Thursday, November 29, 2007

27 Year Anniversary Today

Mike and I were married 27 years ago today, on a windy, chilly fall afternoon. My bride's maids all wore red, my favorite color. Mike knows it's my favorite...and that red roses are my favorite flower! I found this gorgeous arrangement on the piano. He gave me a beautiful card, too. He always puts cute little sentiments in it, like I'm his 'other half.' There's a story that says once there was only one type of person--no males or females. That person broke in two--and for all eternity one half always seeks the other. That's why you sometimes hear the expression 'my better half.'
The kids gave me candy. I think they gave Mike candy, too (the box looks like Baci...mine are Lindor Truffles, mmmmm) but he hasn't opened his box yet.

We're going out to dinner tonight. I'm not sure where I want to go yet. We're not into 'fancy,' so I think it will be a little restaurant in Northport (our favorite hangout) that serves great seafood.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Go check out some Christmas Trivia...

...over at Rabbit Run Cottage. Click the link on my sidebar. You won't be disappointed. Susie Q did some amazing research! I promise don't know everything there is to know about 'It's A Wonderful Life."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Get Thee to CVS!!!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Today is Black Friday, as you know. Frankly, there's very little I need/want that I'd get up at 3 a.m. to buy. (Kohl's department store opened at 4 a.m. Geesh. My son said it's probably how they weed out the weirdos.)

Since there's a CVS in virtually every zip code, it's an easy place to do a little shopping today. Some of the buys I see in the circular include:

Craig MP3 player (1 GB) 29.99
Various toys: BOGO
Craig CD player 8.88 (I bought two of these!)

And the! You get some free after rebates on the following. All are limited to one, unless I put a number in a parenthesis after it:

Hershey's Extra Dark 5.1-5.2 oz. 2.99--Free after Rebate (FAR)
CVS pharmacy zipper seal food storage bags--(storage 20 count, freezer gallon, 15count) 1.79--FAR (3)
Colgate Total Advanced Clean plus whitening 4.2 oz or Maxfresh burst 4 oz 2.99 FAR (3)
Excedrin 24 ct, assorted types--3.79 FAR
Tylenol Extra Strength 10 ct, 2.49 FAR
Advil PM caplets 20 ct or liqui-gel 16 ct.--4.00 FAR
Garnier 100% color 5.99 FAR (I don't use this brand, so I don't know if there is a coupon someplace for it, but it would be worth checking!) (2)
Johnson's Softlotion 11-14 oz. 5.69 FAR
Softsoap Nutra-oil Moisturizing Body Wash 12 oz. 3.99 FAR
Bic Soleil Razor (package has 2 razor and 2 cartridges) 6.99 FAR

These deals only last until tomorrow, Saturday the 24th. I hope you get a chance to take advantage of them. And don't forget to use the ECBs you already have!

OH! And I learned something today I never knew. The cashier told me that ECBs are good up to one week after their expiration dates! So check your wallet--you might have one or two you can still use!

Thursday, November 22, 2007



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mom Update

Well, first, I spoke to my mother a few days ago. She sounded much better. In fact, she doesn't remember me calling her right after the accident. Those pain meds were pretty strong! Now she says she only takes them to sleep at night.
Her arm, of course, is completely useless. She can't do a thing for herself. My sister washed her hair for her one day, and it was hard on my mom because she is a very modest person. But she says she knows she has to get over that.
Once a day she has to take off her sling (she has no cast) and when she does, she says her arm just drops. She has some exercises to do. I plan to call her tomorrow, Thanksgiving, and hope to hear of even more improvement.
The event must have been a nightmare for her. She was putting a bowl of something in the fridge and started to slip. (Her slippers had gotten wet when she was in the bathroom, from a wet rug. She didn't realize this.) Well, she tried to balance herself so the bowl wouldn't break and cut her. The bowl was fine...she didn't even spill anything, she said.
She said she was laying there for the longest time, praying for the strength to get up. Somehow, she scooted on the rug over to the table and got herself into a chair. Just then, the phone rang. It was my aunt calling her, as she does every day. She told Aunt Mary she had fallen. My aunt came right over. My mother also called her neighbor, who called 911.

