Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Am Who I Am

Lately I have been struggling with myself. I don't recommend this to anyone. It gets kind of confusing when you get in an argument with yourself...Who spoke last??? Who hit who??? What did I say??? As you can is not the intelligent way to go about things. Needless to say...I have been arguing with myself. Fighting myself, if you will. (and I've got a black eye to prove it, although I am not sure who threw that punch.)

My main problem is...Who am I??? Yesterday, I spoke with my dear sister and she mentioned about my mother's birthday party the night before and how my dear brother and sister-in-law were the kindest people she has ever come across. They are so positive and encouraging and uplifting to be around. Well, this did NOT make me happy. It really upset me. Why on earth would hearing something so neat upset me??? What is wrong with me??

Well, it upset me because that is what I strive to be like...and it doesn't work. I am not like matter how hard I try. I want to be a quiet person...but uplifting. I want to be a joy to be around...instead of my controlling, critical self. I dream...I plan...and yet, when reality hits...I just can't do it.
So, last night, I went to my room (dear James watched Chloe for me at my request) and I poured my heart out to the Lord. I cried many tears. I wept before the Lord.

After a time of laying at Jesus feet, He lifted me up and lead me to one of my favorite passages in scripture. Psalms 139. I adore this passage. When I feel useless and unloved...when I hate myself...God shows me just how special and unique I am.

Psalm 139:1-4
O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I
you perceive my thoughts from
You discern my going out and my
lying down;
you are familar with all my
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.

This was as far as I was able to get yesterday before breaking down into tears again. God knows me...He knows me inside and out. He knows me so well because He made me. He made me just the way He wants me...weird personality and all.
So, last night, I came to terms with this. I realize that God is working on me...He is not finished with me yet...but I cannot change my makeup, the chemistry that makes me ME!!! He knows me deep down inside...the parts of me that no one else knows. And the most amazing thing is...HE LOVES ME ANYWAY!!!!!

Joy and Peace that I could never explain filled my heart last night. This morning I awoke early to spend time with my Lord. After last night's soul cleansing, my heart was ready for the news He wanted to give me today. News that has me so excited I can hardly contain it.
He first showed me that I need to grow in Him. (2 Peter 3:18) Then he showed me what I need to grow in Him. (1 Peter 2:2) But then He rebuked me. Take a look...

Hebrews 5:11-12

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. (I felt like God was speaking directly to me at this point...what conviction!!!!)
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.
You need milk, not solid food!

This is me. This is what I have been struggling with, only I didn't know it. I got hit in the face with it this morning. But I recieved a treasure this morning. God showed me what He would bless me with if I grew in Him. If I tended to my growth and disciplined myself to read His Word and walk with Him.

I Peter 3:2-4
...when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. You beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gently and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

When I accepted the position in which God has placed me...funky personality and was then that God showed me who He created me to be. He created me to have a gentle and quiet spirit. The only way I can train my spirit to be this way though, is to grow in the Lord. As I spend time with Him, read His Word and obey Him, I will be blessed with that spirit I long for.

WIP Wednesday
I have been working hard this week to get my November update for the website underway. I didn't release any patterns for October and so I have double the amount of work this month. And on top of that, I created an About Me page for the site. Go check it was fun. I will need to change it every so often as my family grows and things change. I thought it would be nice for customers to get to know me a bit better without having to come read my wandering thoughts here on this blog. (I do have the tendancy to ramble a bit)
So, on in the midst of all the updating work I have to do, I am going to whip out my WIP tablecloth today and hopefully get another 1% done. (or at least .5% since I am 34.5% done and would like to be 35% done) We will see how quick I can crochet today.

In Crochet News
I was a naughty girl last week. Instead of working on my mother's birthday gift (her birthday was Monday) I crocheted a doily for Chloe's hope chest. (the present is currently done...but sitting on my coffee table. It WILL be mailed tomorrow) I bought a book the other night from AC Moore and 3/4 of the designs in it were Patricia Kristofferson. I made one of the three that weren't hers.

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Of course neither my top shot nor my "fun shot" look any good right now since the doily is not blocked yet. I am awaiting starch and detergent so I can wash and block it. Should be here tomorrow and then I will get some decent pictures of some BLOCKED doilies.

