Monday, August 27, 2007

Rome if you want to

Finally a quiz that fits me!

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city soul with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?

take away my credit card!

Despite my previous fears, I am surviving the Arkansas heat. All 98 degrees of it. I have been having the best time with Jerusalem and her sweet hubby Nathan, and I so wish we lived closer to one another. Even though we haven't seen each other since they came up for my wedding in 2003, it's as if not a day has passed. Funny how knowing someone for 20 years will do that! We've had talks on just about every conceivable topic, and her youngest son Miles told me he loved me yesterday. My heart melted & my uterus started twitching. It's really amazing to me how kids can be so open with their hearts.

I've also been in heaven with the sheer abundance of flea markets & antique stores, 2 things which are sorely lacking in Juneau. We have no flea markets, and we have one over-priced antique store. I've picked up some really great things ~ vintage European shams, blue ticking, hankies, tea towels, salt & pepper shakers, valentines, Pfaltzgraff bowls, a wall pocket for mom, a cigar box for my brother....

I had to have this lovely sign, hand painted by the fabulous Jeanetta.

Today we hit some craft/home decorating stores, & I got this metal "kitchen" sign, a cookbook holder (something I REALLY did need), candle holders (because you can never have too many), and yes, MORE fabric.

This little gem I found hiding on the very top shelf at Hobby Lobby, and for $3.99, how could I not buy it?? Adding stitching to my paper crafts was something I had been interested in doing, but the thought of lugging out my sewing machine for a teensy bit of stitching wasn't very appealing. Enter this mini, battery operated sewing machine! Just think of the possibilities! Jerusalem got one, too ~ I love having a partner in crime!! She has already given it a test run & gives it a thumbs-up. Honey of course couldn't understand why I needed a mini sewing machine and even its low, low price couldn't convince him. Go figure. You ladies understand the importance of such a nifty crafting tool, right?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

hey thanks!

That's right, Jerusalem thinks I rock! And I nominate:
Nancy (aka, mom!) at Pieces of the Puzzle
Manda at Tree Fall
Donna at Simply Me
Julie at Jane's Apron
You ladies rock! Thanks for giving me great blogs to read, for inspiring me on a daily basis, and for being you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

a little update

So my birthday was really great. We barbequed at work, and while I was waiting for Adam to get off work because he got suckered into doing a print job for a rich attorney & had to stay late, the rich attorney gave him a $100 tip to "take the madam out to dinner". $40 went to feed the gas tank ($3.45 a gallon ~ how much to do you all pay?), and the rest I'm sure he'll spend while I'm on vacation. He earned that tip, he should get to spend it!

At mom & Mike's, we had homemade pizzas made on the grill, which you can read about here. Mom bought me a gorgeous banner from Jerusalem , which I plan on hanging every birthday for the rest of my life. It's that cute.
The only thing mom didn't write about, which is totally worthy of mention, is Bucky & Adam's "shopping" trip in mom's buffet. Bucky had walked into the living room with a funny look on his face, and said ~ My pockets aren't full! Michelle & I busted up laughing because we realized Bucky's pockets were indeed full ~ of mom's candles. Adam said he wanted to "get in on that", & he went shopping in the buffet, too!

Here's a photo of the guilty boys, and one of Michelle watching on in amusement. Isn't she too cute? The photos are slightly blurry because I couldn't stop laughing long enough to hold my camera still. I am so glad my husband is comfortable enough to steal from my mother.

Currently, I'm at Tanya's house in Seattle, and she & her husband Allen are getting ready to take her mom to the doctor's because she had foot surgery yesterday & is in quite a lot of pain. So, Auntie Tracy is in charge of Tanya's 2 boys, Jacob & Austin for the afternoon. Jacob, age 8, doesn't call me Auntie Tracy anymore, though. I am now "Trace". I remember the day that child was born, how is he 8 YEARS OLD already??
I won't lie & say I'm not a little disappointed that I can't go shopping this afternoon. I was this close to hopping a bus to downtown & all those glorious shops while Tanya looked after her mom until her step-dad got home from work. A couple years ago, this ~ a change in plans ~ would have sent me over the edge. Once I have it in my mind that I get to do something, go somewhere, etc, I will flip out if it doesn't work out that way.
Vacationing with Tanya, Allen, & their boys was not always easy for me because as any mother knows, EVERYTHING revolves around your children, especially when they're that young. And me, who just wanted to do what she wanted to do, couldn't hang with the constant changing plans. We planned everything around meal times & nap times, and even then, plans were subject to change without notice. But, I love her boys as if they were my own, and I have come to grips with the fact that if I want to spend time with Tanya & her family, I must learn to adapt. So I have to say, I'm pretty pround of myself today, for going with the flow, for not being selfish, for being there for my friend.
Anyway, I'm off to the park with the boys, who will hopefully be "extra, extra good".
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! So far, 32 is off to a great start.
ps ~ thus far, I haven't discovered anything that I've forgotten to pack, AND I did it WITHOUT A LIST! Can you believe it??

