after sleeping in, breakfast with my baby (provided by her!), opening our gifts together (a new tradition because she just couldn't wait & she was going to her dad's), i mowed the grass & worked in the yard all day. where else but the texas virgin islands can you wear shorts & flip flops & mow your grass on christmas eve?!?!!
yesterday i went back to work after being off for 6 days straight! it was a hard day, but i was so busy that it flew by & i had enough to keep me busy all day today too!!! then i have a 1/2 day friday & then a 4 day christmas weekend. i work with 8 guys & 1 girl in my division & then there are another 3 that i do stuff for when i'm not busy & they need me. my "guys" are so good - i love each one of them & have even adopted one of them - he calls me "mom". his mom lives in floresville & it takes both of us to keep him in line!! he came in my office this morning, didn't say a word & gave me a big bear hug then he said "you can't ever, ever go on vacation again!"
it's nice to be missed & needed.
my guys decided to give me a gift card for christmas. one of them had suggested a spa gift card. another of the guys said, "she's not a 'spa-girl type', she's more of a 'lowe's girl'" and he called me to confirm if i'd rather have a spa gift card or a hardware store gift card! he was right!!! i said, "jacob, you know me so well!!" so today i was given a lowe's gift card AND a hobby lobby gift card!!!!
i've had my eye on a reciprocating saw -- i've been borrowing a friend's, but i think it's time i had my own!!! i've also been thinking about my own set of wrenches! i wish hobby lobby carried tools!!!!! (well, they do, just a different kind of tools!!!)
i love my guys! they make having to go to work worth it! the best part of the gift was the card --- the stuff they wrote was so sweet & really made me feel honored to work with them!
it's nice to be loved & appreciated.
and i love & appreciate each one of them ---- i'm getting 3 more guys in the next couple months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i think 2 of them are going to need a mom!!!!
remember that movie? "field of dreams". that was back in my "i like kevin costner" days. before he left his wife & kids. i liked him, still do, but he doesn't even come close to sam elliott. sam has always been the LOVE of my life!!! compared to sam, kevin's a little wimpy!!
i don't even have to go looking for pallets anymore! they come to me!!!
this is what was waiting for me when i got home tonight:
he's in good shape -- the left side edges are a little "chewed up", but i can make it work!!!! i've made 3 christmas gifts with pallets so far. i think THIS one might be for ME!! thank you, pallet fairy!!!!
a man with a circular saw is having a birthday in a few days, so i made him a birthday card.
i had seen a card with wrenches on it on someone's blog or on pinterest (sorry, i don't remember who the original maker was - if you do, let me know so i can give her credit) & i knew THAT was the card i wanted to make for him. i didn't have the right stuff to make the silver background like this person did, so i used the wrench idea & made the rest of the card my own. here's hers:
hers is nice, but mine is definitely "me"-- chickenwire, wood, rusty/rustic! the inside's grungy, rustic "me" too---
it's another of those "i wanna keep it" cards!!! if he throws it away, i'm gonna dig it out of his trash!!!!
today's the 8th of december & we've been having temps in the high 80's here this year!!! (and not enough rain, by the way!)
my grass is still green. i really should mow it!
i even layed out in the backyard last sunday afternoon!! i kept wondering how warm the water was.
my flowers are confused!! i've got blackeyed-susans! and bluebonnet!!!
the bluebonnets should be beginning to sprout about now, but they've been growing for quite some time already. they seem to love to grow in the crack between the house & the patio! it's already getting hard to open the backdoor!!!! i even have them growing in the cracks in my driveway!!!! crazy plants!!!!
in fact, one of the plants has BUDS!!!!!!!
(oops! forgot to watermark that photo!!! oh well, too late!!!)
will i be having BLUEBONNETS FOR CHRISTMAS?????!!!!!!
the elementary age kids are singing with my Sunday school class (preschool, ages 2-4) for the Christmas program at church. we're singing 2 songs & the kids have done a great job during practice. we play games like: sing loud enough that i can hear you when i go all the way up to the choir loft or sing loud enough that you hurt my ears. or sing with your outside voices or sing very quietly & pretty. hopefully this will get them to sing loudly loud enough to hear them & not me (!) at the program!
here's the conversation that occurred while practicing this morning:
me: all you little kids in my class are sheep.