Chloe's Book of the Week
Here is Chloe's book for last week. I have yet to photograph her book for this week...will try to get that one up tomorrow.

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I tried reading this book to her the other day and I think it was a bit beyond her I read it to myself. It made for a very interesting read. I can't wait until Chloe starts picking books like this out of her shelf for me to read. (a few years down the road, I am sure)

While shopping for this book, I came across the most beautiful slippers I have ever seen. What makes them so special??? They are PINK!!!!!

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I just HAD to get them. It seems to me that with all this breast cancer awareness going on...everything is turning pink. This is wonderful. I am all for breast cancer awareness...and now with all the pink I see everywhere, I am reminded of it even more. Pink toasters, pink blenders, pink bathroom rugs, pink name it...they are coming out with it. I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day and saw a whole selection of pink appliances. And the proceeds go to Breast Cancer Awareness...Fight for the Cure!! I am thinking I need a pink blender. Too bad I didn't see it before hubby bought me my black one for our anniversary last month. Oh well!!!

I started my garden today. I planted some bulbs and now I am excited to see them come up next spring.

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I've got some Hyacinths, Bearded Iris and Daylilies in there...oh it will be beautiful. On the other side of this garden, I am planning on putting a gardenia bush and some patio roses and maybe some dusty millers and little things like that...we will have to wait til spring and see what it around the garden centers. I can hardly wait. I love dirt!!!!

Well, I am off to work on my tablecloth. Wish me speed with flying hooks today. (and pray I don't stab myself somewhere unpleasant like my eye...or my ear...or somewhere equally painful!!)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Want to Start Your Diet Fast???

I have found the quickest way to start a diet. I may even write a book on this method. I have tested it and can vouch for its record breaking speed. It is instant and the most surefire way to begin a diet that I have ever come across. I will break it down into steps since some of these concepts might be new to most of you and therefore a tad difficult to comprehend.

Step #1 - Find a restaurant for dinner. This restuarant needs to be in a crummy sort of neighbourhood...the kind of place where a cop sits at the front door during the dinner rush. The preferred type of establishment needs to be a buffet...this is where you can follow steps 2-12 best. (it is kind of hard in a nice restaurant to follow the steps given in this method.)

Step #2 - Pay for your meal first. Again, this usually only happens in a buffet-style choose wisely.

Step #3 - Secure family into seats with thier meals before them. NOTE: this step can sometimes be skipped...but you need to be able to sit and enjoy your meal for this method to reach its "full" effect.

Step #4 - Gather items from the buffet to fill your plate with. You will need to make sure you spoon a large helping of the noodle salad onto your plate. This needs to be a LARGE helping and the salad itself needs to be a creamy yellowish color.

Step #5 - Proceed to your table and begin to dine on the delicacies you have choosen. It is best to eat a bite of one item and move onto the next. Work you way around the plate until you get back to the beginning and repeat.

Step #6 - At this point, you will notice something strange in the noodle salad. Proceed to eat a couple more bites of it, thinking that this is only a few noodles stuck together.

Step #7 - After a few more bites of salad, pull up the "strange" item a bit onto your fork. You will come to the conclusion that this is wax paper and NOT noodles stuck together and set it aside.

Step #8 - Grap a clean plate and head to the dessert bar.

Step #9 - Return to your table with a few different desserts on your plate that leave you drooling in anticipation.

Step #10 - Watch as your husband starts to "play" with the bit of "wax paper" on your discarded plate. He will then stab part of it with his fork and proclaim, "this looks like a finger!!!"

Step #11 - Laugh and say, "No way...put that down so I can eat."

Step #12 - Turn your head away as your husband continues playing with the "wax paper finger" until he laughs and says, "this is a latex glove".

I guarantee you, your diet will start immediately once step 12 is complete!!! Just the thought of eating something that touched someones dirty, sweaty hands that might or might not have been washed will definately prevent you from eating anything more. This method was actually tested by us yesterday and we were unable to eat for the rest of the evening. Go ahead...try it. It really does work.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Ways To Make a New House a Home

You all are lucky today. Not only do you get to hear about 13 ways to make a new house a home, but you get double for your money today. (not that you have paid to read my musings or anything) In addition to 13 ways to make a new house a home, I am also going to share with you 13 ways NOT to make a new house a home. (all of these are tried and true methods by yours truly.)

