Sunday, February 27, 2011

swinging on the snow

swinging on the snow
Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie
Early last week, it looked like this. Now, everything is getting a lovely mushy (sort of lovely...more muddy) feeling. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for tulips. This is our reward for going through the winter. I may buy some potted bulbs to celebrate spring. And I'm definitely going to cut some branches to force some green leaves on Mock orange.

me with two dogs in the snow.

Hi, world! Thankfully, it doesn't look like this right now. Spring is on the way!
This was the alley in the back of our neighborhood. You can barely see our Mr. Nelson (dog)...but he is there!

Right now, the snow is nearly all melted away and I actually didn't wear a coat outside. Wonderful sunny Sunday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

so much to do and yet...

I'll do more stuff in the morning. I just need to sit here for a bit and ponder. So, things are humming along and suddenly, I'm like oh, no...everything is due tomorrow. This is annoying. I wrote a passage for the church lent book and it's too long. So, I have to edit that. I'm working on finishing up the church newsletter as well (which is what I did all afternoon). I have to help my kids finish up some school reports due at the end of the month, I believe. Also, gotta prep some fabric squares for kid #2's class project, think about submitting some work to a local art show and possibly submit some work to this radio contest due this week, I think. And I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with a 4 day weekend (me, primarily caring for everyone while the man goes driving around town hunting for hay...couldn't find any). When the heck did all of this happen? And why wasn't I better prepared?

Okay, the good thing is I got more wood to carve and can do some of that tomorrow. I do need to paint about 14 pieces, still. I guess everything got a little wonky when the man cub got sick on Sunday. He's got my sore throat, poor guy. That's another thing, I was sick too, and that does make everything feel like you're walking through molasses.

Thank goodness I didn't have to shovel this time. I just refused. Jon did it all and I just made coffee and coco for those who did all that work. My shoulder/arm/wrist hurts, still.

Tomorrow, I will go for a walk w/the dogs and be a sun worshipper for about half an hour. :) I will play with my crazy 2 yr old and build a snowman. I will finish up the newsletter and email the lent passage. And I will finish at least 1 piece of art (if not more). I will also not lose my temper and be calm with the kids. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feeling better

I've been having a tough time...headaches since Sunday and the worse was today. Nausea, couldn't move and extreme dizziness. Haven't felt like that in a long time (before I was diagnosed with allergies, I had very similar, if not worse, symptoms). Thank God it's better.

I had some broth and toast. I feel like I'm not going to be sick and my headache is better. I used an ice bag and it helped tremendously.

I don't know if it was a migraine, cold, headache, dust reaction or what. I do know that my speech was sluggish and I made a lot of typos in my writing. Very annoying and I feel ashamed of this. I guess it's normal to be flawed. I'll forgive my self. :)

I'm just really, really glad I'm feeling better because the kids have tomorrow off, it's supposed to be a gorgeous day and everyone else has the flu/recovering from the flu. So, I'm hoping I'll feel great tomorrow. Praying and hoping!

Did I mention I love my family? I do. I love my family, my extended family and all my friends. I had to say that. If you're reading this, I want you all to know you're loved and I appreciate all of you. Share the love! :)

Mini-headache from mini Spring clean

I have dust allergies (among a few other allergies). All is well, if the dust is not moved or is religiously cleaned. However, I dusted with one of those swifer dusters and I think it's not that great. Sure of big dust clods, it's good. But for small particles, no. I got a massive headache (the kind where you want to throw up) last night. I'm going to have to wear a mask and use some good old fashioned lemon pledge; I miss that smell.

I have the air filter running and I think that's helping but I feel sick-ish. I got up at 4 am with my head pounding, nasal flushed, no relief. bleh

We went for a walk and someone had their fireplace going. It bothers me too, wood smoke. I really, really do not like having all these probs. I wish I had a nose filter...but I guess that would be weird and I'd sound like I'd have a cold.

My ear hurts too.I'm just a bundle of complaints. Sorry.

Honestly, after all of this, nothing too serious is going on. The rest of our family has stomach flu's, so I'm glad we're just sort of feeling all right. We were supposed to go on a date night, didn't happen. Oh, well. Hope everyone feels better.

