Friday, February 29, 2008

February Links

Happy Birthday Stan
Light Switch Covers
WFMW - Tourist in your own town
Rain
Strawberry Fields Forever
Little Cloth Book
WFMW - Shopping without bags
Grandparents
WFMW - Thank You
Taking My Picture
WFMW favorite online store
The Cold - part II
A Cold
#42 Laundry
Candela Lighting

Happy Birthday Stan!

I have only met one person who's birthday was leap day... Stan. Today was his birthday. Stan and his wife and kids lived across the street from us when I was growing up. I helped my mother make a cake for Stan's 8th birthday (32.) It was a soft sponge about 6" thick and we covered it in frosting. I thought it was soooo funny that the cake was a fake. It was just Super Silly! I don't know how old I was at the time, but super silly about sums it up!

Happy Birthday, Stan!! Hope you had a great day.

Kristin

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Light Switch Covers

Light Switch Covers - Boy do I love 'em. This one right here is the one that started it. It is a paper covered metal cover that my Aunt Gail gave me for a birthday or a Christmas, I can't quite remember. The funny part is that my Aunts and Uncles didn't give us kids gifts very often so I am not quite sure why I got this gift - but it has truly become a "style statement" of mine ever since.

When I moved into my first apartment, the old plate cover in my bedroom came off and this one went on. Every time I moved this baby went with me and its friends. The hunt for fun and interesting covers became a fun treasure hunt. When my husband and I started building our new home the large toggle switches were the standard lighting switches installed in new homes - I quickly vetoed that idea...I now had several dozen switch covers and I wasn't about to not be able to use them. The large rectangle switches are hard to decorate. There just isn't a lot of room for decoration around the outside of such a lare switch, so the thought of being able to go out and find new covers was not appealing.

As you can see, cats are a major theme in my home. However I think those are the only three cat covers that I have. One of my favorites is the enamel payphone cover - that was one of my very first covers. It remains one of my favorites. I love pottery, so I was thrilled to find the bottery cover that was overscale. It hides a multitude of sins and wipes off easily. I love the pair of flip-flops that is in my office. My husband found them on ebay, I do believe. He surprised me with them shortly after we moved in here. I chose such an unusal color for the office that I was sure I would never find something to go in here.


I love that by just changing out the cover, the personality of the room changes or that you can add in a bit of personality and fun into a room that is just average. I find a lot of these covers in artsy shops and art fairs, but even the regular home improvement stores have a whole wall devoted to plate and outlet covers. Not a single one of my covers match (unless they haven't been changed out) and I am slowly collecting more and more outlet covers, too.

If you decide to change out your outlet covers and light switch covers, I would suggest putting all of the covers that you take off into a labeled box so if and when you move, you won't have to go purchase all new covers when you take the ones you have collected with you.

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFMW - Tourist in your own town

Welcome to another edition of Works For Me Wednesday! Each week hundreds of people from around the world gather at Rocks in My Dryer for WFMW and share their tips. Please take a look when you have finished here. Thanks & I'll see you again next week.


My best friend was here visiting me this week - Oh what fun we've had. We took a trip to St. Augustine yesterday, just about 30 miles South of where I live in Jacksinville, FL. We decided to take the Old Town Trolley Tour and listen to the history of St. Augustine while riding in the trolley. The trolley had almost 2 dozen stops along the route where we could get out, walk, shop and site see and then jump back on the trolley to be taken to a new part of town. We also got a chance to see the oldest house in St. Augustine. It was all just facinating and a ton of fun.


When I lived in Lansing, Michigan one weekend a year there was a special event called "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" and nearly everything was open for special tours, family events, & special discounted rates. It was so much fun to visit places you normally wouldn't do unless you had company & were showing them the town. I have since moved to Florida, but I always enjoyed that weekend - It was a lot of fun.

My tip for you this week is to get out of the house. Be a tourist in your own town. Ride a trolley if you have one in your city. Go to a museum you wouldn't normally go see. Look at a statue that is in your town and find out a little about the person. Be a tourist in your own town and have a Great Day!

Kristin

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rain

It is pouring rain. Actually it's sideways rain - Is sideways rain pouring? I guess it doesn't really matter at this moment because it is just beating against the windows and making for a very noisy night. I heard some thunder about a half hour ago, but none since. I hope some of this rain is getting into Georgia because we've had three days with rain (not all day) but quite a bit.