I think of my mom laying there, helpless. She's such a go-getter and generally pretty healthy for 84 that I tend to forget that she isn't a kid. (She's a kid at heart, though!) She does take Fosamax for osteoporosis (sp?), and has honestly never broken a bone in her life.

I wrote to my sibs and asked what they think about getting her one of those Life Alert bracelets. I know the commercials are annoying, but "I've fallen and I can't get up" isn't so funny when it's your mom. My mother even said she likes the idea.

Not sure if I'm going to Ohio yet. Mom said to wait and see. My sister is with her this week. If I go, it will be next week or the week after. At that point, though, my mom might be so tired of company she'll need a break, LOL! And my aunt, of course, will stay with her.

I want to say thanks again for all the good prayers out there. I told my mother and she really appreciates them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Easy Apron Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for a simple half-apron. All it takes is two large rectangles for the 'skirt', and 3 smaller ones for the waistband and ties.

1. For the width, measure around your waist for as far as you want the apron to wrap around you. I used the side seams of the pants I was wearing as a guide. You'll need to add 1 inch to this (for 2 half-inch seam allowances). Cut two pieces like this--one for the outside and one for the lining.
Cut a strip of fabric as wide as the waist, and four inches deep, for the waistband.
The ties are four inches deep by as wide as you need to be able to tie them. The full width of the fabric (45 inches) would make a nice sash. Mine are a little shorter than that because I'm using leftover fabric. (This being a frugal blog, you should also know the black fabric was bought on clearance after Christmas last year.)
NOTE: if you're going to add a pocket or any decorations to the front, now is the time to do it.
2. Pin your big rectangles right sides together along one side, across the bottom and up the other side. Sew on these seams. Leave the top open.
3. Clip the corners. This will make the skirt lay nicer when you turn it.

4. Turn the skirt inside out and press it. You now have something like a pillowcase, only with a long end open.
5. Fold the ties in half and sew along the long seam and across the end. Trim your seams and turn the sashes inside out. Press.
6. Take the waistband and press up a half inch along one long edge. Press in the short sides with a half inch seam.
7. Now take the waistband and pin the right side of it to the back of the apron. Be sure the short ends of the waistband are folded in. The folded in edges will match the finished edge of the skirt. Sew along the long edge.

8. Trim the seam allowance of the waistband, pretty close to the seam. Don't trim the front of the skirt (that's the black print you see along the edge). Grading seam allowances lets them lay nicer when you press them.
9. Now flip the waistband over to the front. Pin along the edge and stitch. This would be a nice place to do some decorative stitching, if you'd like.
Be sure that you only stitch the long edge, not the short sides!
You will now have a waistband with two opened edges. This is a good thing, so long as you remembered to keep your short ends tucked in.

10. Take the unfinished edge of your ties and make a little pleat so that it will fit into the opening of the waistband. You can tack this in place if you want. I just held it while doing the next step.

11. Tuck the tie into the waistband and sew in place.

Hey, look! You're finished! I added some lace to the bottom of mine.

Here is another version, a little more for the spring/summer!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that it's clear enough. This is such a simple project that I hope it encourages some of you to dust off your sewing machines. Just think: no gathers, no buttonholes, no zippers! No darts! This can go together quickly and would make a nice gift!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

CVS Savings Today

CVS has some good buys today. I walked out with about $13 in ECBs.

The best deals:

Gillette Venus Razor on sale for 8.99-$2 mfr coupon=6.99 and you get a $4 ECB!
Gillette Fusion Razor on sale for 9.99-$2 mfr coupon=7.99 and you get a $5 ECB!

If you keep your coupons in their original flyers, like I do, the Gillette Coupons are found in Proctor & Gamble. But even without the coupons, this is a good deal. They are nice enough to put away for stocking stuffers if no one in your house needs them now.