I wish my energy was back and I could jump into some artwork. I need to get some proper work gloves as I can't handle another splinter, as well.

Otherwise, we're looking for signs of Spring! I noticed some lilacs getting small buds and maybe I'll try forcing some branches. I'm jealous as heck over anyone with a lot of summer exposure in their yards. I have none, apparently. All my yard is ice with mush water under it. I want a green house. And I want to start walking the trials around here, again. I miss them!

I for see a big trip to the vet, soon. I might try using a dremel stone (find a smaller size) for our cockatiel, Odie. If this doesn't work, vet time. But the dogs and cats all need to go.

Well, I think I'm allowed to take some more Motrin. Wish me luck that it works.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mini-Spring Cleaning!

It all started yesterday. Basically, our fridge was calling, screaming for attention and I cleaned it out. 2 things were giving it the major stinks...let's just say forgotten food items and leave it at that. ahem.

This got me motivated to clean other areas of the house. Actually, my in-laws are coming over and I needed to dust/clean badly. The piano has become a pit stop for all sorts of things. I have half of it cleaned off. The mantle is surprisingly beautiful now that I've dusted. I am proud of this.

I can't say the house is perfect but after I brew a pot of coffee, I hope to spiff up the reminding mess piles. It's amazing how easy it is to just sort of stash stuff in piles and only when family/friends come you realize, what the heck was I thinking.

I got some good ideas for storing/getting rid of stuff. I'm going to look for 4 large baskets that will fit under the TV. I'm also donating a pile of books to the church and possibly goodwill. I have 4 bags of kids clothes ready to go to the Salvation army and a 5th to go to my niece.

Once the weather warms up, I'm going to paint my computer desk, the kitchen and bathroom. I might even do the living room. I know everything needs touch up paint, but that's what little cans of paint are for.

I feel all hustle and bustle today. We're actually going on a date, Jon and I. In celebration of our anniversary. It's 11 years ago, we got married. We have 2 weddings, actually. A long story, basically, I wanted everyone at my wedding and since that couldn't happen, I had 2 wedding ceremonies. At the time, it made sense to me and now, I'm like, what was I thinking? Anyway, just the quirkiness of me, I suppose. lol

I think I hear someone whistling outside or else it's the kid playing his harmonica. It's a really cool one that has more range then a mini-harmonica. I would like to get several more as I can actually play it fairly well. Plus, it would be nice to have one's own and not a slobbered on one.

I got a new wood carving set from Harbor Freight. It is really good and from Japan. I got the Chinese set as well but it needs to be sharpened (can you believe that, new and it needs to be sharpened. It was only $5, I guess that's why). Anyway, my wrist is sore from carving 10 pieces and I feel like I have slight splinters in several fingers. darn.

Jon got me a scroll saw for my wedding anniversary present. I am pleased. I'd be out there right now sawing away but I have to do some more house chores.Boy, I feel tired.

Well, maybe I'll get that coffee going or else I might fall asleep. I didn't realize cleaning was an aerobic workout!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sketching and carving

Got a bit of house stuff done. Middle kid had her friend come over and that gets us hustling in house chores. We also went for a the blizzard, apparently. Now, it's sunny and bright with no snow, of course. I feel tired and sluggish. Maybe it's time for some coffee.

The annoying thing is my throat really hurts. It's definitely not wood allergies.

We've begun to fill the bird feeder again. I've seen squirrels, sparrows, and cardinals. I hope to see more when I add more variety of seed/suet. Oh, and there are rabbits as well. I love seeing their tracks in the snow. :)

I feel so sleepy. I have the littler heater pointed at me and this isn't helping. Jon said he's tired too. It was the walk in the blizzard, I'm sure.

Well, hope everyone has a good weekend. Have a Happy Valentine's weekend too!

Friday, February 11, 2011


So, I'm sanding away at about 13 pieces and I'm annoyed because I want to have a HUGE stack to work on. 13 or so doesn't seem like enough to keep me excited. Why am I like this?? For some reason, if I have a nice big batch of stuff of carve/sand/paint, I'm happy. A good number is 21 or more. I'm crazy. (But I think I will pester Jon to get me some more boards at Lowe's).