Ways to Make a New House a Home.

1. Clean, clean and clean. Get that filth off the walls...all those drips of spilled soda that was left by the previous owners/tenants...all the grim in the vegetable tray of the fridge...all the lint from endless loads of laundry in the dryer that has never been cleaned...get it ALL out!!!!

2. Paint. Nothing says YOU better than the colors you like best all over your walls...and it says goodbye to the previous owners/tenants funky color choices. By the way...thanks Michele for the A and B options left in the comments on the color choices left from the previous tenants. While it appears that they opted for A in alot of the things they did around here...I think I am going to have to select option B for the painting job though...I can see some other colors through the white they had on top. (it seems they failed to prime the darker colors before adding thier one coat of white...see option A in the comment section below post "Introducing the Great Magician Anna")

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These are the color chips I chose to paint the house.

3. Get into your routine as quickly as possible. If your routine is actually a lack of routine (which can sometimes be a routine) then do THAT as quickly as possible. I don't know how you "non-routine" types do it but I have seen it in action and must say that you are are very good. If I didn't have a routine to tell me "hey Anna...time to scrub the toilet bowl" I am afraid that it would never get done. (so Monday mornings somewhere between 8:00 am and 8:30 am you will see me, pink rubber gloves on, lysol in one hand and a toilet scrubbie in the other)

4. Bake or cook. Nothing says HOME like a fresh loaf of bread or a yummy dinner in the oven.

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5. Receive a package in the mail. Unless you mail yourself a package (which kind of defeats the purpose of this exercise) you will have to plan this one out carefully to be sure it arrives in time.

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Just look at all the goodies I received yesterday!! Where did this package come from??? It is my reveal package from my secret pal for the Autumn Secret Pal Swap. The first thing I would like to point out to you is this...

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A blue ribbon??? Why would someone send me thier blue ribbon??? This is the question I asked as I pulled it out of the package. It was the first thing I grabbed...and then I pulled out two slips of paper that accompanied it. One was stating that something had been entered into the Virginia State fair and won First Place. Who on earth would send me their blue ribbon??? Are they bragging to me??? Well, in addition to that was a check for $5. They sent me their prize money too???? How curious!!! Then I noticed the name on the check. Anna Ness...and underneath of that was c/o Katherine "yada yada" you know who this is??? The lady I made a doily for!!! She was my partner for the doily swap!!! Remember this doily???

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And the fun shot (cause you all know me...LOL)

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Well, by this point, my brain was tumbersalting around inside my head. How on earth??? What is going on here??? I was confused and suprised and just plain "WOW"ed. First of doily...MY first place in a fair. To think that I had doubts as to whether I ever should enter anything into the fair. I used to as a girl and I always got first place (and sometimes second) but come on...I was just a kid...don't ALL kids get first place??? Now that I am an adult, I was sure the competition would be something I wouldn't want to mess around I never entered anything. FIRST PLACE!!! (can you see my confidence level rising??? If you can't...just get a little closer to the computer screen. There...did you see it??? Went up one whole notch since beginning this paragraph)

So, it seems that my secret pal is good at keeping a secret. Wow!!! I never would have guessed it was her. This was neat.

Here are some other things she sent me in this package (I hear that this was the third package though and I still have yet to see the second...oh will get here shortly, I presume.)

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You may recognize the fabric used in this hook case that you are looking at. It matches the tote bags Kate made for me in my firt package. (remember the cute tote bag with the little matching one for Chloe?) How cool is that??? Now I have a hook case to match. (and Kate...I would never believe that you are not a professional seamstress...I don't think I will be sending YOU anything I have sewn...LOL)

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And yet another doily for my Anne of Green Gables challenge. Yay!!! I can also tell that this is a PK doily. Am I right??? Isn't it cute?? And as if all this weren't enough...Kate sent me a PK pattern book I drool all over evertime I enter a craft store. You have no idea how many times I have picked up this book only to tell myself that I have plenty of doily patterns at home I haven't tried yet. (aren't the stores nice??? They have never made me purchase any of the books that are sopping wet from all the drool) Do you realize how many doilies are in this one book??? I am going to be busy for a long LONG time.

