Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One In Every Color-Colored Pencils?

These were some cool colored pencils (that arent really pencils) created to act as a barier in a garden. I love how it looks like something every day (for me at least) and young made to have another function. Kind of like the windows. That crazy looking thing in the foreground is a venus fly trap stuffed creature as part of the venus fly trap display!


"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." -Julia Child

Sometime around August a movie came out called Julie & Julia. It looked fascinating. A woman (Julie Powell) living in New York City decided to cook her way through Julia Childs' cook book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I was holding out on the movie with hopes to watch it with someone who might enjoy it just as much as I would. Before that happened I found myself browsing Target with Aunt Grace and Katie. Katie pointed to the book and said "Hey that's the movie you were talking about!" I had no idea it was a book! I snagged it and began to read. While I cant say the book was the best I've ever read, it was in fact interesting. Also, be forewarned she swears a lot.

Being a blogger myself I could relate to a lot of her blogging experiences. I also would like to adopt her term for her blog readers. She calls blog readers "bleaders." Don't think that I am assuming you are spouting the red stuff just from reading my blog if I call you "bleaders."
Julie's novel and movie are in fact based off of real experiences,

and the real deal blog can be found <here.>

Movie trailer can be found <here.>

This is the cover of the book I purchased.

This book cover would have made the book worth keeping in my library.

Yep. I judge (and keep) books by their covers.
PS. I have not yet seen the movie. I have no idea how they compare. ALSO I am not posting too many statements or conclusions on the book because at least ONE of my bleaders is in the process of finishing the book.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One In Every Color-Window to the World

At the nursery where the show was held, they had re-used everyday home things to make the neatest scenes. They had windows with planterboxes full of flowers everywhere...AND in every color.
Definately going on my dream house wish list. It's so whimsical!

One In Every Color-Quilts

These are some of the quilts Jennifer and I thought represented "One In Every Color-ness." Butterfly Kisses by Darla Padilla

Cartwheel by Ellie Conley

Sister's Choice is Hand Dyes by Elin Thomas

Family Circle Celebration by Marianne Hendrickse

Quilter's Puzzle by Connie Quintela
But my absolute favorite came in only 3 colors...Ladybugs on Parade by Martha Reinthaler. I love it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quilts in the Trees

On Saturday I went off on an adventure with Jennifer and her girls to Quilting In The Garden at Alden Lane Nursery. I had heard fabulous things about this event, but wanted to see it with my own eyes. I was so impressed by what good travel companions Bethany and Rachel were. And Jennifer and I gabbed the whole way there and back. This sweet cottage is what greeted us in the parking lot.As we got closer, I could start to see quilts hanging from the trees already! Bethany, Me, and Rachel. They had their Amelia Bedelia/Aunt Maggie hats on!
All throughout the gardens they had these cool photo op boards! Bethany did a great job taking this picture for us!
They had a mini class on aplique quilting in one of the side buildings.

We ran into these cool crafters too! (Not physically cool because it was a smokin 103 degrees or so that day. Yes, we guzzled lemonade!)Mark and Cindy with Around the Block Designs. So cute!
Check out these two peas in a pod!
I loved this clever idea for plants...put them in gutters!
These two are too old to be found in a nursery!
We got to meet the Michael Jordan of quilting: Alex Anderson! Ya think we like Around the Block designs? Check out all of our necklaces!
On our way out I noticed this creative planter! Its a bathtub! And someone cleverly attatched these little clear stones to the edges to look like bubbles! Rub a dub dub! Somehow I dont think anyone would come out of this tub cleaner...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blooming Gifts

The last week has been...well...a little chaotic and stressful. Since Mom's diagnosis, and most recently the big chemo, we have really had to work together not only as a family unit but as a community to give mom some of the best care out there! Lois E. relayed a valuable thought to me last night on the phone.

"People can't hide their strengths or weaknesses when they're in a stressful situation."

