28 November 2014

Feline Friday: Thanksgiving - Lily Edition

 Happy Thanksgiving (weekend), everyone!

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner here for a very small crowd. Of course, Lily had to help with every aspect of dinner preparation.

First, we had to get out the good dishes. I left the room and returned to find her IN THE CHINA CABINET. No concerns about hygiene here...ha! Yep, all the dishes went straight into the dishwasher BEFORE dinner!

Bailey made apple crisp and Lily was right there to supervise. 

 She was especially interested in the HAM (I didn't make a turkey this year since no one seems to like it anyway). She managed to score several small bites over the course of the day.

 And when I got up for a minute during Thanksgiving dinner, I returned to find she had taken my seat at the table. :)

Thanks for your help, Lily! Couldn't have done it (or wouldn't have wanted to!) without you! 


Gentle blog readers: I promised more posts this week and I failed! I neglected to consider the fact that Bailey would be home, leaving little time for blogging! Excuses, excuses... :)

21 November 2014

Feline Friday: Inspector Tinsel

I've been making a lot of kits lately and, as you can see, Tinsel is a big help. Any time there is ribbon involved, she is ON THE JOB! It is her specialty!

My apologies, blogging friends, for another week of being missing in action. Lots going on right now in my life and in my head. Next week will be better!

14 November 2014

Feline Friday: Polar Vortex!

 Here in the Midwest, we are in the grip of the POLAR VORTEX! It is FREEZING COLD -- much colder than it should be at this time of year. But the POLAR VORTEX is actually OUTSIDE, not inside the house, as Lily would have you believe!

In spite of the fact that it is a comfy 72 degrees in our house, the kitties seem to know it is 25 degrees outdoors. As soon as the temperature dropped this week, Lily immediately found a blanket and then looked so pitifully cold that I had to cover her with a towel.

 Only then was she warm enough to settle in for her evening nap!

Look at that face! Typical Lily...playing it up for all it's worth!
Of course, she has me very well trained. :)

12 November 2014

Recent Cheap Finds

 I love a good cheap find! It's what leads me to drive around our neighborhood on clean-up day in search of a treasure. It's what compels me to stop at thrift stores "just in case", when I really should be getting rid of stuff. You just never know when you might find something wonderful!

Back in August, Bailey and I hit several thrift stores in Bloomington looking for a few items for her apartment. I was only too happy to accompany her on this trip, and look what I found -- an awesome 70's decanter! I bought it with the intent to use it on our bar cart, but it may end up functioning more like a vase. You can't go wrong for $3!

I recently stopped by a local thrift store looking for small shelves for my case at the antique store. I found the shelves AND these cool 70's salt and pepper shakers! We had a set with silver lids when I was growing up (in fact, I think I sold them at our auction...) but the green lids are much cooler. And at 50 cents, who could pass them up? 

 On our recent trip to Bloomington, I coerced Spouse into stopping again at the IU Surplus Store. It's a real treat to go there as they have furniture, fixtures, and a lot of odds and ends from various buildings around campus. I'm on the lookout for library stuff but this time came home with a pile of office treasures -- all for $1.25!

I will spray paint this old copy stand and use it with magnets or clips in my craft room. 

This old wooden tray (check out the cool dovetail corners!) cleaned up perfectly. It even has felt on the bottom.

I cut a piece of paper to fit inside it and covered it with a piece of acrylic. I use trays all the time for corralling supplies when I'm working on a project. It's perfect in my craft room!

I wonder what hidden treasure I'll find next!

07 November 2014

Feline Friday: Clunk!

 I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper and glanced over to see Lily sound asleep on her corrugated scratching pads, also known as the cat deck. :) 

Her head ever so slowly slipped down and off the side of the deck...

Down, down, down...until CLUNK! It hit the floor!

And I was laughing so hard that I missed the photo op! 
Poor Lily! That was a rude awakening! :)

06 November 2014

Favorite Charleston Things-Part 1

 My apologies (again) for the lack of posts! We've been out of town for a few days visiting our daughter at Indiana University. Always a great time!

I've been meaning to share some photos from our September trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It's been a really long time since I've been on an actual vacation. June 2010, to be exact. Sure, I've been to Indiana and Michigan to visit Bailey, but I do not consider those trips vacations. So I'm very glad we finally got away for a bit. It was a great mental health break!

When we first blocked out time to go "somewhere", I didn't even care where we went. I was at the point where I just needed to GO. After all the events of the past few years, I just needed a change of scenery to force me to think about different things. When Spouse suggested Charleston, it sounded good to me. Several people had recommended it as a nice, low-key destination. So off we went!

Turns out Charleston is a beautiful city. Other than the rainy weather we encountered, we had a great time walking around, checking out the incredible restaurants, and experiencing a bit of southern hospitality. Here are just a few of my favorite things from this trip:

Window Boxes
Beautiful window boxes are everywhere! Unlike my hair (which looked ghastly during the entire trip), colorful flowers thrive in the humidity. Each window box I encountered seemed to be more beautiful than the last!

Shrimp and Grits
 Along with She-Crab Soup, this is one of Charleston's signature dishes...and now one of my all-time favorites. In much the same way that in the Midwest everyone has his or her own meatloaf recipe, this dish varies from place to place. I tried three or four different versions of it and decided my favorite was this one from Hominy Grill. I can't begin to tell you how good it is. My lowly picture doesn't begin to do it justice. I've got the recipe and, since Spouse can't handle shrimp, I'll be making it the next time he goes out of town!

  Did I mention WINDOW BOXES?
Alligators! In the wild!
We visited a plantation just outside of Charleston. When the driver dropped us off, he told us not to wander too close to the ponds because of the alligators. I had no idea he was serious! See that dark spot along the lake in front of the tree at the upper right? That is an alligator. In the wild. How cool is that?
Oh, did I mention WINDOW BOXES? And gas lights!
I loved the combination of colors and textures in these boxes. I also loved the flickering gas lights on the fronts of many of the older buildings. So much prettier than boring old light bulbs!

Sheep! In the wild!
I know I'm from Iowa, but there was something very charming about seeing these sheep grazing on the plantation grounds. We don't have this kind of thing in Iowa! 

Many of the stately old homes in Charleston have double porches, called piazzas. I've always wanted a porch and now I would like a DOUBLE porch, please! We toured this mansion which actually has two piazzas, one on the front and another on the side.

 We had a great time visiting Charleston! If you're looking for a quick get-away with fabulous food and great architecture, check it out!

01 November 2014

Just Kitting!

I have spent a good part of the last two weeks making kits for my November and December classes. Mercy! I usually make kits for only one class at a time but this time I needed to work on three simultaneously. I had kit stuff EVERYWHERE!

In boxes in the dining room...

On the kitchen table...

Even on the chairs at Memory Bound...LOL

And in my craft room, where Tinsel discovered the Silhouette Cameo for the first time. She was CAT-tivated by it!

Thankfully, with Tinsel's supervision, I got it all done. 
WHEW! Happy day!