When my grandparents lived on the second floor of their retirement community my grandmother said to me that she didn't like the second floor because she could never tell if it was raining. It would have seemed like an odd thing to say, except just the day before I said nearly that exact thing. I mentioned to my husband (Ooooh lightning!! big one!) anyway, I mentioned to him that living up on the 5th floor was fine except when I wanted to know what the weather was like, because I could never tell if it was raining.

Right now it is obvious it is raining - thunder, lightning, rain pounding on the window and lots of noise - but those misty days or when the rain is coming down so softly that it is hardly disturbing the trees. Those are the kinds of rain that is hard to "see" on the 5th floor. Even looking out the window trying to see the puddles is difficult. Maybe I should put some binoculars on the window sill? I'd never use them. haha

I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again.

La lalalala laaaa lalaaaa lalala lalaaa

Have a great day!
Kristin

Friday, February 22, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever




These are the most beautiful strawberries I have ever seen. I went shopping at the "Fresh Market" the other day and happened to have my camera with me. I saw these strawberries and wanted to have every package. Look at them. The smell of the strawberries was almost overwhelming - they actually smelled wonderful, too.

There are approx. 20 strawberries per container.

The cost of each container was $12.99

The cost per strawberry = 69¢

I didn't buy any strawberries, but I did take a picture.

Have I mentioned that I don't like strawberries. I think I'm allergic to them, but I know a good looking piece of fruit when I see it!

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Little Cloth Book





This has got to be one of my favorite pictures of my mother. She is sitting in the chair, reading --well at least holding this little cloth book. She is sitting up so nicely and she looks just like a perfect little child. Look at that smile!! If I were to ever have a child, I would love to have at least one picture like this. The idyllic child.

Fast forward many years and this lovely woman has now had her own child. The first born. We lived in a snowy cold world in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the Air Force Base of KI Sawyer. Life was good and the snow was deep. The summers were short and apparently so was my temper.

My mother wanted a picture of her daughter holding the exact same book. She wanted a side by side comparison of the daughter and the mother at approx. the same age. My dear mother, my dear dear mother would never get such a picture. She had a very defiant young one that day. A few years later an out of control dog ate the cloth book in the very pictures you see here today.





I love to flip these pictures, back and forth real quickly. It makes me laugh. It makes me belly laugh sometimes. I thought about this picture tonight as I was struggling to keep myself from tossing my computer through the window down to the parking lot five stories below. I flipped back and forth between the two pictures and found that laughter really is a great medicine.

As I type this at quarter to five in the morning, I do realize that laughter may be a great medicine, but it doesn't get you to go to sleep any faster. It only made me want to blog about what was in my head. I'm so glad I could share this memory with you.

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WFMW - Shopping without Bags







Hello and welcome to this installment of Works for me Wednesday. Once you have read my fabulous idea, go check out the other equally fabulous ideas at Rocks in my Dryer. I go shopping every day. I know I know, who wants to do that every day. Lets not get into that right now LOL What works for me is my "bucket."

For years and years I have been given those plastic grocery sacks at the grocery store. I get them home and they seem to consume one corner of my house. When my husband and I moved to a condo and had to lug everything from the garage to the 5th floor, I started using what I call a "bucket" to haul everything and anything from the car to house and the house to the car. It is like a milk crate with wheels and a handle.

One day I decided to take my bucket with me to the store. I'd shop as usual and take my cart with my groceries to the car, unload all of the bags into my bucket, find a place to put the cart and drive home. One day I decided to take my bucket into the store with me!!!

Oh and the heavens parted. I could load up my bucket (and not have to touch another grocery cart again) and I coudl unload it onto the conveyor belt and ask the bagboy, girl, person to just load up my cart again.

Then I wheel it out to the car, lift it into the back. take it out when I get home and no bags.




I have to admit, I don't have children, I don't own a dog, so I don't have 50# bags of dog food to lug home. If I need to buy one of the giant paper towel containers or whatever they are called... maybe they are a "bunch" of papertowels, well anyway...I just get it last and set it on top.

This really works for me. I love it.
Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Grandparents

I've had a bit of a blogging slump the past few weeks. My grandmother (Mom's Mom) died on Feb 7th, 2008. We'd been expecting it to happen, but it still didn't make it easier. My grandfather (Mom's Dad) died Dec. 15th, 2007 - just 7 weeks and 5 days before my gandmother. I'm 41 years old, I've grown up with this set of grandparents for my entire life. I'm the eldest grandchild. My youngest sister is 28 & the middle sister is 34.