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Now, you will never believe what I am about to tell you...but I swear this is the honest to goodness truth. Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in my chair crocheting and dreaming. (something I do while crocheting) I thought it would be nice to crochet up a bunch of snowflakes this next year and have a dainty tree next year covered only in snowflakes and little white lights. Wouldn't that be stunning??? I have had this dream before...only yesterday I started making plans to make it come true. I even had a book in my head that I knew I would buy the next time I went to a craft store.

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This book...Yes!! This book. Only I didn't buy it at a craft, it came in my reveal package. Isn't that weird??? Very very weird. How on earth did Kate know I would be thinking about THAT pattern book only hours before her package was to arrive? Very curious...she is tricky, she is.

Back to the 13 list...

6. You could always receive another package in the mail...

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Package #2 is a bookmark. I was in a bookmark swap a few months ago and I never recieved one of the bookmarks from one of the swap partners. Well, donnalynn2 was so kind as to send me a "rescue" bookmark. She is so sweet!!! In addition to the lovely bookmark (which I love that turquoise color, by the way)she included some beads. I love beads. I will find a good use for these beads. In has been in my little head for a while now to design something with wire and beads...we will just have to see where that idea takes us.

7. Pray over each room of the house. Yes...we do this. We walk through the house and pray that this will be a home that reflects Jesus. We pray that when another Christian walks into our home, they will feel at peace here. We pray that when a "stranger" walks into our home, they would see Jesus here and want to know Him.

8. Whip out a WIP. Ahhh...yesterday was WIP Wednesday. I was a very good girl and worked on my tablecloth. I got anothe 1% done. Man alive...this thing is going to take FOREVER to complete. I think I am a fairly quick crocheter...and I only got 1% if a tablecloth done. Either this tablecloth is HUGE or I am not as quick as I thought I was. (I am leaning towards the first option there.)

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9. Visit the closest craft store to your new house. I did this. Boy it felt good. Last night was my first visit to AC Moore. I have heard so much about this craft store and am very pleased that I had my first visit. And it went very well I might add. I made it to the candle department and the yarn department. Of course, I didn't make it PAST the yarn department...that is where I stayed until the phone rang calling me out to the car where poor hubby claims to have been waiting for 20 minutes. I swear I was not in there for 20 minutes. (I couldn't have been...could I have???)

10. Light some candles. (even the very ones you purchased the night before at AC Moore)

11. Enlist the help of a Fugly Yarn Basket. (they can be very helpful at times.)

12. Find a church to attend in the neighbourhood. We are still working on this one...but something in my heart tells me to go back to church #3. It just seems right for us. Ladies Bible Study, Awanas for the kids...convicting sermons...

13. Sip a cup of tea. (or coffee...whichever you prefer.)

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This is the tea cozy I recieved for my tea cosy swap about a month ago. Now it resides on my new tea pot. They are a perfect match, don't ya think???

And now...13 ways NOT to make a new house a home.

1. Do NOT tumble down a flight of stairs. I didn't do this personally...but little Chloe will tell you that it is NOT fun. (we gotta get a banister up.) It is not a fun thing to listen to about panic in a mother's heart.

2. Do NOT bang your head on the kitchen cupboard door. Again...this is NOT fun and will NOT make you enjoy your new house more.

3. Do NOT let the internet technician tell you that the problem with your internet connection is your brand new modem. Its not!!!! He needs to get out there and test the line and CLIMB THAT DARNED POLE...whether he wants to or not!!)

4. Do NOT leave your television on the just looks tacky.

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On top of that, its a little hard to see from that angle...

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One must implant themself on the floor to see any picture at all!!

5. When visiting the nearest craft store, don't (and I mean DO NOT) ask your husband to take you. This might seem like a good idea at the time (so you don't get lost and you don't have to drive) but trust me...its better if he just stays home on this trip.