We were really struggling as a family letting our weaknesses and and low levels of tolerance tug at our united effort.With the help of our friends and reassessing what is important we had a good family meeting this morning and got back on the same team. I also recognize what Lois said to be very true, and thankfully so, about strengths. I have learned so much about my father and sister since May and am coming to appreciate that. Do we have our differences? Yes. But they are extremely gifted in areas that I am not, and for that I am thankful.
I am also thankful also that our friends have not hid their gifts as we have been in a stressful situation. We have lately come in contact with some of the best cooks, nurses, prayer warriors, note senders, quilt makers, flower fixer uppers, blog followers and more. Peoples gifts and strengths have been coming out in leaps and bounds.
One of the highlights of this last week has been growth in the wedding flower area. Since I saw and fell in love with Princess Lasertron's flowers, AND got engaged to the fabulous Luke, I've been working toward making some similar flowers of my own...and I've got help! Mom worked on some before chemo took over her brain. Jullie (quilting buddy with a golf pro son)has been working on flowers up in the mountains, and Jennifer and Aunt Maggie started working on flowers the other day when visiting at our house. Since the day of visiting Jennifer has been a flower embroidering machine! It's been fun to see the different designs other people come up with. Inspiration. Its also really cool that all of their loving handiwork will be a part of our wedding!Okay so this picture is a little posed. The Ativan kept her from doing anything requiring fine motor skills, but we didn't want her to be left out of the sewing circle. It was so funny, as soon as everyone was around her, talking, she was able to relax and fall asleep perfectly.
Here is just a sampling of some of the flowers that have been worked on. I've finally got buttons...
and stems on!I'm really having a lot of fun putting the stems on because I get to use my favorite drill trick for twisting the wires all nice and evenly! I feel like I know a secret!Last but not least, Val's friend Kelly gave her a beautiful set of martini glasses and a shaker for her birthday. Val wanted to put her favorite mints in the glass to use it as a dish. Then she thought , take a picture and send it with the thank you note. Then I really liked how much potential the picture had and kind of took over. It sort of makes me happy. I think I like that the mints come in different colors. Shoulda sorted em out and taken a picture of "One In Every Color!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

One In Every Color: Fan-tab-u-lous

When Mom and Dad were in San Francisco and saw the "Grate lights" they also saw these fantastic fans! I love how they look so vintage, yet bright and vibrant. Once again it's hard to pick a favorite. I'm torn between red for my dream kitchen and blue for my dream bedroom. Hmm maybe I need one in every color!

Why Every Kitchen Needs An Island

I've noticed lately that my church going habit has sort of waned. Sure I've been sick, and out of town a bunch of weekends, but on occasion I have found myself laying in bed, looking at the clock, wondering why I don't get out of bed and go. I think today I started working through it. Since my mom was diagnosed, I have not attended church service without crying. Puffy eyes, tears dripping. It's not like I start out that way. Take this morning for example. I woke up, got the determination to go, got ready, had a cute outfit, got there on time (sort of, I think they were still in the first song) Even chuckled during the sermon.

During the Message Pastor James spoke of "Dinners With Jesus: Mary and Martha" which covered Luke 10:38-42 (New International Version)

At the Home of Martha and Mary 38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

So anyway I had this epiphany. If Martha and Mary had had an island in their kitchen, this problem would never have arisen. The company could have sat in stools at the island snacking on hor dourves and carrying on their conversation and both women could have heard and participated in the conversation.

But I digress.

The lights came down, the music started playing and communion began. I began to assess my life, and pray. I just started thinking about things and the tears runneth over. Its not that I don't ever want to cry. It's not that I am trying to suppress my feelings. Well, maybe I am. It is a LOT of work to cry. When you're done you feel drained, wet and snotty. You can't talk right and people look at you funny because your eyes are red.

This sort of makes coming back to church on a regular basis a tricky thing. I love my church. My church family is the most fantabulous church family ever. We wouldn't be making it right now if it weren't for our church family. They've given us meals, help getting mom to Dr. Appointments, church members have dead headed my mom's beloved flowers, made quilt blocks, made supportive phone calls, sent wonderful cards, been hard core prayer warriors...the list doesn't stop there. Maybe, during church service, I just look around and feel overwhelmed with all that love and support. It fills me up. I see mom everywhere. She's still here, she's still alive, pushing through and fighting. But maybe. Maybe church is one of the places I miss her the most. She's to vulnerable to germs so she cant attend, she can't walk very far or stand for very long, and she's so wigged out by the drugs or something it just makes me sad that she's not here as mentally sharp as she was. I know that all of these things will go away, but now, she's kind of missing.

I don't identify these tears as happy tears, or even sad tears. I identify them more as an atom bomb of emotion. Love, faith, fear, loneliness, companionship, trust...the list goes on and it explodes inside of me. All coming out at ones in big fat alligator tears.