I lost my grandfather on my Father's side in 1976. I was 10 years old. My grandmother in 1994, I was 28. WOW, I hadn't realized that I was just 28, the same age my baby sister is now.

I was profoundly affected by the death of my grandfather in 1976. I loved him so much. I was his only grandchild for the first 6½ years of my life and I followed him around as much as I possibly could when we went to visit. He was so tall and thin. He took one giant step to my 10. He always had a butterscotch drop in the pocket of his shirt. He took me down to the caf­­e where he talked cattle and where I drank a milkshake for breakfast and had a piece of toast and an egg.

My Dad's Mom was great. She used to make the best swiss steak. It was my favorite thing that she made, so of course she made it every time we came to Nebraska. She loved to play games, too. Board games, crossword puzzles, cards. We played Cross Over the Bridge so many times I can still hear the sound of the games dice roller. She was a Soap Opera watcher - I think she watched Days of Our Lives, if I'm not mistaken. She told me that she watched the very first episode.

My mothers parents lived nearby and we saw them all the time. Grandpa worked hard and Grandma made great dinners and I loved her Pecan Pie. They had a pool in their basement with an intercom that Grandma used to turn on while she worked in the kitchen and listen to us playing in the pool. They had a statue of an old seaman wearing a yellow slicker. Growing up I remember standing next to that statue wanting to be taller than it one day. We used to sit at the kitchen table after family gatherings and play scrabble. I was horrible at scrabble. I should have figured out then, at those family gatherings, that I couldn't spell. No wonder I tended to watch. My grandmother, my aunts and my cousin who is just a year or so younger than me would rule the scrabble table. They were so good. I was always in awe of the words they came up with, and so quickly!

I can see my Grandmother sitting at that table, pencil in her hand with a piece of paper and she'd say something like..."You know Kris, if you switched the letters in this word, you can make this word." I woud say "Ya, I know" and she would say "Yes, you mean Yes." The things that stand out. How funny.

Grandpa would sit in his recliner in the family room with all of the men and they'd watch football games or some other sports, but grandpa hardly made it a few minutes before he was sound asleep in the chair. I remember my grandfather as a very hard worker and as a man who fell asleep in his chair. It is a very happy, comforting memory.



I now miss them all so much. All 4 of them. I don't think I truly understood the magnitude of losing my first set of grandparents because I didn't get to see them very often, once a year if we were lucky. Now that they are all gone, I am finding that I think of them as a collective group. I want to know more about them, I want to know what their favorite foods were, if they had a special song that they danced to, if they knew that I was so proud to be their grandkid.

There they all are - It was my 4th birthday. The year, 1970. Baby Go-Bye-Bye is in the octogon shaped box. Even though I don't look like it, I had a very nice day! The woman in the red dress is my Grandma Corlett, then Grandpa Corlett, my Grandma Henry is next and my Grandpa Henry is last. I look like the Corlett side, mostly Grandma Corlett. I have her body shape, too, but we don't need to go there right now.

I'm so glad that I loved them all. Love, your grandaughter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Thank You





What works for me is something I heard years ago. I was at a seminar and one of the speakers said something to the effect… I write Thank You in the memo line of all of my checks. The checks to the phone company, the cable bill, the credit card bills, everything. He went on to say that he was thankful every day that the lights were on so he could do his work.

It is an attitude of gratitude that he is talking about, but sometimes even paying the bills can be a process of Thanks. It also makes the process a bit more pleasant.

I write Thank You on checks most of the time – I admit that I do forget sometimes but I do it very often. In this age of paying online, I haven’t found an easy way of posting a Thank You for an online payment, so I tend to say it outloud as I push send.




If you enjoyed this WFMW post, please let me know! WFMW is being held over at Don’t Try This at Home this week. Over 200 people have joined in this week.
Thanks so much for coming to my place for a few minutes.
Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Taking My Picture

I have a new profile picture - I just took it today.
I thought I'd give a few hints on taking this particular type of photo.