I'm really excited about my big duck/goose wood carving. I'ts a nice healthy size and I keep thinking of Canadian goose but it might turn out a duck. Hence, the "/" mark.

Anyway, I have a bit of a scratch in my throat and my head does have that sort of haywire dizzy feeling from mild sanding. I'm going to nasal flush.

I made a big pot of vegetable barley soup. It's pretty good but I slightly burned the bottom. I really hate that. :( I was playing with H and got distracted. Oh, least I wasn't doing something unproductive.

Today, we are going to try and grind down our bird, Odie's bottom beak. I'm so nervous I keep putting it off. But he's not getting better (even with a freaking grinding stone) and I have to do this. I'm nervous about hold him in a towel. Wish me luck. Jon is going to grind him with the little dremel.

I've gotten the dining room sort of organized. The desk is still a mess but I have all my art stuff fairly organized. I usually work in the basement but it was A. way too cold and B. has gotten really messy with holiday stuff and C. is hard to get down there with mini-me at my heels. lol He likes to tear things off the shelf so that I will have to go through stuff and clean it out. Sigh.

Jon wants to move the ping pong table to the 3rd floor. It was my fault as I thought it up but then I realized, what the hell was I thinking? When we got our King size mattress they practically ripped off the molding around the windows with that "U" turn on the steps. No, I do not think that Ping pong table will be going up 2 flights of stairs...most likely to the garage (which would be pretty dang cool with the doors open in the summer...esp on rainy days). We just need a new cement floor in garage.

I'm so excited about Spring. I'll probably burn my self out with all the excitement. However, I've been looking up heirloom roses. I have learned that the Tea rose is the one you want for fragrance. So, I'm looking for hearty cold zone roses. :) I LOVE roses and I would like to put in 20 bushes but most likely will put in 5. If I can find some cheap ones (I think Kmart had some good deals), I may go there and give it a try. My dad was great about buying rose bushes and would always seem to have armloads of them as gifts to my mom. Isn't that sweet? :) I don't mind rooted ones or freshly cut. They are all beautiful.

We might put in a horse shoe pit too. Jon's dad would like one, so it might go down by the side yard. I want to fence in the whole yard and have a white picket fence. I know, so idealic. But it would be nice for a garden and safe for the kiddos. We shall see. Jon wants the horse shoe pit to be by the hillside...I don't know.

I had this idea of getting a pet sheep. It sounds insane as I write this. A part of me would like to but I know it would require vet bills and a lot of work. A chicken or 2 would be nice too but again, it might be too much work/vet care. I'll focus on getting my garden and tending to the critters we have right now. Speaking of which, two need a bath (stinky dogs).

Well, gotta go. Have a GREAT weekend. I have to make lentil soup w/ham for church. I hope it comes out good and I don't do anything to wreck it. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

cutting wood

Finally cut some wood. Hopefully, I protected my nose/mouth/eyes enough and won't get a headache. What a pain. It was really cold but I got a lot done. I have a lot more wood to "play" around with, so I'm excited. I cut out a 2 foot "duck" or "goose" and will sand that. I cleand up most of my last projects and organized things so I could have some more space. It's great having a place to sell my work and being able to create more art.

I didn't do any decorating for Valentine's day. I can't believe I nearly forgot about it. I guess I've been so preoccupied with the ice/snow, I forgot everything else. I hate that.

Gonna make some coffee in a few. I didn't do the bike today...I did 3 days in a row but I did get some walking in at Wal Mart. Also, I'm annoyed because my little banner of weight loss disappeared because I didn't update it. I think I forgot the password too. Darn it. I really don't feel comfortable with that thing, I guess.

I know this probably sounds all "mom-ish" but I had a really good time at Wal Mart. I got to shop, look at stuff and have fun company with H. It was actually relaxing and I didn't feel stressed out. Plus, the roads were awesome and the sun was really nice and bright on the drive to and from. Sometimes, you just have to get out of the house and do stuff. Now, if I can get my self to the gym, I'll really feel accomplished.