On top of this, check out the Halloween Clearance Section. My CVS is up to 90% off. Think of those little candies for stocking stuffers. And plain orange candles can also be used for Thanksgiving decor! Non-food items, like the cute little ceramic haunted house I got for 19 cents, can be put away for next year, of course.

My trip summary says I saved 43.93 today! I hope that you all get some good buys today, too!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday

People who have stopped by Shereen's blog today are displaying some really, really nice things. Please visit "Waiting for Him, " over there on my blog list, for some crafty enjoyment!

Here's my donation today:

This skirt and top comes from a back issue of Ottobre magazine. It is about a size 3 and made of knit. That white thing hanging on the shirt will be the binding around the neck. It matches the waistband on the little skirt, which has a kangaroo pocket.

This was pretty easy to put together. I bought the fabric from someone on a site I belong to called "Sewing Mamas" and got a good deal. The Ottobre magazine came from eBay. If you want to drool over the cutest kids' clothes, check out their site. The magazine features all the patterns. have to trace each one for yourself. That's the only annoying thing, but the results are fun. I'm giving this to a friend's little girl. It should fit her next spring.

Yes, Jude, if you're reading this...the dress is for Ada!

My daughter is 23!

This is the last of 3 fall birthdays here. That cute little clown on the side there, the same girl holding Shadow the Police Pup in the photo below, turned 23 today. Katherine is everything I could have imagined in a daughter. She's Awesome...and I meant to put that capital A there.

We had lunch at a favorite restaurant. We both had Shrimp Francese, although I had mine with rice and she had hers with linquini. Afterwards, we shopped in a little boutique (she didn't get anything but I bought a cute discounted Halloween figurine) and then we went to another store that features bulk candy and I treated her to a bagful.

We also perused an antique store but didn't get anything. (Frankly, after having done the vintage thing in Pennsylvania and Ohio, I could never bring myself to pay 8 times the price for anything here on Long Island.)

My daughter asked me a profound question. She asked if the world has changed much for the worse since I was a kid. She worries that when she is my age, she'll be thinking how much worse it is compared to her young days, now. I told her there is one thing I believe: no matter what the media pushes at you, the vast majority of people are GOOD. And the things we worry will happen, might never happen. For example (I told her), our big worry back in the early 70s was population explosion--how would we feed everyone? Who on earth could have imagined the scientific breakthroughs we have now that have improved agriculture?

And considering that we've had the ability to destroy this planet for roughly 70 years, but we haven't...doesn't that tell you something?

There are things I wish my kids could experience that I experienced. But they have things now that didn't exist when I was a kid. So yeah, there are things that aren't as good...but there are also things that are better. And in the long run, it is the way we raise our kids that determines what the world will be like in the future. My kids are turning out pretty cool, so they are hope for the future.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mom's Doctor Visit Today

This is from an e-mail my brother sent out:

"Upper arm is broken, 4 pieces floating around up near the shoulder. Doc did not think surgery a good idea at her age, suggesting outcome would perhaps be worse than present treatment. Which treatment is binding of the arm and a sling. She is allowed to take off the sling and binding to bathe, and he wants her to be flexing the forearm at the elbow to maintain flexibility. Won't be able to raise her arm for a few weeks (4-6 in the sling...figure the longer I would guess). There will be therapy involved down the road. For now the bones need to start knitting.Next appt is in a week. I didn't raise the issue of driving, but imagine that will be later rather than sooner."