me: anna, you're mary, ariel, you're an angel, you 3 are wisemen, you 4 are shepherds
brian (age 2): i'm a sheep
me: david, you're joseph
brian: i'm a sheep
heather: i want to be a shepherd
me: heather, you're a wiseman
heather: i don't want to be a wiseman. i want to be a shepherd
brian: i'm a sheep
me: we can't have 5 shepherds & only 2 wisemen. you need to be a wiseman
heather: i WILL NOT BE a wiseman. i WANT to be a shepherd
brian: i'm a sheep
me: ok, emma, can you be a wiseman?
emma: no, i want to be a shepherd
me: wyatt, please stand up!
wyatt: i'm tired
brian: i'm a sheep
me: amelia, put your shirt down, we don't want to see your bellybutton!
me: ok, abigail, can you be a wiseman instead of a shepherd?
brian: i'm a sheep
abigail: yes, i'll be a wiseman
me: thank you abigail. heather, you are a shepherd
heather: (changes the pout on her face to the biggest smile i've ever seen!!!)
brian: i'm a sheep!!!
me: ok, now let's practice our songs!
wyatt (age 3): i just want to practice my nap!
brian: i'm a sheep!!!!!
...........and it's the most rewarding thing i can think of to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love these kids!
oh, angy was supposed to be a sheep but she wanted to be an angel. i told her she'd have to wait til next year. she was ok with that, but then when there came an opening for a wiseman, she jumped on it!!!!!
so instead of 8 sheep, we have 6.
and one of them had better take a really good nap before the program!!!!!!!!!
one of the blogs i love to read, post road vintage, (click on post road vintage to go to her blog) is having a drawing for a hydrangea wreath & lavendar soap -- i want to win, so i'm posting about this wonderful lady here on my blog.
this sweet lady named heather lives in michigan & has either 6 or 62 kids, can't be anywhere over the age of 16 by the looks of her, writes a blog, has an online store, builds stuff, decorates her home beautifully, publishes an online decorating magazine which has now gone to hard copy too, and she has the time to be sweet to everyone out in the blogosphere by doing giveaways every so often & she sends sweet emails occasionally (yeah, everyone gets them, but she makes them sound like she's sending them JUST to ME by calling me "dorothy dear"!!!). in fact, she just had another baby & i swear she didn't miss a beat!!! she reminds me of those pregnant chinese rice farmer ladies that just plop their babies out in the field & keep right on a workin'!!!!!!!!!!!
can we just turn the clock/calendar back to september????
usually i take a few days in september & go off with a friend or friends & spend time working on my christmas cards. i usually have them (all 150 or so) done by the end of september.
not this year!
a couple weeks ago i finally decided on a design. a week ago i cut all the paper.
last night i made a card & for a brief moment thought, "i want to do THIS card instead. it's more "me".
tonight a friend "accidentally" saw the "new" card & convinced me i should do IT instead. she said the 1st design was nice, but the 2nd one was definitely more "ME".
so tonight i cut new paper!
i'll still be able to use the white as the base of the cards (i didn't have enough of the kraft colored paper to do the whole card for 150+ cards anyways).
yes, 150+ cards! when you consider everyone at church, friends, relatives, people at work, neighbors......... i give one to everyone at church because, well, you just HAVE to---when someone gets one & someone else doesn't, they know about it & they say something about it they're not happy & i even give to all the "new people i don't know" because it's a good way to get to know them & them to know me & it makes them feel welcome. i've tried over the years to cut down my list, but which friend or relative do you cut out without hurting their feelings? and besides, for some of them, it's the only contact i have with them the whole year. and i give to friends i see all the time, because, well, it's just a nice thing to do---lets them know you care for & love them. i hate it when people say, "i'm not giving so & so a card because i see them all the time." well, do you tell them all the time that you love them????? probably not!
seriously though, i did consider taking a picture of the one card i made last night & putting it on my blog & saying "merry christmas, y'all"!!!!!!!! but as of right now, i'm not going to do that!!!!!!! (we'll see how the next couple weeks go though!!!!!!!!!!!)
however, i might forgo the "christmas letter" -- i'll just put a note in saying, "if you want to know what i've been up to this past year, go read my blog or give me a call!!"
if you need me in the next few weeks, i'll be stamping 600+ pine trees & 150+ of something else that i'm not gonna tell ya what it is!!!!!!!! it's a pretty simple design, but it's gonna be some work accomplishing it --- why do even my simplest designs end up being so complex?!?!?!?!?!? ..........but i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it's taken 51 years, but i finally made pancakes! pancakes that worked! pancakes from SCRATCH!
