hot water bath.  You simply pour the liquid over the pickles, seal the jars and put them in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Holidays Are Just Around The Corner

Ready for the Holidays?

The Crate & Barrel gift guide arrived in the mail this week. I think the cover photo is great so I wanted to share it with you.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?  We’re heading to Auburn, IN.  That’s where my wife’s sister and her family live.  We’ll have dinner and try to catch up on all that’s happened since the last time we’ve been together.  It’s funny. Sometimes we know more about a co-worker’s life than we do our own family member’s.  But…I guess that’s how life is.  Crazy huh?

So Much to be Thankful For

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a great Turkey Day.  And be sure to count your blessings.  We have have a lot to be thankful for.  Amen!

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