Friday, August 17, 2007


Today is my 32nd birthday, and I have to say, I like the sound of 32. 30 was really difficult. So much so, that I didn't tell any of my co-workers that it was my birthday until I skipped out of work early. I didn't feel that I was where I wanted to be at 30, and more than anything, I wanted to turn back time. Do-overs are allowed, right??

At 32, I have a husband who loves me, and more importantly, gets me. I am close with my family, I have a house, food, heat, and a dog to cuddle when I'm feeling overwhelmed. With any luck, this next time next year we'll have a baby in the house, and I can't wait for that day.

Birthdays are as much a "new year" as the actual New Year holiday, and I have a feeling this is going to be a really good year.

Thanks to mom for nominating me for this award! I never win anything! I do try to be a nice, good person; someone my parents would be proud to have as a daughter. Even though I have always felt like I need to be "perfect" & the type of person that no one could find fault with (ha!), I am very often impatient & angry, and I still pout when I don't get my way. Thanks mom, for thinking I am nice, even when I don't think I am, and to the sweet ladies who read my ramblings.
I don't know exactly what the rules are for this award, although I think I'm supposed to nominate someone else, or multiple others. Anyone that I would nominate has already been, so today I give this award to all the wonderful bloggers I read. It has truly opened up a whole new world for me. The encouragement & kindness from strangers, a glimpse into their lives (who cried yesterday when they read Audrey had passed away, or last week when they saw Manda's ultrasound photo?), knowing I'm not alone in all the crazy things I feel (see any of Heather's posts from 2004 except that I don't have a kid) ~ it all makes me try to be a better person, the person I know I can be. The person (I fear) my husband thinks he married. A well-adjusted, non-neurotic, happy, person. And I'm not looking for coddling in any of this, it's just my truth & how I feel on most days. So, here's to my New Year!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Does anyone else get completely overwhelmed prior to leaving for vacation? I reach such a state of anxiety that whenever someone asks me if I am getting excited about leaving, all I can think of is ~ Do you have any idea what I need to get done before I leave, NO, I am not excited! And imagine as I am verbalizing this to the poor person who only expected a Hell yeah I'm excited!, that my voice is reaching a pitch dogs would run from.

I make lists, a trait I inherited from my mother. Lists that include what clothes I need, down to the number of pairs of underwear, other miscellaneous items (jewelry, camera, the-purse-to-go-with-the oufit-for-the-event-we-are-traveling-to, you get the idea) what I will wear on the plane (for this, I must also take into consideration the temperature when I land, and whether or not I'll be able to change clothes once I get there), & what I am bringing in my carry-on.

My list of toiletries is made in the order in which I use them. I go through my morning routine in my head and make my list: cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, loofah (I can not properly wash & exfoliate my body with just a washcloth), razor, contact case, saline solution, toner, moisturizer, hair smoother, etc. It has only been within the past couple of years that I have come to grips with the fact that there are in fact STORES at my final destination, and if, heaven forbid, I forget something, I have the ability to purchase a replacement.

The anxiety over what clothing to pack is a big, big issue. There is just so much potential for error: overpacking, underpacking, inappropriate for weather conditions, outfit is not dressy enough for an event (usually a wedding), and don't even get me started on shoes. I need to have choices (but not too many!) because what if I'm feeling fat that day & the dress I was planning on wearing just won't work anymore? Luckily, this trip (a working-vacation) I am not attending a single planned event, thus requiring no special wardrobe considerations on my part. Thank goodness, and pass the suitcase! You have no idea how liberating that is for someone like myself.