6. When buying candles for the new house...Do NOT forget to buy something to LIGHT the candles with!!!

7. When purchasing a chair rail for the new NOT leave it outside in the rain. This does NOT add character to the only makes it warp. (and probably won't look attractive on the newly painted walls)

8. Do NOT keep the dirty magazines found in the basement bathroom.

9. In not even TOUCH the dirty magazines in the basement bathroom...use a double layer of rubber gloves. (they are dirty in more ways than one...gross!!!)

10. Do NOT drop your grandmothers glass bowl with metal lid shaped like a rose. It WILL break and this will NOT make you good. (in fact, it you happen to drop it on the ceramic tiled bathroom floor and it shatters into a million pieces, this may make you cry...not a good idea to try)

11. Do NOT walk barefoot in the basement until it has first been swept. (or even worse...walking in the basement in your white stockings...they won't be white for long)

12. Do NOT open the windows when the teenagers get home from school. Not only is it very noisy at that time...but the cigarette smoke filters in through the windows causing headaches. (I wonder if thier parents know they are smoking)

13. Do NOT (I repeat...DO NOT) leave the Fug alone with the aluminum foil. (remember the day we baked cookies??)

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Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm a Mama...and Dang Proud of It!!!

I never wanted to be one of those mothers who took endless amounts of pictures of thier first kid and none of the subsequent children...but I must admit, this girl of mine is so dang cute, I can't help but take pictures of her.

And then, as if I didn't have enough to do with my time already, I sit around for hours just editing her pictures to see what cute things I can come up with. (oh, if only I crocheted for all that you know how much I could get done?)

Here is the latest thing I learned how to do with my photo editing program. This is really neat and I stumbled upon it quite by accident. (isn't that how most really "cool" things are discovered??? By accident???Remember America???)

Anyways, check this out. I can make a group of photos now. Isn't it neat???

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That takes a lot of work...but I wait...I LOVE the end effect. It is gorgeous. Watch out in the future for many more pictures like this one...I think I have found a new hobby. (ha ha...I don't need any more hobbies)

And the scripture tags over at Christian Woman Online Inspired me to make my own. What do you think???

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Well, I am off to bed now. I will have more to write about tomorrow.

In Other Words...

"It doesn’t matter what is behind you as much as it matters who is beside you."
~ Ellen ~
"Laced with Grace"

My first thought upon reading this weeks quote was about a mistake I made when I was 15 years old. One that still sits in the back of my mind, even to this day. A person and a bad decision that went against everything I stood for and everything my parents had trught me.

That mistake (sin actually) has been forgiven and is behind me now...but when I look back, its still right there...behind me. It follows me around and won't let me forget about it. It will be a part of me, no matter where I go or what I do because it is in my past.

And my first thought was that even though I have this in my past, I have a loving husband whom I do not deserve standing next to me...walking through this life with me. How blessed I am!!! What a gift from a loving and gracious Father in heaven.

But as I was thinking about this gift, I realized that this was not all that stands beside me each day. No, my husband goes to work...and sometimes, although I hate to admit this...he does fail me. He isn't as supportive in an issue as he could have been, or he says the wrong thing when I need an encouraging word. He is human and while he stands beside me...he is not perfect. In addition to him, I have Perfection standing next to me. I have His Highest right beside me the strentgh to carry on when all else have failed.

He has forgiven my past...and unlike us humans, He forgets!! I don't know how He does it...but my sins are on the bottom of the ocean floor. They are as far away from God as the East is from the West. (Even though they are right behind me. I guess God doesn't look back. )

So today, I am thankful for Hope. I am thankful for New Life. I am thankful for a Fresh Start. I am thankful for my Husband. I am thankful for my Daughter. I am thankful for Forgiveness. I am thankful for the Cross. I am thankful for the Sacrifice that made all this possible.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mondays Memories

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Licking the Spoon

Do you remember licking your mother's mixing spoon??? Yum!!!! I used to love it when my mother was baking. This meant my sister and I got to lick the beaters to the mixer. Ohhh...the chocolate cake...Ohhhh....the sweet divinity...Ohhhh...the peanut butter cookies. It was heaven for a child. Sheer bliss. There is nothing like sitting in the kitchen just waiting for the mixing to be done. (and hoping for your extra lucky day when you get to lick the bowl as well. That was usually just put in the sink since it was "undividable" between two girls.)