i have never been able to make pancakes. they don't cook right, they burn, they're hard to flip -- it's just a big mess. so i don't cook pancakes. don't even try to. suzanne has asked several times in the past if i would make pancakes & i have refused. i have never made pancakes for my kids!
suzanne can make pancakes. but up until yesterday, her mom couldn't!!!
yesterday morning i woke up & thought, "i think i'll make pancakes today for suzanne!"
she was still asleep so i got out this recipe for "the best pancakes ever" & mixed up the batter from scratch. i got the iron skillet hot & poured a little measuring cup of batter in. the bubbles formed, i flipped it & IT WAS PERFECT!!! i cooked up the whole batch & then went to wake up suzanne. i told her i had a surprise for her & she needed to come to the dining room right NOW!
well, she was surprised!!! and still very tired, but pleased & impressed. (well, maybe i was the one who was pleased & impressed -- she was very tired!) a couple of them were still a little "raw" in the very center, but overall, they were good! they were light & fluffy & didn't taste like a box mix. but they were a little plain. i think next time i'll add some pumpkin, spices & nuts. suzanne suggested blueberries & oatmeal. that sounds good too!!!
overall, i'm pleased & impressed with myself!!!
the 2nd miracle is that last night i put up the christmas tree & other decorations & this afternoon put up the outside lights & decorated the porch (in shorts & a tanktop!!!!!). last year i wasn't in the mood & had to force myself to do it in mid december & this year it's thanksgiving weekend & i'm done!!!!
worked on christmas gifts out in the garage this weekend, took a walk to see christmas lights (not many up yet -- i'm gonna walk every night to check out the lights - love it!!) & now i'm going to bed. i have a vacation day tomorrow & i intend to get lots done & be very busy!!!
unless i get a pickup truck, i'm never gonna trade in my pallet-haulin' SUV!!!
this baby was BUSY today!!!
monday i got 2 pallets when i got mulch at lowe's. the guy brought my mulch up from the back on a forklift rather than a flat cart. i jokingly seriously said, "do i get the pallet too?" he said, "do ya want it?" i said, "heck yeah!" he said, "whatcha gonna do with it?" i said, "build stuff" he said, "i've got another one in the back, ya want it?" i said, "heck yeah!!!"
that meant i had 9 pallets in my garage!!!
this afternoon my pallet scout friend joyce called & said, "i just passed a place that had a bunch of pallets laying out by their dumpster." i said, "meet me there in 5 minutes!"
when i got to the place (a furniture consignment shop), i went in & asked if i could have them (i always ask, i never just TAKE) - the lady said, "they're not ours. people dump stuff off in our dumpster all the time. you can have them!"
yay!!!! 6 pallets in REALLY good shape with really nice boards!!!! joyce said, "i've never seen you so happy! you're BEAMING!!!!"
so i bring the pallets home & unload them in the garage. then i go run a couple errands for some things for church & then i'm going to go to grandma/pa's to shampoo their carpet. i pass another furniture store & there's a HUGE pile of pallets way in the back in a field next to their warehouse. i pull back there & ask the guy if i can have some of them. he says to go inside & ask the store owner. i do so & he tells me i can have all i want!!!!! i drive back to the back & he tells the guys back there to load my car for me! i had 10 guys loading pallets into my car!!!! the only thing is --- most of them were too BIG!!!!! they were huge furniture size pallets! i NEED a man with a truck - but all the ones i know are busy!!!!! there happened to be 4 "regular" sized pallets so i just got those!
then as i'm leaving there a friend calls me & says, "we had a new roof put on today & we have a couple pallets. do you want them?" i said, "HECK YEAH!!!!!!!"
so after i finished cleaning carpets, i came home, unloaded the "pallet truck" & headed over to my friend's house. they had 4 pallets!!!!!
i got 14 pallets just today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have 23 pallets in my garage!!!!!!!! they take up 1/2 the garage!!!!!!
i've already disassembled 2 of them! (that was a few weeks ago......still waiting for "a man with lots of tools" to find the time to come over with one of his many saws.......)
i had to move the trash can & mower! i have just enough room to open the door a little & get out of the car!!!!
when i pull in to the garage, there's just "that" much space between the car & the trash can!!!!
whew! thank you God, for answering that prayer for pallet wood!!!! "ask & you shall receive"!!! (now, i don't want to be pushy, but could ya answer those other prayers i've been praying about.....that one in particular???????)
dear "amwacs" -- gitcher tools & git on over here quick!!! we've got work to do!!!! there's only 38 days til christmas!!!