I am heading to Seattle to visit my very best girlfriend Tanya for a few days, and then to Little Rock to see Miss Jerusalem, my other very best girlfriend. My only worry is that I am heading into 100 degree weather, and I live in Alaska, where today it's supposed to hit 78 degrees and I groaned.

On a side note, last weekend when Honey asked if I had walked Porter while he was at work, and I said that ~ No, it was too hot, Honey said ~ Oh, right. I forgot that once it hits 70 degrees, all dog walking ceases. Did you know that in Florida, they only have to walk their dogs, like 4 times a year?? I think I replied with a ~ Oh, really, smart ass?

At any rate, I don't own much by way of summer clothes, and my one pair of sandals is seriously about to fall apart. To top it off, I've been gaining weight (probably 8 lbs or so) ever since I went off birth control so I feel self-conscious in all my clothes. You can't hide belly rolls under a tank top, you know. I fear I am going to absolutely melt into the Little Rock sidewalk while wearing one of my 3 summer tops, but at least I won't have to worry about what to wear!!

My (self-diagnosed) ADD also brings along a certain amount of packing anxiety: am I bringing enough to keep me occupied, both on the plane and once I get to where I'm going? I always, always overpack my carry-on, and I don't see that ever changing. Even though I tend to sleep on the plane (Honey gets the window, I get to sleep on his shoulder, it's a system that works beautifully for us), I have to have a sufficient amount of things to look at. I'm really big on bringing things "just in case", and despite the fact that I sleep on the plane & all this over-packing accomplishes is a sore shoulder, I will continue to overpack my carry-on. Just in case. I think a lot of it is needing to have a bit of home with me; my magazines, my decorating books, a favorite photo ~ the familiarity helps to keep me from freaking out that I can't just go home at the end of the day.

This trip, as excited as I am to see my girls, will be hard because I won't be traveling with Honey, and I really love to vacation with Honey. We travel well together. Something will usually happen, and instead of taking our stress out on one another, it's us against the world. Things happen like our bag gets lost (the bag with MY stuff), or we oversleep and nearly miss our flight causing me to nearly lose it on the AK Airlines lady guarding the security line who tells me "no cutsies!" after I beg her to let us at the head of the line because we are at the end of the line and they are announcing "final boarding", and then she let in a lady with a kid & stroller. It was then that I learned that having a baby was the key to getting ahead in line, and I vowed to get me one of those.

ANYWAY, Honey squeezed my hand as I cried, cursing the mean AK Airlines lady under my breath, positive that we were going to miss our flight, and since we used mileage, what on earth were we going to do?? As much as I wanted to, I did not yell at the AK Airlines lady because I knew she had the ability to keep us off our flight. That right there is growth, people. We did in fact make our plane ~ we were those people who take their seats moments before the plane rolls away from the gate. I was so relieved, I didn't even care, and I slept like a baby all the way to Seattle.

I leave Monday, I think; it's been a while since I looked at my reservation, and while I do have my freak-out moments, I'm doing okay with leaving-preparations. Leaving Monday gives me the whole weekend to pack, clean house, make sure the bills are all paid, tie up my loose ends, etc. My work is pretty well caught up, I've trained Mary to do payroll for me, and I'm trying to remind myself that anything that may go wrong is fixable when I get back. Also, I have this really cool thing called a cell phone that Mary can reach me on anytime she needs to! Phew!

And, tomorrow is my birthday ~ woo hoo!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

all business

Just in time for back-to-school, I've finished up some notebooks suitable for sale, and they're currently available on my etsy shop! Also newsworthy for me is that Angie of the Creating Place is carrying my notebooks on consignment. I told Honey I was going to make us millionaires, one notebook at a time, & he humored me like a good husband. Honestly, though, I am still wondering if people will buy them. I mean, I think they're totally cute, but underneath it all, they're still just composition notebooks & anyone can make their own if they were so inclined.

They're all made with high-quality scrapbook paper, and I've done away with the glue gun, so no more glue globs! Needless to say, construction has improved about a thousand percent since my giveaway.

I'm currently "testing" a mini, and after being tossed about in my purse, it's still in perfect shape. I think I love the minis best ~ they're the perfect size to throw in my purse to keep track of all those thoughts that would be lost if not written down right that very second.