I'm not sure what this means. I'm not even sure if my blog is an appropriate place to post all of this. I do know that many of you are probably wondering what is going on in my slightly larger than normal skull. Just trying to give you a peek in. (That and avoid more alligator tear spillage. I can't handle em.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

She Turned 21 on Tuesday

Val turned 21 on Tuesday, and to celebrate she hired a limo to drive herself and 7 other girls (including me) around Fresno to have dinner, sample beverages, and do a little dancing(some more than others.) We had fun and were merry.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Decisions

This year has been very eventful, especially since May. Mom got diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I made it through classes, graduated, Luke and I got engaged, I started the teaching credential program, went to Disneyland, got swine flu(excuse me H1N1 Flu), spent a nice chunk of time in Moscow (even if I was banished) Mom went to San Francisco for a stem cell transplant. When I start writing it all down it's hard to believe all of that has happened in 4 months! Is retrospective stress real?

Anyway, it all started catching up with me recently. Even though I didn't realise it, a lot of it was my reaction to the events. I started zoning in classes, I was feeling ill more often than not, during off time I've been preferring to stay in my room, in my pajamas, surfing the web and turning into a vegetable. This was beginning to affect my school work and I was worried because I wasn't feeling a "click" with where I was.

I finally got the sense to go in and meet with my advisor. On the way to my appointment I talked to my mom on the phone. She was a little (lot) out of it because of meds, and wanting me to come bust her out of the hospital. She was done. She had to go, and I went into my appointment. I met with my advisor, started describing my experience, and she asked me: "Who would you normally talk to about such a big dilemma?" The answer? My mom. Which prompted me to begin crying through the rest of our meeting. Emotion I didn't realise was there started surfacing. It's easy to get caught up in everything that's happening and not grasp the toll it can take, and is taking, even if I'm not right there with everything. Sometimes it's the absence. ANYWAY

My advisor strongly recommended that I seek guidance and advice, and reassess "the plan." First I used this handy dandy Pros and Cons Calculator. (Just kidding...sort of.) Then I began talking with friends and family seeking advice. Running the scenario by each person, paying attention to how I present it, and taking in their thoughts and ideas. It made me think of something I heard about at a Mennonite Camping Convention. I can't remember what group this is associated with but I think I would fit in well. If someone has a big decision to make there is a gathering of people from their community to hear the person out and the choices they have to make. Then they advise the person and point out things they might have missed. This is a good way for me to process, because I have so many people to remind me that God's plan trumps mine. It's my hardest lesson. Even harder than Jo March and her temper...Little Women reference. So after a long time of exploring my options, and for a while even trying to go with something else, I have decided to withdraw from the teaching credential program. I will search for a part time job, and provide care for my mother who will be coming home from UCSF Medical Center some time soon.
PS. This might TMI (too much information) but I figure many of you take interest in me and what I'm up to, it might help if you were updated on something other than things that come in every color.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Can Be Your Hero Baby

was the theme for Corey's birthday party in Idaho. Jenny and I picked him up in McMinnville, OR on one of our adventures and took him to Moscow with us. The theme was "I Can be Your Hero Baby" and people were supposed to dress up as their favorite Superhero. Below are: Kelsi as Hermione Granger, Me as "Super Wine-y", Melanie as Superwoman, and Jenny as Guitar Hero. Other guests included Hulk, Catwoman, Watchmen, Transformers etc.
I also found my hand twin at the party. Amanda SAYS her hand is alittle bigger...I'm not so sure! I think I finally found someone with hands as small as mine. For this superhero dinner we had Cyclops Spaghetti with Juggernaut Meatballs, Mr. Fantastic Stretchy Spinach Dip, Poison Ivy Veggies, Hulk Basil Pesto, Bruschetta Broiled with Spiderman Web, Captain America and Wonderwoman Fruit pizza (I forgot blueberries), Green Lantern Jello, and Scuba Steve Jello Cups.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One In Every Color-Legos

When we went to Disneyland and had dinner in Downtown Disney, we passed the Lego store. All the new colors are sooo cool!I really liked the bins where you could pick and choose your own pieces to make your own pack. My favorite were the pieces of picket fence!
I also saw this sign in Downtown Disney and it seemed like such a "One In Every Color."
This last sign is for Cindy who is quite the littlemissmatched promoter! I've really grown attatched to the technology socks they sell.