1. Get hair colored and cut day of photo
2. Get home quickly before hair totally falls flat
3. Go into bathroom, forget to apply lipstick, but smile at self for 10 minutes, trying to get just the right "look"
4. Toss hair a bit, then straighten hair again because now it is all sticking up due to static electricity.
5. Find camera
6. Look in mirror and take picture
7. Realize that the flash was on and of course the mirror caught the flash
8. Look at picture on digital camera. Notice vanity needs cleaning.
9. Clean off bathroom counter and wash mirror.
10. Realize that maybe the mirror shot isn't the best.
11. Turn around and *Lightbulb Moment* use mirror to see the picture on the screen of the digital camera! Click
12. Click 25 times adjusting smile, neck, chin and shoulders.
13. Bathroom mirror trick was great - highly recommend that if you are taking your own picture.
14. Immediately load photos onto computer - delete photos from camera
15. Two photos were keepers - the rest pure comedy
16. Insert new photo on blog.
17. Blog about it :)

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday


Works For Me Wednesday


I’m so excited, this is my second submission to Works For Me Wednesday and we have a special assignment this week. “…a themed edition--we'll all be listing our favorite on-line stores. Whether it's your favorite source of good bargains or unusual products, post your links of best places to shop on the web. The marketing people will love us for this.”


So be sure to go to Rocks in my Dryer for more shopping spots from folks around the world. Oh and be sure to check out my sources right here.

I have to say that I have fallen in love with Design*Sponge. She has so many links to so many coooooool products and people. When I have a free hour, I go to her site and just click on everything. Lol One of my favorite parts of her site is the Guides page. The top part of the page are city guides that people have written for Design*Sponge readers about cool places to see and shop in cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Toronto and Kansas City. Just below that she has guides to finding Recipe boxes, kitchen timers, wingback chairs, room dividers and affordable art. Further down the page were the gift guides she had for Christmas. Now I’m sure that some of the items were holiday specific, but there still is a ton to see. I think I clicked on each and every link in all of the Gift Guides before Christmas.

I found this wonderful, awesome calendar on Etsy. I thought the calendar was going to be a nice gift for my Mother-in-law but when it arrived I was in love – so I asked my husband to get one for me for Christmas lol My MIL loved the calendar, too. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the cards I purchased recently.

Another etsy seller with whom I’ve done business is this one….Elfrida She has the most wonderful printed tags. I have 12 of the tags hanging on my office cork board – the rest of the package of tags have already been attached to gifts and sent away.

For a bit of retro try Brainiac the art of Matte Stephens. He has some fun stuff there. I just purchased Simon the cat for my husband for his birthday. Hopefully by September I’ll be able to get it framed lol Gotta start early with stuff like that.

I have also just recently posted a blurb on Things I Love – so browse through my blog to find the post on Merri Mail and the Candelas.

I have a lot of fun Internet Window Shopping, where I browse, look, bookmark and possibly come back to it again. Looking is a lot of fun – I can’t wait to see all the places everyone else in WFMW submits.


Have a Great Day!
Kristin

The Cold part II

All I could do for two days was wish that I could breathe using my nose. You never know just how much you use a body part until it stops functioning properly. Did you know that it is hard to drink water or any type of liquid when your nose doesn't allow any air to pass through it? It is also hard to sleep, eat, talk or even hear properly.

I am usually not a whiner when it comes to being sick - usually I have too much going on to be able to whine about anything lol However, this week I had the time - I had the time to lay in bed and then move myself to lay on the couch. I sat in a chair for a little while to read a little email but pretty much being horizontal was my MO for the past two days. Being horizontal and whining. Hopefully it was just a little bit of whining. Mostly when I was trying to eat something and I would take a bite that was far too large for the amount of breathing space I had. Since eating was one of the few things I wanted to do, that only happened a few times this weekend.

Today I am much better. I have some air space in my nose. It isn't great, but it is so much less full than the past two days that I feel like a new person. I hope that no one gets the crud from reading this - quick go wash your hands. If it is any consolation, the worst part only lasted two days. I'm saying that like I'm well again, but I firmly believe that I am on the mend...I have to, I've got a ton of things to do, of course.

Be well,

Kristin

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Cold

I have a cold. How can I possibly get a cold, I hardly even speak to people lol Actually my husband came home with this cold a week ago and I have washed every surface he has touched in order to keep the dreaded thing fom me. If he could have only used his own air supply that would have been nice because I'm sure he contaminated mine.

I woke up this morning and I could feel it. The nose was stuffed up and the back of my throat had that dry itch. This afternoon the cough started. Just little coughs that grow larger and larger if you let the coughing continue. Supressing a cough makes it look like I'm hiccuping backwards or something. It is not a pretty sight.

I can't help but wonder how I got the cold.

I have this little cart. OK that isn't right, it is more like a milk-crate with wheels and a handle. It is advertised as collapsable (Ha!) I use it every day - it never has a chance to collapse. I'm on my third one, so I guess two have indeed collapsed. I'm cracking myself up. Anyway, I seriously use it every day. I go to the grocery store with it among other things & I put all of my groceries into my bucket (as I loving call it) and when I get to the check-out I unload my bucket and then I give it to the bagger to fill up - no bags either. Just put it in there. I will have to take pictures of this proceedure, it is a hoot. I load it into the back of the car & then unload it at the condo and roll it into the elevator and up to our house. How cool is that!