This is a memory I wanted to pass on to my today, we made chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips.

First I put my old apron on Chloe. My mother made this apron for me one year for my birthday. Isn't it cute??? It is very vintage-y.

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Next we need the butter...let's get this thing open. (quick, while Mama has the camera...let's go!!)

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Then its time for one of the most important steps in making chocolate peanut butter chip cookies...the taste test. Gotta make sure the butter is cookie-worthy. (now that we have teeth its more like a "gnaw for chunks" than a "mere taste" though)

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And another taste test. Is that flour okay??????

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Must be since she went back for seconds. (and thirds and fourths) And once its all mixed up its time for the best part of the whole process. THE SPOON LICKING!!

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Hmmm...that was kind of good...yes, that was yummy. Think I'll have some more.

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Fug also helped us make these cookies. He turned up his nose when I offered his some chocolate. He claimed that he only wanted a spoon. (I caught him later sneaking a couple of bites out of the bowl when he thought I wasn't looking seems that even the Fug likes chocolate although I doubt he would EVER admit it.

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He did enjoy the aluminum foil though. He kept rolling little foil balls and throwing them around the kitchen. What a mess!!!

Once I taught Chloe this little spoon licking memory of mine, I realized that more than likely this will now be a habit. (she is a quick one, this kid is) A little "mama" part of me had the thought "Gosh!!! I'm feeding my kid RAW EGGS!!! How terrible!!!" But how can I deny my child this little taste of heaven??? So, the little girl inside of me gave in, grabbed a spoon and licked some cookie dough with my daughter.

I hope she will always remember these times with me. I know I remember them with my mother and I will cherish them forever. This is truly one of the joys of motherhood. Standing in the kitchen with my little girl...teaching her to lick a spoon.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

INTRODUCING!!!! The Great Magician, Anna

Watch closely and you will see her disappear from her hotel room and then suddenly, quite by magic (since she has such wonderful magical skills) she will reappear over two weeks later in a new house. If anyone is wondering where she was during that two weeks, read on and you will see. Oh yes…she was not gone from the face of the earth, it only SEEMED as though she were gone. (and she did miss posting to her blog ever so much)

So, from the gist of the above, I suppose you all have surmised on your own that I am indeed in my new house. (you all are so brilliant…I am sure it took you no time at all to come to that conclusion.)

We closed on our new house about 1 ½ weeks ago. “Come on” you say…”it has been longer than that since you posted, Anna!!!” Well, I know!! I was busy before that trying to get some patterns into testing and some changes made to my testing forum before I made my disappearing act. I have three new patterns in testing right now…and you will all get to see them once they are ready for sale. I have decided that with all the pattern theft going on with other designers recently, I better protect myself here on this blog and only post photos of my designs once they are for sale. I am sorry to all my readers who are not here to steal my designs. I am sure you all will understand though. I must protect myself. I have been struggling with this decision for some time (months actually) and have finally decided that I need that protection.

The patterns are in testing and my forum is running smoothly. I implemented some new things around there to help me with the work load. I have two new administrators to help me with things like deleting trolls and unproductive members and to help me keep track of things in testing. These are all time-consuming jobs and although they are pretty easy, they keep me from doing that which I love most…designing. So, I split them up between my two administrators. They are fairly simple for them to do but it frees up so much more time for me. Ahhh…if only I could hire someone to sit next to me and type what I am doing as I am crocheting…that would be designing heaven. I would never have to type up another pattern again. I could just speak what I was crocheting and they would do the work for me. (of course they would have to do the math for the re-sizing too…and that is the tricky part)

One thing I have decided recently is that my patterns lack something other patterns I have crocheted have. It took me a while to figure out what that was but I think I finally got it. I lack the finishing touches on the designs that make them stand out above the rest. Those little details that add a sense of quality to the pattern. So, the last three patterns I have come out with in testing are my new and improved patterns. I added those special details. This takes time. More time than I was inputting before…but I believe the outcome will be much more satisfactory. Now, I smile and am proud of the designs. Its not the my old designs are sub-par or anything. They were my best at that point in time. I put every effort forth to design great patterns. Its just that now, I have learned more and have in turn, put what I have learned into my new patterns and my best is now better than it was. Does this make sense or am I just rambling???