Oh, speaking of which. I made that little button about "contacting me" through photobucket. It was actually fun and the graphics on there are very easy to use.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Oatmeal cookies and new books

I was planning to go out today but ended up staying home and baking cookies. It was a nice thing to do on this cold day. Then, I got my package in the mail. I've been waiting for this for some time. I got several new Tove Jansson books, Moomin comics and some tales of Moomin Valley. I love them. I have Moominland Midwinter which is very fitting for this time of the year. I will have to reread Finn Family Moomintroll after to get me ready for Spring. I do love Tove Jansson.

I think there are 3 anthologies of the comics. So, I will have to get 2 more. :)

I also introduced sliced cucumbers to H and he was very pleased with it. He ate nearly half a cuke! I'll get some seeds and plant this in our garden. I'm so excited about spring. I hope it's a great year for plants and I hope everything sprouts.

I still have to cut more wood. I have so many ideas percolating in my head for new artwork.

Well, I think I'll go chop some carrots to go with the hummus. Dinner time! Have a great evening. :)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Problem solved

I love that title! lol A few weeks ago, I had been really annoyed with my middle kid as she was sick and VERY moody. It was really bad getting her up in the mornings and I DREADED going into their room and say "Rise and Shine!" Usually, I'd get "I'm tired" and constant stream of complaints. So, I felt very anxious and try to be upbeat/positive but it was really grinding me down. Well, we stopped at the local Target and the kids found alarm clocks. Target has some really cute one's and good prices ($6). We choose a rainbow numbered clock. This is the magic clock. Not only does my eldest get out of bed, get dressed and brush her hair but my middle kid is nicer and easier to get up. I'm still in shock. It worked all last week (they discovered the sacred snooze addition on the clock) and all is going well. AMAZING. I don't even have to go up and check on them as they are into a fabulous routine and I have extra time (to start a laundry load, tend to the youngest kid, etc).

I have felt so uplifted, my day goes better and I'm just getting stuff done...esp. for a Monday. Even the dogs seem happier! lol

Today I made the best batch of kale chips, thus far. The lower temp and longer cook time really was a good idea. Plus, I reduced the amount of olive oil to 1 Tb per 10 leaves. I did accidentally burn myself and it hurts. Gotta watch those cookie sheets.

Kale chips are very low in calorie as well as being good for you. They won't turn into sugars after digested. I do worry about that because we do have diabetes in the family and I have to turn the kids on to healthier foods.

I wrist is aching from shoveling. I think I wrote that already...but it still hurts. :( I hate being sore. It doesn't help rearranging furniture and trying to type right now. I'll stop now.

1923 Harley

Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie

Enjoying almonds

Almonds have suddenly become my new favorite nut. They are so tasty and they don't feel as greasy as some other nuts do (sorry, peanuts and cashews). My hubby bought a huge container of nuts and when I get an almond, I must say, it's quite good.

I love the name Cashew, however. It really is a cute name for a pet. Maybe in the future, if the right pet fits, we'll name it that.

Got up really early and actually have more time on hand. I did my workout (yeah!) and got a load of laundry under way. Once I got the kids to school, I moved the bookcase and have rearranged books. I need to do some dusting and some more book sorting but it's looking better in the living room.

My wrist is hurting from breaking up ice, again. I swear we should store some of this ice for the summer. Just crazy amounts. Maybe I should wear a bandage or something on my wrist to help.

I've been doing more artwork...and have a lot of sweet watercolors I should put on eBay. They seem to mail better (light weight) then my wood carvings. Jon got me some plywood and I want to start trying it out...have a lot of ideas in this regard. I wish the garage wasn't SO COLD. It really makes a difference if you're freezing and fingers are all stiff and can't hold tools correctly. Not good.

Geesh, my wrist is killing me...gotta stop typing. Have a good week!


Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie
and icy. After awhile, I get a bit bored with snow pictures. Does this mean I've gotten used to PA weather? I think a part of me has. I've lived here for about 8 yrs now. I've still got 30 yrs of California in me, so, I've got a bit to go to be totally PA-ian. lol

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie

It's never too late to have a happy childhood. ~Berke Breathed

Friday, February 04, 2011

Wiating for dinner to heat up...

just tatter tots and nuggets and possible macaroni; thank goodness for frozen foods. My wrist is hurting as I pounded the ice and made a path from the steps to the garage. The path to the gate is still crusted w/ice/melted snow. It will have to wait. I hope Jon will do some of ice stuff this weekend because my wrists can't stand it.

The kids started to help me out a bit, so that was nice. I'm tuckered out. I ended up doing 20 min on the bike, walked up the steps 5 times (boy, that makes me feel really out of shape) and did more house chores. I fell asleep when Harry took a mini-nap. I was really out of it. Coffee barely made a difference.

I feel slightly sick because I did eat 2 Swiss cake in 2 packages (4 in total). Bleh.

I made a list for all the things we need to get for the school Valentine's party stuff. Probably will be about $25. Not too bad but geesh, it adds up.

Maybe I'll feel like doing something after dinner. I hate to complain but I feel tired. I did do some art work. I finally painted some of the branches of trees I've had stored nearly all winter on the back porch. I love working with this stuff but storage is a pain. I painted the branches red and am gluing them to the edges of paintings. I LOVE the effect and will post once they are varnished. I have to figure out some way to add hanging stuff to the back. I want to see if the gallery would try and sell my new paintings too. They are abstract and small but quite interesting.

I've got some new ideas for some carvings as well. I'm thinking of a bird series and more Spring related goodies. I'm excited about this. But first dinner.

oh, and by the way, the cute TV show is called "The Guild". Apparently, it was shown only on-line. It is made up of various Youtube clips. It's pretty funny...sort of slightly yuck factor but not too bad. lol I also love "The IT Crowd". It is British and hilarious fun.

Sampson curl

Sampson curl
Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie
don't even try to move me or else face my wrath.


Originally uploaded by Emilyannamarie

Note to Cat

It is not polite to bite your owner's toes while they are sleeping. It is not polite to sneak under the blanket, curl up by their feet and when they stretch their feet begin to claw at the "giant mice". :P This is a no-no. It means being flipped off the bed via blanket or the grumpy red haired mate of the giant mouse will toss you out the door onto the cold carpeting of the hallway.

I would not do this anymore or you will have to find a heat vent to "cuddle" with. Also, do not think it is cute to wedge your entire cat body into the warmest parts of the blankets. This is not endearing especially when you decide movement is cause for play. We humans do not like to be thought as your heating pad and play thing. You have been warned.


The above was another reason I couldn't go back to sleep. Having 3 cats (who all think they are the top cat) is not easy in the winter.

sleepy, chilly and grumpy

That's how I feel right now. I do not want to start the day. I do not want to make coffee. I do not want to do a half hour on the bike. I just want to curl up in my blankets and go back to sleep. But they have made this a make up snow day and I have to do the cha-cha-cha and get every one/thing/me going. I'm having a serious feeling of rebellion. I'll probably snap out of this, but the house is so nice and quiet and I feel cold.

My wrist still hurts from chopping at ice yesterday. The driveway was an ice rink. I have to find my yak tracks. And I hope Jon bought more salt. He did fill up the tank! Thank goodness!

I've been looking at my Susan Branch "The Summer Book". It makes me feel both very happy and sad. Happy because summer will be here in a few months and sad because it's still cold and there is thick ice outside. These are the days I wish we could all jet out to CA and visit the gardens or drive off to Florida for 2 weeks and eat Cuban food. :)

We went to the market last night and I feel exhausted. Everyone was all Steelers! There is going to be a thing at my in-laws for the football game. I'm not much into that...but there will be food. So, that's good. Mexican.

Well, I'll make coffee and take some pain stuff. Maybe I'll feel better after that. I looked at some of my fave blogs and really want to try some of that felting stuff.

Oh, and I have to tell about a "new" show I found. It's really funny and quirky. I'll write about that next. Gotta go!


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