The "I" in the above is my brother Bill. He's staying with Mom until next week. My sister plans to come out around then, and then my other sister will be there Thanksgiving week. I'm thinking the first week of December--either myself or myself with Katherine.
Bill says my mom is depressed. No wonder. This is her busiest time of year, with the holidays coming up. She is very involved in her church and in a hospital volunteer group. What I'm hoping is that, by the time the holidays near, she'll be so used to the bandages/sling that she'll be able to do a lot of things. Driving, of course, is out of the question. But my mom has a lot of friends, so even if we kids aren't there, she will definitely have no problem with chauffering!
My Aunt Mary, Mom's older sister, is there helping, too. She is 87. Bill says she's an enormous help.
For the record, this incident is one reason why I hope and pray that Mike and I will be able to stay here on Long Island, near our kids, when we retire. My family is all over the map, and I hate being 500 miles away from my mom at times like this!
Thanks again for all the good thoughts and prayers. At the very least, I'm glad my mother won't need surgery. She might not have healed any faster with it, anyway!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mom, continued

My brother is with her now. My niece was there this past weekend and told my brother that she has been improving. She was able to eat a little dinner last night. Bill (my bro) says she is taking what pain meds she needs. I'm glad of that. He's going to stay as long as is necessary.
We are both surprised that she is not in a cast. Bill says it looks like she's taped up. The injury was high up on her arm, which is probably why they think there is shoulder damage, too.
She sees an orthopedist tomorrow, Thursday. I appreciate all the prayers and will keep everyone posted!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mom Update

My computer has been on the fritz all day, but my son just fixed it for me. So I'm late, but sincere, in my thanks for all the good wishes!

My sister gave me this update: my mother is in a lot of pain, and it seems she not only broke her arm, but her shoulder is injured. She might need surgery. She is trying not to take too much of the pain medication because it puts her to sleep, but I say...take it! That's what it's there for! And really, who cares if she sleeps? It isn't like she can go anywhere.

My niece has been with her these past few days and apparently took her to the doctor. I haven't heard any more about that. My brother will be there in a day or two, and my aunt is with her. My sister will be there Thanksgiving Week.

Again, thanks so much for the good thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Mom...

...broke her arm yesterday. Her right arm. And she's 84 years old.

My brother just called to tell me. Apparently, she was putting something in the fridge, and she turned and slipped on something and went down...and there went her arm.

She has my aunt and friends from church to help her, but I told my brother I'm willing to fly out there (from New York to Ohio) to help if needed.

I don't know anything else about it. I figured I'd call her tomorrow--she's probably on pain meds today. Tomorrow, I'll have my daughter arrange to have flowers sent to her, too.

She might need surgery on the arm, so any good thoughts and prayers will be appreciated!

Familiar Footsteps

We live in a high ranch, so anyone coming in has to walk up or down a flight of steps to get to different levels of the house. And I have discovered recently that I recognize everyone's footsteps! They all sound different. In my husband's case, I also get the extra clue of hearing him drop his gym bag on the floor of the foyer/landing.

Do you find that you are also in tune to the different footsteps of your family members, so that you can call out to them without even turning around?

Friday, November 02, 2007

A little night visitor

Katherine knocked on my door at about 1 in the morning to tell me there was a little owl sitting on the tree by our deck. Just sitting there, not moving. He was still there when I went out to look, and posed very politely for a photo before taking off. He (she?) was only about 8 inches tall. Is he cute? I've never seen a wild owl this close. In fact, in my 51+ years of life here on Long Island, I've never seen an owl at all!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

He's 21 today

That's my son Jamie, "James" to his friends, 3rd from the left in the baseball cap. Today is his 21st birthday!

Here's a picture of Jamie when he was about five years old. I made the shirt, using 'free hand embroidery' to do the Jurassic Park logo. What a job. Believe me...I was a lot more ambitious back then! Jamie loved the movie Jurassic Park. He had all the toys and stuffed dinosaurs!
PS...please scroll down for another picture of Shadow...with my daughter. (She'll be 23 in 8 days!)

A little more dignified

Here is Shadow with his other mommy, my daughter Katherine. Now he is dressed up like a police officer. I think he likes this costume! There is a little felt night stick and felt handcuffs. Katherine wants to be a cop someday, so this costume is appropriate! (Last year, Shadow was a prisoner!)