You all want to hear about the house…don’t ya??? And here I am talking about the internal affairs of pattern writing. How boring!!! Its like the difference between a history lecture and home economics. I will get to the good stuff. What you all are dying to know.

My new house. I already mentioned that we closed on it. Well, we then spent the next three days painting. I must be honest here…I (capitol “I” in bold and italized) spent the next three day painting. I painted almost every inch of wall space in this house. (the inches of wall space I did not paint are still waiting to be painted…didn’t want you to think that “someone else” painted them…that would be terrible) While painting, I came to realize just how FILTHY this house was. My goodness gracious…how can ANYONE live like that!!! It was just plain nasty. I was so thankful when Saturday (a week and one day ago Saturday) came around and the new carpet was installed. It really made a huge difference in the smell of the house. Yes, the house had a smell. I have a thing about smells. (and floors but that is something else entirely…we won’t got there) Anyways, houses have to smell clean. I don’t mind a little clutter (well, in OTHER peoples houses I don’t mind clutter…I don’t like it in mine) but if it SMELLS dirty…that is unacceptable. And boy did this house smell horrible. I spent three days cleaning and painting. Now it is starting to look like a home. (and smell like one too.) I don’t think these people opened their windows in the four years they lived in this house. You should have seen the window sills…two inches of dust and dirt and cobwebs and dead flies and just gross junk. I still have yet to go outside and wash the outside of the windows so I can see out of them…but the window sills are now “touchable”.

Here are some “before” and “halfway done” pictures of the house. I will get the after pictures for you all after we get the chair rails, baseboards and crown moldings up. (oh…and curtains too.)

First here is the wall in the living room/dining room. This is the biggest wall in the house. It was white (er...I mean speckled brown and yellow) and had a ivy wallpaper border around the top.

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We took down the border (which was a blast) and painted it ivory on top and taupe on the bottom. We are planning on putting up a chair rail so that is whyfore the blue line around room in the middle of the wall. (we thought it really added character to the house but since we had previously decided on a white chair rail, I am afraid that the blue line has to go.)

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On the stairs is where you will get the full effect of what new carpet can do to improve your abode. Horrible, dirty, old, nasty bright green carpet.

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So, in that picture it doesn't look so "bright" and "terrible" but trust me!!! IT WAS!! Ahhhh...this is much better.

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Did you happen to catch a glimpse of that beautiful rock wall we have next to the stairs??? Isn't it gorgeous??? We thought so. The wonderful thing about neutral colored carpet is that it made this out of date "thing" a little less noticable, don'tcha think?

In the master bedroom, they had this dark olive green carpet on the floor and the wall and closet painted the same awful dark olive green. The whole room was completely dark because of it.

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Well, the lighting in this picture is too good. (where is the good lighting when I am taking a picture of my designs, I wonder!!?!!?) Anyways...this one is a bit more like the color...but you can't really see how dark it was. (it was pretty dark green)

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And now...the improved wall.

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(and yes...that is the same wall!!!)

And the new closet (to which we need to buy some doors. I I detest looking at my clothes out in the open like that)

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So, aside from the dark olive green wall in the master bedroom (and a bright yellow wall in the bathroom which has yet to be rescued from poor color taste) all the walls in the house were white. (er...I mean brown and yellow speckled) What really strikes me funny (or weird actually) is that while they liked white walls, obviously, they tended to paint the closets in bright colors. Weird, huh??? The closet in the master bedroom was light lilac. (hmmm....VERY stylish with the dark olive green, I do say...) Well, check out the window sill and the closet in my little sewing room.

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(window case you couldn't tell)

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(and closet because that one IS a little hard to tell...its so tiny...)

See what I mean??? Weird!!!

And here is the color I choose to paint it. Light pink on bottom and ivory on top. Delicious. (very inspirational.)