In other news, Adam is in the (very) early stages of attempting to buy into the company he works for. We met with Trevor at Wells Fargo yesterday to get some loan information, and Adam's going to meet with his boss Chuck to get some concrete numbers as all discussion thus far have been hypothetical.

The SBA loan dictates that Honey acquire one shop in its entirety, not buy shares of the whole company, which is what he would prefer. Chuck owns 2 print shops & 1 sign shop, so Adam would likely take over the print shop in the valley. I'm trying to be optimistic about this new endeavor, but we're not talking small change here. We're talking $300,000. To people who just borrowed approximately $220,000 for their house a year ago. Holy anxiety. If we were actually approved for that kind of money, everything would be on the line, including our house because Wells Fargo would have a 2nd mortgage.

I love seeing Honey so excited about something, though. It's like he's a whole new person. A person who is secure with himself & his abilities to achieve something great in life. He hasn't once said "I can't do this", and for Honey, that's HUGE! He, like me, gets frustrated easier than most & if something doesn't come easily to him, he tends to give up rather than keep trying. Luckily for him, he's good at most things he tries.

Logically, I don't see how we could possibly do this because we have zero cash for the down payment, but I have an odd feeling that this is going to happen.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Raise your hands if you can't believe it's already August. That's what I thought.

Happy Monday :)

Thursday, August 2, 2007


God bless those who suffered when the bridge collapsed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


view from our front porch last Friday.

I love my mailman!

My e-bay packages started to arrive yesterday. Honey threatened to take away my computer, and I'm assuming, my internet access, along with it. But look how cute everything is!

The green sewing box is just as cute as its picture. Maybe cuter. Could I say 'cute' any more? Cute Cute Cute! There, now that that's out of my system!

(notice how in the previous craft room photos, I didn't show the messy closet? that wasn't an accident.)

The wooden spools, the original reason for my looking on e-bay. Admittedly, I may have gone a little overboard, but I ended up winning 2 auctions, one for empty spools & one for spools with thread. I couldn't resist the myriad of colors & don't have any intentions for them other to look pretty in this jar.

This is the pincushion from mom, looking right at home next to all the lovely thread.

Monday, we got this wedding invitation from Adam's step-cousin Kara. We spent quite a bit of time with her at Adam's uncle Bobby's wedding last summer, and she's a total sweetheart. Tall, blonde, southern California, but completely unpretentious.

The invitation is by far the most elaborate, yet simple & sweet invitation I have ever received. I thought she probably had them done at a printers, but Honey, who works in a print shop & has become quite the paper connoisseur, believes they were printed on a home-printer & scorched by hand. The time that must have taken! And yes, the invitation came in the bottle.

Since today is very fall-like (who am I kidding, the entire month of July was fall-like), I turned off NPR & instead listened to "The Last Time I Saw Paris", a cd I purchased from Williams-Sonoma ages ago. I'm not sure they sell it any longer, but if you ever come across a copy, I highly recommend you snatch it up.

My favorite cd's tend to be soundtracks & collections like this (Pottery Barn also has some great ones), which I think is because I have the attention span of a 2 year old. Seriously. I swear to god, one time I was in mid-sentence with my co-worker James when I realized there was chocolate on the counter & I stopped to say ~ oooh, chocolate! ~ & proceeded to help myself to the chocolate. Has James let me forget this? Nooooo.

Today, Honey & I went home for lunch, and I had received another package. Honey again threatened to take away the computer. He said he'd ask me to choose between the wireless router & him, but he wasn't sure how I might respond. I said ~ oh, honey, of course I'd choose you! I can get internet at work! And luckily he thought I was being cute as was my intention, & didn't get grumpy.

Today's goodie is this really great fabric. I've been into toilles & variations thereof for the past year or so & am still searching for the perfect pattern. This one I do love, though, and king-Riley also approves. It is designed by Jennifer Paginelli of Sis Boom, so you can't really go wrong there. I think it's going to be curtains for my craft room as it's the closest fabric I've found to what I have pictured in my head.

And that's all the shopping photos you should see for a while because Honey may get a little testy if this trend continues!

Bookkeeping work ~ done.
Blogging ~ done.
August Country Living, here I come!