Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Fun Clutch Purse to Make

So I've found a new to me pattern that I just love. It's called "Keep The Change" by Stitchin Sisters.
 It's a clutch bag with several compartments, pockets and a magnetic snap closure. It also has a back pocket that has a snaps shut by using a metal tape measurer.

 I had a couple of issues in the beginning but I think it was more about me than the pattern. I even called Rosemary from Stitchin Sisters who was more than happy to help me out. Once I knew what I was doing these bags were quick and fun to make. I've actually made three already.

The green/black and white one is my first and I've kept it.
The pink with the yellow owl was for an owl swap I did recently. I had a hard time sending that one off ~ so much so that I may have to make another one for myself.
And lastly the teal with the bird was for my friend Mary Ann's daughter, Hannah. She picked out the fabric and it turned out really good.
They are a great size with a nice handle. Perfect for when you just need your keys, wallet, etc. I will definitely be making more.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Remembering the Good Times

So today would have been my sister Joey's 61st birthday.  I think the first birthday that a loved one is no longer with you is always the hardest.  I wrote about her here.

I still think of my sister~in~law Mary, who's 56th birthday would have been yesterday.   You can read about her here

But rather than focusing on the sad ~ I'd like to focus on the good times.   Joey and I had many.    Quite a few of them revolve around past friend and lounge lizard Mark Palmer.  Mark was a one hit wonder with a song called "Take a Little Time Out Girl."   When Joey met Mark, he was singing at clubs in Miami.   Soon I was tagging along and he now had a few other musician's with him.  The Mark Palmer Trio consisted of Mark, his bass player Nat and drummer Rocky.  They were actually quite good and we spent many an evening at clubs listening to them and becoming good friends all around.   Eventually Joey's friend Julia and her sister (my eventual sister in law) Mary came along with us. Mary and I being the same age and the tag-along little sisters became great friends.  It was always a challenge to see who could out drink who.  While there was always a lot of drinking involved it was more about laughter and friendship.

There was one night when Joey and I were at her apt getting ready to head out to the club for the night.  Both in good moods and singing "Pencil Thin Mustache" by Jimmy Buffet only not quite in tune, I'm sure.  What we lacked in skill and pitch we made up for in volume.   What we didn't think about were the open windows that lead out to the middle of the complex and pool ~ where so very many residents were collecting and apparently listening to the free concert we provided.   It wasn't until we walked out onto the sidewalk (on the 2nd floor) facing into the pool and courtyard to a standing ovation and applause that we realized what was happening.

Joey being ever gracious, gave a bow while I just stood there red faced, trying to shrink into oblivion!  It is these times I will never forget and always be grateful for.

So Happy Birthday to Joey and to Mary.  I'm sure they are somewhere having a drink together and still singing at the top of their lungs.  I miss you both.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just call her Tinsel Teeth

So look who's got braces now...

While she already had a beautiful smile there were some issues with her canine teeth so we went to Northern Virginia Orthodontics last week. They were all so very nice.

From Lisa, the financial coordinator who gave us lots of options and made it all pretty painless,

 to Jill our hygienist who sang through Julianne's treatment ~ and from what I hear she's pretty good.  Good enough to have been on American Idol!

Also wonderful was Dr. Casagrande himself .  He made all of us, especially Julianne feel very comfortable.  He has young children himself and knows just how to make them feel special.

While getting braces is never great fun, it really was pretty painless.  Actually the whole process really was physically painless.   Yes, she was a bit sore the next day, which they told her she probably would be but it was manageable and within a couple of days she was just fine.

The whole process took less than a half an hour.  Julz was a bit concerned because one of her friends in Fla that got braces was given multiple injections in their gums prior to braces.
Here they are actually glued on to her teeth.
First, they put this blue numbing agent on your teeth.  See the cool shades she's wearing?  It's to protect her eyes from the ultraviolet light they use to set the adhesive.  After that it's really just a matter of placing the braces on each tooth, running the wire thru and then putting on the brackets.  The brackets are the fun part.  They get changed out every time you see the orthodontist and come in fun and funky colors.  Julz picked pink and purple ones for her first time.   We go back again in the beginning of July and she'll get them changed out then.

Her only real problem is not getting to chew gum for the foreseeable future.  If only that was my biggest problem!
They also have lots and lots of reward programs to keep the kids on track ~ all in all a great experience and if you are in the Northern Virginia area and in need of an orthodontist ~ I highly recommend this one!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Favorite Funny Story

So, I have to tell this story because it would be a shame for it to be forgotten. It's one of the older kids' favorites, so here it goes. Way back in 1992 the family took a little vacation to Orlando, Fla. We were living in Raleigh, NC at the time and the family consisted of Me, Honey, Jen, Alex and Mayla. For those of you who don't know the players here...
Honey is my darling hubster
Jen, biological daughter and Mayla, Jen's best friend and unofficially adopted daughter.
Alex, eldest unofficially adopted daughter ... and yes, all of these girls lived with us off and on. Poor Honey was completely outnumbered.
Anyway, the five of us pile into the family van and drive down to Orlando. The first day of our vacation we went to Disney's Magic Kingdom. I think we probably got there right when the park opened at 8:00 am and stayed until the park closed around 1:00 am. As we were leaving, Honey spotted a vendor cart selling those delicious cinnamon roasted nuts. Now back then these were a rare treat found only at fairs and festivals and Honey happens to love them. Unfortunately the park and the vendor were closing and they wouldn't sell him any. He was one tired and disappointed Honey.
The next morning the five of us headed to Universal Studios for a day of fun. We had only been there for a short time when I caught a whiff of something really wonderful ... Could it be?? Yes, it really was. So in my most demure ... Who am I kidding... In my loudest most excited voice I yelled .... Wait for it...


Now, I realized what was coming out of my mouth but it was too late. The mouth engaged before the brain kicked in... And it was LOUD! Poor Honey just shook his head and kept walking, not wanting anyone to know that he was the honey of the smelly nuts of which I spoke.

 The girls, well they just lost it. They were laughing so hard they fell on the ground with tears pouring out of their eyes. Me, I just stood there dumbfounded at my own blunder. People walking past just staring at the crazy lady yelling about her husband's smelly junk. Others who miraculously hadn't heard, wondering about the three girls rolling on the ground hysterical.

 Poor Honey has never been able to live this one down, especially since the girls love for me to retell it though.

 There was some payback for me though. A bit later in the day I was shat upon by a very nasty seagull who had apparently been saving it up for someone very special. He flew over my head and let loose a gallon of the most vile and nasty black bird poop ever! It was in my hair, on my face and all over my clothes. I had to literally wash my head in the sink of the women's restroom to get it out. Disgusting! Needless to say, it's a
vacation we will never forget.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicks with Dicks

Did you know that I am a "chick with a dick?" My sister was one too. Heck even my mother~in~law and Jen's mother~in~law are chicks with dicks. And it's not something that just runs in my family. There are lots of chicks with dicks out there including some very famous ones.

 Elizabeth Taylor once had a dick but she got rid of it. It came back again though. Pat Nixon had a dick as well. Even Lucille Ball of "I Love Lucy" fame had a dick. They even showed it on TV back in the day. The completely feminine and beautiful Heather Locklear also had a dick. I've even got pictures to prove it... Wanna see?
But no, I'm not talking about some physical oddity. Get your mind out of the gutter right now. Have you guessed? All these women are or were married to men named Richard or some derivative (Rick, Rickie, Dick, etc). Gotcha! Now get back to work or whatever else you should be doing instead of wasting time reading silly blog post ~ well, after you leave me a comment that is.