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And as you can see on the side of that picture...I have yet to prime and paint that window or the closet white. (which is what I am going to do...I think it would be the "normal" thing to do.)

But it didn't end there...the girl's bedroom was tastefully decorated. (I must say it was the only room in the house I considered leaving as was...but had speckles of brown and yellow all over the walls. (remember the topic a few paragrahps ago??? About the cleanliness of the house??? That would explain the brown and yellow speckled walls...and it was on every wall in every room. GROSS!!!!)

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So, cute room (aside from the dirty walls) but check this closet out!!!

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Again I say that is weird. WEIRD!!

And I just adore sage green for little girls rooms. (and it matches Chloe's bedroom set since her last room was sage green.) So, I painted her room the same color as her old bedroom. (thought the transition into a new house might go a little more smoothly too...but I don't think it made that much of a difference..I have a very adaptable little girl.)

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And a much better closet.

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Now to say that I did not have any help at all during the painting would be wrong of me. I DID have help. But not from whom you would guess it was. Oh no...the help I received was from none other than Little Fug!!. Yes...he is here...he is alive...and he had a blast helping me to paint. (he actually adored the wallpaper removing tools the best of all.)

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And then when the furniture arrived, he helped me to unpack some boxes. What a great little guy this Fug is!!!! When everyone else in the house was lounging around or making messes (that COULD be interpreted to read James and Chloe...but you didn't hear that from me...YOU could interpret it that way if you wish) anyways...when all else failed me...Fugman came through.

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He enjoyed eating through the cardboard to help me open each box. He was then able to tell me whether that box contained anything metal or sharp in it. (what a blessed help!!)

Well, by the end of the day...the little guy was just, plain POOPED!! He relaxed on the recliner. (Don't ask me how he got it into the recline position without any arms or legs...we will leave THAT one alone.)

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So, want to know whats been going on in crafting news??? Not much of anything. I did finish something a couple of weeks ago. Here is goes….

This is the square that never ends.
Yes it goes on and on my friends…..

At least that is what it felt like when I was knitting up this square for my knitted sampler afghan. It was like I was knitting in the twilight zone. For reals!!!! I would stop and measure the square and it would be 10”. (trying to get to 12” here). I would knit for another hour and measure again and it would then measure 9”. Huh????? Knit for another 20 minutes and measure again at 11”. What on earth???? Knit another hour and measure at 10”. Okay…this is when it started getting spooky. So, I put it down and went to sleep. I spent a few hours knitting on it the next day before I measured again and it was 11.75”. So, I knitted four more rows and didn’t even bother to measure it but did my bind off and called it good. (come on…would you have measured it???? I DON’T THINK SO!!!!. It would have measure at 7” or something like that.)

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So, here is it. My second square. A tad bit better than the first one. At least all my stitches are on the same side. (I don’t think by “sampler” afghan they meant “beginner” afghan. It DID say “easy to knit stitches combine to create this sampler afghan”. I had read the word “easy” and interpreted that to mean “easy”. Little did I know that when you add the word “combine” to that sentence, it kicks it up a couple of notches (as Emeril would say) to “superbly advanced”. More than half of the squares in the afghan I choose to make call for this thing called a cable needle. Gosh…as if TWO knitting needles weren’t enough…now I need to add a third one. This could get dangerous. (I better wait to attempt those when Chloe goes to bed or there might be some eyeballs rolling around my “clean” floors)

Well, I don’t have much else to talk about tonight. I hope that I will be able to post this sometime soon. I am typing it in word right now because ever since we had our internet installed (last TUESDAY!!!!!) it has been acting up. We have already had someone out to look at it for us and they didn’t really fix it. They only “pretended” to fix it. (meaning they patched it up and made it work so they could walk out the door…only to have it go back down a few hours later.) So, now we have someone else coming out again tomorrow to look at it again. I really hope James is home this time. I don’t have a clue what they are doing or talking about. I DO know that what they are saying is wrong but I don’t know enough to tell them why or how or what to do. James does…so I just hope he is here.

Have a wonderful evening everyone. (or whatever time of day it is for you when you are reading this.)