Why do I do this? and why is this part of my "I've got a cold" post? Because a friend of mine talked about the germs on a shopping cart once that just turned my stomach. I'd wiped down the carts a few times before, I knew about the germs in a brainy way, but honestly it just didn't bother me much. I hardly ever got sick anyway, so I must have been immune to all that. Well, after she told me her version of shopping cart germs - lets just say I was hooked on bringing my own cart (Bucket) from now on.

So, I didn't get the cold from my shopping excursion - at least not from a shopping cart - so it is all my husbands fault.

Now there's a great way to end a blog post -- blaming my cold on my husband LOL

Have a Great Day

Kristin

#42 - Laundry

101 Things to Do in 1001 Days

I've been working on several of my 101 Things but tonight something interesting happened. I did several loads of laundry today and as usual I folded everything as soon as they were out of the dryer & the freshly folded laundry was placed into the now empty laundry baskets. So there they were, my laundry baskets. All lined up, just sitting in the family room. I was finishing up the dishes after dinner tonight and I started thinking about my list & it flashed that putting away the laundry was on my list.

It seems so odd that putting away the laundry is a task that has to be placed on a list that lasts 1001 days! Shouldn't putting away the laundry just be part of the routine? Why is it that my routine for laundry includes gathering it, washing and drying it and folding it, but doesn't include putting away. What happened that my routine ended with folding it.

So tonight, I put away the laundry. All of it. I had three baskets of it. I even had about 6 shirts that needed to be hung up & I had 4 or 5 shirts that were from last week, that never got hung up (But did today.)

Three baskets of clothing took me 5 minutes to put away. I set my timer for 15 minutes, sure I would still be putting away clothes when the timer went off, but I still had 10 minutes left.

I don't think I can get away with not putting away the laundry any longer. It is absolutely ridiculous that I normally allow several baskets of laundry to live in the living room when it only took me 5 minutes to put away three baskets today.

So, this will still be left on my list until I get a few months of this GOOD behavior down without a relapse.

I can't possibly be the only one with this issue.


Have a Great Day!

Kristin

Friday, February 01, 2008

Candela Lighting

This is one of those Things I Love and it's called a Candela, that I found at the OXO website. I must have seen this in a catalog or on someone elses website, because one day I tracked it down. I asked for these for Christmas and when my mother-in-law sent money and asked me to please pick out a few things for myself, I went right to OXO and bought these.


This is the picture from the OXO site - isn't it such a professional shot? The lighting is great, the candela looks graceful and elegant. The Candelas look just that lovely in my home, but boy-howdie, this gal needs to learn how to shoot some pictures lol








This is what my photo look like...do you think I could have gotten any further away? The Candelas are currently just sitting there maintaining their charge just waiting for a power outage, so they can spring to life!








This picture is what the Candela looks like when it is turned on and a flash isn't used. They really cast off a large amount of light. It is diffused, so it isn't like a flashlight. The light from the 4 of these Candelas can literally brighten up a room enough so you can see the whole place - not just a tiny spot.






I have my handy dandy yard stick in the background of the next picture, so you can see that these are only 6" tall. The mosaic pot in the background will be discussed within the week. If you wanted to read a book by Candela light, I would suggest having all four of them next to you - but if you just want to read a note or directions to something, one would do the trick.





They looked so much larger on the OXO Site, that I was kind of shocked when they arrived, but I totally love them, no matter how tall they are. I did read the fine print, I knew they were six inches tall - but who knows what that really means until you see it in person! haha

I enjoy the light of a nightlight. I have nightlights on all over the house, but ya know what? a nightlight doesn't do squat when there is a power outage. However, these babies immediately turn on as soon as they are lifted from their base, or the base is no longer sending a signal to them (like when the electricity is off.) If you have the Candelas off the base but you do not want the light on, there is an on/off switch on the bottom.

On the OXO site they talk about these being great for children, outdoor dinners, emergency lighting and other such things - I like them because I can grab one and put it up next to the thermostat in the middle of the night and I can see everything clearly. I have a flashlight by the thermostat, but I swear that button to turn it on gets harder to find each day. lol So just the act of picking the Candela off the base turns the light on. That is a great thing.

Have a Great Day!
Kristin